What does a church planter based in Hong Kong have in common with a church planter working in Queens, New York?
Perhaps more than you think.
Last month, when Redeemer City to City held its Asia Pacific Intensive, a multi-week, in-depth training for urban church planters, leaders from the New York City team flew to Taipei to observe the training sessions.
“We know people learn in different ways, so when we heard the trainers in Asia were using more concrete examples, we wanted to learn how to incorporate more of that style of teaching,” says Robert Guerrero, Church Planting Catalyst. “Just as Jesus brought truth through concrete stories, the trainers make it real through tangible things. There’s a lot of interaction back and forth. And you can see the students are experiencing a particular topic right there at the moment.”
Robert continues, “We went over to observe because we felt our audience for the Lab here in NYC would benefit from this style.” CTC has a key two-year program called Incubator that trains and develops church planters. The Lab is the Incubator material repackaged into a format that works with a bivocational pastor’s full schedule.
The new leader of the Lab, Cedric Johnson, also attended the Asia Intensive. Cedric has a PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary, has served multicultural populations in urban settings in the field of community health for over 15 years, and is a church planter and a native New Yorker. In addition to pulling curriculum from the Incubator for the Lab, he’ll take what the NYC team saw working for Asia church planters and revise it to work for church planters in NYC.
“The integrity of the content is kept, but it’s adapted to different learning styles,” says Ruben Soto, NYC Program Manager, who also traveled to Taipei.
As CTC recruits, assesses, trains, and funds church planters in cities around the world, this kind of cross-pollination and learning is one of the powerful ways CTC helps build a global gospel movement. The Asia Pacific and New York City teams, as well as teams from other regions, are learning with and from each other, and they’re speaking into each other’s contexts.