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View Church Planting: A 3-Way Partnership

The Covenant and Your Conference, Parent/Partner Churches, and You

A Kingdom-Minded Partnership

The Role Played By The Covenant and the Regional Conference

Providing the leadership and expertise in formulating what the Evangelical Covenant calls “A Well-Conceived Project.”  This Well-Conceived Project involves the Evangelical Covenant and the Regional Conference being committed to:

1.  Church Planter Assessment.  Recruiting and identifying a Church Planter that is called and gifted.  This is done thorough the Church Planter Assessment Center.

2.  Parent Church Relationship.  Identifying a healthy Parent Church.  The ECC believes in developing partnerships and finds its greatest success in Church Planting comes from partnering with healthy growing churches.
3.  Other Supporting Churches.  Finding other supporting churches (often a cluster of churches from within a district) to help support the new church in a variety of ways…finance, volunteer, prayer.
4.  Financing.  Finding and setting up appropriation funding (3 years) for the Church Plant.  This is done through the Covenant, the Conference, the Parent Church as well as other supporting churches.
5.  Location.  Strategically identifying possible locations for the new Church Plant.

6.  Support/Training/Accountability.  Provide the needed mentoring and training of the Church Planter and the Leadership Team for the new church…also assisting in Launch Team development.  This is done on an ongoing basis by the Conference Director of Church Planting.  There are also formalized Church Planting training events throughout the year sponsored by the Covenant Department of Church Growth and Evangelism.

The Role Played By a Parent Church

Below is a thumbnail sketch of what would typically be the considerations and responsibilities of any church that decides to be a Parent Church of a new Church Plant:

1.  Provide Financial Support.  This is done by splitting the appropriations three ways between the Covenant/Conference/Parent Church. At times additional funds are given by the Parent Church which would be over and above the primary appropriation schedule expectation. Also, a Parent Church may provide financial oversight for the new church (i.e. bookkeeping and financial reports) for a specified period of time. 

2.  Relational Involvement.  New churches can offer only limited ministry options.  Ministry connections will be vital and key in connecting relationships.  One example of “connecting” would be if the Youth Ministry of a Parent Church invited the youth of the Church Plant to its gatherings.

3.  Missional Blessing.  The Senior Pastor, Leadership Team and Staff would come around the idea of church planting and its important role in Kingdom building and expansion.  Church planting would be embraced and blessed by the Parent Church and viewed as essential to its mission and health.  Essentially, the Parent Church becomes the biggest “fan” of the new church, and the Church Plant remains a strong supporter of the Parent Church.  The ongoing relationship is always intended to be a blessing to both congregations.

4.  Launch Team Development.  The Parent church would encourage the Church Planter (or at least grant him/her permission) to begin planning informational meetings with people from the Parent church.  These informational meetings would allow the Church Planter to paint a vision of church planting and also allow people to follow God’s leading in their lives and prayerfully consider being part of a Church Plant Launch Team.

5.  Resident Church Planter Position.  On a few occasions, “Pre-appropriation” money may be available in order to place a Church Planter on staff as “Resident Church Planter” at the Parent Church for a brief period of time.  In this role, the Church Planter can help with current role transitioning, preaching/teaching, as well as beginning to build relationships in order to identify potential Launch Team members. The Covenant/Conference would pick up a portion of the cost of the Church Planter during this time period. After that, full appropriations would begin. The appropriations would be in effect for a 3 year period.   

Your Role as Church Planter

There are many things you’ll need to do as planter: be able to articulate a compelling call from God to plant in a specific area, be able to gather significant numbers of people who will help gather more people into a worshipping/missional force in that community, be able to grow the church to a place where it is self-sustaining, self-governed, and self-replicating over 3 years (typically this requires 200 in worship attendance), be credentialed as a minister in the ECC, and more.

In addition, there are a few other things for the planter:

1.  Fund-raising.  In addition to receiving outside support from the Covenant, Conference, and Parent/partner churches, we ask the planter to do fund-raising.  This will take result in more funds available to the plant and more stake-holders who are praying and investing in the success of the new church.  Many planters will fund-raise $40,000 or more for things like:
    a.  Fund-raising for half of your salary in year one.
    b.  Fund-raising for equipment for worship, kids, trailer, chairs, etc.
    c.  Fund-raising for a specific staff member (e.g. worship)
    d.  Fund-raising for evangelism and outreach      

2.  Continue to receive training, coaching and mentoring from your Director of Church Planting and from Church planting peers.

3.  Pursue credentialing as a minister in the ECC.  This will mean having some interviews with the Committee on Ministerial Standing.  It may mean taking Covenant Orientation (C.O.) if you did not attend North Park Theological Seminary for a year.  (The tuition for the 4 C.O. courses will be paid by the ECC and your conference – and these 4-5 days courses can be taken over 4 year period).  You may also need to work toward an M.Div.

4.  Participate in the Life of the Conference and Covenant – as a participant and as a leader.


Category:Church Planter Assessment Process