7 Strategies for Planting Healthy Reproductive Churches
We are part of a nationwide Converge USA church planting movement. We rely on church planting experience from around the nation to learn how to plant healthy, reproducing congregations. Here are the 7 foundational strategies of Converge USA.
- Spiritual Dynamic: We lean on spiritual empowerment for our growth. Scripture and prayer are built into all we do.
- Recruitment: We seek leaders who are interested in launching reproducing churches locally and participating in regional and global movements.
- Assessment: We objectively determine a leader's call, giftedness, character and preparation for ministry.
- Training: We arrange training events that equip leaders with up-to-date information and current strategies for effective ministries.
- Coaching: We ensure that every planter has a trained coach. Coaches help planters succeed through sharing spiritual guidance, accountability, emotional support and skill development.
- Funding: We seek to develop funding strategies that will fuel our growing movement and assist each leader with his personal support.
- Resourcing: We provide state-of-the-art resources to assist leaders to make a kingdom impact in their communities.
Converge Rocky Mountain is constantly developing and refining these seven systems to fulfill our vision of expanding our redemptive impact through new churches.
Frequently Asked Question About Church Planting
1. Isn't church planting risky?
Yes it is. Serving God requires taking risks based on our FAITH in God and his unique calling in our lives. We do try to reduce as many risk factors as we can. One of the first steps is to assess if a planting couple is really gifted to not only survive but thrive in the church planting arena. A number of Pre-assessment Tools can help you get an initial confirmation of church planting as a fit for you.
2. How do you determine a person's "Fit" for church planting?
Church planting is a strategic investment of human and financial resources. We do all we can to wisely steward those kingdom resources for a greater harvest!
After a personal interview with you, the next step is to send you to a Converge Planting Assessment Center. This is a four-day experience with a group of Church Planting candidates to assess fit and readiness to plant. This has been an incredible learning growing time for almost everyone who has participated. If a planter couple receives a “top recommend, no conditions” it opens the door to continue the planting process with CRM.
3. Do I have to have a seminary degree to be considered for church planting?
No. However Bible or Pastoral training on a Bachelor's level is required, with some exception for individuals who have had solid ministry experience in a healthy training-model church.
For those who have not completed formal training, we will require a plan for working toward it. Whatever you’re training level, we recruit planters who have clearly developed set of doctrinal beliefs that align with our movement, and who want to be part of our mission to plant healthy, reproductive churches throughout the Rocky Mountain West.
4. Do I have to raise support?
Yes. Although almost every planter protests, studies have shown that the most successful church planters raise at least 50% of their needed support. Something happens when a planter shares their vision again and again with potential donors. God has a way of sharpening His vision and planting it deep within the hearts of the planting couple.
The amount of personal support depends on your lifestyle, style of plant and ministry setting. Some prefer to work bi-vocationally, or have spouses who work full time. We have training and coaching to help you effectively raise funds for your project.
We encourage people to get a head start and raise up to 50% of their support even before they arrive on site. Once you have raised an agreed upon percentage of your total support, you can move, get your family settled in the community, begin forming a core group, and continue raising support. The truth is, once you start “doing church” there is little time left over for concentrated fund raising.
We are structured to work through "Lead Networks" and "Parenting Churches" along with CRM financial support to reduce the burden of fundraising and deploy planters more rapidly.
5. What about denominational affiliation?
Converge Rocky Mountain is part of Converge Worldwide, an international association of churches with historically Baptistic beliefs. To build a strong planting movement and an effective network of missional churches, planters are asked to formally join Converge Rocky Mountain as an affiliated church. We expect that our planters will freely inform their congregation about our movement of churches and participate with us in our shared mission to transform lives and communities in the Rocky Mountain West and beyond.
6. What kinds of churches do you start? What models are used?
The mission and the message of the church are unchanging and clearly communicated in the Bible. There are also principles and practices that set the boundaries for what a biblically healthy congregation looks like. However, models focus more on specific methodology and structure. CRM may contain a variety of models of churches including: house, multi-site, or attractional. We also work with like-minded, missional groups like Acts 29, Missio Dei, Saddleback and Northpoint Church. The model chosen is a function of what might work best in a given community, or target group, and fits the planter.
7. What kind of training do you provide?
CRM offers initial planter "First Steps" training. “Next Steps” training is designed for churches past their second birthday. You will also have a Planting Coach who will meet with you formally on a monthly basis, in person, e-mail and by phone. Your coach will be trained and experienced in order to help you be your best as a planter, and plant effectively. Other training is available through a variety of conferences, national “Ignite” gatherings, online and through regional training events.
8. What kind of personal support is available for church planters?
We strongly believe that planting is the healthiest and most effective when it is done in the context of a supportive community of leaders. This is why we primarily plant through Lead Teams and Parenting Churches. When adopting a planting project or doing a re-birth project, we also will connect those projects with existing Lead Teams and churches. Regularly scheduled planter lunches will also be provided.
There is also a network of planters nationwide through Converge USA that provides a wealth of planting experience, and resourcing through the 7 strategies that have been developed over a period of many years, through the experience of hundreds of church plants.
9. Can we bring other team members with us?
Absolutely! According to a Forbes Magazine study, entrepreneurial ventures which were partnerships of at least two people were four times more likely to succeed than sole proprietorships. Many of our church planters bring "ministry partners" with them. Value and agenda harmony and funding issues are usually easier to settle, leading to a smooth transition into church planting.