Dear District Leader, Sponsor Pastor, Supporter, or Aspiring Church Planter,
Here at the New Church Development office we're excited you have sensed a call from God to explore planting a new church.
The steps below are meant to explain the process in a simple manner. We should say "a" process, because not all planters will complete all the steps in the order listed. Not all planters will need to. Yet there are constants. Every planter should connect with leaders and mentors, confirm their call and skillset, and receive training. We hope this "Pathway to Planting" helps guide you toward your dream of planting a church.
Mark Bane, Director of Evangelism & New Church Development, USA/Canada Regional Office
1.800.306.8294 | firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Take the Online Pre-Assessment
Anyone can be called by God to plant a church, but church planters everywhere face similar challenges. A planter should be aware of the requirements and responsibilities that will be placed upon him/her. The Pre-Assessment asks key questions that help the planter discern their aptitude and readiness for starting a new church.
We've partnered with LifeWay to provide the pre-assessment for $29.
One of the benefits of planting a church in the Church of the Nazarene is the support structure that is in place on each of our districts. Your District Superintendent or New Church Coordinator can help you connect to resources, give invaluable advice, and catalyze your vision. About half of our districts currently have New Church Coordinators.
3. Attend a Church Planting Training
Church Planting Essentials (CPE) provides basic training on starting a new church. Churches Planting Churches (CPC) teaches the best practices and common pitfalls of sponsoring a new church. Mentoring Church Planters (MCP) is mentorship 101. New Church dynamics (NCD) shares practical tools to implement systems for growing a dynamic, missional church. Trainings are held across the USA/Canada region throughout the year. These tracks are taught by passionate, experienced people driven to share the Good News of Christ with the world.
The New Church Leaders Assessment Center is a four-day event during which ministers and spouses are evaluated to determine whether a specific minister has the skillset to serve as the founding pastor of a new church. Not all districts require an assessment, but it is a valuable process which could help to confirm your call.
5. Get a Coach or Mentor
Every mistake in church planting has been made before, by someone. Coaches offer far-sighted advice that is invaluable to a church planter immersed in the process. Your current pastor, district coordinator, or D.S. will help you find a mentor (or they themselves could agree to coach you). Additionally, the Becoming a Mentor (BAM) training equips leaders with church planting experience to mentor new church planters.
6. Raise Support
The type and amount of support you raise will depend on the model of church planting that is chosen. The one constant will be recruiting prayer partners. Other types of support are team members and financial resources. Another question is "From whom?" You will learn this process in the Church Planting Essentials training (Step #3).
7. Launch the Church
All your work and training will culminate in a launch, and your church will be started. Some types of churches won't have a "launch" proper. Nevertheless a successful beginning in a community is of utmost importance. The previous six steps will have prepared you (God willing!) for this final one.