FENTON, MI (BP) – Michigan Baptists are deepening their partnership with the North American Mission Board by adopting a new name for church planting efforts in the state: Send Network – Michigan.
Tim Patterson, executive director-treasurer for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan, noted, "With this new initiative our state convention continues to coordinate our field-based strategy, as always, to create new churches throughout our region. The state's priorities and strategies remain ours."
Now, however, NAMB's church planting Send Network "and its standards of excellence will be understood as synonymous with Michigan's church planting efforts."
In the past three years, Patterson recounted, the BSCM "intentionally adopted NAMB's church planting assessment, orientation, training, coaching and pastoral care as our systems."
"The processes and systems driven by NAMB's national staff function so well that our field-based staff, located in Michigan, are able to spend deeper, personal time with church planters, apprentices and partnering churches," Patterson said.
NAMB President Kevin Ezell expressed gratitude "for our close working partnership with Michigan Baptists. We want to help plant churches everywhere for everyone and this name change reflects the team effort that has already been taking place in Michigan between the Michigan convention and NAMB. Now our efforts will be even more seamless."
The request to share the label "Send Network" was initiated by the Michigan convention. Tony Lynn, BSCM director of missions who oversees the state's church planting efforts, said NAMB's Send Network is "a highly respected and influential force among the nation's church planting agencies. Asking to be clearly seen as a partner with the Send Network brings a valuable advantage. Send Network's focus on brotherhood, multiplication and restoration echo the teachings of Christ when He referred to the Kingdom of God throughout His ministry. That focus is attracting quality potential church planters unlike ever before, including Michigan."
Send Detroit, one of NAMB's 32 Send Cities, will continue to operate as it has in the past with its focus on the metro population of 4.3 million people.
Detroit Send City missionary Wayne Parker hosts Catch the Vision tours each year for those who might become partners in planting new churches throughout the greater Detroit area. He said church plants are developing throughout the city at an increasing rate: in the suburban ring, in the rapidly developing midtown and in the core of the urban center. Parker and four church planting catalysts welcome contact from potential church planters and potential church planting partners who believe God may be calling them to serve the greater Detroit area.
For more information on planting a church or supporting a church through the Send Network, visit www.namb.net/church-planting.
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Reported by the Baptist State Convention of Michigan's communications team.