Church Planting Strategy
Church Planting Strategy
United States & Canada
“Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.”
ARBCA is involved in two kinds of missions, foreign missions and home missions. A more common name for home missions is church planting. Paul said of his missionary work in Corinth. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” Our nation has grown increasingly secular and pagan. Other countries are now sending missionaries here. The best means we have of stemming this tide is church planting. Christ loves his church and gave himself up for her. Therefore, ARBCA is dedicated to helping church planters through the three stages of church planing: conceiving, developing, and giving birth to new churches. This brochure helps explain the approach the Church Planting Committee of ARBCA suggests as to how local churches can be involved in church planting and the sending and support of the man who will be the church planter.
The sites to be planted will be determined by the presence of a core group of 3-4 families in that area who are interested in starting a Reformed Baptist Church. There are many large cities in the North America that do not have a Reformed Baptist witness. We ask that your church be praying that God would be raising up core groups in your area or areas of concern.
The selection, sending, and support of a church planter are essentially the same as for an RBMS foreign missionary. To qualify as church planter supported and serviced by ARBCA, the candidate church planter must be a member of an ARBCA member church. The member church is responsible to ordain the church planter to the Gospel ministry placing him in the capacity of an elder. This ARBCA member church has the responsibility to assure their sister churches in ARBCA that their church planting candidate has been sufficiently trained for the task of church planting and that he is in conformity with the ARBCA guidelines for a church planting missionary. Once the church has so trained and recognized this man, the church would make application to the ARBCA Church Planting Committee. This application is in two parts: one for the member church and one for the church planter. It includes their plan to plant a church in a specific location within the United States or Canada and to receive the recommendation of the ARBCA Church Planting Committee and the ARBCA Administrative Council as a church planting project worthy of financial support. Once approved, this recommendation is made known to all member churches of ARBCA in order for some to pledge their support to their sister church in this church planting project. After the man has been selected and sent, the sending church remains primarily responsible for the care and support of the church planter.
The church planter must be aggressive and creative in taking every opportunity to spread the gospel and lead the core group to do the same. In doing so he is also training them to adopt the goal of being a self-governing and self-supporting local New Testament church.
There is one main difference in supporting a missionary and supporting a church planter. Support for the planter will annually and incrementally shift away from the sending and supporting churches to the core group as it grows and takes on more responsibility and autonomy. Ideally, this will occur on a five-year schedule and look like this.
|Core Group||Sending Church||Supporting Churches|
The committee has a suggested salary package for sponsoring churches to consider which can be obtained from the committee. The salary package will give guidance as to the funds needed for both the needs of the church plant and the church planter.
There are three guidelines the committee suggests that sponsoring churches follow. First, we want a church planter to be free from financial worry or the need to “tent make” so that he can focus on the work of the ministry, provide for his family and have enough to give to those who have need. Second, we used the criteria of a salary similar to a professional educator in the community. Due to different costs of living in various parts of the country this may need to be adjusted upward in some areas. Third, we suggest this be adjusted upward each year for inflation.
The package includes a base salary, housing allowance, health insurance, Social Security, retirement and ministry funds. The ministry funds are monies made available so that the day-to-day expenditures of doing ministry do not come out of the planter’s base salary. This could include mileage, copying costs, advertising, etc.
Ultimately the goal of church planting will result in a fully constituted 1689 confessional church, that is not only self governing, self supporting, but also self propagating.
We hope that this gives you a good idea of how we can reach the lost and edify God’s people through the planting of churches here in the United States and Canada. If you have any questions, contact the ARBCA offices. Since it is God’s method to use churches to plant churches we encourage you to pray and get involved in helping to plant churches (Matthew 28:19-20). We would ask you to pray that the Lord of the harvest would send laborers to the harvest (Luke 10:2). We would ask you to be observant of men who God may be calling to this task in ministry. We ask that you encourage men to pursue such a work according to God’s calling. Also we should look to the next town to preach the gospel. This was the example of Jesus (Mark 1:38) and Paul followed this example as well. Involvement in church planting can be summed up by the idea of William Carey concerning missions that we should plan, plod, pray, and pay.
The importance of church planting is undeniable and is not only an objective of ARBCA, but is its heartbeat for the future. Look at what God has done through the church in almost 2000 years for his glory! Knowing God has purposed the church for His glory should encourage us in the future of the church and church planting.
Produced by the Church Planting Committee of the
Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America
P.O. Box 289 Carlisle, PA. 17103