·   Wiki Home
 ·   Wiki Help
 ·   Categories
 ·   Title List
 ·   Uncategorized Pages
 ·   Random Page
 ·   File Upload
 ·   Uploaded Files
 ·   Recent Changes
 ·   RSS
 ·   Atom
 ·   What Links Here

Active Members:



Create a Page:


View Chapter 3 - Soil Analysis

Church Planting Resource Manual

Download MS Word Document (2009):
File:Chapter 3 - Soil 5-09.doc

Download Longer PowerPoint (2008):
File:Chapter 3 - Soil Analysis 9-08.ppt

Download Shorter PowerPoint (2011):
File:Keynote 3 Soil 3-11.ppt

Chapter 3: SOIL ANALYSIS - The State of the American Church: The Covenant Church Planting Movement and the Desperate Need for your New Church

Theme: Jesus calls you to plant a Covenant church at a specific place in the American landscape.

Objective: To understand how to plant in the unique soil where Christ has called you.
Chapter Goals:
1. You will understand the desperate need for more churches in America.
2. You will get acquainted with the reasons for the success of the Covenant Church Planting movement.
3. You will understand the unique needs of the mission field in the metro area Christ calls your team to plant in.
4. You will articulate why God wants this new church in your community
5. You will look at how to prepare to plant a new church that will impact your community with the Gospel.

Go make disciples of all nations (pante ta ethne – of all ethnic groups).
Matthew 28:19

1. You will understand the desperate need for more churches in America.


Reflect on 52,000,000…


The Percentage of People at Worship has gone down.


Evangelical attendance has been decreasing


We are not planting enough new churches to keep up with population growth

The future projection of worship attendance if trends continue


2. You will get acquainted with the reasons for the success of the Covenant Church Planting Movement.

Covenant Church Distribution by Decade the church Started


Growth in Covenant Church


The Covenant Church Planting System:
-  We plant because people come to Christ.


-  Our church plants start strong: This is often a product of support by a parent church and a solid launch process.
Note the ECC in the second column.

TEAM APPLICATION: Based on the presentation, what were the most compelling reasons to plant new Covenant churches in America?  How will you share these with the people you seek to attract to the Launch Team?

Our church plants grow strong.  Growth in years 2-7 reflects the quality of the church planter and launch team + the strength of the training and coaching they receive.

Our plants are a contributing presence in the ECC
Note ECC in the first column.

How we plant


How the ECC Plants New Churches – A.C.T.S. – the Right Ingredients

•  Asessment = Right planter
•  Continuous Coaching = Right Encouragement/Mentoring
•  Training = to help develop the Right Strategic Ministry Plan
•  Support = Right Resources

The right planter – called, competent, character… Affirmed by Assessment

+ The right Launch Team – good chemistry between planter & team.
o   Strongest start with a parent church or strong partners

+ The right Training

+ A well-conceived project (a solid ministry plan)
o   Flowing from the right mission/vision
o   With the right steps – the 4-stage launch
o   Contextualized for your specific mission field

+ Good Coaching

= A healthy, missional, fruitful church plant
o   batting average .830 (survival rate after 10 years)
o   thrival rate: average size of 238 after 10 years.

Reflect on these 5 ingredients.  Where are you strongest?  What can be stronger?

The Top Ten List for Starting New Churches
1. New churches are needed because the large majority of Americans do not attend a local church.  About 17% of Americans attend a local church on any given Sunday. Many of those attend a church where they do not clearly hear the message of salvation in Jesus.

2. New churches are more effective than established churches at conversion growth.

Studies show that new churches have 3-4 times the conversion rate per member as established churches.
3. New churches are the only truly effective way to reach the growing ethnic populations in America.
For example, California is over 50% non-Anglo and that percentage is growing. Every people group needs to hear the Gospel in a way that makes sense to their culture.

4. New churches are needed to stem the tide of ideological moral erosion in America.
The ideological opposition to Biblical Christianity will not primarily come from mainline liberals, nor from scientific modernism (as it did for the last generation), but from New Age non-rational thinking and from politically-correct valueless morals.

5. New churches have historically been the best method for reaching each emerging new generation.
Every new generation needs a new breed of churches that speak the Gospel in their cultural dress and communication styles.

6. New churches give a group of connected churches market share and influence in their community.
Starting new healthy churches in the same general vicinity increases the influence of all. Churches are best started where a group has strength, not in distant areas.

7. New churches grow exponentially faster than established churches.
In a typical evangelical denomination, new churches (in the first 10 years) were found to grow at a rate 23 times faster than established churches (over 10 years old).

8. New churches are a test laboratory for church leadership development.
New churches give a whole new group of emerging leaders the chance to grow and develop as primary leaders.
9. New churches are the research and development unit of God’s Kingdom.
Most of the models and visions for healthy churches are developed in new churches. “New churches innovate; existing churches imitate.”  The best way to reinvigorate existing churches is by planting new churches.

10. New churches provide excellent on-the-job training for energetic young pastors.
New churches provide a channel to express the energy and ideas of young, entrepreneurial pastors.

Plus 1: New churches can start with a focus on kingdom values – contextualized for a specific culture.
Thoughts and comments on this list:


3. You will understand the unique needs of the mission field in the metro area Christ calls your team to plant in.

You need to be able to articulate why God wants this new church in your community.

Look at the demographics for your specific Metro area from

-  Over a decade, here’s the attendance % in the following churches:
o   Evangelical   ________
o   Mainline   ________
o   Catholic   ________
o   Overall   ________

-  This means that on any given Sunday _________ % are not in any church in our area.

-  Other observations:

-  What are the needs of people in your area that you could meet?

-  In 10 years, if there are fewer churches and fewer people attending church in your area, then what would be the:

o   Impact on your community
o   Impact of families
o   Impact on individuals

-  What are the opportunities for your new church to impact your area with the Gospel?  (for more information on your mission field, go to

TEAM APPLICATION: If someone in your community were to ask you why there is a need for another new church, what would you tell them?

-  Why are new churches needed in the US, in your metro, in your area?

-  How will your church meet the needs of people in your community and impact the community with the Gospel?

Preparing To Plant A Church

Using the following questions as a guide, prepare a document (not more than two pages) that describes the church God is calling you to plant. If you plant with the Covenant, you will be trained in the Four Stage Launch model for church planting. Keep in mind this is a “work in progress” and that some things will change and/or need refinement as you move toward actually launching the church.

Why plant a new church?
•  Your calling.
•  Your vision.
•  Your sense of the need.

Who will you reach?
•  Where do you want to plant and why?
•  Describe your ministry focus.
•  Describe the needs of the community.
•  Desired meeting location.
•  Include demographic studies of the region.

What kind of church will you plant?
•  Core values – your DNA (succinctly).
•  Mission statement and Vision Statement (concisely)
•  Ministry style (how you will work as a church).

How will you plant this church?
•  Describe the “ideal” launch team.
•  Describe how you will lead as the church planter.
•  List the kinds of team member you will need.
•  List the names of anyone currently committed to helping you plant this church.

•  Timeline: Desired launch date.
•  Finances: What financial resources do you have at your disposal?
•  Partner churches: What church(es) may be willing to partner with you and us, including non-Covenant churches?

(Adapted by Wayne Carlson, from Robert Logan and Steve Ogne, 1991)

TEAM APPLICATION:  Look at the shaded area and write down your responses to these topics on “Who will you reach?”


Additional Church Planting Questions

1. What kind of people does God want us to produce in this body of believers?
2. What kinds of experiences do people need to have in order to become those kinds of people?

3. What kinds of leaders are needed to provide those kinds of experiences?

4. What kind of pastor is needed to train those kinds of leaders?

5. What kinds of experiences does the pastor need to have in order to be that kind of  

(Taken from Lloyd Ogilvie)

Additional Soil Analysis of your Mission Field

1.  Scientific Soil Analysis – Part 1: Know the % of unchurched from

2.  Scientific Soil Analysis – Part 2: Know the demographics and other data from Percept or Mission Insite
a.  Get Percept’s “First View” for $85
b.  Or get a “Ministry Area Profile” for $315 (online price)
These will help you get a user-friendly over view of the people and community God is calling you to reach.
3.  Hands-on Soil Analysis:  Do a Needs Assessment – In addition to the scientific soil analysis, the wise farmer also does “hands-on” analysis by getting their hands into the soil and by getting advice from those with local experience. 
One of the best sources for Needs Assessment is Compassion by Design: Understanding Community Needs by David Mills.  $69 for manual and cd-rom.
-  This can help you add hundreds of contacts to your church planting effort.
-  This will help you identify the city leaders and “people of peace” who can give you invaluable advice on the needs of the community and the Influencers with whom you can partner.
-  This will give your church quicker “credibility”
-  This will help build your church’s missional DNA
-  This will help your Launch Team sense the compelling reasons to join you in this Mission to meet the needs of your area
-  This will help you unlock the cultural “code” of your Mission Field

Or use the Method for “Community Assessment” on the next page:
Community Assessment – provided by Tomas Ivens

1.  Develop from your core group a TEAM of three passionate people who understand the vision of your church
►  Assign strategies to get information from your local community
►  Get together to know better the history of your city and community
►  Set up a time frame for this community assessment
►  Four basic community areas where we need to analyzed:
►  Associations
►  Institutions
►  Individuals
►  Walking streets

►  Associations: PTA, community agencies, churches, chamber of commerce, community clinics, neighborhood associations, etc

►  Institutions: schools, local politicians, city commissioners, social services department, hospitals, parks and recreations

►  Individuals: community leaders, pastors, others

►  Walking streets: restaurants, coffee shops, stop buses, pastor association meetings, festivals, etc

2.  Where do you live: Demographics, Census Bureau information by ZP (5 or 10 miles)
►  How many males
►  How many females
►  How many teenagers
►  What is the income average
►  What is the unemployment average
►  Is your community a young or old ?

3.  Edit the information collected in a document of 2-5 pages available for everyone in your church
►  Prepare a presentation of this assessment to your core group
►  Keep up-dating this document at least every two years
►  Share all changes with you TEAM, CORE GROUP or Leadership TEAM


Strategic Ministry Plan from Esperanza Covenant Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Pastor Tomas Ivens.

The church planter developed this plan, which was approved by the DCP.

Then progress was evaluated annually based on this plan.

NOTE:  There is also a Ministry Plan for Renovate Covenant Church, Muskegon, MI under START “c” at under “Resources

Esperanza Covenant Church: Hispanic Ministries, Great Lakes Conference

Church Planting Strategic Plan 2006-08
Luke 4:18

“Give an opportunity to make new friends in Jesus”
Esperanza Covenant Church
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Strategic Plan 2006-08

Vision Statement
Transform individuals, families and communities in Grand Rapids by making them agents of change to the world and expanding God’s kingdom

Mission Statement
“Preach the Gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, preach deliverance to captives, recovering of sight to the blind and set liberty them that are bruised”

God’s power to transform
Prayer’s power to restore
Friendship to connect
Love’s power to forgive
Discipleship to Empower
Worship to rejoice

SWOT Analysis

Internal Strengths
•  ECC has 4 months history
•  Collocated with FCC, Union High School, Hispanic community
•  Focused Christian core team
•  FCC and Thornapple support
•  Experienced and gifted leadership
•  Equipped facilities, office, gym and classrooms
•  Bilingual core team/volunteers
•  Temporal worship band
•  Temporal communication material   External Opportunities
•  Schools partnerships expansion/volunteers
•  Spectrum Health Clinic & Family Outreach
•  FCC and Thronapple connections
•  Markets, rstaurants, factories
•  Spectrum Health Collaborative Task Force
•  Outreach programs as Backpack distribution, TGP, “Navidad en el vecindario”, marriage seminaries, parenting classes and family support groups.
•  Open community/ audience to hear about Esperanza vision/mission

Internal Weaknesses
•  In need of more core team members
•  In need of more worshipers members
•  The final Esperanza LOGO design and print
•  Website and CD promo for fundraising purposes   External Threats
•  Anti-immigrant climate
•  Economic crisis, no jobs
•  Building of trust on the neighbors/neighborhoods
•  Family orientation programs needed
•  Lack of resources/mentoring/tutoring for children

1st Phase 2006

Goal #1
Contact and share the love of God with 150 Hispanic families in Grand Rapids between July 2006 and June 2007.

Testify about the existence of Jesus, and share through personal experiences God’s power to change and restore our lives.

➢  Visit the neighborhoods and make contact with Hispanic families with the help of the members of the Anglo congregation, also through schools, referrals, and others.

➢  Distribution of school supplies for elementary school students during the third week of September and reach to the first 100 families (each gift will have the donor’s name).  Saturday September 9th from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

➢  Promote and organize a Thanksgiving lunch or dinner and distribute at least 50-60 grocery baskets and make contact with another 100 families.

➢  Give away 150 toys for children within the Hispanic community.  This would be families that have already participated in previous events and other new families referral by them.

➢  Promote and organize a Christmas dinner for the community using the existing database.

➢  Select a group of 10 couples (believers and non-believers) to participate in a “Couples Seminar” (February) using PAIRS/PREP.

➢  Advertise and organize three more events to testify and to outreach (Mother’s Day, Father’ Day, and 4th of July).

•  Visit families and individuals referred to this ministry.

•  Network and develop a survey system to gather information about the needs of the community.

•  Each event will be planned beforehand and any changes will be adjusted only in case of need of the strategy.

•    The school supplies, toys, and grocery baskets will be collected and donated voluntarily.

•  Every week there will be contact with a new family from the community or with members from both churches that are interested in participating with Esperanza Covenant Church, also there will be contact with the outreaches from the first four months.

•  Brochures and flyers will be accessible at the first activity in September 9th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., snacks will be available, and a short (5-7 minutes) message to testify and bless will be shared.  Each participant will fill out a registration form to be part of our database.  Gym.

•  The Thanksgiving lunch and basket distribution will be on November 18th at 10 a.m.  Only 60 baskets (depends on the donations) will be distributed.

•  Christmas Toys distribution will be Saturday 17th at 10 a.m., refreshments will be served.

•  Share message on December 31st, about God’s provisions and blessings (special New Year’s dinner).

•  Family support groups, marriage retreat and trainings

•  Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Independence Day BBQs will take place in parks or other facilities. 

•  Preview services November 5th, December 10th, January 7th, February 11st.

Goal #2
Develop a support group of 40 people, 20 Anglos and 20 Hispanics.

Provide organizational, logistical, and financial support, as well as planning, and leadership with the help of spiritual gifts/talents, to building the foundation of Esperanza Covenant Church working jointly with the pastor in the expansion of God’s kingdom in Grand Rapids.

➢  Make presentations to share the vision and mission of ECC and invite FCC members and non-members to become part of this challenge of faith.

➢  The group will get together at least every two weeks once the church planting begins, to plan, organize, and discuss how to improve each event.  In each meeting there will be worship, prayer and a meditation on God’s word.

➢  Maintain communication permanently with the pastor and within group members.

➢  Responsibilities will be distributed accordingly to spiritual gifts, abilities, and talents.

➢  Have once a month during the first moths a prayer and planning retreat, and work with the areas mentioned in this document. (October 28 or November 14)

•  Make presentations to individuals, families or to group of friends about the development of Esperanza Covenant Church’s vision, mission, values and action plan.

Goal #3
Begin a discipleship process with at least 10-12 people during the first year.

Teach the biblical foundation to edify and strengthen a new life in Jesus Christ, establishing a relationship with the Holy Spirit; also teach a life with prayer and a solid leadership to multiply the kingdom of God.

➢  The first 10-12 people that give their lives to Christ will be referred to a discipleship class for 6-9 month, these classes include inner healing and devotional retreat (including baptism).

➢  After this first stage, they will be directed to a 3 to 4-month leadership class and to begin working in any of the church’s ministries.

➢  Identify and provide at least two home-based bible studies in the neighborhood.

➢  Identify and define the methodology and resources that will be used in the discipleship process and in the home-based bible studies.

•  The discipleship classes will be once a week for 60 minutes (an hour), and the curriculum consists on teaching the basic foundations of the bible, prayer, stewardship, and a close relationship with Jesus.

•  The meeting place will be decided based on the need.

•  The core group members that are already believers would have a series of classes/sessions to strengthen their commitment with Jesus and to the church (this will include the church’s history and doctrine).  There will be at least 5 meetings to consolidate.

Goal #4

Advertise Esperanza Covenant Church in the five main sectors of the Grand Rapids community; at the Hispanic community, school districts, community-based organizations, corporations and businesses.

Communicate to the community and to the different social, public, and religious sectors of the Esperanza’s vision, mission, values, goals and objectives.

➢  Development of the communications tools; brochures, newsletters, flyers, letters of introduction, business cards, website, an official logo to make the church known.  (Including activities, events, counseling services, bible studies)

➢  Make presentations and participate jointly with other pastors, business people like the Chamber of Commerce, non-profit organizations, elected officials and members from the city council, school districts, and community centers.

➢  Keep informed local Covenant congregations about our activities, as well as our needs.

•  Contact Hispanic families on the streets, public places, like markets and restaurants, first established friendships and then recognize their needs.

•  Contact professional designers inside and out of the church to collaborate and donate their time in the logo’s design, proof, and print, as well as for the other communication tools.

•  Make an official introduction of myself to the community leaders of Grand Rapids, presenting them Esperanza Covenant Church’s vision and mission, and the expectation of the ministry’s complete (holistic) development in the community.

Goal #5

Have a prayer group of at least 10 people from First Covenant Church, also the prayer group from the core group.

Keep prayer as a priority within the group, and at the same time develop intercession and warfare.  Increase group prayer periodically and experience God’s gracefulness and power through the Holy Spirit.

➢  Facilitate and train members of the core group on the prayer dynamics to be implemented.

➢  Start prayer group according to the needs and petitions of the church.
➢  Have prayer meetings everyone together at least once a week for an hour, worshiping and sharing the word of God.

➢  Pray before starting each event, meeting, service, visitation or any other activity relating to the church.

Goal #6

Recruit at least two people responsible to lead the following ministries: children, worship, family counseling, prayer, family groups, communications, outreach and finances.

Train and develop spiritual gifts and talents within the support group to serve Jesus on this primary stage of church planting.

➢  Identify spiritual gifts and talents within the support group through the assignment of responsibilities according to their integral availability.

➢  Each ministry will be implemented according to each month’s existent need.

➢  Develop local strategies for the first stages of church planting along with child care provided during services.

•  The development of each ministry will be planned accordingly to the needs.

•  Plan jointly with the pastor, and define the goals, objectives, and the desired outcomes of each activity.

•  Each ministry will be able to meet in groups or individually with the pastor, and each activity or meeting will have a time of prayer.

Goal #7
Along with the core group ministry at least 3 worshipers will be included as part of Esperanza Covenant Church’s worship team.

Recruit worshipers that can be used by the Holy Spirit, and be instruments of praise within the faith community.

➢  Make contacts of believers that have those spiritual gifts through First Covenant and Thornapple members.

➢  Make contacts of believers through friends and other members of the ministry group, that wish to serve God within the worship ministry during the first two years, also that are willing to train others at the time of the planting. 

•  Conduct special prayer meetings and present Esperanza Covenant Church’s Plan.

•  Emphasized in each ministry group meeting to pray for the worshipers.


a)  In the first service have at least 150 people assisting
b)  Have a support group of at least 40 people
c)  Have accomplished all of the arranged events (80%)
d)  Have a database with at least 150 families
e)  Have the communication tools ready (business cards, brochures, flyers)
f)  Have connections with al least 40% of the mentioned sectors in Goal #4
g)  Have at least one bible study established
h)  Have the prayer group meeting weekly
i)  Have the leaders of each ministry getting together weekly
j)  A fiscal/financial system of the church functioning on a regular basis
k)  Obtain the religious organization incorporation 501 (c) 3
l)  Have at least three musicians serving in the Worship ministry

•  Revise with the support group every two months the methodology, strategies and outcomes (redefine strategies if necessary).
•  There will be evaluations completed by the pastor and his ministry coach, Larry Sherman.

2nd Phase 2007

Goal #1
Make contact and share God’s love with at least 200 families from July 2007 – June 2008 in Grand Rapids.

Goal #2
Maintain the initial support group with 20 Anglos and increase to 35-40 Hispanics.

Goal #3
Continue and conclude the discipleship process of the first 10-12 people and then start a second group.

Goal #4
Maintain and continue the development of the network with the four sectors reached during the first year; Hispanic Community, schools, community center, business, and politicians.

Goal #5
Maintain and increase from 5-10 Hispanics, the membership of the prayer group.

Goal #6
Each one of the ministries; children, worship, family counseling, prayer, family groups, communications, and finances, will have on going activities during the week, as well as, Sunday school and Leadership Development School.

Goal #7
Have at least 80-100 people in attendance for each service.

Goal #8
Increase the number of in-home bible studies from 1-3.


DRAFT Strategic Ministry Plan
For Our New Church

1. Theological Basis >>
  2. Spiritual Foundation in Prayer >>
      3. Mission Field - Need of our Area >>
        4. Evangelistic Strategies >>
          5. Our Specific Vision >>
              6. The Strategy of the 4-Stage Launch >>
                Stage 1 - Roots: Launch Team Gathering
                Stage 2 - Leavers: Preview Services
                Stage 3 - Branches: Preparatory Worship
                Stage 4 - Fruit: Launch
                  7. Leadership >>
                      8. Covenant >>
                        9. Finances>>

3. Mission Field - The Need of Our Area:
Worksheet on the unique soil and opportunities for the Gospel in our area:

- How will we communicate the Desperate Need for a New Church?




- Talk about your community and your observations about the people groups, their values, and their needs (education, safety, etc.).  What are the opportunities for the Gospel to impact people in our area?




- What needs will you begin to meet in Jesus’ Name?


Category:Seeding - Preparation for Church Planting
Category:Your Mission Field’s Unique Needs
Church Planting Resource Manual