Steps for Presbyteries seeking to start new church plants.

Has God put a passion for church planting on the hearts of your Presbytery?

One of the strengths of the Presbyterian system of government is the way it can galvanize a whole Presbytery behind a church plant and share resources and personnel to get a new work started. However this does require kingdom mindedness and a generosity of spirit.

1. Assessment of the Planter.

New church planters must be assessed through the Geneva push. The Geneva Push is an evangelical reformed church planting ministry with specialist skills in assessing and coaching church planters. Having an external independent assessment process from people we trust ensures we have objective decisions and sometimes say no to people who are willing but not suited. Church planting is difficult and many have failed. Saying no to unsuited people is part of caring for one another and wisely using the resources of the Presbyterian Church. People who have not achieved a successful assessment will not receive funding from the church planting committee.

Expression of Interest Form CPC PCV.doc

Finding the right person is key. It requires patience, perseverance and prayer. The more support, freedom and personnel you are willing to offer, the more likely you are to have success in finding the right person.
2. Assess your Presbytery.

There are times in the life cycle of a suburb that can make it easier to get a new church plant off the ground. Do you have a growth corridor with many new people moving in?

Do you have an older established suburb that is experiencing a change in the population perhaps through gentrification or new migrants moving in? How do the demographics of your existing churches compare with that of a local bus? If it is significantly different, who are you missing? Take a look at the latest census figures at A new church or a new congregation of an existing church may be a more effective strategy than trying to compel new people to join an older congregation.

3. Consider a Strategy.

A. Mother Daughter

The best approach is if a strong mother church deliberately plans to give birth to a new daughter church. Ideally you find and assess (through Geneva) the church planter at least a year ahead and invite them onto your pastoral team. This way the planter can work with the session to select and encourage the right people to join the church plant. The mother church can then provide the elders prayer support and finances during those critical early years.

B. Parachute in.

Sometimes growth is so fast in a new area and an appropriate mother church is not available. In this case you need to work with the church planting committee to find a suitable person and parachute them in. This process is more difficult as the planter will need to find their own core team. Even one or two families from within the Presbytery will make a huge difference. Finding this person is not easy and it is critical that the Presbytery be supportive but not controlling of the new church planter.

C. Specialist.

You may have a university or many new immigrants in your Presbytery who are not being reached through the existing churches. This is an excellent opportunity for revitalizing ministry in an area which may otherwise be struggling. It is critical to find the right person for this kind of opportunity. This ministry will require sensitivity to the culture of the people you are trying to reach and perhaps more time but it can gain momentum surprisingly quickly. Think like missionaries.

4. Complete an application form funding through the Church Planting Committee.

First Grant Application Form CPC PCV.doc

5. Pray like crazy.