Step One: Be Sent
It is important for church planters to have a sending or sponsor church. In Acts 13:3, the church at Antioch sent out Barnabas and Saul before they departed on the their first church planting mission trip. The two men also returned to the church, as reported in Acts 14:27, and gave an accounting of what God had accomplished through them. GOBA requires that new church plants (missions) have a sponsor church that is connected to the association. The sponsor must be a member church in good standing that faithfully supports the association and the SBC cooperative program.
For a church planter, a sponsor church can provide prayer and emotional support. Some sponsor churches provide administrative and financial support to new church plants. Your sponsor church may even encourage you to recruit team and core group members from their membership.
Step Two: Register With the Send Network
In order to receive financial support through North American Mission Board and Florida Baptist Convention, a prospective church planter must apply through the Send Network at https://www.namb.net/church-planting. This is where you will continue the process to receive Assessment, Coaching, Training and Support.
Step Three: Discover and Discern the Call to Church Planting
The next step is to meet with the GOBA Executive Director of Missions who will want to get to know you so that he can help you to develop a customized church planting strategy for your context. In this initial meeting, you will discuss:
Your call to ministry and church planting:
You will talk about your spiritual journey: how you came to faith in Christ; how you have lived your life as a Christ-follower; your call to ministry; your call to church planting; your participation in a local church; your vision for a new church and what you need to get there.
The Southern Baptist Convention and Cooperative Missions:
Church planting is a difficult journey and no one should go it alone. Southern Baptists are followers of Christ who are living missionally together, sharing a common doctrine and a common mission. We work together to accomplish more together. Are you willing to receive and give support so that we can be more effective together?
The Baptist Faith and Message:
You will be asked to affirm or give your opinion of the Baptist Faith and Message, which is our common doctrine. The introduction to the Baptist Faith and Message states:
Baptists cherish and defend religious liberty, and deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches. We honor the principles of soul competency and the priesthood of believers, affirming together both our liberty in Christ and our accountability to each other under the Word of God.
Baptist churches, associations, and general bodies have adopted confessions of faith as a witness to the world, and as instruments of doctrinal accountability. We are not embarrassed to state before the world that these are doctrines we hold precious and as essential to the Baptist tradition of faith and practice.
During your orientation meeting, you will be asked about your expectations of cooperative church planting through GOBA, Florida Baptist Convention and Southern Baptist Convention. You may have unexpressed expectations of your church planting strategist, your coach, your sponsor or partner churches. This is a good time to begin to dialogue - write down what you expect of your mission partners and their expectations of you. This is the preparation of stage of developing a covenant that will serve as a guiding document for you and your mission partners.
Next, begin the assessment process at www.namb.net/assessment.
Step Four: Developing the Strategy and Systems of the New Church
Essential Church Planting:
This online course is a comprehensive series that helps church planters develop their vision and the supporting church processes and systems. The basic training helps them to develop a strategic plan for establishing a church in a community. There are18 modules in the training offered by LifeWay. The first three modules are free. For more information, go to newchurches.com/courses/essentialchurchplanting
Church Planter Networks:
These are monthly gatherings of church planters who come together to receive encouragement, information, and opportunities for greater collaboration and cooperation for Kingdom Impact in the city. The meetings are 2 hours long and emphasize the P.E.G. process – Praying for each other and the city, Encouraging one another through authentic exchange and mutual learning, and Giving ourselves away through missional engagement together in the city. These groups have statistically proven to increase church plant survivability and growth.
This is personal coaching provided for the church planter. Coaching helps the planter to clarify and discover what God is calling him to do in this new church. Coaching has statistically shown that those who receive it lead new churches that are 50-100% larger than planters who do not receive coaching.
Step Five: Leadership Multiplication
Church planting is the result of good mission work. Evangelism is sharing the Gospel or Good News of Jesus Christ. Disciples are learners and followers of Jesus who are taught to obey His commands. Growing disciples become leaders when they influence other people. A solid leadership development process is needed to develop church planters. Greater Orlando Adventures in Leadership is GOBA's leadership development process for pastors and church planters. The GOAL is help local churches to develop an abundance of leaders to enable the church to carry out its missional mandate in a balanced, Acts 1:8, strategy that results in the multiplication of disciples, leaders and churches.