NEW CHURCH PLANTING MODELS

   
Below are 8 models of Church Plants identified by church planters in the Episcopal Church. Each has specific strengths and challenges (+ or -) depending on the demographics and vision and resources available.
   
1. Apostolic Start Description: Cold start with little or no preparation characterized by a "parachute" drop where planter is told to go there and start with few resources.
  + Total exposure of the planter to the community
+ Passion driven
+ High risk/high potential gain in terms of new Christians
+ Requires accurate assessment of planter
- Takes time and money, more than most willing to give
- Absolutely leadership dependent, may result in "lone ranger" ministry
- Burnout highly possible
- Missioner can be disconnected from diocese
   
2. Mother/Daughter Start Description: Church begins out of existing parish with a parish staff priest, who goes with other leaders from the existing church. Gospel/mission based.
  + Lessens competition
+ Finances are better
+ Planter goes with leaders (team)
+ Better knowledge of local community
- Less flexibility; new church strong tendency to becoming like the mother
- Apron string phenomenon
- Diocese may have limited input into critical mission decisions
   
3. Apprentice Description: Diocese calls inexperienced person to (existing) new church plant as apprentice to learn how to plant a new church after 12-18 months' apprenticeship in existing new church plant.
  +Existing church is teacher, but not (necessarily) resource
+Existing church is a formation place for apprentice
+ Church connected to larger church from start up
+ Diocese finances apprenticeship and partners with host congregation
- Need a church plant that can provide formation
- Training church may provide problems
- Apprentice may love/hate training situation
   
4. Diocesan (or Deanery) Start Description: launch team formed by various members of area churches. Vision already established.
  + Money comes from the region
+ Wide area of natural political support, will and permission
+ Healthy transition from regional to local
+ Attractive to outside supporters
+ New start feels connected to the larger church
- Competing visions of launch team
- Who is responsible? People make decision but they will not necessarily experience consequences
- Competing oversight and lines of accountability
- No clear chain of command

   
5. Hosting church with cross-cultural new congregation. Description: "Side door" ministry.
  + Easy to start with leadership in place, lower cost
+ Already have land and buildings
+ Compliments existing congregation with diversity
+ Resources can generate financial responsibility
- Minority group becomes second class
- Revenue source mistaken for "mission"
+/- Minority group becomes leading and largest group
   
6. Self Start Description: group meets in living room
  + High value lay leadership
+ Very resilient
+ Low cost
+ Needs training and support to grow
- Never outgrows the living room
- Bound by organizational idea
- Denominationally focused
- Ordained leadership difficult to provide
- Often founded over against existing church, vulnerable to authority issues
+/- Counteract diocesan strategy
   
7. Satellite Launch Description: Downtown church starts number of churches with identical opportunities. Historical example is Trinity Church, Wall Street or Ponte Verde, FL.
  + Satellites can become their own identity
+ Can use temporary space for short term needs
- Exiting from area of economic decline or escaping cultural transition
- Could conflict with diocesan strategy
- Duplication of costs and overhead
   
8. Ecumenical plant Description: two or more denominations start together
  + Resources, financial and administrative, shared
+ Model for rural church planting
+ Models unity of the church
+ Could develop starter space and community building
+ Possible appeal to folks who aren't brand loyal
+ Works well in resort or vacation locations
- Energy to keep group together is demanding
- Loss of denominational identity
- Who's responsible?
- Competing oversight and lines of accountability
- No clear chain of command
   
 

 
 

CHURCH PLANTING: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED | THE PLANTING PROCESS
NEW CHURCH PLANTING MODELS |
HOW TO KILL YOUR CHURCH PLANT

 

SECTIONS OF THIS REPORT

· Church Planting: What Have We Learned
· The Planting Process
· New Church Planting Models
· How to Kill Your Church Plant


Congregational
Development
Office
The Reverend
Charles N. Fulton III,
Director of
Congregational
Development
 
 

CONGREGATIONAL DEVELOPMENT | 2020 - THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN MISSION | EPISCOPAL CHURCH HOME PAGE
NEW CHURCH DEVELOPMENT | SMALL CHURCH RESOURCE | STEWARDSHIP RESOURCE