I was recently asked for a list of “Best Practices” for a Partner or Sending Church. As I researched, I did find some helpful articles, books, and info. See list and links below. In addition, I reached out to all my favorite church planting folks. I got this top 10 list from Robby Partain and tweaked a bit. I thought I would share.
- Assessment. Insist on a good assessment process for your planter candidate and the spouse.
- Partnerships. Don’t try to go it alone. Plant through a partnership with a good church planting association or network.
- Freedom. Let the planter lead. Don’t insist that he do things the same way your church would. Avoid putting constraints on the church plant that would stifle the growth of the church.
- Protection. Protect the planter. Don’t let anyone get away with undermining his leadership in the plant. Be an advocate for them and be a consistent partner who is “in their corner.”
- Accountability. Have accountability and reporting mechanisms built into the planting partnership, especially as pertains to the handling of funds.
- Prayer. Mobilize prayer support for the plant. This should not be an afterthought, but a foundational strategy.
- Support. Mobilize personal support for the planter and his family. Financial support is important, but so is consistent support emotionally and spiritually. Develop a team to pour into the leaders and their family members of the church plant – encouraging calls, prayers, notes, care packages.
- Clarity. If you are sharing facilities with the plant, have a detailed written facilities use agreement to avoid misunderstandings.
- Sending. If you are “sending people out” from your church to join the plant, make sure they buy into the planter’s vision and agree to follow his leadership. Send some of your best people whom are gifted and skilled in discipleship. (This is not the time to rid your church of trouble makers.) Celebrate such people as missionary heroes.
- Communication. Give updates and praise reports to partner or mother church about the church plant on a regular basis. This helps them feel a part of what God is doing on a grander scale and embeds a missional DNA into the ongoing rhythm of the church.
Other goodies I found:
- Send Network – NAMB has developed a network of training, resources, coaching in order to provide opportunities to help you and your church be equipped and mobilized in your local community and beyond. Excellent resource.
- Christianity Today: “My Top 10 Church Planting Tips. A new planter reflects on living a year on wise advice.” by Aaron Damiani
- Powerpoint of Best Practices By Ed Stetzer in 2007: Best Practices – Mission to North America – good info even though a bit dated.
- NAMB has some downloadable resources for a Sending Church. These are focused upon partnering with a Send City planter, however, the core principles are transferable to any setting.
- Here is a downloadable pdf of Robby’s list.
- Exponential has a free eBook – Becoming a Level 5 Multiplying Church. You may want to check it out!