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).    


Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

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info@minnesotaumc.org

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