Next month, our church is planning to sponsor our forth church-start in as many years. They are Westwind Church (2008), Veritas Church (2010), New Heights Church (2012), and Cornerstone Church of Ankeny (September 2012). Each one has a similar style and model of church life but with slightly varying approaches. Together, these new churches represent nearly 1000 worshippers gathering weekly. It’s time to stop and reflect on some of the lessons learned, however, some of th0se lessons won’t apply to other church starting models. This series will have five posts for church planters and five for sponsoring churches.
Five lessons for Church Planters… Lesson 5: The first year
Our target has been for the church to be stabilized in the first year. This includes:
- A healthy staff team though positions and people can change frequently at the beginning.
- A healthy elder team: four to six people including the key staff leaders. Initial interim elder team phases out.
- A growing congregation: we know that if we don’t get to 200 in attendance in the first two years, research has shown that we never will. The focus should be on growth through evangelism not transfer growth.
- Healthy small group ministry: qualified leaders shepherding small groups. Target 80% of worship service attendance regularly participating in a small group.
- Solid financial position: The church should be budgeting for outside financial support to stop by the end of the second year. Total support should come from the church’s own members.
Brandon, Geoff, Troy, Jeff, Mark, Jeff, Kevin, Paul, DB, Mike, Jeff, Todd or anyone else… What would you add or modify?