Partners in Planting
The process begins by taking the self-assessment “Are You a Church Planter?” It can provide some valuable insight as to your gifting and call. After you have taken the assessment you can follow the steps listed below. If you have any questions you may contact any member of the Leader Team.
The first step in the church planting process is to fill out the Application for Grace International Church Planter Consideration and the CPD Spouse Application. Each section must be submitted along with your personal references. All of this process is done on line. No hard copies are accepted. After your application is received you will be contacted by one of the Leader Team members. As a part of the application process you must have three individuals who are not related to you fill out Reference Evaluation Form.
An oral interview will be scheduled with one or more of the CPD Leader Team. One of the primary purposes of the interview is to build relationship. Relationships are a high priority in Grace International and during the interview applicants are strongly encouraged to be connected in fellowship and involved in building relationships with Grace International by faithful attendance to Sectional Care Meetings, Spring Retreats, and the Annual Leadership Conference.
Processing and approval of an application can take from one to four months. The criteria for approval are based on the application information, interview, and the applicant’s participation in fellowship and relationship with Grace International. All applicants will be personally contacted by one of the Leader Team to inform them about the status of their application. If approved, the applicant will continue in the process listed below.
Every six months, or as often as needed, the CPD will host a two day training session. All applicants are required to attend one of these sessions. The training will include-
- Assessment of your city
- Building a launch team
- Advertising and marketing
- Development of a Mission Statement and Core Values
- Business and management of a church
- Writing a one year budget and financial plan
Some applicants may be encouraged to participate in more extensive training at Grace Bible Institute and The Center for Leadership and Church Growth in Houston, Texas. In those one and two year programs applicants will receive leadership development, theological training, and practical experience through exposure to, and participation in, the environment and ministry of a mega-church culture.
The purpose of assigning a coach is to provide counsel, guidance, and support for the church planter, while allowing them freedom of ministry style and individuality. A coach will be assigned after a church planter is recognized and approved by the CPD Leader Team. The coach will work directly with the planter and act as liaison to the CPD.
The coach will provide the following-
- Go to proposed community with planter and assess existing churches, demographics, real estate, possible meeting locations, etc.
- Help planting pastor write proposal for new church.
- Vision for new church
- Timeline for launch
- Launch team development plan
- Resources needed
- Advertising plan
- Cost estimate for launch and 1st year operations
- Request for funding
- Coach will assist planter in presenting proposal to CPD leader team.
- Assign a ‘mentor church’ where the planter could receive additional training/experience that would be beneficial to the new church launch.
- Make monthly phone calls to, and/or have personal meetings with, planting pastor prior to launch providing encouragement, counsel, and verification of progress. (See sample timeline).
- Weekly phone calls for the first six weeks after launch for personal support and to be a sounding board for pastor.
- Continue monthly phone calls for the first year.
- Obtain monthly church financial statement for the first six month. At the end of six months work with the CPD leader team to assess and set a payment schedule of any monies advanced for the initial startup. Coaches will encourage all new churches to continue a monthly commitment to the CPD after advancements are repaid.
Sample Church Plant Timeline
The church planting pastor should give primary consideration to the issues mentioned below. The timeline is a minimum. For the greater part it takes much longer to formulate all of the particulars of a new church. The coaches will assist in the process and development of each area.
- 6 - 9 + months – Plan
- Collect demographics from proposed community
- Refine vision, define mission, and write core values.
- Write the strategy for music style, ministry programs, etc.
- Begin developing the Launch/Ministry Team
- 3 - 6 months – Development
- Produce Advertising, brochures, based on your vision.
- Have regular meeting with the Launch Team.
- Recruitment of others to help with launch. Train volunteers
- Secure a facility to meet in.
- 0 - 3 months – Pre-launch
- Print mailer, brochures, etc
- Community Outreach
- Develop plan to assimilate new members
- Grand Opening – Celebrate!!
- Post Grand Opening
- Continue Seeking and Reaching - It may be natural to rest and enjoy the fruit of our labor after the Grand Opening. But in order to continue momentum and expansion the pastor must continue to put the same effort and passion into growing and developing the church that he did into the launch.
- Continued assessment of success. Refinement of procedure.
Working with their coach each church planter will submit a budget for the church plant. The submission will designate start-up costs and month by month one year operations budget. The CPD will review the submitted budget and will recommend what portion of the budget the church planter should raise through their own resources and contacts, and what portion will be advanced by the CPD. All financial assistance is given as an advance not a grant and is therefore distributed and repaid as follows-
- Start up costs will be dispersed by request of the pastor and coach.
- After the church is launched operation monies will be distributed monthly as a subsidy based on the approved budget and the monthly financial reports submitted to the coach. As the new church’s income grows, less monthly subsidy will be required.
- Six months after the launch the CPD will review the church’s financial report to determine a payback schedule of the money advance.
After repayment of the money advanced every new church will be required to invest in the church planting process by giving 2% of their monthly income to the CPD for new church plants. This serves as grateful acknowledgement on the part of the new church of the assistance received and actively invests in others who God calls to follow their lead.