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View 10 Questions Parenting Churches Ask

10 Questions Parenting Churches Ask

1. What is the purpose of the church plant?  What is the need?
The purpose of planting a new church is obedience to the Great Commission to “go and make disciples.”  (Matthew 28:19) In the GLC, 75-85% of the people are unchurched.  The goal of every “evangelical” church is to reach as many people as possible for Jesus Christ.  This usually takes a variety of methods and a variety of churches.

2. What will be the relationship between the parent church and the church plant?
Just like parents support their children, a parent-church will provide support for its “daughter-church.”  Also, the “daughter-church” will bring regular reports about how it’s going.  Often these are exciting stories of God’s work in changing lives – and something that you can celebrate as an extension of your ministry through your daughter church. 

3. What are the benefits to the parent church?
•  more lost people will be won to Christ
•  new leaders will emerge and be developed at the parent church and in the new church
•  the impact for Christ in our area will grow
•  more of God’s resources will be released to fulfill God’s priorities
•  it causes all of us to exercise more faith — and without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6)

4. Why should this be a new Evangelical Covenant Church?
We need more New Churches:
• The average Evangelical Church sees 3 people come to Christ per year for every 100 attenders. 
• The average Covenant Church sees 7 people come to Christ per year for every 100 attenders. 
• The average new Covenant Church sees 12 people come to Christ per year for every 100 attenders.
• The average new Covenant Church in the Great Lakes Conference sees 30+ people come to Christ per year for every 100 attenders. 

Bottom Line:  New Churches win more people for Christ.

Evangelical Covenant Churches are a good option, in that they live out 4 Core Values:

Biblical: Covenant churches are based on the Bible as the Word of God as the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct.
Devotional: Covenant churches connect hearts to God through Christ-honoring worship of many styles so all kinds of people and all generations can know God.
Connectional: Covenant churches cooperate with each other and with other evangelical churches to impact the world for Christ.
Missional: Covenant churches seek to reach people for Christ at home, across the street, and around the world. 
5. Who is the new church trying to reach?
This varies.  Some churches realize that to reach a particular ethnic group in their community, this would be best done through a new church.  Some churches realize that a neighboring community is experiencing growth and that a new church there would best reach that community.  Some churches feel that a new generation would benefit from a church that targeted their needs and founds ways to share the unchanging Good News in ways they understand.  In each case, a congregation must pray and sense God’s leading to reach a new group for Christ.

In most areas of the country, 75-85% of the people are unchurched.  We believe God wants every existing church to be healthy and grow by reaching people for Christ.  However, in order to reach everyone, new churches are needed.

6. How are Core Group Members recruited and how does this impact our church?

• The Church Planter will cast the vision for the new church.
We are looking for people who want to be in “Gideon’s Band.”  (See Judges 7) These will be people who connect with the vision and mission of the new church.  They will be people who sense God’s call to be a part of the new church.  Typically these people will have a heart for the lost, a pioneering spirit, and a willingness to work hard.  We trust that God will bring this group together.

• A Covenant Church typically sees 7% of its attendance go become a part of the new church.
Parenting churches should consider giving a “tithe” of their attendance for the new church.  Just like giving a “tithe” of money is Biblical and a source of God’s blessing to a family (see Malachi 3:8-12), so too those churches that are willing to give a tithe of their members for a new church are blessed by the Lord.  On average, 7% of the attenders go to be a part of the new church. 

• Typically, the parent church sees their attendance and giving return to pre-plant numbers within 9-12 months. 
On average, ECC churches that parent have grown by 3% the year after the plant was started.  Since 1993, the ECC has never had a parented projected that didn’t do well. 
Often, the parent church is blessed in ways that go beyond numbers.  As the parent church gets caught up with God in a new mission, this results in new life and new people attracted to the church!  The same life-giving characteristics that caused the church to want to reach new people through church planting, causes the parent church itself to grow!  (also see Parenting Church Studies)

7. Where will the new church be located?
The Covenant, Conference, Parent Church and Core Group will decide together on the target area or target group.  When the church starts meeting, it will likely rent a school or community center.  We try not to get overly concerned about buying property or building in the early stages.  We want God to determine the size and scope of the ministry, then we let this determine the size and location of the church facilities.

8. What role does the Covenant and Conference play in the church plant?
In cooperation with the parent church, the Covenant and Conference provide:
• Assessment of church planters so only godly, gifted planters are recommended.  Church planting is a special calling and needs unique gifts.
• Training, support, and on-going coaching for the church planter.
• Help developing “well-conceived projects.”  Every successful church plant has a well-thought-out ministry plan, financial plan, core values, and mission.
• Organizational development, including recommended constitutions.
• Consultation regarding rented facilities and future property.
• Financial support as seed-money for start-up costs through “appropriations” which operate as a “grant” that comes each month.  The appropriation is generally decreased each year from $50,000 in year one, to $33,000 in year two, to $17,000 in year three.  This allows the growing church to increasingly become self-sustaining from the tithes and offerings of their members.

9. How does the financial plan impact the parent church?
Experience has shown that planting a new church does not negatively impact giving.  Church planting tends to increase the commitment levels of those in both the parent and the new church.

Parent churches commit to give money to new churches from their general fund.  Most give at least 1/3 of the External Support (Appropriation) – which is matched by the ECC and matched by the GLC.  (Some parent churches actually give ½ of the Appropriation for the daughter church.)  This kind of partnership between the local church, the conference and the denomination form a strong base of support for the new church.  It is one of the keys to understanding how the ECC has developed a sustainable church planting movement.

Using 1/3 support as the norm, the typical new church is supported in the following way over the 3-years:

Total Amount of Appropriation to the New Church: $100,000
1/3 contributed by the Parent Church:        $33,333
1/3 contributed by the ECC:          $33,333
1/3 contributed by the GLC:          $33,334

In addition, the ECC and GLC help pay other costs for the church planter like the Assessment Center, Training, and Covenant Orientation tuition.

Some parent churches give over-and-above the appropriation to the church plant for Launch expenses, assistance for staff, etc.

Beyond supporting the daughter church from your general fund, some parent churches are able to use a capital campaign to help raise this money:

• “A Tithe of a Capital Funds Drive”  A member of the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism has 20-years experience in capital funds campaigns for churches.  This person is made available free-of-charge to churches that agree to tithe their capital campaign for church planting.  Many churches find they raise much more money through a prayer-based capital campaign run by outside consultants.  And they love the fact that rather than pay an outside company, they can give the money for the mission of church planting.

10. How does a church discern whether God wants them to plant a new church?
• With prayer and fasting
• Through a study the book of Acts as you listen for God’s voice
• As you ask, “How is God at work in our city and how can we join Him in His work?”
• As you ask, “Is a church plant part of how God wants to get His work done?”

Category:Parenting - Churches Planting Churches