Denominations don’t plant churches. Churches plant churches. This is why churches should be proactive about church planting rather than waiting for denominational boards and agencies to get the job done.
Having said that, most churches don’t have the resources to plant another church on their own, so they need to partner together with other multiplication-minded churches to expand the kingdom. Denominations can and do serve a vital place in the grand scheme of church planting, such as
- Connecting churches together in partnerships
- Assessing potential church planters
- Equipping and training planters and sending churches
- Directing funds appropriately for better stewardship
So if my church shouldn’t leave the task of planting a new church to my denomination, but we’re not prepared to oversee a planter or project on our own, what should we do? Form a strategic partnership with a few other leaders and churches to multiply.
I love the idea of four or five Pastors and church leaders getting together to discuss regional church planting needs, pooling their resources, and providing people, money, and mentoring to see a new church get started. Imagine this scenario…
Five churches, small to medium in size, come together to discuss the need to plant a new church in a town within an hour or two of each of them. Each church commits $1,000 per month for three years to cover the leading planter’s salary, plus a one-time offering for startup expenses. Then each of those pastors leverages his own network of relationships to invite other leaders to support the new plant at a smaller level to fill in the gaps. Each of the five churches sends a small team once or twice annually to help, and all the leaders come together once or twice during each year to check in, encourage, and offer accountability to the lead planter.
The strength of this approach, to me, is that a handful of leaders are cooperating to help ensure the success of the new plant. Obviously there are other factors and no hard and fast guarantees, but it would go a long way to ensure the stability of the new church to have a pocket of leaders loving, mentoring, and helping them in close proximity.
Meanwhile, a denominational agency could offer additional funding, assessment, training, and other forms of help.
This is not the only way to plant churches, but it’s one of several good possibilities, and with the lostness of our world and the size of the Great Commission, it’s time to come up with a plan for partnering to plant new churches.
If you’re interested in partnering to plant more churches, drop me a line!