As CPI works with church planters across the UK, we’ve found relationships between church planters are one of the most valuable areas of support for those in this ministry. We spoke to Stan Strunc about his church planting journey and to his mentor Kelton Black.
Tell us about your church plant
Stan: The main focus of our church planting ministry in the UK is to help plant Roma churches. We do this through organising conferences, workshops and seminars across the country which encourage the Roma community in their life with Christ.
How has CPI helped you in this journey?
Stan: I enjoy being surrounded by older and more experienced ministers. Coming from the Czech Republic, where communism destroyed the church for many years, we didn’t have this opportunity to learn from older ministers. Here I’ve found something that I have always wanted. I love being a part of a CPI hub.
Who is your CPI mentor?
Stan: My mentor is pastor Kelton Black from Gospel Tabernacle Church in Highbridge. He introduced me to the CPI hub in Portishead. There I met many other amazing people, who adopted me into their family and into their hearts, and are always encouraging me.
Kelton: We connected in conversation on social media, and soon became interested in each other’s ministry. After meeting up nearly two years ago, Stan expressed a need to relate to wider ministry. I accepted the role with him to serve as mentor and prayer supporter.
How does your mentor help you in your church planting journey?
Stan: Pastor Kelton and I meet regularly. He visits our ministry events and he’s invited me to speak in his church in Highbridge. In the UK, I’ve been introduced to other ministers through pastor Kelton. We pray for each other and keep each other updated.
Kelton: My aim is to encourage him in discovering his calling. I serve as coach, asking key questions to help him develop his ministry plans. We pray together and travel together. I have introduced him to the various networks I am connected to which has opened up further support and opportunity for him.
I consider it a privilege to work alongside others and help them fulfil their vision for God. I understand the demands of planting and developing churches and know how much it meant to have experienced workers help me in my years of ministry.
What benefit do you get from attending the CPI Hub meetings?
Stan: CPI helped me to get connected with similar-minded people and allowed me to meet with experienced ministers. It also showed me that we are not alone in what we are doing, but there are so many people actively engaged in church planting.
What are your hopes for the future?
Stan: In our ministry we hope to see many new church leaders moving into their call and new churches being planted across the nations. We hope to see more cooperation among many different ministries and ministers.
Kelton: I have just celebrated my 60th Birthday and I feel strong in the Lord, so I continue to serve both the local church and the wider fellowship of ministry God has given me. We will harness technology like Skype and social media to serve our ministries better. I continue to learn.
What would you say to someone who may be feeling the Lord is nudging them to plant a church?
Stan: If you sense the call of God to become a church planter, surround yourself with those who are already actively engaged in church planting. Find some mature leaders who are willing to invest in you or church planting movement and learn from those who went before you. Be willing to learn and observe and don’t be afraid to take small steps of faith. As you will progress, you will grow and you will become a church planter too.
Kelton: Obey God. I recommend you test your calling by sharing your vision with people experienced and those who understand church planting. Seek help in the work and believe God for each step along the way. Fellowship with others of like mind. “Iron sharpens Iron”