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 5: After the launch
After the launch
- Move quickly to becoming encouragers and coaches, not managers and directors. Questions and comments should be to give input and advice, not make decisions.
- Communicate frequently with new church leadership and let them know that you are available to help, but don’t be passive. Actively seek them out and get time with them. We thought we were communicating appropriately by actively responding to any request for information, but church planters reported that it would have been good to initiate communication more than we did.
- Frequently give progress reports to the entire sponsoring church families. It is easy to assume that because the leadership is getting updates, those are being communicated to the larger body. This sometimes caused us to unintentionally neglect communication with the whole church about what God was doing in the new church plant.
- Pray often for the new church and its leadership. Pray individually and corporately.
- Work with the interim elder team to transition to the new elder team at about the one-year mark. Some churches use Biblical Eldership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church Leadership by Alexander Strauch as the study guide during this time.
What would you add or modify?