Scripture passages that shape our church on this topic:
The church is the method that God proclaims His wisdom and truth.
This is so God’s multi- faceted wisdom may now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavens.(Eph. 3:10).
But if I should be delayed, I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in Gods household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. (1 Tim. 3:15).
Leaders of churches are given by God to shepherd the church, train the saints, and train other teachers.
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock that the Holy Spirit has appointed you to as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood. (Acts 20:28).
And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-12).
And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2 Tim. 2:2).
Jesus and the New Testament church taught of the kingdom in new cities.
Jesus: “And He said to them, Lets go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.” (Mark 1:38).
New Testament Church, Titus “The reason I left you in Crete was to set right what was left undone and, as I directed you, to appoint elders in every town.” (Tit.1:5).
Paul: “My aim is to evangelize where Christ has not been named, so that I will not build on someone else’s foundation,” Rom. 15:20).
“Getting out of the starting blocks”, steps to getting off the ground this year:
- Begin to set aside some funds for church planting.
- Ask others in church relational or denominational networks about churches planning efforts that you could join.
- Identify staff, elders, and other leaders that may be potential new church planters.
- Read some of the books mentioned below.
What we do:
Our church began an active church-planting ministry in 2008 and have about started one church each year since then. Our goal is to get to the point where we start three churches per year. The two needs in church planting are leaders and finances. For developing the leaders we started a school that within two years students can earn a masters in theological studies. During the two-year timeframe the students are also in a mentoring program at our church and have a ministry assignment on staff. For finances, we have created a network of churches from among the churches that we’ve started and ask them to give 5% of their general receipts to the network. We also partner with denominational agencies.
Key Lessons to Share:
- Finding leaders is a bigger hurdle to starting churches more than money or anything else. Focus on developing leaders. Churches with a vision for church planting should allocate extra funds to add staff in training and intentionally organize themselves to develop potential church planters and other staff.
- Church planting is very difficult. If it is a hobby of your church rather than a key focus, don’t expect it to be effective.
Cautions to Avoid:
- When beloved staff leave to start new churches sometimes church members complain of “cutting existing staff too deeply”. This is probably a sign that you are moving at a healthy pace. If no one really notices that a staff person has been sent to participate on a church planting team, you may have selected the wrong person.
- Because of the skill set needed to start churches is unique, organizing church planters is like herding cats.
- The biggest obstacle to starting a church planting ministry in your church may be your own church’s leadership. Don’t neglect the importance of bringing them along in the church planting vision.
- Once a church gets out of the starting blocks, it has been difficult for your church to stay involved. We have been tempted to pull out of prayer and other support too early.
Other Posts on this Topic
- What’s all this talk about planting churches?
- Using “Patchwork Nation” map to analyze your community and develop church planting strategy
- How We Determined the Priority Cities in Iowa for Church Planting
- When Church Planting is a Bad Idea
- An advocate for a conceptually flawed Church Planting model
- How we’re overcoming the biggest bottleneck in reaching a new community
- What were the three mistakes a group of pastors made when developing a plan to start a church? #1
- What were the three mistakes a group of pastors made when developing a plan to start a church? #2
- What were the three mistakes a group of pastors made when developing a plan to start a church? #3
- Ten-Minute Interview on Collegiate Church Planting Model at Cornerstone
- Lessons learned from sponsoring four churches in four years, Lesson 1: before you start
- Lessons learned from sponsoring four churches in four years, Lesson 2: pre-launch milestones
- Lessons learned from sponsoring four churches in four years, Lesson 3: Launching the church–the first public worship service
- Lessons learned from sponsoring four churches in four years, Lesson 4: after the launch
- Lessons learned from sponsoring four churches in four years, Lesson 5: The first year
- Lessons learned for sponsoring churches, Lesson 1: Selecting the church planter
- Lessons learned for sponsoring churches, Lesson 2: Selecting the church location
- Lessons learned for sponsoring churches, Lesson 3: Coaching the launch team
- Lessons learned for sponsoring churches, Lesson 4: Providing for the new church
- Lessons learned for sponsoring churches, Lesson 5: After the launch
Helpful Books on this Topic:
Book Review: The Multi-Site Church Revolution: Being One Church in Many Locations by Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon, Warren Bird, 5 Stars
The Multi-Site Church Revolution: Being One Church in Many Locations is a very valuable book for churches that want to expand beyond their own location, are growing out of their building, or want to reach a new population of people. “A multi-site church is one church meeting in multiple locations… [it] shares a common vision, budget, leadership, and board.” Multi-site is worth reading even if you are not considering starting a new campus because it will help you to understand the philosophy behind the multi-site church that probably will soon be opening near you; a high percentage of the nation’s largest and fastest growing churches are multi-site. Take it a look, it is worth reading.
Book Review: A Multi-Site Church Road-trip: Exploring the New Normal by Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon, Warren Bird, 4 Stars
Road-trip was a fun ride across the country, exploring ways that churches are expanding their ministries by adding more centers of ministry. By sharing the same vision, budget, staff, and governing board; multi-site churches have found they can leverage their resources to reach more people in new neighborhoods with less. This is not an isolated model for a church, nearly 10 percent of Protestant worships attend a multi-site church in the US or Canada.The book introduced a helpful cross-section of the topics related to a multi-site approach as well as examples of ways that healthy churches are tackling these issues. Anyone who is considering starting or improving a multi-site church will benefit from reading this book.
Book Review: Spin-Off Churches: How One Church Successfully Plants Another by Rodney Harrison, Tom Cheyney, and Don Overstreet, 4 Stars
Spin-Off Churches is a different kind of church planting book. The authors do not try to convince you of a specific strategy or model, but give readers the information that they need to evaluate a wide range of church planting methodologies. The book is written from the perspective that comes from both practical experience and from careful research.For leaders of churches who are getting started in church planting ministry, this book is for you. The book has a good balance between theory and practice and contains enough helpful ideas in each chapter that anyone interested in church planting should benefit from the book.
Aubrey Malphurs, professor of pastoral ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary, gives us a guide to church planting organized in two sections: 1) the preparation for church planting and 2) the process of church planting. The purpose of the book is to both inspire readers toward church planting and also provide biblical and practical wisdom for church planters. I would recommend this book to both church planters and organizations such as churches that sponsor new churches. Nearly everyone can gain from the wide variety of insights and practical information that Malphurs includes in the book.
This book is a quick read: 122 pages. If you or someone that you know is planning on starting a new church, this book is worth the read and will likely help the church planter to avoid some mistakes. The authors included helpful supervisory and coaching comments at the end of each chapter to specifically help those who are mentoring church planters.
Book Review: Seven Steps for Planting Churches by Tom Cheyney, J. David Putman, Van Sanders, eds. 4 Stars
Seven Steps for Planting Churches is a concise guide to starting a church, especially in North America. The introduction was one of the most insightful sections of the book. Thirteen church planting behaviors that are found in successful church planters are described. Of these six are considered “knockout factors”: visioning capacity, intrinsic motivation, ownership of ministry, ability to relate to lost and unchurched people, and spousal cooperation. Seven Steps for Planting Churches is a short (78 pages), but packed guide to starting churches. Anyone involved in church planting will benefit from either new insights in the process or helpful reminders to consider.
The sub-title for Churches that Multiply is “A Bible Study on Church Planting”. The format of each chapter is to describe a specific church that is mentioned in the New Testament, including historical and archeological background, and then include a narrative derived from the biblical references to the church. Each chapter concluded with personal and church lessons to take away along with individual and corporate projects to consider. Churches that Multiply is a simple book describing some examples of New Testament churches and includes a number of helpful personal and church applications. For detailed exegesis of the Scripture or an in-depth discussion of church planting issues, look elsewhere.
Planting Missional Churches is written by Ed Stetzer, the director of LifeWay Research and missiologist in residence at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee. Stetzer has written several helpful books on church planting, and is also an active blogger. Planting Missional Churches is worth reading for everyone who is interesting in starting new churches in North America or wants to learn what it takes to start churches. Stetzer is a knowledgeable and experienced church planter as well as a prolific writer.
Many links to church planting sites here.
Other topics in this series:
- Mobilize and educate the church to serve outside of its walls and lead them in praying for the nations
- Strategically allocate the church’s missions funds
- Select, promote, coordinate, train, lead, and debrief short-term missions trips
- Recruit, select, train, send, and support long-term missionaries from our church
- Create and coordinate evangelism and service projects in our community
- Recruit, develop, and send church planters from my church