Preparing to Plant: An Introduction

Field of wheat and Olive Trees near Alcaniz, Teruel, Aragon, Spain, Europe.

Field of wheat and Olive Trees near Alcaniz, Teruel, Aragon, Spain, Europe.

Preparing to Plant (P2P) is a new series by Baptist21 contributor, Bryan Barley. The series follows his year of preparation to begin planting a church in urban Denver, CO in early 2011.

The series strives to offer a unique look into church planting, providing a glimpse into the life of a planter well before an actual “launch” is in view.

You can also check out his website or follow his team’s efforts on Twitter.

Dear Reader,

I probably shouldn’t commit to this blog series.

My name is Bryan Barley, and I am a classic “overcommiter.” I guess church planting and I were destined for one another.

I’m almost one year away from moving to Denver, Colorado to plant a church. Currently we have a team of six individuals prepared to make the move from Raleigh/Durham to downtown Denver. We will plant our lives there in January 2011 with the intention of planting God’s church.

Since making this decision, preparations have been overwhelming. Yep, I was that fool who thought that church planting actually began when you launched. After a few months of functioning as a bi-vocational pastor in the attempt to lay the foundation for a healthy church, I quickly realized I was wrong.

So why, in the midst of the chaos that awaits me this coming year, would I start a new blog?

A few reasons:

–       I’ve found very few resources on church planting that don’t assume you’re a month away from launching a service in your local elementary school. I hope this could provide some practical help and encouragement to guys who aren’t that far in the process yet.

–       I hope this will provide a glimpse into the amount of work required to church plant, helping readers understand the importance of supporting and encouraging planters within their sphere of influence.

–       I know this next year will be one of the most interesting of my life. This will help discipline me to regularly chronicle what happens.

–       I hope this challenges some guys sitting on the fence to get in the game and plant a church. If God can use a guy like me, He can use a guy like you.

My commitment is the following:

–       Regular posts that are intentionally kept short to facilitate readability. I also hope to have other planters post from whom I’ve been fortunate to learn.

–       Both practical and theological writing. I plan to touch on anything from “what is it like to lose a core team member before launching?” to “how do ecclesiological convictions impact our philosophy of potential partnerships?”

–       As much candidness as I can provide – I’ve found church planting to be a deeply personal process. Sometimes this is good, because you pour your heart into your work. Sometimes this is bad, because you’re setting up a functional idol. The line is rarely as clear as we’d like it to be.

So if this is of any interest, feel free to follow our journey here. I’m looking forward to an exciting 2010.

For the Gospel,

Bryan Barley

Comments 0

  1. Bryan,

    A wonderful resource in the central US (and from KCMO, I count Denver!) is Dr. Max Barnett, collegiate consultant for Colorado. He teaches most of the church planting classes here at Midwestern and he is phenomenal at walking you through the process of thinking about the church plant. I strongly encourage you (and any of you readers) to contact him! (

    In related news, I’m excited to hear about your process and insights…keep us informed as best you can!

  2. Bryan,
    I am glad to hear that you’re planning to plant a church in Colorado! The need for more churches here is huge. I look forward to meeting you sometime. Have you met Joe Beckler with the Colorado Baptist Convention?
    Yours in Christ,
    Scott Kelly

  3. Post


    Thanks so much for your thoughts and recommended contact. I love being able to learn and talk to whoever I can!


    Thanks! Joe has actually been one of our biggest helpers and friends through the planting process. We got to spend a great amount of time with him just last week when our team was in Denver. He’s been a real blessing. We’ll be praying for your work in Colorado.


  4. Pingback: This too shall pass… « unlikely christians

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