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

  1. THE 80's - 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. 
     
  2. THE 90's - 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.
     
  3. CURRENTLY - Perimeter has its own Department of Church Planting, focusing on the planting of two churches per year in metro Atlanta and north Georgia. Perimeter also functions as a participating church in the North Georgia Church Planting Network (NG, CPN), that is presbytery-based but seeks to function in a manner that is more broad than the PCA. This CPN is fashioned after the Church Planting Eco-system developed by Dr. Steve Childers, president of Global Church Advancement (GCA). 

Current Residency Program

  1. Completely funded by Perimeter.
     
  2. 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 the CPN and developing a ministry plan and raising funds. 
     
  3. Supervision is provided by the Perimeter Director of Church Planting. 
     
  4. Perimeter contributes roughly ½ of seed funds while the church planter raises remainder from his own relationships. 
     
  5. Some churches are given a core group; others are scratch plants.

Current Internship Program

  1. Intern must raise a small portion of his salary, benefits and cost of training ($25,000 per year for a two year internship). The balance of the cost is covered by Perimeter and key donors.
     
  2. Training is essentially the same as that of the residency.
     
  3. At the end of the two years of training, the intern may pursue a call as a planter, pastor or assistant pastor wherever he feels led. It is our desire that this training fuels gospel driven and discipleship rich church planting in key cities throughout the US, and serves to support the church planting ministries of other churches, presbyteries and networks in Atlanta as well.
     
  4. One Resident and three Interns will comprise a learning cohort of four, learning and sharing life together for two years.
     
  5. The Learning Cohort will also receive the Church Planting Training developed by Global Church Advancement.

CPN

  1. Planters are required to take both Foundations of Church Planting and Essentials for Church Planting from GCA - both one week intensive "trainings". 
     
  2. Planters are required to attend monthly CPN meeting, which supplies on-going training (20 topics which cycle through every 2 years), fellowship, prayer and accountability. (Bob Cargo serves as the CPN Director.) 
     
  3. Planters are supervised by Perimeter’s Director of Church Planting and have a church planting coach from the CPN. 
     
  4. Upon election of elders, churches become sister churches in the presbytery and (if they so desire) participating churches in the CPN .

Reasons All This Exists

  1. 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.
     
  2. Visionary faith-oriented leadership is crucial. 
     
  3. Kingdom mindedness is vital - Who cares who gets the credit? 
     
  4. Effective resourcing is an important means. Having a "resource rich" lead church has been significant. 
     
  5. Focus has been on training, equipping and DNA, without demanding uniformity in style, emphases, or ministry programming.