How and Why we Plant
Every church was at some point a church plant ... including your own. Every church shares one thing in common ... a beginning.
You see, church planting is a Biblical pattern for mission. Your church is evidence. It was started at one point in time. And because it was, each of you has been touched. So have untold others through the years.
Now we have the opportunity to do for others what others first did for us. We can take the same spirit that founded our existing congregations and establish yet another congregation committed to living out the hope of Christ in word and deed.
How we plant
1. Church planting in the Evangelical Covenant Church is a 3-way partnership consisting of a parenting church (or a group of partnering churches), the Northwest Conference, and the Evangelical Covenant Church.
2. Parenting or partnering churches provide the "seed" to begin a new church. These churches provide prayer, people, a portion of the financial support, and short-term hands-on ministry support (greeting, worship help, children's ministry, etc.).
3. The Northwest Conference assists your church by:
- Providing the R&D ... Recruitment and Development of a planting pastor.
- Offering scaled financial support for the first 3 years of the new church.
- Extending ongoing support for the new church and pastor.
- The NW Conference also A.C.T.S. to assist church planting as we: Assess, Coach, Train, and Support each new church that is planted.
4. The Evangelical Covenant Church provides 1/3 of the funding, assists with the assessment of new pastors, and provides ongoing training opportunities for the church planting pastor.
5. The Church Planter and the new developing church then face the challenge of reaching out, making disciples, and transforming their community. During this time help provided by supportive individuals and churches is critical in providing support on many levels.
Why we plant
- Jesus told us to.
- Lost people matter to God.
- There is no more effective way to reach people for Christ.
- The U.S. unchurched population is the largest mission field in the English-speaking world and the third largest globally.
- Nationally, roughly 3,500 churches of all affiliations close each year in the U.S. Between 1994 and 2004, established churches experienced a serious decline in attendance, while population growth during that period was 12.2%.
- Estimates show only 2 out of 10 Americans attend church on any given Sunday.
- There are currently only enough church plants to keep up with 1/8 of the U.S. population growth.
- New churches effectively reach people for Christ.
- A church that is 3 years old or less adds 1 new convert per member per year.
- A church that is 7 years old adds 1 new convert per 7 members per year.
- A church that is 50 years old will add only 1 new convert per 85 members per year.
- Nearly 50% of our new churches are among populations of color or are intentionally multi-ethnic from the start.