The New Testament model for the spread of the gospel is churches planting churches. As Christians proclaimed the gospel and the number of Christ’s followers increased, new churches began. Churches then planted other churches as they equipped, trained up and sent out men to lead new churches.
Through our Sending Program, we equip and send missionaries and church planters to reach the unreached with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have different processes and development plans for missionaries and church planters, but for church planters, the program prepares men in both the theological “whys” and practical “how-tos” of church leadership before launching them into pastoral ministry and church planting.
The church planter track of the Sending Program has been reverse-engineered from the Acts 29 application and assessment process centered around their 11 competencies and 76 microskills. Fundamentally, we develop planters by investing in them, preparing them, providing for them, serving them as venture catalysts and planting them as a multiplying church. We focus on leadership issues such as character development, self-awareness, gospel-centered living, missional ecclesiology, strategic planning and staff development.
Church planters will immerse with The Village pastors, staff and church body—and with strategic ministry partners across DFW and the nation—for the intentional development of godly character and leadership competence. They will meet weekly in a cohort to learn and discuss course materials with the Director of Church Planting, staff or elders, and develop and engage with their personal discipleship plan. In addition, church planters will be active in the life of the local church community in various forms of participation and service as a means of hands-on ministry.
Benefits of the Program
- Focused training on Acts 29’s 11 competencies of a church planter
- Investment from The Village elders, staff and leaders into the life and ministry of the planter
- Opportunities to learn, grow, (fail) under the covering of The Village
- Freedom to cast vision, recruit and fundraise from within The Village (after Acts 29 assessment approval)
- Commissioned and sent as an “elder in sending” from The Village to start your church
- Ongoing coaching, care and relationship once church is planted
- Time and development opportunities from every department within The Village in developing your vision and makeup of your church (e.g.. production, HR, Communications, Technology, worship, etc.)
- Investment and care for the church planter’s wife and family
- Connection with Acts 29 leaders and training
- DNA to be a church-planting church to the ends of the earth
The program is specifically created for men who have a strong conviction and call to church planting in the next 2–3 years. They should have a known track record of serving, leading and giving within their local church, with demonstrated teaching skills and observable fruit in ministry, marriage and family life.
All potential candidates should rigorously study 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1 and 1 Peter 5 to understand God’s expectations for pastors/elders. All Christians are in the process of sanctification, so qualifications must be read against the backdrop of God’s grace (i.e., the standard is maturity, not perfection). However, Scripture is clear that no man is qualified to lead a church unless he is:
- A mature Christian, not a new/young believer (1 Tim. 3:6)
- An exemplary, godly leader in his marriage and family (1 Tim. 3:4–5)
- Self-controlled and disciplined in his personal habits (1 Tim. 3:2–3)
- An exemplary steward of his financial resources (1 Tim. 3:3)
- A man of observable, proven godly character (Titus 1:8)
- Skilled in the study, teaching and defense of God’s Word (Titus 1:9)
- Able to recognize and combat all types of false teaching (Titus 1:9)
- Courageous enough to confront sin and error (Titus 1:10–13)
Additionally, Fellowship Associates and Acts 29 have developed an ideal candidate profile for church planters. According to their research, the ideal candidate is marked by:
- A strong gospel-centered orientation in theology and life
- A commitment to a team approach to ministry
- A leadership ability that is evidenced by past performance
- A spirit of courage and confidence with a great sense of humility
- A proven communicator and teacher
- A teachable spirit and a desire to learn and grow as a leader
- An innovative and strategic visionary able to enlist others in new ventures
- An entrepreneurial spirit that has demonstrated past successes in starting new ventures (not necessarily in the local church)
- A highly energetic and enthused spirit about starting a new work
- A commitment to a team approach to ministry and a plural form of church governance
- A willingness to work intensely for an extended period of time
- A self-starter
A church planter will need to be in agreement with The Village Church’s basic beliefs and theological distinctives, as well as our primary desire to plant Acts 29-affiliated churches. Therefore, the church planter and his church plant must have foundational theological convictions in relation to Acts 29 theological distinctives.
Commitment & Cost
- The workload is estimated to be 35–40 hours per week. The majority of consists of personal study and writing, cohort meetings, trainings and hands-on ministry participation in the local church.
- Church planters will be responsible to raise their own support/living expenses from donors for the 18-month program. Training, coaching and compensation for each church planter in relation to fundraising will be provided by Reliant based on need and current benchmarks (unless funding support is provided elsewhere).
- Church planters will need to commit to spending roughly 18 months as full-time staff at The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, starting in August.
- January–July: Support raising
- August–December of the following year (18 months): Sending Program
- January: Move to target location and begin gathering a core group
- August/September: Launch of church plant
What We Provide
- Most materials for the Sending Program (books, training materials, etc.)
- Acts 29 assessment ($1,600)
- Church Planting Wife Retreat ($1,200 plus travel)
- Other expenses discussed on a case-by-case basis
Apply to Become a Church Planter