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Strengthening SC Church Planters at Assessment Retreat

Strengthening SC Church Planters at Assessment Retreat

Strengthening SC Church Planters at Assessment Retreat

The Church Planter Assessment Retreat recently brought together five church planters from across SC to measure church planting readiness.

The five sending churches are from various locations in SC, including Richland, North Augusta, Chesnee, Marion, and Bluffton. This two-day retreat hosted by SCBaptist’s Start Network aimed to measure church planting readiness in nine essential areas, including calling, emotional and spiritual health, family dynamics, vision, leadership, communication, missional engagement, disciple-making, and social skills.

Events like these are “a perfect example of biblical cooperation,” Bryan Kent, Church Planting Strategist at SCBaptist, said. “The Start Team of SCBaptist and 14 assessors from all over the state gathered to assess five church planting couples because we believe we’re better together,” Kent said.

Mark and Cassie Smith share about their calling to plant The Way Church in Chesnee.

Calling to Plant

Among the Church Planting Candidates attending the event were Mark and Cassie Smith, who are looking to plant in Chesnee, SC. The Lord began to burden Mark for the community’s lostness. For the last two years, he worked as Family Pastor at View Church, where he served a diverse congregation, including new members, senior adults, and college students, which uniquely prepared him for this next step in planting The Way Church in Chesnee. “My desire for Chesnee is for the name of Christ to go forward. For God’s people to show the Way and grow the church,” Mark said.

Church Planting Candidate James Choi connects with Jarrian Wilson, Lead Planting Pastor of City of Refuge Church in Columbia.

Building Connections

One of the core aspects of the Church Planter Assessment Retreat is the opportunity for participants to build connections with like-minded individuals. The large group sessions provided an ideal setting for participants to sit together, facilitating connections with staff members, fellow church planters, and their spouses. These connections allowed for the sharing of visions and callings, fostering a sense of community among attendees.

Church Planting Candidate Ed Stewart is leading a team to plant a new church in the Woodfield Park area of Columbia.

Equipping Future Church Planters

Ultimately, the Church Planter Assessment Retreat is about equipping and strengthening individuals with a calling for church planting. At the end of the retreat, the assessment team connected to make recommendations and develop a growth plan for each candidate. Through this process, church planters are equipped with a strategy and insights needed to successfully establish and lead thriving churches in their communities.

“We’re better when we recognize people in our churches who may be called to plant churches, we’re better when share our wisdom and experience, and we’re better when we believe and act upon the reality that our growing state needs more churches planted to love the lost people of our great state,” Kent said.


  • SCBaptist Creative Team

    SCBaptist Creative Team

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