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Interview with Kent Shaw, Executive Director of Harvest Bible Fellowship

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“We want to plant 1,000 churches in our lifetime.”

Kent, how would you describe what you’re doing? What’s the Harvest Bible Fellowship “way” of church planting?

We want to plant vertical churches.

A vertical church is, as you know, based on James’s book. We’re looking to plant churches that have the same DNA distinctives that we do.

Basically those are the four pillars of:

  1. proclaiming the authority of God’s word without apology,
  2. lifting high the name of the Lord Jesus in worship,
  3. sharing the good news of Jesus with boldness, and
  4. a firm belief in the power of prayer.

We’re looking to plant churches wherever God opens doors for us. First we thought around the country, but now around the world.

How many churches have been planted through the movement, and how many are in the network?

We have planted 150 churches, we probably have about 170 churches that would be included in the network that have affiliated with us. We have about 100 in the States and about 50 internationally.

We’re at Harvest University today, you have 40 residents training here, so tell me about the residency, and then tell me about Harvest University. How do those two relate?

Our residency program is our beginning, initial, almost boot camp, training.

We’ve got four months of training where we want to teach guys what it means to plant a Harvest Bible Chapel. How do you plant, how do you grow as a preacher, how do you grow as a leader? Once we’ve done that, then we send them out to where they’re going to be planting. They’re assigned a coach and we trust the Lord to do great and take it from there.

Harvest University really was our church planting conference. Still is, but it’s almost a reunion too, because all our churches come in. We’re …

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Source: Christianity Today Magazine

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