Outreach Ministries

The Domino Chain Reaction

In 1983, Lorne Whitehead published an article about the domino chain reaction. We can all picture dominoes stacked around a table and watching that chain reaction, can’t we? You knock over one and the chain reaction starts until more and more are falling into a very beautiful design laid out. The unique significance of Whitehead’s research though, was that she discovered a single domino can topple a domino one and a half times its size. That means a two-inch domino can topple a 3 inch one. That three-inch domino can tip over a four and a half inch one. On and on you can increase its size incrementally as you go.

By the time you get to the eighteenth domino, you could knock over a domino the size of the leaning tower of Pisa. The twenty-third domino could knock over the Eiffel Tower. And by the time you get the 29th, you could knock over the empire state building.

What’s the point? The point is that once momentum gets started, it is an amazing thing, one that cannot be easily stopped. If we had started this conversation by telling you one domino could knock over the Empire State Building, you and I would have both scoffed. Yet, the truth of the matter is that when you start the momentum, it’s almost unstoppable. However, something or someone needs to get that momentum started. Someone needs to give that first domino the initial flick to get it started.

We are trying to start a movement of momentum to spread the message of the gospel as Adventist understands it.

THE GOAL: To Plant 10 New Churches that are evangelistic, strategic, healthy and sustainable congregations in the Oregon Conference by 2022.

P - Pray for Leaders A - Assessment
L - Lay out the Vision C - Coaching
A - Activate Ministry T - Training
N - Navigate towards the Unreached S - Support
T - Track Effectiveness


  • Mission Group - An initial phase of church planting. The objective of the mission group is to expand the ministry of a local church to a different population group (geographic, ethnic, cultural, social identity, or strategic missional view)
  • Company - When Conference policy is met for company status. The purpose of developing a mission group into a company is to take maturing steps towards full church status.
  • Church - When Conference policy is met for church status in relationship to the sisterhood of churches in the Oregon Conference.
  • Volunteer Ministry Leader - VML - A VML is responsible to the Director of Outreach Ministries, Ministerial Director, Oregon Conference Administration and Administrative Committee (ADCO), and the Conference Executive Committee.


Pastor-Led A pastor-led church may have the following three applications:
    1. Sole Responsibility – The first group is the most obvious. A pastor is called to plant a church and the church planting initiative is his/her only responsibility. S/He would be given a deadline of five years to get the church off the ground and running effectively with well- defined measurements.
    2. District Add – The second group of pastor-led church plants is when a pastor (and his/her church) decides to plant another church so that they add a church to their district.
    3. Collaborative – multiple pastors work together to collaboratively plant a church in a shared geographic region.

    Pastor-Coached Lay-Led – A pastor-coached church can essentially be divided into two groups:
      1. Lay-Led – A lay-led church is when a Volunteer Ministry Leader is chosen, along with a group of lay people, is Conference trained and certified, has submitted a church planting proposal approved by the Conference, and is prepared to start a new Mission group for advancing the kingdom of God.
      2. House Churches – A house church is often a lay-led church plant mission group based in a residential small group context and is relationally-driven rather than program-driven.  The goal of a house church is missional in the community, growing and planting more house churches.  While it is not the goal, sometimes a family tree of house churches eventually becomes a collective church body, growing into a small-group-based church.


      Please send us an email and let's begin discussion this vital ministry here in Oregon!

      Other Links about Church Planting

      NAD Recommended Church Plants/Year

      NAD Guidelines for Lay Led Planters