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View Growth Marks Benchmarks

Church Planting Resource Manual

Growth Marks Benchmarks

Download MS Word version:
File:Benchmarks in the 4.doc


Checking for Growth/Health in the 1st Year of a New Church
First the seed, then the stalk, then the head, then the full-kernel of grain.  Mark 4:28

Just as the wise farmer evaluates the growth of the crop, so too the wise church planter evaluates progress of their new church at each stage.
Just as the farmer makes adjustments at each stage, evaluating the need for hydration, fertilization, pesticide, pruning…

Or, to change the metaphor, just as the parent pays careful attention to how their child
moves through the 1st 12 months of life to see not only growth in weight and height,
and pays attention to how they’re developing mentally, emotionally, relationally, etc… and gets concerned if they don’t achieve certain growth-stages, so also…

The wise church planter looks at the growth & health of the church at each stage of development to determine what adjustments need to be made and to determine if they are ready to move to the next stage.

Check off the growth-marks as they are achieved.  When you have marked them all off, you are ready to move to the next stage.  If you have not achieved them, this indicates that you are missing a key growth element.  You should only move to the next stage with approval of your coach. not meeting these marks is a real cause for concern and a time for deep discussion with your coach and possible adjustments…
Meet with your coach before moving to each new stage.

Root Development: Finding & Developing the Launch Team       Start date_________
Check when achieved:        (usually takes 3-4 months)
___ minimum of 20-30 committed adults in the core
___ 50% of core from new contacts
___ clear, compelling Passion, Values, and Mission – with the timeline and strategic plan
___ begin incorporation, financial system, enrollment in ECC pension, insurance, beginning ECC credentialing, enrolled in CEOP (if needed)
___ planter is seen as the ‘legitimate leader’ of the group
___ increasing number of people contacted, coming and connecting with the group
___ growing enthusiasm by the people
___ visits to church plants in area by Launch Team
___ vision deserts and/or gathering events
___ incarnational mission beginning in the community
___ begin taking an offering & sending 10 & 5 to ECC and conference mission
                        Achieved by________
  Meeting these growth-marks are important before moving to the next stage.

Leaf Development: Preview (accelerated launch team development)    Start date_______
Check when achieved:          (usually takes 3-4 months)
___ minimum attendance of 60-100 in monthly preview services
___ 50 new people at each preview service (generally once-a-month)
___ plan for marketing for 3rd and 4th preview if you can’t get 50 new people by personal invitation
___ strong word-of-mouth with over ½ of new people coming from personal invitation
___ 50 new people assimilated into Launch Team over the 3-4 month time-frame
___ good facility, good financial record keeping, people beginning to tithe to new church
___ increasing attendance at each preview service
___ planning and recruiting people to serve in 5-key ministries of worship, kids, connection, small groups, outreach.
___ PAT (Pastors Advisory Team) functioning
___ people who are far from God coming to worship and/or being touched by the outreach of the church
                        Achieved by________
Meeting these growth-marks are important before moving to the next stage.

Branch Development - Preparatory Worship     3-4 months       Start date_________
Check when achieved:
___ minimum attendance of 80 in the weekly services
___ quality of 5 key ministries (see previous stage for these 5) raised from one grade level (eg. C to B+) and increasing number of people serving in one of the ministry teams
___ 50% of adults in small groups
___ continuing outreach at this stage and planning for greater fruitfulness in next stage
___ continuing gathering and increasing attendance at worship
___ plan/pray for Grand Opening of Phase 4 with the G.O. (Grand Opening) Team
                        Achieved by________
Meeting these growth-marks are important before moving to the next stage.

Fruit Bearing – Launch stage       3-4 months         Start date_________
Check when achieved:
___ minimum attendance of 110 in services
___ great facility that can accommodate growth to 200+
___ have begun TLT: Transitional Leadership Team
___ beginning to see increasing numbers of people coming to Christ
___ keeping most of the launch team folks and transitioning into a G.O. team as you incorporate new people working toward the ideal mix after Launch phase of 1/3 new believers, 1/3 former de-churched Christians, 1/3 committed believers
___ beginning plans for membership and adoption of constitution.

At the end of each stage, the wise church planter does two things:
1)  Evaluation with their coach and leaders of what went right, what needs to be improved, and what needs to be changed.
2)  Celebration with the people of what God has done thus far!  People will continue to support what they celebrate.  Share the credit and help people to see what God has done in just a few months!

Church Planting Resource Manual