Helping fellow believers grow and mature in the mission of the local church.
OBM never set out to plant churches. The original idea was to simply train pastors. However, as the ministry began teaching classes it was clear that some students had a true calling and fit the Biblical criteria of a pastor (or elder) of a New Testament church. As they followed their calling, there became obvious need to keep these churches close for support and accountability, to help them financially until they matured their congregations, and to provide the legal covering that the Government of Kenya requires.
What is an OBM Church? Simply put, it is an autonomous and self-governing local body of believers that the ministry provides monthly support (which can be covering utilities, covering the rent of the property, basic living expenses for the Pastor and his family, providing ongoing training and literature) and is legally covered by the OBM Society in Kenya. But there are requirements for that help and covering. They must stay true to good doctrine, progressively growing, and raising up men and women to spread the Gospel and possibly go on to other plant churches. And over the years, several OBM churches have lost their support because those pastors and congregations teach doctrine that was no longer consistent with OBM's doctrinal position.
As one can imagine, many struggling churches in Kenya would like support and covering from OBM. But the ministry has created a program of how and whom to bring into the Society. However, as the ministry promotes congregational governance, OBM must facilitate, teach, and support. OBM as a parachurch support ministry does not ordain pastors or deacons, and we do not dictate the operating of the local church. We actually encourage congregational maturity in order to promote autonomous behavior, including eventually declining any OBM financial support.
CHURCH PLANT PROCEDURES.
To begin, when we identify a new potential church-plant pastor we must conduct the following steps prior:
The pastor prospect must complete a Prospective Pastor Questionnaire. If the pastor prospect candidate cannot clearly answer the questions with a clearly mature Christian perspective, they will not be chosen at this time.
The pastor prospect must be unanimously approved for being an "OBM Church Plant Pastor" following a one-on-one in-person interview with Kenyan OBM Leadership
The pastor prospect must be unanimously witnessed by current OBM pastors that they are of Godly character.
The pastor prospect must be unanimously approved by other OBM pastors that they can accurately and clearly share the Gospel on demand.
The pastor prospect must be unanimously approved by other OBM pastors that they can preach a logical, doctrinally accurate, and well-delivered sermon in front of a crowd.
The pastor prospect must have successfully completed the OBM School of Theology.
The location of the church plant must be approved by Kenya OBM Leadership.
The cost of any pastoral support, location/property expenses, or material support must be available to OBM.
We do expect our existing churches to send these church plant pastors, following a successful ordination council and ordination by that same church. However, some existing OBM churches may struggle to convene enough experienced members to conduct an ordination council. In these instances, the existing OBM pastors form a pastor candidate panel to act as the ordination council to make a unanimous recommendation to the sending church if that candidate is deemed "ready". OBM leadership in United States intends to play only a minor advising role in sending new church plants. We believe it is the local church's responsibility to plant churches, not a foreign parachurch ministry.