CHURCH PLACEMENT MANUAL
WELCOME TO ABF UpREACH
Welcome to the ABF UpReach program. You are reading this packet because of one of three things.
This packet is designed to answer any questions you might have about the UpReach Program, CPP and Aletheia Bible Fellowship.
WHAT IS ABF UpREACH?
ABF UpReach (UR) is a program specifically aimed at accomplishing three distinct goals:
It is our sincere belief that these three points are essential in creating and nurturing grounded and faithful Christians who are capable of being judged as good and faithful servants. We also believe that these three elements are often distorted, unbalanced or altogether absent in the lives of Satellite Christians.
WHAT IS A SATELLITE CHRISTIAN?
A Satellite Christian is a term we have used to define the phenomenon of a sincere believer in Christ who has not (or is not now) fully succumbed to the gravity of Christ. This can be for varied and complicated reasons. Because we cannot wade through all the variables to determine the status of their faith, we have classified this type of faith as a Satellite faith.
Christians are not called to be Satellites. They are called to be grounded in Him. Colossians 2 says it this way.
Though these Satellites are not grounded as they should be, this shouldn’t alter their status as legitimate brothers and sisters until they have denounced their faith. Instead it should inspire us to earnestly contend for a right faith and a saving knowledge that they are not ashamed of. Unfortunately, we often encounter Satellite Christians who are either ashamed or confused about the issues of Christian doctrine, the Bible and the Church. Fortunately, this phenomenon is often avoidable and even capable of being rectified if Satellites are given proper care and attention.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
UpReach is ABF’s answer to this question. Every church is in contact with Satellite’s. They are seemingly in mass production as the church experiences somewhat of an exodus as the church goes through a gentrification process and is also tested by its involvement with a postmodern world and a pervasive nihilism. The tendency of detaching from doctrine, scripture and a local body is seemingly inevitable if left unaddressed.
The idea that Christians need help remaining loving, interacting on a daily basis through personal conflicts, sifting through right teaching and false counsel, and working together in their individual gifting, all while having hope of Christ’s return is a large focus of the New Testament. The solve for these difficulties is an adherence to the personality of God, exemplified in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross and embraced in the sacrificial act of covenant relationship.
Often times, this relational covenantal sincerity is as simple as “not letting go,” of someone who is starting to lift away from the gravity of church, doctrine and Bible. But what does ,”not letting go mean?” The variable nature of why someone detaches and the finite nature of a local church body means that many churches will be physically ill equipped in time, physical resources, educational resources or emotional resources to address this detachment in any meaningful way. Sadly, this lack of resources rarely accurately reflects the sincerity of the love between a local body and their detaching member.
Sometimes this Satellite finds themselves in the orbit of another church and eventually becomes grounded there. Sometimes they stay in orbit but still floating into the ether. Sometimes they lose their gravity completely and hurl off into the unknown.
If we treat our local bodies as separate bodies rather than distinct bodies, than this problem is simply a phenomenon that we must succumb to. However, we are not ontologically separate from each other, we are merely distinct. We should work together, sharing resources to ground and reattach this Satellite.
We must reemphasize, in our own ethic as distinct local bodies, that we are a part of the greater whole of the Church and that those who are detaching might need resources beyond our ability to give from within our local area. We should be open to the following presuppositions:
In embracing these presuppositions, we must also be self reflective of those Satellites surrounding our own local body. We cannot simply assume that their detachment is a mere and pure act of defiance of the status quo of a local body. If we are invested in their success, we must be willing to assess our own ability to provide for that individual within our local bodies. When we do this, intellectual honesty dictates that some people are not suited for our local bodies. And some local bodies are not suited for all people who pass through their doors.
This is not a description of The Body and its all inclusive nature. Instead it is an honest assessment of one’s church’s personality. A local body cannot be made of all hands and a hand cannot have a kidney and lung attached to it. A kidney or a lung do not belong on a hand. Above and beyond this point, a body doesn’t need twelve hands. God created it to only have two. If we allow ourselves to be self reflective enough, we might find that some people detach because they are a kidney trying to be on a hand or there are so many hands in that local body that they are not being used in any meaningful way. These people, though they may not be able to articulate why, often stay in the pull of a church they value, but their intellectual honesty precludes them from participating in it.
To that end, we all should be willing to give up the hoarding of hands or the impossible task of trying to fit a kidney onto a hand. These focuses are futile in nature. This can be a very difficult process for a local body as the needs and mechanism of the world remind us to stockpile resources. But thinking in this vein, often leads sincere Churches to being like the israelites who hoarded their manna. If we have flies in our camp, perhaps we have a part to play in them being there.
WHAT IS CPP?
UpReach is the act of pulling down satellites from the gravitational ether of Christianity. This is good and honorable, but to where? Assuming that these are true Satellites who are sincerely in the gravity of Christ but are not rooted in his body, his scriptures or his teachings, their detachment is still probably reasonable on some level. To simply pull them back in without addressing the needs that caused detachment first, will make for a troublesome process.
Self assessment and reflection will be of key importance to reattaching a person to a grounded faith. We believe that this is necessary on the part of a local church, the larger church body and Christian satellites. Often, we see participation from one party or two, but rarely from all three. To expedite the process of all three parties being involved in grounding an individual, the UpReach program has a built in process we call CPP. This stands for Church Placement Protocol.
The Church Placement Protocol is a simple idea: Ground believers in a local church body in a way that keeps them, nourishes them and encourages them to repeat the process. It is a series of steps taken to create a reasonably seamless intake for local bodies and reintegration for Satellites.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS OF CPP
CPP is a two tiered process. One is for the Churches and the other is for the Satellites.
WHAT IS A PARTNER CHURCH?
In order for this idea to work, ABF knew it would need help. Yes, we could pull down Satellite’s and try to ground them at ABF, but if we were honest with our presupposition that our church might have too many hands, then we can’t be stingy when we find another one. To provide care for these extra hands and support the larger body, we would have to be willing to give them to The Church, not just keep them for our church. How could we be good stewards of this process if we didn’t know who we were asking to help us in helping them? We knew that we would have to extend a hand of friendship to other churches that includes a certain level of intimacy and knowledge that can be hard to find between churches. We knew that we would have to ask the other church’s if they might wish to partner with us in providing this type of care to Satellites.
To that end, a Partner church is a church that agrees to:
WHAT IS ABF’S INVOLVEMENT?
ABF feels called to be a facilitator of this process. It is our goal to help ground Satellite’s by providing them with the type of care that encourages their pursuit of Doctrine, Scripture and Local Body. Our process for this includes:
WHY CAN’T A SATELLITE DO THIS ON THEIR OWN?
A Satellite can do this on their own. We encourage them to pursue these paths on their own. However, it is our experience that a Satellite is a Satellite because their own reason wasn’t enough to produce a grounded Christian. Can they find a church alone? Yes. Will they? Likely not without help, or they wouldn’t be Satellites. For those who need help, we aim to give them that specific help. For those who might eventually re-attach on their own, we aim to give them tools to expedite that process in a Godly fashion.
WHY DOES MY CHURCH NEED YOUR CHURCH’S HELP TO DO THIS?
Simply put, every church should be working towards its own solution to the epidemic of Satellite Christianity. Our resource is simply a way to help your church do this, while at the same time creating an interdependent relationship with each other in the shepherding process. You do not have to partner with us in this process, but it doesn’t hurt you to do so.
WHAT DOES IT COST MY CHURCH OR AN INDIVIDUAL?
It has no monetary cost. It does give you a stronger network and access to information you may not have had alone. We only ask for sincerity in participation. We define this as participation to the point where it doesn’t cause your congregation any undue hardship. We only expect that you:
WHAT SURVEYS DO YOU USE?
The UpReach program has developed 3 proprietary surveys. These surveys allow us the opportunity for passive interaction with Satellites, detachers and non-believers while creating a perceived distance between them and the evangelistic process. More than this, they give to us vital information and statistics about the common perspective on the church at large. This information becomes an invaluable tool for better and more articulated resources. Lastly, by comparing the information gleaned, they help us to better facilitate CPP.
Church Partnership Survey: People looking for churches need a good home where they can be integrated, supported and be safe. This is an easy way for churches to connect with ABF so that a Satellite might be efficiently placed in a new home church.
Church Placement Survey: This survey will help us to understand what an individual might be looking for in their church experience. We realize that God makes different churches just as he makes different parts. Not every church fits every person. It is a primary goal of ours to find that right fit by connecting you to the right church. The more vulnerable you are with us, the better we can understand how to place you in a church that you resonate with.*
Education Survey: This survey will help us to understand where people are at theologically, where they want to be, and how they digest information.
Surveys will be reasonably shared between Partnership churches as needed. The statistics from the Surveys will be made available to all Partnership Churches. This information may be made available to church associations who share a vision for maximizing its potential in the local churches.
*Church Placement Surveys contain sensitive information which may be shared with church staff considering partnership with that Satellite upon that satellite’s approval. Statistics collected will be shared with the entire CPP.
WHAT IS VIGILANCE.BLOG?
VIGILANCE.blog is a resource of Aletheia Bible Fellowship (ABF) of Portland, Oregon. It is the church’s web portal and connects users with a variety of services that the church provides including access to the ABF run, “Vigilance Radio Network (VRN)” and ABF’s growing link dump of useful web videos and articles, “Research and Development (RnD).” The goal of VIGILANCE.Blog is:
You can subscribe by rss, or by searching iTunes and Google Play Music for the key term, “ABF Sermons.”
*RND contains many links that present different, and sometimes opposing, ideologies from those of mainstream Christianity and those of ABF. The presence of these links in RND is not to present specific ideas, but rather to explore ideas to better form a sharper and more powerful worldview. To this end, we generally prefer to post debates where multiple sides can be explored or argued. We post these things as a service to those with discerning eyes, expecting a discerning participation that filters all arguments through scripture and we do this without our own commentary. Please use this service correctly, taking each argument on its own merit, being careful to measure the weight of an argument idea with proper care, prayer and against scripture.
WHO IS ALETHEIA BIBLE FELLOWSHIP?
We are just another local church, like you. We believe in a strong apologetic discourse of the Bible, and a fierce hunger for a relevant relationship with God through Jesus of Nazareth. We believe in an intense vulnerability before each other as Christ commanded. With a small congregation of less than 50 members and a mostly 20 something demographic, we are a very active and tight-knit community. You can find out more of our beliefs by exploring our Church Constitution and Doctrinal Statement. Aletheia associates with the CBNW and celebrated its 10 year anniversary in 2014.
Attending Pastor Josh McGary / Senior Pastor
Attending Pastor James Pierzina
Resident Pastor Adam Kunkel
Resident Pastor Colin Sakewitz / Director of Assets and Finances
Deacon Heidi Parker / Director of External Ministries / ABF UpReach Director
Deacon Mashayla McGary / Director of Internal Ministries
Deacon Jon Parker / Director of Properties
Aletheia Bible Fellowship
4511 SE Main St.
Sunday Services: 9am - 1pm
Tue-Thur: 10am - 3pm
Please call ahead for office, visitation or counseling
Call us at:
503 852 1701
Surf us at:
Email us at: