Church Planting

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TEMPLE BAPTIST SEMINARY

A PLAN FOR CHURCH PLANTING IN BARREIRAS, BRAZIL

A CHURCH PLANTING PLAN

SUBMITTED TO THE FACULTY OF TEMPLE BAPTIST SEMINARY

IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE COURSE

INTRODUCTION TO CHURCH PLANTING AND GROWTH (ICST 6423)

BY

Barron Mason
JULY 27, 2011

INTRODUCTION
Beginning a new church-planting project is a task that requires much responsibility and effort. It is not a light-hearted venture. Nor is it a task that has a one-size-fits-all model or method. Each church plant has unique elements because it reaches unique people in unique places throughout the world. It is a humbling yet exhilarating experience to be called by God to this task of planting a church among a specific group of people.

This paper will discuss the work of planting a church among the poor in the city of Barreiras, in the country of Brazil. Included in this paper are demographic data that influence the strategies and methods chosen for planting the church. Also included are various factors of strategy and methods to be implemented in this church-planting endeavor. May God be glorified in this work and may the local body of Christ in Barreiras, Brazil one day be a shining light that reaches people with the gospel of Christ and reproduces itself in other church plants throughout the region and the world.

DEMOGRAPHIC DATA OF BARREIRAS
The city of Barreiras is situated in the Northeastern part of Brazil, in the state of Bahia. The region is a plains region where farmland is abundant. The climate of Barreiras is arid and hot. There is a rainy season from November to January. The rest of the year has little to no rainfall. Even though there is little rainfall during most of the year the region makes it’s living by agricultural farming and cattle farming. Some of the crops produced in the region include sugar cane, corn, soybeans, cotton, and coffee. Irrigation is used in most farms and is a process that was introduced to the region in the 1990s, which aided in the population explosion of the city and region.[1]

According to the 2007 Brazilian Census there is a population of 137,427 people in Barreiras. This census also reports that the size of the city is 7,859 square kilometers (3,034 square miles).[2] The city lies between natural geographical barriers. It is located in a valley between higher elevations, with various rivers surrounding and running through it. The rivers that make up part of the city include the Rio São Francisco (São Francisco River), Rio de Janeiro (Janeiro River), Rio das Fêmeas (Females River), and the Rio Boa Sorte (Good Luck River).[3]

Based on personal visits to the city there is a clearly visible contrast in the financial classes of the people. The farming industry has led to the wealth of many people in the area. Yet, there is a large gap between the rich and poor. Albeit a rich city, a majority of the population of Barreiras is poor. The common citizen of the city struggles with providing basic needs for their family. Most of the poor women are the ones who provide many of the public services to the city, such as maids, custodial work in stores and hotels and market vendors. The men work as builders and farmers. Often the men work in the fields for weeks at a time, coming home on the weekends every two weeks for a couple of days rest.

The average family income for the poor population is approximately R$800.00 per month. That is the equivalent of US$500.00 monthly. This figure is based on two working adults in each household. Because of this low income most people do not own a car and live in a very small house made of wood or block. Often the homes are unfinished. As families can afford to complete construction on the home they will.

Because it is common for men to work in fields for days or weeks at a time, their absence in the home creates many obstacles to ministry and church growth. One of the...
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