Church Planting History
Perimeter Church was planted in 1977 by Rev. Randy Pope, as a part of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), with a vision to reach people "all around the Perimeter of Atlanta and the world."
Three Seasons Of Church Planting
- THE 80s - We were multi-site before multi-site was cool. "One Church, Many Congregations". A collegial model. Site pastors were assistant pastors who also preached. Elders met monthly regarding issues for the church as a whole and monthly as Congregational Elder Ministry Teams. Budget was divided between church and congregation.
- THE 90s - Each site became "a particular (local) church" that is a self-governing sister church in the presbytery. Perimeter Ministries International (PMI) was formed as a parachurch ministry, with an independent board of directors and staff. PMI was our vehicle to: (a) plant churches, (b) do urban community development ministry, centered in the Summerhill area, near Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium; and (c) share resources and partnerships in key areas of interest. Senior Pastors met monthly for a Pastors’ Forum.
- CURRENTLY - Perimeter has its own Department of Church Planting, focusing on the planting of one church per year in metro Atlanta and north Georgia. Perimeter also functions as a participating church in the Metro Atlanta Collective (MAC), that is presbytery-based but seeks to function in a manner that is more broad than the PCA. MAC is fashioned after the Church Planting Eco-system developed by Dr. Steve Childers, president of Pathway Learning, formerly known as Global Church Advancement.
Current Residency Program
- Completely funded by Perimeter.
- Year one of training is "in house" at Perimeter, serving young adults and learning Perimeter's best practices. Year two is working alongside a church planter in MAC and developing a ministry plan and raising funds.
- Supervision is provided by the Perimeter Director of Church Planting.
- Perimeter contributes roughly ½ - ? of seed funds of seed funds while the church planter raises remainder from his own relationships.
- Some churches are given a core group; others are scratch plants.
Reasons All This Exists
- It is all about God working through a movement leader. This is an overflow of Randy Pope's vision of planting a church that would plant churches. However, in trying to keep this a movement, the focus is on serving, not controlling.
- Visionary faith-oriented leadership is crucial.
- Kingdom mindedness is vital—Who cares who gets the credit?
- Effective resourcing is an important means. Having a "resource-rich" lead church has been significant.
- Focus has been on training, equipping and DNA, without demanding uniformity in style, emphases, or ministry programming.