Our Policy

Church Planting Policy

Northern Plains District of the EFCA April 2012

Mission Statement

Our mission is to plant reproducing, disciple-making churches through evangelism (Matt. 28:18–20; Acts 1:8,14:21–23)

Rationale for Church Planting

  • Modeled by the First Century Church (Acts)

  • Develops New Leadership

  • Stimulates Existing Churches

  • Evangelistically Effective (New Churches win more people to Christ than older, established churches!)

Church Planting Philosophy

  • Models: Work where the Spirit is Working (Acts 16:6–10)

  • Mothering Churches: A new church is started directly out of the personnel, talents and resources of two or more cooperating churches.

  • Core Group: A new church is started by a group of believers who have gathered together for Bible study and fellowship.

  • Sibling Church: A new church is started when an existing church sends out a nucleus or core group to a nearby community or neighborhood.

  • Pioneer Church Planter: A new church is started when an individual with a burden for church planting is placed into a new area where there is not a nucleus group.

  • Adoptive Church: A church is adopted into the NPD when an already organized and established church desires to affiliate with the EFCA.

Principles of Church Planting

Primary Models: We will promote the Mothering Churches, Core Group, and Sibling Church models of church planting.

Disciplemaking Churches: We will plant churches that intentionally train believers with accountability on the basis of loving relationships. .

Reproducing Church: We will plant churches that will participate in planting new churches.

Evangelism: We will start new churches and build core groups through conversion growth.

Financial Support of Church Planters: We will support church planters through core group giving, personal support raising, district subsidy and, if necessary, bi-vocational income.

District Church Involvement: We will encourage area district churches to actively participate in the planting of new churches through prayer (2 Cor. 1: 10–11), giving (Phil. 4: 15–16), and the mothering process.

Accountability: We will provide an accountability structure for all church plants (Acts 14:26–28).

Policies and Procedures

Mothering Churches

  • The Church Planting Committee will target communities for church plants and distribute this list to the district churches for prayer.

  • The Church Planting Committee will contact churches near a proposed target community so that they will take ownership of the church plant by participating as a mothering church.

  • Two or more churches who desire to plant a church should contact the Church Planting Committee to seek district involvement.

  • Mothering Churches will select representatives to serve on a Mother Church Committee (see section “Mother Church Committee”).

  • Mothering Churches will actively participate in planting the new work through giving, regular prayer, and lay ministry (e.g., outreach, worship, work days. etc .. ).

  • Mothering Churches, through their representatives, will provide accountability for the new church to develop constitutional bylaws, leadership, financial autonomy, and outreach ministries (Acts 14:26–28).

Core Group

  • When a core group contacts the NPD, the District Superintendent will meet with the group and will communicate EFCA distinctive, district ministries, and procedures for becoming an Evangelical Free Church.

  • The District Superintendent and the Church Planting Committee will assess the potential of the core group to become an Evangelical Free Church.

  • In order to become a church plant of the NPD, core groups must agree with the EFCA statement of faith and agree to operate under the Church Planting Policy.

  • If a core group desires to take steps to become an Evangelical Free Church and if the Church Planting Committee recognizes the viability of the group becoming a church, the ChurchPlanting Committee will contact area EFCA churches to organize a Mother Church Committee.

Sibling Church

  • A church desiring to plant a new work should contact the District Superintendent to coordinate their ministry vision with the district’s church planting goals, to solicit prayer support, and/or to seek district involvement in the plant.

  • The Mother Church will provide accountability for the new church to develop constitutional bylaws, leadership, financial autonomy, and outreach ministries (Acts 14:26–28).

Pioneer Church Planter

  • When the Church Planting Committee, under the direction of the District Board, selects a target community for a church plant in which there is no core group, a Mother Church Committee will be established.

  • The District Superintendent and the Church Planting Committee will recruit a church planter for the target area.

  • The District Superintendent, representatives from the Church Planting Committee, and representatives from the Mother Church Committee will interview and recommend the candidate to the District Board as a District Church Planter.

  • The Church Planter will be accountable to the Mother Church Committee to formulate and implement a ministry plan to plant a reproducing, disciple-making church.

Adoptive Church

  • A church desiring affiliation with the EFCA should contact the district office and a meeting date will be set.

  • The District Superintendent and at least one member of the Church Planting Committee will meet with the leadership of the church.

  • Several prerequisites must be met for a church to gain district membership:

  • The Church must adopt the EFCA Statement of Faith.

  • The Church must be supportive of EFCA and NPD ministries.

  • The Church must provide a current financial statement.

  • The Pastor must transfer his credentials to the EFCA.

  • Application for membership must be made in accordance with the Northern Plains District Bylaws (Article IV, B).

District Financial Support for Church

  • Two-thirds of a plant’s annual budget must come from internal giving before the district will cosign a loan for acquisition of land, buildings, or new construction.

  • Church plants may apply for support from the NPD. This subsidy is for the financial support of the church planter/pastor. The support level will be set by the Church Planting Committee and the District Board. Support will be in agreement with the “General Guidelines for Receiving Subsidy from the Northern Plains District.”

  • The following is a sample of district subsidy for three years:

Year 1. - $12,000 / $1000 Monthly Subsidy (Sample Only) - 25% cut after that year off the original

Year 2. - $9,000 / $750 Monthly Subsidy (Sample Only) - 50% cut after that year off the original

Year 3. - $6,000 / $500 Monthly Subsidy (Sample Only)

Mother Church Committee

  • Mother Church Committee representatives will inform their church of the plant’s progress and seek direction from their leadership.

  • The Mother Church Committee will serve as the board of the new church. As the plant develops their own leadership, the committee begins to transfer board responsibilities.

  • The responsibilities of the Mother Church Committee are to:

– Oversee the writing of the constitution & bylaws.

– Monitor leadership development, financial autonomy, and church ministries.

– Develop a church budget.

  • The committee shall consist of two representatives from each mothering church, the church planter, and two people from the new work. The pastor of any mothering church is also recognized as part of the committee.

  • The Church Plant should select two people to serve on the Mother Church Committee, one of which will be the treasurer.

  • The chairman and secretary of the mother church committee will be appointed by the Church Planting Committee.

  • The District Superintendent, representatives from the Church Planting Committee, and representatives from the Mother Church Committee will interview and recommend the pastoral candidate to the church plant.

  • Following the candidating process, the church plant recommends to the Mother Church Committee that a call be extended to the candidate.

  • The secretary will submit minutes from each Mother Church Committee meeting to the District Superintendent and the designated representative of the Church Planting Committee.

  • The treasurer will submit monthly financial statements to the District Superintendent and the designated representative of the Church Planting Committee.

  • The Church Planter will submit a monthly report to the District Superintendent and the designated representative of the Church Planting Committee.