In the past twenty years, there has been a growing awareness and renewed focus on church planting in North America. This project examines one of the ways to increase effectiveness in church planting through the development and execution of a church-based church planting residency program. It examines the assessment, training, and support provided to church planters through case studies of two different types of church planting residency programs. These case studies outline the assessment and recruitment strategies, and then examine their training and equipping models. Finally, it describes how these planters are supported after completing their residency. The goal of this study is to assist Ambassador Church in developing a church-based church planting residency program.
A summary of the findings from the two case studies is found in eight best practices. First, the senior leader of the church must hold to the vision of church planting and be able to disseminate the vision to other key leaders. And, the passed down vision needs a clear missional focus. Second, financial investment is important in starting a church based residency program. Third, a qualified leader needs to oversee the program to guide the residents in recruitment, training and coaching. Fourth, a clear assessment process needs to be established in recruiting the best church planting candidates. Fifth, the best method of training church planters is through a combination of classroom learning and on the job training. Sixth, since each resident brings an unique background in experience, personality and spiritual gifts, the residency needs to be adaptable and flexible. Seventh, in addition to financial support, other support systems such as coaching, emotional and spiritual support need to a part of a long-term development of the resident. Finally, the two case study churches developed partnerships and cooperation with other churches and organizations to assist in their recruitment, training and support structures. This allowed the churches use their resources.
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