Church Planting FAQs
Questions and Answers about Planting New Churches
We don’t! Unless, of course, you believe we have enough disciples already, as well. New church create new disciples and the best way to make more disciples in a city is to plant more churches! Read this great article by Tim Keller entitled “Why Plant Churches” for more information.
Campuses in a multi-site churches function under the umbrella of a single leadership (consistory and pastor) and campuses do not have autonomy to provide oversight of their own ministry. Church plants, however are unique churches with their own leadership and vision and function outside of the boundaries of a parent church. New campuses are best used when there is to be an expansion and continuation of existing ministry and vision. New plants are best used to take new ground, pioneer new ministry in a more autonomous relationship to the mother church.
Jesus said, I will build my church (Matthew 16:18). Then after sending the Holy Spirit upon his apostles, they did nothing but start new churches throughout the entire book of Acts (chs. 2, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, etc.). So we can say that Jesus and the Holy Spirit have been about planting churches from the beginning and we notice from church history that when the American church has not planted churches (the latter part of the 20th century, for instance) the church declined.
Yes, that’s correct. Like any entrepreneurial endeavor, the risks of failure are high. However, this does not mean the call or need to plant churches is invalid, it means that human beings do not always succeed in their ability to respond to that calling. Some of church planting involves trial and error and a desire to learn from mistakes and pioneer new ministry frontiers to expand the kingdom.
Church planting is the establishing of an organized body of believers in a new location. The process of planting a church involves evangelism, the discipleship of new believers, the training of church leaders, and the organization of the church according to the New Testament model. Usually the process also includes writing a church charter and/or doctrinal statement and finding a place to meet or buying property and erecting a new building.
Typically a mother church supports a new church plant by giving of finances, some members to the core team and coaching and prayer support. The church plant becomes a ministry focus for the mother church during and throughout the launch and eventually removes support as the church plant becomes sustainable and independent. Mother churches usually financially support church plants for a 3-year commitment.
Think of the church like a family. If a family agreed to never have children the family would cease to exist. On the other hand, having children keeps the parents young. In the same way, churches like grandparents some times get sick and die. We need new churches to replace them. But also new churches stimulate mature churches to new methods of ministry. New churches are the research and development (R & D) Department of established churches. And, new churches reach significantly more young people and unchurched people than do established churches.