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 learned for sponsoring churches, Lesson 3: Coaching the launch team
- Advice to sponsoring church from church planters: the new church isn’t yours anymore. The interim elder team is the final authority, work through them. See yourselves as consultants that give input rather than decision makers. Leave those to the local leaders.
- Interim elder team should get updates, hear of plans, discuss problems, and see financial reports. We’ve found that monthly is about the right frequency for this group.
- Be sure to get updates on the elders-in-training and stay on track to turn leadership authority over to them. Have dinner together or have a weekend retreat to help train them and develop relationships. We try to make sure that the elder teams have less than 50% church staff.
- If you have any non-negotiables for the church start, make sure that you communicate them early in the process. Don’t surprise church planters with new “values” in the middle of the start-up process.
- Schedule regular time with key leaders, but also informal time with others. Show up from time to time at worship services. Offer feedback if asked. Tactfully give feedback if not asked.
What would you add or modify?