Understanding Church Planting in the East Coast Conference


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Seminar introducing the concepts and answering questions about Church Planting in the East Coast Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

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Understanding Church Planting in the East Coast Conference

  1. 1. Understanding Church Planting 
 in the East Coast Conference Jason Condon, ECConf Director of Church Planting
 (Updated Jan 2015) Welcome & Introductions A. Opening 1. Jason Condon, Associate Superintendent & Dir. of Church Planting 2. Participants a) share your name and your church context b) share why you’re here, what you hope to get out of this time 
 [write on easel pad] 3. Pray B. Why Church Planting? 1. Every church began as a church plant 2. Biblical expression of the Great Commandment & Great Commission 3. “Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.”- C. Peter Wagner C. The Top Ten List for Starting New Churches 1. New churches needed because majority of Americans don’t attend church 2. New churches are more effective at conversion growth 3. New churches are the only truly effective way 
 to reach the growing ethnic populations in America 4. New churches are needed to stem tide of 
 ideological moral erosion in America 5. New churches have historically been the best method 
 for reaching each emerging new generation 6. New churches give a group of connected churches 
 “market share”and greater influence in their community 7. New churches grow exponentially faster than established churches 8. New churches are a test laboratory for church leadership development 9. New churches are the research & development unit of God’s Kingdom 10.Provide excellent on-the-job training for energetic young pastors Overview of ECConf Church Planting Process D. Vision: “encourage, equip, and multiply church planters for 
 a sustaining church planting movement” E. Pre-Assessment 1. starts with referrals (I haven’t yet had to do any“recruiting”); 
 most recently, best one’s have come from current church planters 2. gather info and insights with combination of questionnaires, online assessment surveys (statistically significant), site visits, interviewing couple (usually married), interactions with coaches & cohort, and more | Understanding Church Planting • www.jasoncondon.com • eastcoastconf.org1 NOTES:
  2. 2. F. Assessment Center 1. If DCP is fairly certain (>75%) candidate would pass, they’re invited to an official Assessment Center 2. historically held nationally, have added local and regional options 3. significant personality testing, references, 360 evaluations, interviews, personal presentations, group interactions, and counseling sessions 4. Assessors Team usually comprised of Conference DCPs, the Covenant DCP, Christian Counselor, and seasoned Church Planters 5. Possible Dispositions: • Recommended • Not Recommended What questions or comments do you have about the Assessment process? G. Prerequisites for Covenant Agreement Signing 1. 30 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 (match 2:1 by the Covenant & Conference) 3. 1“Mission Friend”Church: At least one Parent, Partner, or Support Church directly involved in supporting the launch of the new church (plus additional Conference-specific tasks & administrative preparation) H. Project Planning & Covenant Agreement 1. Well-Conceived Project: works with DCP to craft strategic plan 2. Covenant Agreement signed by Church Planter, ECConf, & Covenant; outlines expectations for all parties, resourcing, key benchmarks 3. 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 send in 5%+10% missions giving before appropriation checks are sent to church c) expected by year 3 or 4 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 4. Normal & Natural Pathways (full doc a bit.ly/normalnaturalpathways)
 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: In this new church, what are the normal and natural pathways for… • Making Disciples that are maturing in Christ • Evangelizing People so they come to a transforming faith in Jesus • Reproducing Leaders that effectively lead, serve, and multiply • Instilling a Stewardship Culture of generosity, sacrifice, faithfulness • Multiplying Churches that are healthy, missional, and reproduce What questions or comments do you have about 
 Prerequisites, Project Planning, and Covenant Agreements? | Understanding Church Planting • www.jasoncondon.com • eastcoastconf.org2 NOTES: Greater Boston/New England Cohort (listed newest to oldest) 1) Will Barnet, Highrock Acton, MA
 (Dec 2014 start) 2) Chris Bannon, The Commons ECC, Rochester, NH
 (April 2014 start) 3) Stephen Sharkey, Highrock Quincy, MA
 (May 2012 start) 4) Aaron Engler, Highrock North Shore, Salem MA
 www.highrocknorthshore.org (Feb 2012 start) 5) Andrew Mook, Sanctuary Providence, RI
 www.sanctuaryprovidence.com (Jan 2012 start) 6) Monyroor Teng, Sudanese Evangelical Covenant Church, Manchester NH, www.sudanesechurch.com 
 (July 2010 start) 7) Frank Catalano, Evergreen Covenant Church
 www.evergreencovchurch.org (April 2008 start) 8) Joshua Throneburg, Highrock Brookline
 (Jan 2008 start) 9) Kiho Lee, Worship Frontier Church, Brookline MA, 
 Korean language
 (July 2008 start)
  3. 3. I. Regional Cohorts 1. Definition: all the ECConf church planters in a geographic region 2. Cohorts meet monthly for training, resources, and encouragement, with both DCP-directed and Peer-Led formats a) Greater Boston/New England Cohort (see sidebar on this page) b) NY/NJ Metro Cohort (see sidebar on next page) c) Mid-Atlantic Cohort (see sidebar on next page) J. Coaching 1. Vital: Second only to rigorous Assessment, Coaching is the next most crucial component shown to produce healthy, thriving church plants a) All our Coaches receive specialized training and tools, meeting with newer church planter on a regular, structured basis b) Coaches sign individual Coaching Contracts with the Conference, each Coach & Church Planter sign a Coaching Covenant c) Coaches primarily seasoned church planters, but that’s not required d) Jason is trained & certified as a trainer of Coaches for the Covenant 2. Current Coaches: (with plans to add Future Coaches) a) Michael Carrion coaches some of our Bronx & NYC church planters b) Josh Throneburg coaches some of our our Boston area planters What questions or comments do you have about Cohorts & Coaching? K. Training Events 1. Church Planter Training Intensive: sponsored by Start & Strengthen Churches, training done by select group of DCPs & Planters a) Goal: make church planters expert and able to train in the entire church planting process so that the Church Planter can then lead and train his or her entire launch team more effectively b) Invited: church planters only c) Format: 5 days of intensive training on Church Planting principles, techniques, tools, 4-stage model, coaching, and more d) held twice each year with 15-30 church planters, the Conference DCPs, and Covenant DCP (at significantly less cost) 2. Launch Team Training Days: Conference-sponsored event a) 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 b) Invited: entire Launch Team of a new church planting project c) Format: 1 day, includes lunch; presentations & extensive team time; DCP, Regional Coaches, and Church Planter lead training d) impacts far larger group than possible at national Training Centers, with better tailored equipping, at a significantly reduced cost. What questions or comments do you have about Training Events? | Understanding Church Planting • www.jasoncondon.com • eastcoastconf.org3 NOTES: NY/NJ Metro Cohort
 (listed newest plants to oldest) 10) Steven Martino, Movement Church, Staten Island, NY
 (Dec 2014 Start) 11) Dan Sadlier, Hope Roosevelt Island, NY
 www.hoperooseveltisland.org (April 2014 start) 12) Kimberly Wright, Resurrection Church NYC, New York NY
 (Feb 2012 start) 13) Drew Hyun, Hope Church NYC, Astoria NY
 (Feb 2012 start) 14) Efrain Alicea, Elements Church, Bronx NY
 (Aug 2011 start) 15) Michael Carrion, Promised Land Covenant Church, Bronx NY
 www.facebook.com/PLCChurch (July 2010 start) 16) Derrick Jackson, Life Covenant Church, Morganville NJ
 www.lifecovenantchurch.org (March 2009 start) 17) Jose Humphreys, Metro Hope Community, Harlem NY
 (June 2007 start) Mid-Atlantic Cohort 18)Don Schiewer, Dust Covenant Church, Blacksburg VA
 (Sept 2013 start) 19)Eli Hernandez, Charm City Covenant Church, Baltimore MD
 (Aug 2013 start)
  4. 4. L. Four-Stage Launch 1. Purpose: build missional momentum and effectiveness, 
 while having“permission”to focus and pace yourselves accordingly 2. Three Key Metrics: Each stage is 3-4 months with clear benchmarks a) Launch Team Members: Specifically asked to commit to launch, the reliable leaders and hard workers, can count on each other b) Worship Attendance: Through prayer, evangelism, invitation, events, marketing, follow-through, and more, reach or surpass goals for each stage c) 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: LT = Launch Team WA = Worship Attendance KM = Key Ministries Letter Grade 4. Stage 1: Launch Team Development (3-4 months) a) Goals: gathering like-minded, missionally-motivated people into a healthy team that will show up and get it done b) Team Mix: • Roughly 1/3rd each: Committed Christians, 
 Unchurched Christians, New Christians/Seekers • reflective of target population (multi-ethnic, 18-30 yr-olds, etc.); • balanced gifting (musical, kids, hospitality, admin, etc.) c) Benchmarks: • minimum 30 committed, gifted adults • 50% of Launch Team from new contacts • planter is seen as the legitimate leader of the group • increasing number of people contacted, coming, and connecting with the group with growing enthusiasm d) Launch Team Landmines • tasks not titles • faithfulness and fruitfulness need to be demonstrated • 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 • Guard against:“Insiders”&“Outsiders”; 
 Nurture & Balance:“Family”&“Friends”
 Launch Team Preview Worship/ Soft-Launch Weekly Pre- LaunchWorship Grand Opening Launch Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec LT: 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 65 70 70 70 WA: N/A N/A N/A 100 110 120 90 105 120 150 140 130 KM: C C+ B- B B B+ B+ B+ A- A- A- A- | Understanding Church Planting • www.jasoncondon.com • eastcoastconf.org4 NOTES:
  5. 5. 5. Stage 2: Monthly Preview Worship Services (3-4 months) a) Goals: gathering more people to the new church, developing effective ministry systems, practicing what you’ll become, accelerating growth, continue to build momentum b) Benchmarks: • 50 new people attending each preview service • strong word-of-mouth: over half of guests from personal invitation • double size of the Launch Team • 75-125 at each monthly worship service (momentum building) c) The‘W’(a key feature of Stage 2) • for most, gathered worship is the high-bandwidth high point of their experience of God and his community at a new church • but there’s a tension, especially early on, as also need depth with Launch Team development, training, and small group experience • yet both“extremes”can overshoot many types of people you hope to reach, so also need a more accessible middle ground • Repeating Cycle: each one is“open”, invite to and during each gathering (as appropriate, depending on readiness of person) • Suggested Rhythm: 1) 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) 2) Launch Team Mtg 1: orientation, bible study, vision-casting 3) Gathering Event: picnic, bbq, service project, bowling, etc. 4) Launch Team Mtg 2: prep key ministry teams for next Preview 5) Worship: like week 1, only improved upon, more new people 6. Stage 3: Weekly Pre-Launch Worship (3-4 months) a) 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”:) b) Goals: • develop more strength and structure through vital ministry teams and effective systems • strengthen and improve your Key Ministries • strengthen gathering and growing prior to Launch • increasing outreach and evangelistic efforts 
 (present from start, but now shifting toward higher priority) • develop leadership and volunteers • finalize Grand Opening Launch Strategy c) Benchmarks: • minimum of 80 in the weekly services (“75 is the enemy!”) • quality of Key Ministries improving from B to B+/A- • increasing number of people serving in ministry teams • 50% of adults in small groups
 | Understanding Church Planting • www.jasoncondon.com • eastcoastconf.org5 NOTES: Wk 1: 
 Preview Worship Wk 2: Launch Team Mtg Wk 3: Gathering Event Wk 5:
 Preview Worship Wk 4: Launch Team Mtg MONTH 1 MONTH 2 …
  6. 6. 7. Stage 4: Grand Opening Launch (3-4 months) a) 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 b) Benchmarks • Launch past 125 in Worship, stay above 125 throughout • Key Ministries with letter grades at B+/A- • Great facility that can accommodate growth to 200+ • Seeing increasing numbers of people coming to Christ • Healthy Mix: 1/3 mission-minded, 1/3 formerly de-churched, 1/3 formerly un-churched c) Net Growth = (Visitor Flow x Retention Rate) – Backdoor Loss
 crucial to pay attention to each of these variables to help identify what’s working and what needs improvement, and not focus on the wrong areas 8. Four Scenarios for Application & Adaptation of 4-Stage Launch a) New Church Plant: from scratch, no pre-existing ministry or group b) “2.0”Church Plant: pre-existing ministry, new to the Covenant, ranging from soft relaunch to hard reset c) New Campus: extending church’s pre-existing ministry to a 
 brand-new location using principles of church planting d) 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 9. Cautions & Common Mistakes a) New Church Plants (and sometimes Campuses & Services): • go too fast, skimp on key components • downplay or ignore benchmarks b) “2.0”Church Plants (and sometimes Campuses & Services): • assume“regular attenders”=“Launch Team” • don’t make the“hard asks” • don’t revisit foundational principles What questions or comments do you have about the 4-Stage Launch process? Closing Q&A | Wrap-Up
 | Understanding Church Planting • www.jasoncondon.com • eastcoastconf.org6 NOTES:
  7. 7. Resources & Bonus Materials A. Contact Info for Jason: • jasonrcondon@gmail.com • (860) 479-2020 • facebook.com/jasoncondon B. Web Resources: 1. www.ChurchPlantingWiki.com a) simple resource site compiled by Directors of Church Planting across the Covenant - not pretty, tons of good content! b) Includes entire Church Planting Resource Manual - church planters are expected to thoroughly study and adapt from the manual 2. www.jasoncondon.com a) this is where Jason posts many of the materials and resources for our East Coast Conference church planting efforts b) Find handouts, audio, and other materials from our monthly cohort gatherings, training events, teachings, and more 3. www.facebook.com/jasoncondon - feel free to visit or subscribe for more personalized news, travels, and updates 4. www.flickr.com/photos/ecconf a) hi-res images from a variety of ECConf events and settings b) Feel free to use them for your church communications 5. www.ChurchMetrics.com a) created by LifeChurch.tv, an Evangelical Covenant Church b) free for any church, easily collect, track, and visualize key metrics C. Some Books: 1. Viral Churches: Helping Church Planters Become Movement Makers, by Ed Stetzer and Warren Bird (2010) 2. Exponential: How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church Movement, by Dave Ferguson and Jon Ferguson (2010) 3. Planting Fast-Growing Churches, by Stephen Gray (2007) 4. Influencer [online notes: bit.ly/influencernotes] - this is easily one of my favorite books, heavily influences (heh) my strategy in this role 
 (a good companion book: www.bit.ly/blueoceannotes) D. Ten Church Planting Maxims 
 (especially for the planter, but good for everyone involved) 10.You will be broken 9. Plant behind the plow. Prayer is the plow. 8. People are polite (*cough* lie) - don’t just believe them :-) 7. 75 is the enemy 6. You can’t plant from behind a desk (or computer screen!) 5. There’s no magic bullet 4. God is in the vision – the devil is in the details 
 (so don’t ignore the details and derail the vision) 3. Its the relational – not the technical 2. Isolation kills – connection gives life 1. It’s a God thing!
 | Understanding Church Planting • www.jasoncondon.com • eastcoastconf.org7 NOTES:
  8. 8. NOTES: | Understanding Church Planting • www.jasoncondon.com • eastcoastconf.org8