FCF’s Church Planting Process
It is easy to preach the Great Commission knowing the Lord wants us to win the lost. But the Great Commandment should be first and foremost in the heart of the follower of God and disciple of Jesus. The Great Commission without the Great Commandment reduces ministry to a vocation, job, and duty. Simply put, the Great Commission should be an outflow of a heart filled with love for God and others. It should also be the motivator for Church Planting.
The Acts of the Apostles documents the history of the spreading of the Gospel in the generation following Pentecost. This remarkable record focuses on church planting. The Apostles considered no other option for expansion than to establish a church everywhere they preached. No other plans emerged for gathering the faithful than the local church. Evangelism was never divorced from church planting in the apostolic era.
When a movement stops planting new churches, it declines in evangelistic outreach.
Planting churches is the divine plan. The language of the Great Commission infers the necessity of the local church. The method for making disciples prescribed by Jesus occurs in a local church.
The fact that churches have personalities is often overlooked as a positive contribution to evangelism. The differing styles of worship are a refreshing approach to the spiritually hungry looking for an experience with God. The perception of the traditional church has produced hopelessness in many.
By increasing the number of churches (which increases the different styles and personalities), more options are open to people. The planting of many neighborhood churches opens doors of opportunity that far exceed the super-church designed to reach a whole city. What we are addressing here is a principle. Multiple churches are better than one church as far as outreach evangelism is concerned.
A lack of kingdom-mindedness may simply blind us from fulfilling God’s purpose for the church.
Not Neglecting the Young
The younger generation is no longer defined by careers and relationships; they are seeking something more from God, others, and ultimately themselves. This younger generation of leaders is cutting a new edge and facing new challenges. Since their perceptions and culture are different, a traditional church planting model won’t necessarily attract them.
The Future of the Church
We all need to open our hearts and minds to the church planting process. The process of planting a church differs by community, culture, and country. One model doesn’t work in every situation. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The process is not restricted to a list of do’s and don’ts. The message of the Gospel never changes, but the process of planting a church does vary.
The point is to plant healthy churches that in turn plant more churches. It is biblical, and it is practical. The purpose is that many more people may come to know Jesus as Lord. Please do or consider the following:
- Invest time in prayer, Bible study, and building a community of faith to support the church-planting effort.
- Examine your personal call to church planting.
- Understand people groups: language, culture, needs, and receptivity to the Gospel.
- Study specific skills related to church planting.
- Begin to sow the Gospel in unreached areas.
- Develop new disciples.
- Start new small groups.
- Enlist and support new leaders.
- Launch new churches.
God is planting churches in North America. Will you join Him? Will you join FCF as we work in His harvest? Invest in eternity. New Bible-believing churches need to be started everywhere. By God’s grace let’s do the job.
The local church must become reproducible through a process of intentional church planting so that an ever-growing number of people can be reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This process is effectively served through the multiplication of churches.
Church planting is a natural way for the Kingdom of God to be extended.
Church planting is a natural development of the process of biblical discipleship. Whenever men and women are developed and released into ministry, the desire to be sent out will naturally follow. It will be the natural desire to reproduce the church that has nurtured and trained them. Church planting facilitates this process while expanding the Kingdom of God and advancing the harvest of souls.
Planting a healthy church requires more than just following a manual. Don’t try to plant a church unless the Lord has called you to plant a church. Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it….(Ps127:1 KJV)
FCF will coach the Church Planter through a Strategic Planning Process
Together we will build and communicate a compelling vision by doing the following:
- Vision Assessment
- Identifying and confirming Core Values
- Formulating a Purpose Statement stating the new Plant’s reason for existence
- Creating a Vivid Description of what people will experience
- Constructing a Vision Strategy of how the Church Plant’s vision works
- Documenting a Ministry Model that illustrates how people become involved, grow, and reproduce the vision
- Creating a Vision Communication Plan
Once the vision has been written out in detail, we will assist in developing a Ministry Plan for:
- Building a Cohesive Leadership Team
- Creating Organizational Clarity through projects and programs that influence greater health and effectiveness
- Communicating Organizational Clarity that mobilizes people to achieve the Ministry Plan
- Implementing Organizational Clarity by managing and leading change
Just as there are seasons in an individual’s life, there are seasons or stages in the development of a church. First there is conception, then comes the formation of the body (pre-natal stage) before there is the actual birth. Each phase has its own joy, excitement and opportunities to be anxious.
Conception is when God births the vision in your heart to plant a church. The pre-natal stage is the season when the core group is formed. The core group will assist in laying the foundation of your new church. Time has to be allowed for adequate development in each stage before considering becoming a church (giving birth).
As the core group is formed, the philosophy of ministry and ministry style of the church planter is proven in real-life testing of human relationships. Time isn’t being wasted in birthing a church in this manner. It becomes clear to everyone concerned whether the church planter is a leader or not. The Planter has to earn the right to lead and that takes time.
A core group will meet for several months before the inter-personal relationships are strong enough to support a church plant. It is recommended that the core group be comprised of at least seven to ten tithing families before the group begins public services (birth).
Once the Holy Spirit reveals to the Planter that it is time to give birth in the first advertised public gathering, the core group should move toward that eventful day with enthusiastic planning.
The joyful journey of being led by the Holy Spirit now lies ahead. We will rejoice as we observe God adding to the church and its reproduction in the lives of others. Our future is going to be an enjoyable and fruitful journey! Let us rise up and BUILD!