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Ed Stetzer Talks About Church Planter Assessment

Being Sent

It is important for church planters to have a sending or sponsor church.  In Acts 13:3, the church at Antioch sent out Barnabas and Saul before they departed on the their first church planting mission trip. The two men also returned to the church, as reported in Acts 14:27, and gave an accounting of what God had accomplished through them.  GOBA requires that new church plants (missions) have a sponsor church that is connected to the association.  The sponsor must be a member church in good standing that faithfully supports the association and the SBC cooperative program. 

For a church planter, a sponsor church can provide prayer and emotional support.  Some sponsor churches provide administrative and financial support to new church plants.  Your sponsor church may even encourage you to recruit team and core group members from their membership. 

The Discovery Stage:

Discover and Discern the Call to Church Planting

Orientation:

The first step is to meet with a GOBA staff member who will want to get to know you so that he can help you to develop a customized church planting strategy for your context. In this initial meeting, you will discuss:

Your call to ministry and church planting:

You will talk about your spiritual journey: how you came to faith in Christ; how you have lived your life as a Christ-follower; your call to ministry; your call to church planting; your participation in a local church; your vision for a new church and what you need to get there. 

The Southern Baptist Convention and Cooperative Missions:

Church planting is a difficult journey and no one should go it alone. Southern Baptists are followers of Christ who are living missionally together, sharing a common doctrine and a common mission. We work together to accomplish more together.  Are you willing to receive and give support so that we can be more effective together?

The Baptist Faith and Message

You will be asked to affirm or give your opinion of the Baptist Faith and Message, which is our common doctrine.  The introduction to the Baptist Faith and Message states:

Baptists cherish and defend religious liberty, and deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches. We honor the principles of soul competency and the priesthood of believers, affirming together both our liberty in Christ and our accountability to each other under the Word of God.

Baptist churches, associations, and general bodies have adopted confessions of faith as a witness to the world, and as instruments of doctrinal accountability. We are not embarrassed to state before the world that these are doctrines we hold precious and as essential to the Baptist tradition of faith and practice.

Mutual Expectations:

During your orientation meeting, you will be asked about your expectations of cooperative church planting through GOBA, Florida Baptist Convention and Southern Baptist Convention. You may have unexpressed expectations of your church planting strategist, your coach, your sponsor or partner churches. This is a good time to begin to dialogue - write down what you expect of your mission partners and their expectations of you. This is the preparation of stage of developing a covenant that will serve as a guiding document for you and your mission partners. 

Discover Church Planting:

Discover Church Planting is a class that helps prospective church planters understand and clarify their gifting, calling, and interest in church planting. They learn from field-tested church planters as they share their insights and lessons from church planting.

Each participant will learn, engage and interact with the following topics:

  • Best Fit: My Calling and Wiring
  • Living Sent: God’s Mission of Making Disciples
  • Practical Tips: Nuts and Bolts of Starting a New Church 
  • Coaching 101: What Every Church Planter Needs
  • Next Steps: Where do I go from here?

At the end of the class, they are counseled about the next steps they need to take to pursue church planting.

Church Planter Assessment:

Take the LifeWay online church planter assessment and send the results to churchplanting@goba.org. Learn more about the church planting assessment process

 

The Create Stage:

Developing the Strategy and Systems of the New Church

First Steps:

The class is for church planters and their wives who have just committed to start a new church.  The class covers issues related to Community Engagement, Fundraising, Church Planting Mistakes and Prayer.

Essentials:

This course is a comprehensive series of events that helps church planters develop their vision and the supporting church processes and systems.  The basic training helps them to develop a strategic plan for establishing a church in a community. The areas of training include:

  1. Spiritual Warfare
  2. Missional Theology
  3. Evangelistic Cultivation
  4. Church Evangelism Strategy
  5. Disciple-making
  6. Stewardship
  7. Ministry Teams
  8. Missional Servant Leaders

Church Planter Networks:

These are monthly gatherings of church planters who come together to receive encouragement, information, and opportunities for greater collaboration and cooperation for Kingdom Impact in the city.  The meetings are 2 hours long and emphasize the P.E.G. process – Praying for each other and the city,  Encouraging one another through authentic exchange and mutual learning, and Giving ourselves away through missional engagement together in the city.  These groups have statistically proven to increase church plant survivability and growth.

Coaching:

This is personal coaching provided for the church planter.  Coaching helps the planter to clarify and discover what God is calling him to do in this new church.  Coaching has statistically shown that those who receive it lead new churches that are 50-100% larger than planters who do not receive coaching.

The Multiplication Stage:

Leadership Development

Church planting is the result of good mission work. Evangelism is sharing the Gospel or Good News of Jesus Christ.  Disciples are learners and followers of Jesus who are taught to obey His commands. Growing disciples become leaders when they influence other people. A solid leadership development process is needed to develop church planters. Greater Orlando Adventures in Leadership is GOBA's leadership development process for pastors and church planters. The GOAL is help local churches to develop an abundance of leaders to enable the church to carry out it's missional mandate in a balanced, Acts 1:8, strategy that results in the multiplication of disciples, leaders and churches.