Vineyard Columbus’ Church Planting Philosophy & Strategies
Philosophy & Strategies
Vineyard Columbus’ philosophy of church planting grows out of its mission statement to develop a community of disciples who experience God, love one another, and partner with Christ to heal the world. We do this by the following practices:
1. “Inside-out” GrowthMost church plants sponsored by Vineyard Columbus (VC) and/or partners will focus on “inside-out” growth rather than “outside-in” growth. That means that we focus primarily on organic, relationally oriented evangelistic growth designed to send people from “inside” the church plant “out” to gather new people rather than program/event oriented evangelistic growth designed to draw “outside” (unchurched) people “into” the church. We believe that “inside-out” growth is the best way to establish a church because it fosters new members in Vineyard values and practices, it allows time to build infrastructure for effective evangelism and discipleship, and it is much more cost effective.
2. Bi-vocational WorkIn many cases, VC church planters will be encouraged to be bi-vocational for the first year or two of a new church plant. The sole income for many church planters should come from working in the “marketplace” and not from the core team or congregation. This encourages the planter to maintain an approach that is focused on “gathering” people. Additionally, it models sacrificial living to the church plant team.
3. “Opportunities” vs. “Operations”VC will encourage new church plants to maintain a low overhead and spend most of its resources on “opportunities” rather than “operations.” This means that a new church plant should spend less on salaries and meetings places and more on opportunities that encourage growth and evangelism. This keeps the new planter out of the quagmire of church bureaucracy in the early phases of the plant.
4. Short-term Dependency
We believe that short-term dependency on outside financial resource is best for the mother/partnership church(es) and the newly forming church. Short-term support encourages the new church to become responsible and protects the planter from feelings of entitlement.
5. Special Contexts and Circumstances
Where opportunities present themselves in contexts where additional resources may be needed, (i.e. challenging urban settings or unique cross-cultural contexts), or where special circumstances exist for the church planter (VC pastors/Pastoral Assistants or special family issues) additional financial resources may be considered.
To successfully meet the goal of planting 20 churches in the next ten years, our extension ministry team has created a recruiting and training development strategy for our perspective church planters as we target locations in major cities (i.e. Cleveland, Pittsburgh), mid-sized cities (i.e. Mansfield, Wooster), and in small towns.
Specific strategies include the following five-fold approach:
We will recruit both potential lead pastors and core teams.
We offer our potential planters assessment through mentoring and examination.
You can find more information on our four training tracks here.
We will launch our planters only after they have worked through our planting process and they are ready for the challenges ahead.
A team of seven experienced pastors will coach each church planter for two (2) years after the launch