Praying and Preparing for “Boot Camp” on March 2-3, 2024

Gardening and Planting

If you’re a gardener, you spend your winter planning what and where you’re going to plant in the spring, and when you’ll dig into the soil. You’ll also make a long list of other considerations.

Sam Nadler isn’t really into gardening. But—Planting? Well, that’s another story! He’s a veteran Messianic congregation planter, and for years now, he has been serving as a mentor to hundreds of congregation planters and leaders. Because he understands that the Great Commission (“Go…and make disciples”) is his God-given job description, he is dedicated to help those who sense God’s calling to start a new and different (yet also old, and biblical) kind of work. A work that is “to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.” Many of these men and women are asking the question…

Where do I begin before I begin?

When doing something completely new, we can be at a loss as to what the first step should be. This is where Word of Messiah’s Messianic Congregation Planters Boot Camp comes in.

Sam uses his textbook, “Developing Healthy Messianic Congregations” (DHMC) and begins by covering what the DNA of a Bible-based assembly looks like. It starts with Spirit-filled leaders who are leading well in their homes. That seems downright personal…but it’s also biblical. (See 1 Timothy 3:5.) If we want to do God’s work, we must be committed to doing it God’s way.

There are Plenty of Church Planting Resources Out There. Why Do Leaders Need This?

It’s true. There are seminary courses and books written on how to plant churches. But there are unique considerations to planting and maintaining a Messianic assembly. First, why do we even need to have, much less plant, Messianic congregations? Consider this quote from the textbook for the Planters Boot Camp:

“The planting of Messianic congregations has to do with our calling: the call to demonstrate the faithfulness of God… Yeshua [Jesus]…alone is the fulfillment of the promises made to our fathers (Genesis 12:3, Romans 15:8). Although the greater Jewish community today may strongly disagree with this statement, it is vital that we communicate this biblical truth in a way that is relevant to them. A Messianic congregation, by its very existence, whether small or large, traditional or not-so-traditional, is a demonstration of God’s faithfulness to Israel.” (DHMC, pg. 15.)

Perhaps you’ve heard the statement “Am Israel Chai!”? It means “the people of Israel live!” If God’s people cease to exist, it means we have a god who was unable to keep his promise to Abraham and David. But He does keep His promises! All of them! He is faithful!

Consider Iris’ Story

Recently a “young believer” (who just retired!) gave her testimony of coming to faith just before she was immersed. She told the group that when she watched the service of a congregation Word of Messiah planted, she “felt at home.” The Jewishness was familiar. From hearing the chanting of the Shema as the service opened and the Birkat Kohanim (Aaronic Benediction) as it closed (in both Hebrew and English), seeing the “ark” holding the Torah scroll behind the “bema” (raised lectern) where the Congregation Leader preached, it felt familiar. (If she had been there in person, the bagels and shmear at the fellowship time would have sealed the deal!)

Iris and her husband live in Massachusetts. There isn’t a Messianic congregation within reasonable traveling distance to where they live, thus their search for a bible-teaching assembly where they could learn online. (Her husband was already a believer, but wasn’t very grounded in the Bible, and he wanted his wife to come to know her Messiah, too.) God’s call on their hearts was so great that, when they learned about one of the Word of Messiah Passover Seders in 2023, they decided to make the long drive from New England to North Carolina.

There’s more to Iris’ story, but in short, she placed her faith in her very Jewish Messiah! Growing up as a secular Jew, she didn’t know much about the Bible. Now, she and her husband are being discipled—long distance—and growing in their faith!

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a Messianic congregation in their area where they, a Messianic Jewish believer and the Messianic Gentile spouse could have face-to-face discipleship and fellowship? What would it take to make that happen?

It All Starts with Prayer

“Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send workers into the harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38.)

Such a group of “workers” is preparing to attend our Messianic Congregation Planters Boot Camp on March 2-3, 2024. That’s just a month away! This will be an in-person training, and it will provide these leaders with a plan and a playbook to serve as a reference point for them for years to come.

The core group from the Lynchburg, Virginia area is planning to come. But—there is room for more, as the Lord leads. Will you pray for those up-and-coming Messianic congregation planters to be willing to hear and heed that call?

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