Church Health

A healthy mother reproduces healthy children. One of the greatest ways to have a sustainable church planting Movement is to invest critical time and resources into the existing churches in helping them become healthy and mature enough to reproduce. The focus for helping existing churches become healthy is on pastoral care, and encouragement, shared resources, and the development of a leadership farm system.

Pastoral Care, Encouragement & Development– It is critical that existing pastors and planters feel the needed care and encouragement as those who are laboring and fighting the good fight. The key to this is in relationships and in time spent with them. There will be a concerted effort to make sure every pastor is cared for by providing:

  • Opportunities for relationships – Through the Huddle, site visits, cross-pollinating, regional gatherings, and online communities.

  • Specialized care during crisis situations – When a pastor is going through particular hard trials, others in the network move to support them.

  • Coaching unique to the ministry life stage – Church planters are not the only ones who need coaching. Established churches need help breaking through key barriers and specific ministry situations.

  • Leadership learning communities – Churches in similar situations and ministry life stage can be gathered together in a learning community with others who are experiencing similar challenges (church plants, newer churches, recent sending churches, etc.)

Shared Resources – The desire is to share resources among all the churches so as to keep each church from having to spend time recreating what is already available. These resources need to be pooled together and packaged in such a way that they are transferable and may be used in any church context. Resources to be shared will include:

  • Discipleship & basic follow up material – transferable material that anyone in the church can use to ground a new believer in the faith.

  • Biblical Distinctives Materials

  • Life Group (small group) training materials

  • How to lead a leadership community (deacons, ministry coordinators, etc.)

  • Pastoral Process

  • Deacon Process

  • Pastor Training Curriculum

  • Biblical Distinctives 201 – a class with a focus on sharing the gospel, discipleship, and stepping out in faith (this class would follow Biblical Distinctives 101 where the focus is on theology).

  • Missions philosophy and documents

  • Sharing of missions opportunities

  • Worship Resources

  • Youth Group Resources

  • Children’s Resources

Leadership Farm System – It is rare that a church is randomly planted. Therefore, there needs to be special attention given to establishing a leadership farm system within a greater culture of reproduction and expansion. A leadership farm system is a proactive and purposeful mechanism to make sure that leaders are being developed at all levels. Once a person comes to faith, this would include a conscious process to be building them up in the faith, training in leadership development, exposure to church planting, introduction to pastoral training, and preparation in church planting.

See What's Going on in Our Network