The purpose statement for West Side Baptist Church is ‘building mature disciples who reach their world for Christ.’ West Side Baptist Church has the correct mindset, goals, and vision. The only trouble is that West Side Baptist Church is not building mature disciples who are reaching their world for Christ! In the year 2001 West Side Baptist Church saw a 1.7 percent conversion growth rate and over the past decade there has essentially been no numerical growth in the Sunday morning attendance.
There have been numerous attempts at different programs and strategies throughout the years, all of which have not produced a sustained momentum towards building disciples who are reproducing themselves spiritually. Early in the life of West Side Baptist Church, there was consistent growth, most of which was transfer growth. When a church is building numbers from transfer growth there is a lulling to sleep that occurs. There is the impression that all is well when in reality the ship is off-course and heading into dangerous waters.
West Side Baptist Church has been unable to reach a portion of the community in the greater Yakima area for geographical and socioeconomic reasons. A new and challenging direction was investigated, and a decision has been made to follow the leading of the Lord by launching a daughter church in a geographically strategic location.
In the past few years, it has become increasingly obvious that the health of the church needed attention and a radical and risky solution may be the only answer. The direction that was necessary was the birthing of a daughter church whose primary objective was to win people to Christ and disciple them in their faith so that they would in turn win others to Christ as well. This bold new endeavor would not only establish a new and dynamic church on the other side of town, but it would create positive challenges within the mother (West Side Baptist Church) and hopefully re-ignite the vision for making disciples who are reaching their world for Christ.
The idea to plant a daughter church is a valid and God honoring decision, but one that brings with it many challenges. All the detailed planning that is involved in the church planting process is new territory for all at West Side Baptist Church. The goal of this thesis is to lead West Side Baptist Church through the birthing process, establish a new soul-winning church, and re-establish the Great Commission passion in the DNA of West Side. Every aspect of this endeavor is to bring glory to God in all that is done.
This project includes research collected through interviews with denominational leaders and church planters, and a review of current writing in the field of church planting. The study also provides a guide for church planting based on specific factors related to West Side Baptist Church, a guide for her specific situation, a strategy for building ownership at West Side, and a detailed plan for launching a daughter church with all organizational ingredients in place.