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Sovereign Grace Ministries
Goal To prepare the resident to plant a church. A Church Planting Residence is awarded to candidates who display a desire and capacity for church planting, and are carried out at a church where a member of the leadership team or regional leadership team resides or a church approved by Dave Harvey. The resident will spend eight to twenty‐four months mentored by, observing, and working with the pastors and ministries of the hosting church. Strategy A successful residence is accomplished through Sovereign Grace Ministries partnering with a local church to evaluate, train, and prepare the prospective church planter. To embrace the dynamics of this partnership, the residence is structured in three parts. 1. Relationships – The primary context in which evaluation and guidance occur. 2. Training – Those opportunities provided the resident to observe and participate in local church ministries that most strategically train him for church planting and pastoral ministry. 3. Preparation – Those endeavors the resident fulfills to prepare for a church plant. The residence is designed to evaluate three areas of the resident’s life, with an emphasis placed on his capabilities. 1. Character and spirituality 2. Conduct in the home 3. Capabilities, especially: a. Preaching b. Leadership c. Care d. Evangelism An effective church planter displays excellence in all three areas.
I. Relationships 1. Mentoring Pastor: The Senior Pastor of the hosting church, will either be the resident’s mentor, or will assign him a mentoring pastor. a. The mentoring pastor, in conjunction with the SGM Church Planting Group, will adapt this job description and its timeline as is best suitable to the resident and the host church. b. While the responsibility to fulfill the duties of this residence is the resident’s, the mentoring pastor will provide leadership, input, and care along the way. c. The mentoring pastor will meet with the resident on a weekly or biweekly basis, to oversee and serve as point man for all matters relating to his residence as well as to provide pastoral care. d. If the resident is engaged or married, the mentoring pastor’s wife may be involved in the mentoring process, particularly in quarterly couple’s meetings or as needed. 2. Pastors and Wives’ Small Group: The resident (and his wife, if married) will participate in a pastors and wives small group throughout the residence. This will promote personal growth, biblical fellowship, and accountability as well as provide a model for community and team care. 3. Elders’ Meetings: The resident will participate in elders’ meetings in order to learn how pastors work as a team, apply wisdom to pastoral issues, and make decisions as they lead a local church. a. The resident will discuss these experiences with his mentor. Topics to cover might include: the importance in strategically building a team, plurality at work in and out of elder meetings, the task of a team coming to a consensus, and the challenge of maintaining elder rule while achieving congregational participation. b. The resident’s senior pastor may also assign him to lead some discussions in elder’s meetings in order to develop and assess his leadership skills. II. Training The resident will observe and actively participate in each major department of the hosting church, including (but not limited to) preaching, public ministry, counseling, and oversight and administration of large‐scale projects, all for the purpose of evaluation and equipping. (The resident will increasingly be released from these responsibilities as the launch of the church plant draws nearer.) 1. Major Ministries/Departments: The resident will observe and participate in each major ministry/department. His first priorities will be those most important in the first years of a church plant (e.g. evangelism, general church administration, Sunday morning
administration, and worship). His second priorities will be those important in later years (e.g. children’s ministry, youth, family life, singles, and mercy ministries). The resident is responsible to: a. Be actively involved in each department for four to eight weeks. b. Participate in all administrative meeting and at least one corporate meeting. c. Hold two meeting with ministry’s/department’s overseeing pastor or lay leader. i. Initial 1. To be had before or at the beginning of the residents participation in the department. 2. Discuss participation. a. Identifying meetings to attend. b. Identifying ways the resident can actively participate. c. Interview the leader regarding the ministry. ii. Exiting 1. Review any evaluation the leader is able to provide of the resident’s participation. 2. Discuss experiences and how they might translate into a church plant. d. Meet with mentoring pastor. i. Discuss his experiences and observations with the mentoring pastor. ii. Review any evaluation given by ministry/department leader. iii. Discuss how principles and values might translate into a church plant. 2. Preaching and Public Ministry: The resident will participate in public ministry in the following ways as tools for equipping and evaluation. In any situation, at least one pastor or designated person will offer a formal evaluation of the resident’s strengths, weaknesses, and growth in ministry. Note: No preaching or public ministry assignment is completed until the resident secures an evaluation of himself. (The mentoring pastor can recommend the best way to ensure that the following is scheduled.) a. Preaching at least twice a month, in some context (Sunday morning, single’s event, children’s ministry, etc.). b. Serving publicly, besides preaching, at least once a month, in such means as (but not limited to) communion, Sunday morning welcome and announcements, Scripture reading, pastoral prayer, closing a service, new members class, or outreach initiative. 3. Counseling: a. The resident will join his mentoring pastor or a designated pastor in several counseling situations and discuss the session with the pastor afterwards. b. The mentoring pastor will also attempt to arrange for the resident to carry a small counseling load, as best serves the hosting church and complies with the resident’s schedule.
4. Evangelism: The resident, in partnership with his mentoring pastor, will plan his regular participation in outreach with his hosting church. Understandably, every local church’s evangelism goals and initiatives will vary, but it is expected that the resident will participate in both corporate and individual outreaches. 5. Projects: The resident will be invited to assume oversight of at least one major project requiring leadership, initiative, wisdom, and care to ensure his success. Pastors will then evaluate his suitability for church planting in light of his ability to rise to the challenge of this project, his gift of leadership, and his overall performance. III. Preparation 1. Interviews: a. The resident will interview other Sovereign Grace Ministries’ church planters about their experience, conducting interviews in each category: i. One year or less into a church plant ii. Two to three years into a church plant iii. Four to five years into a church plant b. The resident will also interview at least two church planters outside of SGM. c. Questions should include, but are not limited to: i. How did you care for your family during the first year? ii. What has been your greatest challenges? iii. How did have you sought to build and care for your team? iv. What outreaches have been effective? v. What have you learned? vi. What would you do differently? vii. What most encouraged your faith? viii. When did you start small groups? ix. Who was caring for you and what did that care look like? x. How did you stir faith to preach 45+ times a year and how did you plan bringing in guest speakers? d. The resident should be prepared to discuss the outcome of these interviews with his mentoring pastor. e. It is also important for the resident to visit other Sovereign Grace churches, and possibly a church plant, on a Sunday. Ideally this would be done in conjunction with his interviewing a pastor or through an opportunity to preach in different SGM churches. 2. Study: The resident will study materials focused on church planting and what is most relevant to the first years of a church and pastoral ministry.
a. The curriculum of his study might include, but is not limited to: i. Gospel and Mission in the Writing of Paul (P.T. O’Brien) ii. Church Planter: The Man, the Message, and the Mission (Darrin Patrick) iii. Planting Missional Churches (Ed Stetzer) iv. C.H. Spurgeon on Spiritual Leadership (Steve Miller) v. Rescuing Ambition (Dave Harvey) vi. Paul’s Understanding of the Church’s Mission (Pummer) b. The resident will discuss with his mentor what proves to be most formative, stimulating, or compelling out of his studing. c. The resident and his mentor will join other SGM church planting residents and their mentors in a monthly roundtable discussion, covering the assigned curriculum. This discussion will be led by a member of the SGM church planting group. d. The mentoring pastor will help the resident to establish a study schedule. (Suggested schedule: one hour of study a day, one three hour study session a week, and one day of study a month.) 3. Church Planting Plan a. The resident will develop a Church Planting Plan for the years of planting, including the following: i. A strategy for developing a church planting team, agenda for team building meetings, and a prayer focus ii. Creation of a leadership advisory board (for advice and accountability) iii. Quarterly goals iv. An outreach strategy v. Teaching strategy: what series will you do, when and how will you lay foundation? vi. A through review and discussion of Sovereign Grace Ministries’ Church Planting Guide vii. Development of public materials (logo, letterhead, website, welcome cards, etc.) viii. Location for corporate meeting ix. A budget and financial procedures for the first year (see SGM for further resources) b. Identify and train the church‐planting team c. Identify key lay leaders and develop job descriptions for each role (worship, children’s ministry, Sunday administrator, treasurer, book table) d. Develop a ten‐week series from Ephesians under the guidance of the host church’s pastoral team e. Get a demographic study of the church planting area f. Identify any key Christian leaders in the area with whom he should meet
A Summary of the Resident’s Calendar Commitments 1. Weekly or biweekly mentorship meetings 2. If engaged or married, quarterly couples meeting with mentor and his wife. 3. Regular pastors and wives’ small group meetings. 4. Regular elder’s meetings. 5. Training in major ministries/departments. 6. Preaching twice a month. 7. Serving publicly, besides preaching, once a month. 8. Occasional counseling sessions. 9. Regular participation in evangelism with host church. 10. Intermittent interviews of church planters 11. Visit other SGM churches on some Sundays 12. Study (possibly one hour of study a day, one three hour study session a week, and one day of study a month) 13. Monthly book to read. 14. Monthly round table discussion on church planting.
Timelines The following timelines are only meant to serve as suggestive, realizing that each residence is to be evaluated and adjusted case‐by‐case. It is expected that the mentoring pastor will guide the resident through his own timeline, as the mentor works with the hosting church and the SGM Church Planting Group. Track A (12 months) – General guidelines with suggested time allotments Timeline Tasks June ‐ Graduate SGM Pastors College ‐ Settle family ‐ Prep for residence + Read Gospel and Mission in the Writing of Paul (P.T. O’Brien) + Review all materials from the PC’s Missiology class. July ‐ Residence begins at host church ‐ Relational commitments begin ‐ Training [20% of time] + Plan out residence + Begin to attend pastoral meetings + Establish calendar ‐ Preparation + Plan for interviews + Study [40% of time] + Church Planting Guide [40% of time] August ‐ Training [40%] through ‐ Preparation December + Interviews [10%] + Study [10%] + Church Planting Guide [40%] Due September 1 to the Church Planting Resident + An initial character and gifting review by his mentor + A plan will be formulated for growth in any identified deficiencies Due December 1 to SGM Church Planting Group + Mentor’s e5 evaluation of resident + Two recordings of resident’s messages (preferably from a Sunday morning service) with mentor’s preaching evaluations
January ‐ Training [20%] and ‐ Preparation February + Study [10%] + Church Planting Guide [40%] + Team building* [30%] March ‐ Training [10%] through ‐ Preparation May + Study [10%] + Church Planting Guide [40%] + Team building [40%] June ‐ Residence concludes ‐ Planting team deploys * The process, timeline, and requirements of team building will vary greatly, and will therefore be adjusted appropriately, depending upon the planned church plant’s degree of risk Track B (24 months) – General guidelines with suggested time allotments Timeline Tasks June ‐ Graduate SGM Pastors College ‐ Settle family ‐ Prep for residence + Read Gospel and Mission in the Writing of Paul (P.T. O’Brien) + Review all materials from the PC’s Missiology class. July ‐ Residence begins at host church ‐ Relational commitments begin ‐ Training [40% of time] + Plan out residence + Begin to attend pastoral meetings + Establish calendar ‐ Preparation + Plan for interviews + Study [40% of time] + Church Planting Guide [20% of time] August ‐ Training [60%]
to August (1 year)
‐ Preparation + Interviews + Study [20%] + Church Planting Guide [20%] Due December 1 to Church Planting Resident + An initial character and gifting review by his mentor + A plan will be formulated for growth in any identified deficiencies Due May 1 to SGM Church Planting Group + Mentor’s e5 evaluation of resident + Two recordings of resident’s messages (preferably from a Sunday morning service) with mentor’s preaching evaluations
September ‐ Training [40%] to ‐ Preparation December + Study [20%] + Church Planting Guide [20%] + Team building* [20%] January ‐ Training [10%] to ‐ Preparation May + Study [10%] + Church Planting Guide [40%] + Team building [40%] June ‐ Residence concludes ‐ Planting team deploys * The process, timeline, and requirements of team building will vary greatly, and will therefore be adjusted appropriately, depending upon the planned church plant’s degree of risk
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