CHURCH PLACEMENT MANUAL



WELCOME TO ABF UpREACH

        Welcome to the ABF UpReach program. You are reading this packet because of one of three things.

  1. You somehow heard about us and have approached us
  2. ABF has heard about your church
  3. There is an UpReach participant in our queue who resides in your area and ABF has reached out to you.

        

        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:

  1. Ground Satellite Christians in The Church through a committed interaction with a local bible believing and affirming local body. This includes encouraging the laying down of roots in that community and the hope and intent to establish legacy within that local body through a commitment to active investment in that specific part of God’s church.
  2. Ground Satellite Christians in the Scriptures through resources that develop a meaningful relationship with God’s word. This includes a meaningful and reasonably authoritative knowledge of its formative history and transmission, historical reliability, its profound content, and its unique status in literature as divinely inspired and set apart in history from all other literary works.
  3. Ground Satellite Christians in Doctrine. These are the historically held theological positions of the Apostles. This includes having a basic but reasonably authoritative understanding of church history, the formation of church doctrines and the men and women which God used to help shape that history.

        

        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.


EMBRACING PRESUPPOSITIONS

        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:

  1. When a person detaches from another church, it affects all churches.
  2. My local church has a responsibility to reasonably contend for the grounding of the members of all churches in every local body.
  3. If my church can reasonably contend for this grounding, it should.

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.

PARTNER PARTICIPATION

  1. A potential Partner contacts or is contacted by the UpReach program at ABF.
  2. A potential Partner responds to this contact by meeting with the Elder(s) of ABF about the UpReach program.
  3. A potential Partner fills out a Church placement survey. This step makes them a Partner.
  4. The church sits in a queue with other Partners.
  5. When the UpReach program presents a possible Satellite for placement, that church meets with that Satellite to discuss a meaningful (re)integration into that body. This conversation is orchestrated and facilitated by the UpReach program.
  6. If a suitable “fit” is determined, then the Partnership church will gain membership of that Satellite. The shepherding interaction of the UpReach program will dissipate on a diminishing scale as time goes forward.

SATELLITE PARTICIPATION

  1. A Satellite contacts or is contacted by the UpReach program at ABF.
  2. A Satellite responds to this contact by asking for help with placement in a body that they can be most effective in.
  3. They fill out a placement survey.
  4. The UpReach program matches the Satellite placement survey to a church’s placement survey
  5. A meeting is held between Satellite and Partner church to discuss meaningful (re)integration into that local body.
  6. If a reasonable “fit” is determined, then the Satellite begins attendance with diminishing direct contact from the UpReach program.
  7. If a reasonable “fit” is not found, then the Satellite continues in a placement queue from step 4 on.


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:

  1. Affirm a mutual faith and doctrine
  2. Maintain a biblically healthy working relationship with ABF and all other Partner Churches
  3. Adds their church via survey to our UpReach program and CPP
  4. Is ready to receive a Satellite individual who seeks placement
  5. Is willing to consider us for any future Detacher, Satellite or non-believer
  6. Pray for us


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:

  1. Providing impasse for interaction
  1. We do this through our Vigilance Initiative at Vigilance.Blog
  1. Through the VRN (Vigilance Radio Network). A podcasting source.
  2. Through Research and Development (RnD). A Link dump of useful resources that help Satellite’s have access to faith affirming material such as debates, lectures and articles that we have farmed from the internet.
  3. Through the Eyes Open Tab at Vigilance.Blog. A Blog roll of noteworthy news topics ranging from pop culture to science and religion.
  1. We do this through individual community involvement of ABF members.
  1. ABF members are encouraged to find and help in the grounding process in their surrounding circles and are actively trained to help do this by connecting Satellite’s to the UpReach program at ABF.
  1. We do this through our Survey Farm. ABF has a number of survey’s designed to tell us vital information about church statistics, individual demographics, community preffered topics and other valuable things.
  1. This information is farmed for content on the VRN programs
  2. This information is distributed to Partnership churches to help in their specific programming and mechanism building for evangelism and church growth.
  1. Providing a network hub
  1. We interact with churches to understand their individual flavor for Partnership in the CPP (Church Placement Protocol). This means meeting with an ever increasing number of churches, gathering CPP for Churches Surveys and connecting CPP for Individuals with those churches.
  2. We intend to connect Partnership churches with each other through CPP events, newsletters, social media threads or any other feasible means to tighten our mutual safety net for Satellites.
  3. We intend to have a reasonable and free traffic of our data between ourselves and larger associations that may be able to mobilize this data on a larger scale to accomplish a greater safety and success for detaching Christians.
  1. Providing Intermediate Care for Satellites
  1. We find Satellites and connect them to vital resources aimed at affirming their relationship to right Doctrine, Scripture and the Local Body.
  2. We give a substantial but diminishing care for Satellites depending on their placement.
  1. If a Satellite is waiting for placement, we give them a local church body to interact with to start the process of proper reattachment.
  2. If a Satellite is in placement, we continue to meet with them and their care staff at their church of choice on a diminishing scale as we turn over care to that local church. It is our goal that this process be completed within a year of placement.
  3. If a grounded member of a local body needs placement in a different local body, we provide a tether for them to safely leave their current body without leaving the Body of Christ.
  1. This process is always unpreferred.
  2. This process always includes relational counseling and mediation to seek reconciliation to that body before leaving it.
  3. This process always includes a stacking care system from one body’s leadership to the next. Leaving one body means gaining another pastor, rather than a trade of pastors.


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:

  1. Affirm a mutual faith and doctrine
  2. Meet with our UpReach program staff
  3. Add your church via survey to our UpReach program and CPP
  4. Be ready to receive a Satellite individual who seeks placement
  5. Be willing to consider us for any future member who might be detaching or any current Satellite
  6. Pray for us


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:

  1.  to provide a resource that connects The Church with relevant resources for staying grounded in Scripture, Doctrine and the Local Body.
  2. To keep the church informed and educated in challenges it may face in the current age to the Body’s charge and claim to stay ,”in the world, but not of it.”
  3. To create easy access for Satellites, Detachers and Non-Believers in a way that truthfully depicts Scripture, Doctrine, the Local Body and issues it faces, without clouding its message through extra biblical opinions, wrong teaching or watered down teaching.
  4. To generate conversation between believers and non-believers, Detachers and Satellite’s about their relationship with God; so that all might willingly acknowledge our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Eyes Open News Feed:The main feed of the VIGILANCE.blog site. Here you will find interesting articles being posted ranging from pop culture to religion. This feed is the main source feed for the Viral Vigil’s Podcast.

ABF Sermons Podcast: A member of the VRN (Vigilance Radio Network). A podcast friendly audio service that contains the church’s weekly Sunday Sermons. This service can be subscribed to, and even, automatically updated with new sermons being delivered to your device as soon as they become available. The sermons are often live within a few hours of being given.

You can subscribe by rss, or by searching iTunes and Google Play Music for the key term, “ABF Sermons.”

The Viral Vigil Podcast : A member of the VRN (Vigilance Radio Network). A podcast with rotating Elders from ABF sharing their opinions, insights, and critiques on topics from culture, including Politics, Religion, Science, Pop Culture, World News and Health. The Viral Vigil is available to be subscribed to via rss, iTunes and Google Play Music.

Culture In Sanity Podcast: A member of the VRN (Vigilance Radio Network). Culture In Sanity is a podcast about the many facets of Pop Culture, where Resident Elder of ABF, Adam Kunkel curates a discussion on all forms of Media. It is a spoiler-filled discussion about everything between Comic Books, TV, Movies, Books, Web and Music and more. The Culture in Sanity Podcast is posted twice a month and can be subscribed to via rss, iTunes and Google Play Music.

Truth Time With Pastor Monte: A member of the VRN (Vigilance Radio Network). Truth Time with Pastor Monte is a weekly facebook live webcast and Podcast show. Hosted by the former Senior Pastor of ABF. Pastor Monte speaks to a baby boomer audience on issues of Theology, Culture, Politics and Oddities from a seasoned perspective. Pastor Monte is a current Elder Emeritus at ABF having served 10 years as its pastor and 10 years prior at Glencoe Baptist Church. He is also a retired agent of the IRS, having served with them for 30 years. He currently teaches Finances as an adjunct professor at Warner Pacific College, his alma mater, where he received his degrees in Sociology and a degree in Theology specializing in cults and the occult.

RND (Research and Development) Tab: RND is an area of the VIGILANCE.blog site that we devote to helpful links regarding areas that the church and the curious might have questions about. It is a “link dump,” filled with useful content in the form of debates, articles, and classes on apologetics, hot topics and comparative religions.*

*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.

OUR STAFF

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

CONTACT US

Visit at:

Aletheia Bible Fellowship

4511 SE Main St.

Portland, Oregon

97215

Hours:

Sunday Services: 9am - 1pm

Office Hours:

Tue-Thur: 10am - 3pm

Please call ahead for office, visitation or counseling

Call us at:

503 852 1701

Surf us at:

VIGILANCE.Blog

Email us at:

crc.abf@gmail.com