Above: Send Oklahoma planters cohort include, from left back row, Charles Campbell, Stephen Shaw, Scott Bryan, Adam Mask, Cayo Cavalcante; from left front row, Lisa Shaw, Melissa Bryan, Grace Mask and Larissa Cavalcante.
SAND SPRINGS—A cohort of four new Send Oklahoma Network planters gathered Aug. 28 at Sand Springs, Church that Matters to encourage one another and sharpen their church planting strategies. The group was comprised of two church planters, two replanters and their wives.
The Send Oklahoma Network is a partnership between Oklahoma Baptists and the North American Mission Board to plant and replant churches in Oklahoma.
The planters and wives at the training event were Cayo and Larissa Cavalcante, who are planting Deepen Movement Church, an international church in Edmond; Scott and Melissa Bryan are serving together to plant Cognizant Church in west Tulsa; Stephen and Lisa Shaw who are replanting Broken Arrow, Sequoyah Creek; and Adam and Grace Mask who are relaunching Coweta, Community.
This group had been meeting since early spring through online and in-person meetings, and they gathered for final meeting that was organized by Charles Campbell, director of development equipping for the North American Mission Board’s Send Network Planter Development Team, and Rusty Gunn, Send Oklahoma Network catalyst.
“I am excited to partner with Oklahoma Baptist and leaders like Rusty Gunn” Campbell said. ” I am a product of Oklahoma Baptists. Back in the day, I had a youth pastor who walked alongside of me in high school. He gave me opportunities to grow and lead. I love seeing how Send Network Oklahoma continues to help train and coach planting couples to plant healthy, multiplying churches.”
At the meeting, each planter was given an opportunity to present a “Vision Frame” presentation and practice a presentation they developed for enlisting partners to join them in their ministry work.
“The Vision Frame is a tool built by Will Mancini in his book ‘Church Unique,’” Campbell explained. “We got permission to build it into the Send Network Training. It has been a critical tool to help the planters articulate the mission of their church plants, the values of the new works, the strategy to engage their communities to make disciples and send them out.
“The training tool also helps participants identify the marks and measures of a healthy disciple,” Campbell continued. “It helps them communicate strategic vision, so thinking five years, three years, one-year focus and a 90-day rhythm of implementation to accomplish the five-year vision.”
Each planter was given 15 minutes to present their vision frame, and then the group took 10 minutes to debrief the experience and give feedback to help them improve. At the end of each presentation and debriefing, the group spent time of prayer over the planting couple led by one of the other planters.
Campbell said he sees potential for church planting in Oklahoma.
“I look forward to the days ahead where we will see more churches catch the vision for developing disciples who go out to unreached people and places of Oklahoma and bring the Good News of Jesus,” he said.
Gunn, who is also pastor of Sand Springs, Church That Matters, agreed, “Some things that stand out to me from the gathering are hearing about the clear call that each planter has on their life, the diligence they are showing to prepare for the task ahead, and the brotherhood being formed through their journey together.
“I expect each of these planters to plant fruitful, multiplying churches,” Gunn continued. “They have the vision, have laid the groundwork, are working the plan, and are depending on God. Send Oklahoma is growing with sending churches, partnering churches, and new planters being discovered, developed and deployed at an increasing rate.”
At the conclusion of the cohort gathering, Gunn announced that there was a cookout fellowship planned and that the event host church, Church That Matters, was donating $1,000 to each planter present.
“Church That Matters is committed to being open handed toward church plants,” Gunn explained about the act of generosity. “We believe the seeds we are sowing into these four church plants will bear much fruit.
“I pray this gift and our continued support helps these planters, their wives and their churches know that they have another church who is standing with them, believes in their work and will do what we can to help them accomplish their vision. We instructed the planters to take half of this gift to meet a personal need for their family and the other half to apply to their church’s ministry.”