New Congregation Starts

Starting new congregations is one of the most effective means of reaching people who aren’t a part of any church, but it is hard work. The Illinois Great Rivers Conference is clarifying its process of new congregation development to increase the success rate.

There are several key components to prepare to launch a successful church plant. The person who will lead the ministry must be assessed to see if s/he has he call, giftedness, and behaviors of a church planter. If so, the person needs to have in depth, “just in time” training to help develop a ministry plan for both the new congregation and the leader’s ministry in that setting. This will help the person to develop benchmarks. The leader also needs a coach who will help to keep him/her focused.

In recent years, an increasing percentage of successful new congregation starts are initiated by a vital, growing congregation. One model used is a parent-child model where the initiating congregation sends a group of people and a pastor to start a new congregation that will one day be a newly chartered congregation.

Another model is the multi-campus model where the parent church starts a new site of its ministry. There is no intention for the new site to become a separate congregation.

Both parenting models allow for the DNA of the vital church to be multiplied in the new congregation.

If your church is interested in being a part of starting new congregation in IGRC or if you would like to enter an assessment process to see if you have the ability to be a church planter, contact Mike Crawford, Coordinator of Congregational Development.