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How Denominations Can Partner In Successful Urban Church Planting


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Handout from the 2012017-05-24 Workshop on Denominational Church Planting at the New City Gathering Urban Church Planting Conference in NYC

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How Denominations Can Partner In Successful Urban Church Planting

  1. 1. How Denominations Can Partner in Successful Urban Church Planting I. Welcome & Introductions A. Online Resource Folder | 1. What Are We Looking For in A Church Planter? - an overview of what one denomination values in a church planter and his or her ministry 2. Church Planter Identification Process - an overview of how we assess church planters and pursue church planting in the Covenant 3. Well-Conceived Project Plan - a template and guideline used to craft the mission, vision, values, and strategy for a new church plant 4. … plus any more we add B. Opening & Intros 1. Jason R. Condon a. Director of Church Planting, East Coast Conference
 (Maine to Virginia, Eastern Half of New York and Pennsylvania) b. National Covenant Church Planting Team c. for this handout and other resources d. 2. Mike Brown a. Director of Church Planting, Northwest Conference 
 (Minnesota, Dakotas, part of Wisconsin) b. National Covenant Church Planting Team c. d. 3. (new website) 4. Participants: What do you hope to get out of our time together? C. Denominational Features in Church Planting 1. Some Key Benefits of Denominations that Plant Well a. Faith Family (not just fellowship) b. Proven Process (not just planting principles or programs) c. Robust Care & Accountability (not just guidelines or resources) d. Others?: 2. Honest Challenges of Denominational Systems: a. Constraints vs. Full Freedom b. Stabilizing vs. Catalyzing Dynamics c. Others?: | Denominational Church Planting • New City Gathering, May 23–25, 2017 • NYC1 NOTES: “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” ~ The Apostle Paul 
 (Ephesians 4:16)
  2. 2. II. Overview | Covenant Church Planting Components here is just one example to contemplate, compare, and contrast… A. Calling: “Am I Called to Plant… a Covenant [or AG, Foursquare, Baptist, Nazarene, Independent, etc.] Church… at This Time?” 1. Recruitment and Orientation to process and possibilities 2. Assessment & Discernment Process - around Vocational Calling, “Family Fit”, God’s timing and season, healthy for family, and more 3. Assessment Center - does it seem“good to the Holy Spirit and us”? B. Training: Preparing Church Planters and Launch Teams 1. Church Planter Training Intensive (5 day, church planters only) 2. Launch Team Training Days (1 day or 2 evenings, future follow-ups) 3. Church Planting Certificate Program (ATS Accredited) C. Start Strong: Officially Launching as a Covenant Church Plant 1. Prerequisites: 30-40 Adults, 3rd-Stream Funding, 1-2 Support Churches 2. Well-Conceived Church Planting Plan 3. Church Planter Covenant Agreement Signing (covers first 5 years) D. Lead Well: “encourage, equip, and multiply church planters 
 for a sustaining church planting movement” 1. Supervision: Primarily Conference Director of Church Planting (DCP) 2. Coaching: depending on Conferences and/or context, 
 combo of DCP, Church Planting Coaches, Peer Coaches, and Cohorts 3. Multiplication: Church Plant will Parent or Partner with other churches in the planting of their first church plant by year 5 4. Membership: Upon meeting the necessary criteria and missional viability requirements, complete process for becoming a full member congregation in the Evangelical Covenant Church III. Calling | Assessment Process A. Early Phase: Candidate Orientation & Initial Assessment Tools 1. General Information on Covenant Church Planting a. "What Are We Looking For in A Church Planter?" - an overview of what we value in a church planter and his or her ministry b. "Church Planter Identification Process" - overview of how we assess church planters and pursue church planting 2. Covenant Compatibility & Core Competencies: a. Online Questionnaire: "Connecting with the ECC”
 six short answer questions to respond to as we discern ministry and relational fit between Church Planter and the Covenant b. Online Survey:
 “[…] statistically validated […] provides over 20 reliable scales which accurately measure key church planting characteristics identified by church planting experts. Over half of these scales have proven predictive of specific church growth measures." c. Initial Conversation: in-person meeting, phone call, or video chat; answer question,“Why Covenant Church Planting?” 3. DECIDE: determine if process should continue or conclude | Denominational Church Planting • New City Gathering, May 23–25, 2017 • NYC2 NOTES:
  3. 3. B. Middle Phase: Deeper Dynamics, Ministry Materials, References 1. Ministry & Family Dynamics a. Site Visit • Purpose: “There’s no insight until you’re on-site.” • ideally observe Candidate preach and lead (+ digital sample) • observe and interact with who“follows”them • informal“reference checks” b. Candidate & Spouse Meeting • if married, meet with couple together • Purpose: “Is the spouse all in? Is this a healthy possibility?” 2. Ministry Materials and References a. Online Survey: Six Christian Leadership Styles,
 "There are Six Styles of Christian leaders. Knowing your style will help you understand how God can use your gifts, passions and personality to their fullest - a blueprint to lead as God intended." 
 – Dave Olson, creator b. Preaching/Teaching Sample (email a link or file) c. Ministry References: at least two (2) each of 
 boss/supervisor, peer/colleague, direct report/employee d. Background Check & Disclosure Forms (Confidential) 3. DECIDE: determine if process should continue or conclude C. Finalization Phase: Invitation & Confirmation 1. Invitation is a Dual-Process between Covenant & Conference a. Conference: Reviews & Approves Invitation • DCP should feel fairly certain (>75%) candidate will pass • Conference Superintendent clears candidate for invitation • Conference DCP submits Assessment Center Invitation Form b. Covenant Church Planting: Reviews and Approves Finalization 2. Candidate Completes Finalization Assessment Tools: a. Personality Tests, Short essays on Family of Origin & Faith Journey b. Potential Church Planting Project Executive Summary c. Background Check & Disclosure Forms 3. Invitation to Assessment Center a. confirmed upon completion of finalization materials b. Covenant Church Planting extends official invitation 4. 2.5 Day National Assessment Center a. significant review of prep materials, variety of interviews, personal presentations, and one or more counseling sessions b. Team of Assessors, usually comprised of Conference DCPs, the Covenant DCP, a Christian Counselor, Dept. of Ordered Ministry, and seasoned Church Planters c. DECIDE: Two possible dispositions… • Recommended • Not Recommended What questions or comments do you have about the "Calling” process? | Denominational Church Planting • New City Gathering, May 23–25, 2017 • NYC3 NOTES:
  4. 4. IV. Training | Preparing Church Planters and Launch Teams A. Church Planter Training Intensive: sponsored by Start & Strengthen Churches, training done by select group of DCPs & Seasoned Church Planters 1. Goal: make church planters expert in entire church planting process and able to train his or her entire Launch Team more effectively 2. Invited:“Recommended”church planters only 3. Format: 5 days of intensive training on principles, techniques, tools, 
 4-Stage model, coaching, and more; held twice each year with 15-30 church planters, National Church Planting Team, Adjunct Trainers (seasoned planters), Conference DCPs, and Coaches 4. Example: B. Launch Team Training Days: Conference-sponsored event 1. Goal: Train entire Launch Teams in one day with the principles and practices of Covenant Church Planting, so as many as possible are excited and equipped to fully support the planting pastor and each other in the launch of their new church 2. Invited: entire Launch Team of a new church planting project 3. Format: 1 day (or 2 evenings), with meal; presentations & extensive team time; Church Planter, DCP, and any Coaches lead training 4. Examples: What questions or comments do you have about Training? V. Start Strong | Launching Healthy Missional Churches A. Prerequisites for Covenant Agreement Signing 1. 30-40 Adults: initial Launch Team in place, which will continue to grow and develop towards the full launch of the church plant 2. 1/3rd Funding: commitments in place for approximately one-third of the external funding (matched ~ 2:1 by the Covenant & Conference) 3. 1-2 Support Church: At least one or two Parent, Partner, or Mission Friend Churches directly supporting the launch of the new church B. Project Planning & Covenant Agreement 1. Well-Conceived Project Plan: works with DCP to craft strategic plan 2. Normal & Natural Pathways (full doc a
 The following five questions helps the church planter think strategically about what they hope to accomplish in the lives of people as a result of the ministry: 3. In this new church, what are the normal and natural pathways for… a. Making Disciples that are maturing in Christ b. Evangelizing People so they come to a transforming faith in Jesus c. Reproducing Leaders that effectively lead, serve, and multiply d. Instilling a Stewardship Culture of generosity, sacrifice, faithfulness e. Multiplying Churches that are healthy, missional, and reproduce 4. Church Planter Covenant Agreement signed by Church Planter, Conference, Covenant; outlines expectations, resources, benchmarks | Denominational Church Planting • New City Gathering, May 23–25, 2017 • NYC4 NOTES: “Family Spectrum” of 
 Support Church Categories: Mission Friend • Think“aunts, uncles, and cousins” • Meaningful commitment to tangibly support through prayer, resources, volunteering, and the occasional celebrated Launch Team member • Measurable healthy missional efforts, “picture on the fridge”, care packages, volunteers Partner Church • Think“grandparents”&“older siblings” • Provide support in range of 1/2 to 1/5 of similar“parenting”efforts • Regional mission, seek to“tithe” members, tangible support, short- term missionaries Parent Church • Think“Mom & Dad” • Provide initial 30 Launch Team member, 3rd-stream funding of $50-70k over 3-4 years. Significant relational connections & collaboration • Primarily nearby mission field, full support, fishing license for Launch Team, bless & celebrate Church Networks: • Think“Whole Household” • Everything a Parent Church provides, plus significant ongoing coordination, collaboration, and regional impact.
  5. 5. 5. Key Highlights from Covenant Agreement: a. Funding: 3 Major Sources + 1 extra source: 
 1/3 Conference, 1/3 Covenant, 1/3 Parent or Partner Churches,
 + Planter required to do personal fund-raising (if no official Parent/ Partners, church planter must do significant fund-raising) b. planters must do monthly reports and congregation contributes 10% missions giving tithe before appropriation checks are sent c. expected by year 4 or 5 to have 225 in worship attendance and be financially self-sufficient by time church goes off appropriations d. expected to parent or partner in planting a church by year 5 What questions or comments do you have about 
 Prerequisites, Project Planning, and Covenant Agreements? C. Four-Stage Launch Overview 1. Purpose: build missional momentum and effectiveness, 
 while having“permission”to focus and pace yourselves accordingly 2. Key Metrics: Each stage is 3-4 months with clear benchmarks a. Discipling Relationships: Those who are intentionally receiving discipleship, with the commitment to disciple others when ready, for the ongoing reproduction of disciple-making disciples b. Launch Team Members: Specifically asked to commit to launch, the reliable leaders and hard workers, can count on each other c. Worship Attendance: Through prayer, evangelism, invitation, events, marketing, follow-through, and more, reach or surpass goals for each stage d. Key Ministries: Develop key ministries such as Worship, Children, Hospitality, Follow-up & Connection, Small Groups, Evangelism & Outreach. Improve“letter grades”throughout each stage 3. Example of a Suggested Launch Timeline & Benchmarks KEY: DR = Discipling Relationships, LT = LaunchTeam Members, WA =Worship Attendance, KM = Key Ministries Quality Letter Grade D. Stage 1: Launch Team Development (3-4 months) 1. Goals: gathering like-minded, missionally-motivated people into a healthy team that will show up and get it done 2. Team Mix: a. Roughly 1/3rd each: Committed Christians, 
 Unchurched Christians, New Christians/Seekers b. reflective of target population (multi-ethnic, 18-30 yr-olds, etc.); c. balanced gifting (musical, kids, hospitality, admin, etc.) 3. Benchmarks: a. minimum 30-40 committed, gifted adults b. 50% of Launch Team from new contacts c. planter is seen as the legitimate leader of the group d. increasing number of people contacted, coming, and connecting with the group with growing enthusiasm STAGE: 1.LaunchTeam Development 2.PreviewWorship&
 MinistryDevelopment 3.SoftLaunch/
 WeeklyWorship 4.HardLaunch/
 “GrandOpening” Post-Launch1:
 Depth&Stability Post-Launch2:
 Outreach&Growth Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun DR: 6 8 10 12 14 20 ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? LT: 30 40 50 55 60 65 70 70 75 75 75 75 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A WA: N/A N/A N/A 80 100 120 90 110 125 150 130 130 130 135 135 160 140 140 KM: N/A C C+ B- B B B+ B+ B+ A- A- A- A A A A A A | Denominational Church Planting • New City Gathering, May 23–25, 2017 • NYC5 NOTES:
  6. 6. 4. Launch Team Landmines a. tasks not titles; process not promises b. faithfulness and fruitfulness need to be demonstrated c. Three“highly”types of people to watch for: • highly controlling - simply don’t put up with, out-counsel • highly needy - direct them to care (be extra-mindful of own pastoral care capacity, especially during this stage) • highly missional - engage, enlist, and invest in fully d. Guard against:“Insiders”&“Outsiders”; 
 Nurture & Balance:“Family”&“Friends” E. Stage 2: Preview Worship & Ministry Development (3-4 months) 1. Goals: gathering more people to the new church, developing effective ministry systems, practicing what you’ll become, accelerating growth, continue to build momentum 2. Benchmarks: a. 50 new people attending each preview service b. strong word-of-mouth: over half of guests from personal invitation c. double size of the Launch Team d. 75-125 at each monthly worship service (momentum building) 3. The‘W’(a key framework and feature of Stage 2) a. for most, gathered worship is the high-bandwidth high point of their experience of God and his community at a new church b. but there’s a tension, especially early on, as also need depth with Launch Team development, training, and small group experience c. yet both“extremes”can overshoot many types of people you hope to reach, so also need a more accessible middle ground d. Repeating Cycle: each one is“open”, invite to and during each gathering (as appropriate, depending on readiness of person) e. Suggested Rhythm: • Worship: music, message, related key ministries, vision casting, evangelistic call, a vital invite opportunity to invite to the following weeks (invite at each different gathering as well) • Launch Team Mtg 1: orientation, bible study, vision-casting • Gathering Event: picnic, bbq, service project, bowling, etc. • Launch Team Mtg 2: prep key ministry teams for next Preview • Worship: like week 1, only improved upon, more new people F. Stage 3: Soft Launch/“Full”Weekly Worship (3-4 months) 1. Natural continuation of Stage 2, with some freedom to still tweak, improve, and overhaul as needed; church is very much acting“as if”
 (plus, people are more forgiving when it’s labeled“Pre-Launch”:) 2. Goals: a. develop more strength and structure through vital ministry teams and effective systems b. strengthen and improve your Key Ministries c. strengthen gathering and growing prior to Launch d. increasing outreach and evangelistic efforts 
 (present from start, but now shifting toward higher priority) e. develop leadership and volunteers f. finalize Grand Opening Launch Strategy | Denominational Church Planting • New City Gathering, May 23–25, 2017 • NYC6 NOTES: Wk 1: 
 Preview Worship Wk 2: Launch Team Mtg Wk 3: Connection Event Wk 5:
 Worship Wk 4: Launch Team Mtg MONTH 1 MONTH 2 …
  7. 7. 3. Benchmarks: a. minimum of 80 in the weekly services (“75 is the enemy!”) b. quality of Key Ministries improving from B to B+/A- c. increasing number of people serving in ministry teams d. 50% of adults in small groups G. Stage 4: Hard Launch/“Grand Opening”(3-4 months) 1. Goal: launching strong (qualitative), launching large (quantitative), letting the entire community know we’re here! Help assure sustainability and growing Missional Impact for future generations 2. Benchmarks a. Launch past 125 in Worship, stay above 125 throughout b. Key Ministries with letter grades at B+/A- c. Great facility that can accommodate growth to 200+ d. Seeing increasing numbers of people coming to Christ e. Healthy Mix: 1/3 mission-minded, 1/3 formerly de-churched, 1/3 formerly un-churched 3. Net Growth = [Visitor Flow × Retention Rate] – Backdoor Loss a. crucial to pay attention to each variable to help identify what’s working or needs improvement; applies to worship services, small groups, etc. - any“ministry”that should grow through people. b. BIG Caveat: these are people, not soulless numbers;“numbers”are merely a tool for fruitful accountability, and ministry insight. H. Scenarios for Application & Adaptation of 4-Stage Launch 1. New Church Plant: from scratch, no pre-existing ministry or group 2. “2.0”Church Plant: pre-existing ministry, new to the Covenant, ranging from soft relaunch to hard reset 3. New Campus: extending church’s pre-existing ministry to a 
 brand-new location using principles of church planting 4. New Worship Service: multiplying the church’s ministry footprint through duplicating worship services, ranging from identical to completely different. Church planting principles can be very helpful 5. Discipleship-Centric/Missional Multiplication: heavily adapted, leveraging the principles, applying for the“launching”of various components and initiatives I. Cautions & Common Mistakes 1. New Church Plants (sometimes others): a. go too fast, skimp on key components b. downplay or ignore benchmarks 2. “2.0”Church Plants (sometimes others): a. assume“regular attenders”= Launch Team b. don’t make the“hard asks” c. don’t revisit foundational principles 3. Discipleship-Centric (sometimes others): a. downplay or disregard role of“gatherings”and medium- to larger- group dynamics b. subdued or absent pursuit of faithful & fruitful“sustainability” c. confusing“organic”with lack of structure, goals, and godly effort What questions or comments do you have about the 4-Stage Launch process? | Denominational Church Planting • New City Gathering, May 23–25, 2017 • NYC7 NOTES:
  8. 8. VI.Lead Well | Covenant, Conference, and Local Church A. Missional Leadership & Ministry Stewardship 1. The pastor will lead and serve in reaching and discipling many for Christ in the church plant’s city and surrounding region 2. The pastor will attend to the overall faithfulness and fruitfulness of the ministry in both qualitative and quantitative measures. With required monthly reports and sharing with Coaches, Cohorts, and the DCP, the pastor will celebrate, assess, and seek accountability in this pursuit. B. Supervision, Coaching, and Cohorts 1. Primary supervision is provided by the Conference DCP, serving under his or her Superintendent and Conference Executive Board 2. A primary Coach shall be provided to the project for the first 3 years, and in years 4 and 5 as needed 3. Some Conferences also regularly gather Church Planters together for training, resourcing, and encouragement. Examples include: a. East Coast: Three Regional Cohorts - Greater Boston/New England Cohort, NY/NJ Metro Cohort, Mid-Atlantic Cohort b. Northwest: All-Conference - Church Planter’s Connection C. Mission Giving 1. Percentage of local tithes and offerings will be contributed to our shared mission in the Covenant a. Domestic and International shared ministry of the Covenant b. Regional shared ministry of Conference church plant is part of 2. This commitment is a requirement to receive monthly appropriations and shall continue for the life of the church 3. Mission Giving commitments must be fulfilled prior to the church adopting additional mission commitments D. Stewardship & Sustainability: 
 Congregational & Financial Goals by end of each project year 1. Year 1: 130 in worship attendance, 
 33% progress towards Financial Self-sufficiency 2. Year 2: 160, 66% progress towards Financial Self-sufficiency 3. Year 3: 190, 100% financially self-sufficient by end of Appropriations 4. Year 4: 220, 105%, preserving or using surplus for parenting or partnering in church planting 5. Year 5: 250, 110%, using surplus for parenting or partnering in church planting E. Multiplication & Membership: 
 Furthering the Shared Mission in Years 4-5 1. Church Planting: Parent or Partner with other churches in the planting of your first church plant 2. Member Church. Upon meeting the necessary criteria and missional viability requirements, complete process for becoming a full member congregation in the Evangelical Covenant Church | Denominational Church Planting • New City Gathering, May 23–25, 2017 • NYC8 NOTES:
  9. 9. F. 30-60-90 Project Revitalization Process
 With a shared commitment to a thriving and flourishing church plant, and a belief in the faithful stewardship of kingdom resource, we put in place this process. When a church planting project falls significantly short of healthy missional benchmarks (qualitative, quantitative, or both), the following process is in place with the prayerful hope of fully restoring the project to its missional vitality. 1. Initiating | Missed Benchmarks & Missional Renewal
 When the DCP or Coach determines that any crucial benchmarks have been missed for two (2) consecutive months, they and the church planter will prayerfully and purposefully initiate the following project revitalization process 2. 30 Days | Action Plan for Healthy Recovery of Project a. Planter has 30 days to create an action plan that has a credible chance for success b. The DCP, Coach, and a select group of church planting peers meet with the planter to develop, review, and approve initial action plan c. Progress Milestone • If a suitable plan is not developed and approved, the church planting project will conclude • If a plan is approved, planter and project will continue with next stage of the process 3. 60 Days | Measurable Progress toward Missional Goals a. Having successfully completed the first 30 days of the plan, the planter now has 60 days to demonstrate significant progress towards the specified benchmarks and missional markers b. The DCP, Coach, and select group of church planting peers will review implementation, provide encouragement and resourcing, and determine if suitable progress is being made c. Progress Milestone • If measurable progress is not on track to reach renewed goals, the project will conclude • If measurable progress is on track, planter and project will continue with final stage of process 4. 90 Days | Full Recovery of Healthy Missional Vitality a. Having successfully completed the previous 60 days of the plan, the planter now has 90 days to reach and maintain the outlined requirements of the renewed project goals b. The DCP, Coach, and select group of church planting peers will review implementation, provide encouragement and resourcing, and determine if renewed goals have been reached and sustained c. Progress Milestone • If the renewed goals are not reached and sustained, the church plant project will conclude • If the renewed goals are achieved and sustained, the planter and project will have successfully demonstrated healthy missional leadership and the continued growth and sustainability of the church planting endeavor to which God has called them | Denominational Church Planting • New City Gathering, May 23–25, 2017 • NYC9 NOTES:
  10. 10. Closing Q&A | Wrap-Up • • • Additional Notes: • • • | Denominational Church Planting • New City Gathering, May 23–25, 2017 • NYC10