Planting Process

One Body, Many Parts

Training and Equipping

Church Planting is at the core of God’s redemptive mission in His world. History is full of church planting stories of grace. We praise God that he uses his people in His mission. We recognize also that our cultural context has shifted dramatically over the past few decades. For much of our history in America, new churches naturally attracted specific ethnicities or distinctive theological groups. The local congregation met a very real human and spiritual need. This was a very natural process. We thank the Lord for his work in countless ways in these great years of growth in our country. However, the Church in America is no longer operating in a society where new churches start this way. Planting new congregations in our post-Christian society now requires great training and planning. For this reason, we are committed to working diligently with church planters and congregations to help them discern their call, be trained, and find their place within God’s kingdom work.

There are numerous church planting models that can be effective depending on the context. Regardless of the model chosen, all potential church planters will walk through a 6-Phase Process under the guidance of the Home Missions board and director.

Planting Process


This initial phase is designed for the planter and congregation to “count the cost” regarding planting. It is a time to prayerfully discern beliefs and motivations about church planting. Candidates are encouraged to begin studying the art and science of church planting. A pre-assessment questionnaire is completed that will help our mission board learn more about each planter and context. If initially approved, the candidate is invited to enter into formal assessment.


The assessment process is designed to help potential planters discover and discern how God has built them for service in specific ministry contexts. They will wrestle with their theological convictions, personality, gifts, expectations, talents, and philosophy of ministry. They will see their weaknesses and strengths as it relates to church planting. This process will include multiple online tools as well as meeting with our assessment team.


Assessed planters will begin the essential process of church planting training. Our planters will be trained in theology, philosophy, and the practice of planting free, living, and Lutheran congregations. We will also partner with like minded planting networks that specialize in planting systems. Our training will also include reading and learning in other contexts. A Church planting residency is also available for our planters. This immersion program will give planters the opportunity to slow down, learn, and be mentored by a church planter.


The preparation phase is a crucial time where what has been learned is now specifically used to develop strategic plans. Time will be spent developing a planting plan (prospectus). This plan will cover your calling, target audience, budget, values, and specific timeline of events. Much time will also be spent traveling and communicating to develop strong prayer and support partners.


The Launch phase is the implementation of the prepared plan. This does not mean the beginning of formal worship. It primarily is a time of intentional and active relationship building within the new community. In time, prayer and study groups will begin to build a core base. In time, this will include preview services leading to the full beginning of formal worship. This phase could be anywhere from 6-18 months depending on God’s provision.


Coaching: Research shows that having a church plant coach significantly increases the health, viability, and sustainability of church planters and congregations. There is a massive amount of work to be done which requires spiritual, relational, cultural, and strategic focus. Trained and experienced coaches are able to bring strategic clarity and contextualization to issues. They ask the critical questions that planters often don’t ask of themselves or their ministries. They are a safe space to share doubts and concerns. Most of all, coaches are always bringing their planter back to the cross of Christ for their identity, purpose, and strength.

Care: Along with coaching we will offer spiritual care and networking conferences for the planter, his wife, and family.

Let’s start a conversation!

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