How to Become a Church Planter
How does one become a church planter in the Midwest District?
All church planting candidates are expected to go through an assessment process which includes a thorough application and reference checks, objective testing for spiritual gifts, personality, and leadership style and preferences, and one or more interviews including an extensive behavioral interview by a district assessment team. In some instances, participation in a Church Planting Assessment Center may be recommended or required. A church planting candidate will also be asked to submit a church planting proposal and demonstrate his ability to recruit a substantial number of intercessors for his ministry. A testing and processing fee may be required. Potential church planting candidates should request a church planter application form from the district office by snail mail (MWD, 218 West 18th St., Kearney, NE 68845), phone (308-234-5400), or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
After we have received a resume these steps are followed by the Midwest District Church Planting Team:
Step 1: Begin to communicate and to understand where the potential planting couple is coming through, their vision, past experiences and simply to begin a relationship.
Three issues are critical as we proceed through "Step 1".
1. Are you called to a church plant as a couple?
2. Is your ministry partner (wife) on the same page?
3. Are there people that may want to be a part of your team, to follow your vision and move here to begin a new church?
(Later when a candidate completes a final interview the candidate will need to still affirm that God is calling him to a specific target area.)
Step 2: Several Things need to come to the Midwest District Planting Office
1. Receive a list of references from the candidate and permission to call the references. We are sensitive and aware of the need for possible clarification and instructions that will may need to be communicated before anyone if called.
2. Receive 2 sermon tapes or videos.
3. Receive the Personal Assessment Inventory completed and emailed back to the Midwest District before we proceed with the form signed to be able to share the assessment with our team and the future coach.
Step 3: A Behavioral Assessment will be completed by the Midwest District Team
The team will provide all candidates with a written review of the assessment interview with suggestions for possible next steps. With the assessment will be specific recommendations for next steps toward seeing the candidates visions realized. For instance, the assessment may only encourage planting a church as a team, others will be encouraged to do a pioneer church plant. A pre-assessment questionnaire will need to be filled out before a face to face assessment takes place with a Midwest District Assessment Team.
A permission form will need to be signed so the final written assessment can be shared with others.
Step 4: Final Interview
A final interview will be completed with the Midwest District Church Planting Team, the Midwest District Superintendent (if available) and the Church Planting Director During the time the candidate is in the Midwest District for the final interview there will be time set aside to explore, confirm and affirm the potential community being targeted for a new church. Remember, being called to a specific community is critical for a church planter and his family.
Step 5: Letter of Call
After final acceptance and a completed written assessment the candidate will receive a letter of call to begin a church plant project under the oversight of the Midwest District Church Development Team. At this time it would be important to send a letter out to friends, family and previous people you may have served to begin to bring together a prayer team of 100 people. This an excellent opportunity to begin to cast vision for what the Lord may be doing in the candidate’s life.
Step 6: Licensing Process
The candidate then can obtain the files necessary to follow through with the licensing process. The 3 year license leading to ordination is suggested and encouraged for each candidate. If a candidate has not attended Trinity Seminary for his education then 5 books will be required to be read before the licensing council takes place. Contact Greg H. Hubbard, Director of Theology and Credentialing, 785-282-3924 for more information. To be sure you are granted an appointment with t eh Board of Ministerial Standing, your file must be completed (all information in the district office) 30 days prior to the interview date – no exceptions.
Step 7: Boot Camp
The church planting missionary will be encouraged to attend the next Boot Camp and begin communicating with his assigned coach. The goal is for a healthy transition for the entire family.
What can a church planter expect from the Midwest District?
The Midwest District is participating with other districts in the EFCA in implementing a national church planting vision and strategy using seven support systems for the church planter and the new congregation. Midwest District church planters benefit from a church planter assessment process, participation the EFCA Church Planters' Bootcamp, individual coaching for the church planter, participation in district and regional ministerials and conferences, provision of the Church Planter's Toolkit, and some initial seed money. The MWD also recruits a Parent or Partner Advisory Team for the new church which provides guidance and support during the early stages of development.