Parenting Field Guide
First phase: Prepare
Step 1: Map your starting point (Chapter 1)
- Gauge the congregation’s commitment level.
- Build trust as a foundation to action.
- Seek God’s will with an eye toward where God is already moving.
Step 2: Make the case to parent (Chapter 2)
- Discover the biblical, demographic, strategic, and pragmatic reasons to parent.
- Develop a case and prepare a winsome presentation.
Second phase: Engage
Step 1: Build a lead team and engage the congregation (Chapter 3)
- Define the purpose of the team.
- Recruit a lead team of qualified people.
- Develop team trust.
- Orient the team to the parenting process.
- Engage the congregation in the vision for parenting.
- Engage the conference director of new church development for partnership resources.
Step 2: Navigate hidden forces (Chapter 4)
- Address the parenting congregation’s fears.
- Identify the congregation’s existing values and develop parenting values.
- Address resistance to change.
- Develop prayer energy and strategy.
- Use “force field analysis” to gain perspective.
Step 3: Build a sustainable funding plan (Chapter 5)
- Develop a preliminary funding plan that will bring the plant to sustainability in three to four years.
- Develop a preliminary budget and define revenue sources.
- Discern your approach to risk management.
- Set the planter up for funding success.
Third phase: Establish
Step 1: Discern planting opportunity (Chapter 6)
- Determine general need in your community.
- Discern your congregation’s capacity for “cultural reach.”
- Leverage tools to discern best potential target group.
- Make room for planter input and Spirit leading.
Step 2: Select a parenting model (Chapter 7)
- Consider a range of parenting options.
- Select a model based on integrating principles.
- Seek confirmation of parenting model through prayer.
Step 3: Call a lead planter (Chapter 8)
- Build a planter profile based on potential target group.
- Determine potential candidates’ accountability to Minnesota Annual Conference, basic pastoral skills, environmental risk, and financial and marital health.
- Check references.
- Arrange for an expert assessment of the chosen candidate, and employ other assessment tools.
- Confirm vision alignment of planter and parenting church.
Fourth phase: Release
Step 1: Release the planting team (Chapter 9)
- Release the planter for full-time planting work.
- Release members from the congregation to the plant through the selection process.
- Release a wide range of resources to the plant.
Step 2: Support the planter (Chapter 9)
- Understand and participate in the governing team.
- Provide for planter coaching.
- Develop planter/parent covenant.
Step 3: Allow the parent church to recover (Chapter 9)
- Accelerate the parenting church’s health with Natural Church Development checkup (available through the Office of Congregational Development).
- Address leadership development with mentoring.
- Take time for recovery of attendance, finances, and emotions.
- Celebrate successes and understand setbacks.
- Capture learning from parenting experience for next plant.
Information taken from Multiplication Moves: A Field Guide for Churches Planting Churches by Ben Ingebretson (Faith Alive, 2013).