Fulfillment of the vision is growing! Saddleback Church’s planned school of ministry at Rancho Capistrano will provide another step towards reaching to people in more communities. “This is big,” Pastor Rick said recently. “This is really, really big!”
According to David Alford, the program’s director, the 170-acre Rancho Capistrano property, affectionately called “The Ranch,” is large enough to accommodate the school of ministry in the existing buildings and has ample acreage for expansion. The school will eventually accommodate up to 100 students in a one-year residential program in church planting. Qualified students will split their time between classroom study at The Ranch and an internship with pastors and leaders at both the Lake Forest and regional campuses. Students will also benefit from the experience of a mentor who has recently been involved in a church plant or is actually planting a church at that time. Three tracks of study will be offered to train pastors and teachers, staff and administrators, and worship leaders.
The program’s design process is an exciting integration of Saddleback’s experienced staff and student innovation, gifting and energy, as expressed in the Five Es of the program: Enlisting, Equipping, Empowering, Encouraging, and Extending.
Director David Alford, is immersed in the project with other staff members to bring it all into focus. “Our goal is to ultimately produce healthy church plants. The means to producing healthy church plants is to produce healthy leaders.” He and other staff members are investigating church planting programs offered around the world. “We want this program to be the best it can be, so over the next few months we will be reviewing other programs to see what they are doing.”
It ALL needs prayer, David said. “Pray for the right team and experience to do this well – administrators, recruiters, all the behind the scenes work – and students!”