The backbone of our movement is helping to establish healthy church plants who reproduce healthy church plants and who in turn reproduce healthy church plants. When a church is planted, this is a critical phase that needs a lot of attention and resourcing from the Movement.
Assessment – Various church planter and church planting team assessments are wonderful tools to help ensure the success of a plant. This process will bring to light strengths and expose weaknesses or deficiencies in the planter and/ or planting team. Planters will be affirmed in strengths and encouraged to compensate for any obvious weaknesses. In some cases, it may even be recommended that the planter and his team wait upon the Lord for a season while He grows the planter and/or brings body parts to compensate for weaknesses or deficiencies.
Project Support – In order for a new church to request funds from the Movement, use the Crossway Chapel name, or come under the IRS 501(c)(3) provision, there needs to be network affirmation of the church. Support will be heavily impacted by the input of the sending church. Affirmation by the Servant Team is based on approval from the sending church, a positive church planting assessment, team make-up, vision and plan, etc. An application and interview process will be needed as a vital part of this process. For now, the Servant Team would be responsible for this. There is also the recognition that individual churches within the Movement may decide to plant churches independent of Network affirmation. These church plants should not anticipate the same level of support from the Movement as a whole.
Licensing - We trust that each local church will ordain their own pastors. We can share resources in how to properly ordain a pastor to meet IRS requirements, etc. However, a person, if they choose, may be licensed as a “minister” through Crossway Chapel International IRS 501(c)(3). This licensing gives extra credibility to a church planter as well as non-pastoral ministers and provides an extra layer of formality for the IRS.
Church Planting Internships – Internships can be a great way to expose future planters and pastors to ministry at the local level while assessing their strengths and seeking areas of needed improvement. In this way, the training and equipping of future planters and pastors may be accelerated.
Immersion – One of the best ways to learn about church planting is seeing the functioning of a church plant up close and personal. Future church planters are encouraged to spend time with and even serve in a church plant where they can learn by doing.
Fishing Ponds – Crossway Chapel has a core value of holding our people and resources with an open hand. Once a church planting team is formed, there will be a strong commitment to do all we can as a Movement to raise up the key body parts and team members from our existing churches. This will allow the church plant to be launched with strength. Ministry areas where support is needed might include leading or participating in worship, children’s, youth, and college teams. These “people resources” can make a huge difference in the early successes of a church plant.
Church Planting Training – Once a church planting team is formed, efforts are given towards a regionalized or network wide church planting catalyst. These intense training weekends will help the team form their identity and think through key strategies and plans for when they launch the church plant.
Coaching and Mentoring – Each church plant needs a consistent coach who will meet with the planting team, keep them on track, and give them valuable insight. It is ideal that this relationship will grow beyond coaching to a mentoring relationship where care for the planter and the team is most effectively realized.
Church Planting Catalyst – Yearly meetings with Crossway pastors and potential church planters are an essential forum to expose many to church planting, prepare planters, and cross-pollinate ideas and strategies among those involved in church planting. The goal of The Catalyst is to foster excitement for church planting, provide practical training and connect key people with current teams and church plants.
Funding – The goal of each Regional Network pooling resources is to help bless and provide needed finances for a church plant. This is one of the biggest blessings to a church plant. A funding strategy needs to be put into place that helps determine how much funding is needed and when that funding would best serve the plant. There also needs to be financial transparency and accountability from the church plant. Therefore, financial disclosure of expenses, budget and salaries are needed in order to properly access the needs and bring a level of protection and accountability.
Church Planting Toolkit (expected completion Winter/Spring 2016) – To avoid having to recreate resources that are already available and to encourage the planter to focus time and energy on the mission, we should provide key resources that will assist in fostering a church plant. A toolkit will be provided to a church planting team that contains information about how to: Develop a church budget, register with the IRS, use the IRS 501(c)(3) provision, institute financial accountability and procedures, obtain the appropriate insurance, legally establish the church, set banking for the church, EIN, market the new church, set up websites and information systems, develop check lists, etc. This documentation would serve as a policy and procedures manual for the church planter.