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‘Seeds Core Groups’ Attendees Ready to Get to Work

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Chesapeake Conference core groups are eager to move forward with church-planting efforts despite the obstacles of the pandemic.

Tim Madding, senior pastor of the Beltsville church in Potomac Conference, delivers a presentation during “Seeds Core Groups” on August 21. Credit: Diego Boquer

Representatives from current Chesapeake Conference church plants attended English and Spanish conferences of “Seeds Core Groups” on August 21 and 22 at the Ellicott City church. Sixty-four people attended the English conference on Sabbath and 50 more attended the Spanish conference on Sunday.

Seeds conferences are practical and mission-focused experiences developed by the North American Division Evangelism Institute (NADEI) to provide church-planting resources for local conferences. “Seeds Core Groups” focuses on equipping core groups at any stage of planting with a process and roadmap for their specific context.

Chesapeake Conference continues to partner with NADEI to host Seeds events for local churches every year as part of the conference’s “35 by 25” initiative which aims to plant 35 new churches by the year 2025.

“Through Seeds we equip and inspire those who have begun the steps to plant a church and inspire existing churches to consider planting a church in an unentered area,” says David Klinedinst, evangelism and church growth director for Chesapeake Conference.

Neil Chelliah, pastor and church planter of the Living Water church plant in Potomac Conference, speaks to attendees.

Potomac Conference’s Tim Madding, senior pastor of the Beltsville church, and Neil Chelliah, pastor and church planter of the Living Water church plant, gave presentations during the English conference on Sabbath afternoon on how to formulate a prayer strategy, recruit a core team, activate ministries in the community, and plan worship services that are mission-focused. Breakout discussions at round tables between sessions provided attendees with opportunities to discuss what they learned and what they could apply to their context.

“Churches should be doing more than baptizing,” says Diego Boquer, senior pastor of the Baltimore-White Marsh church, who attended the conference on Sabbath. “Churches should be planting other churches as well!”

Attendees of the Spanish Seeds Core Groups conference on Sunday listened to presentations from Jose Esposito and Enoc Garcia and shared testimonies of how God is working in their church plants. 

“I was very excited to see forty leaders from our new churches,” says Orlando Rosales, Hispanic ministries director for Chesapeake Conference. “They were inspired, engaged, and ready for even greater things. These leaders attended the seminars with great enthusiasm and sincere appreciation.”

One of the attendees to the Spanish conference on Sunday was a church leader who initially hadn’t been enthusiastic about planting a church but feels differently now after going through the church-planting process. “I am very happy to have planted a church,” he said.  “It took us from observers to doers. We have grown as disciples and as leaders.”

Overall, Elder Klinedinst is pleased with the energy on display at the weekend conferences. “The desire and eagerness to move forward with church planting despite the obstacles of the pandemic really stood out,” he says. “The potential to see many of our existing churches plant a church in one of the 50 unentered regions of our conference has me very excited.”

The next Chesapeake Conference Seeds event is scheduled for November 12-14.

Chesapeake Conference Hispanic ministries director, Orlando Rosales, speaks during the “Seeds Core Groups” Spanish conference on August 22.

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