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.
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.