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Residency Program In Church Planting
The Church Planting Residency of Perimeter Church is a two-year period of focused training. The training will focus especially on these six areas of Perimeter’s DNA:
- Gospel-Driven - The gospel is not merely the doorway into the Christian life. It is the A to Z of Christianity. It is the motive and means of sanctification as well as justification. We seek churches that are driven (motivated and empowered) by a love of the Gospel of Christ Jesus.
- Evangelistic and Missional - We do not seek merely to transfer church members from one church to another. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. We join Him in seeking to take the Good News of the Kingdom to those who are yet to repent and believe.
- Life-on-Life Spiritual Development/Discipleship - Class room teaching and education has its place. However, the heart of spiritual development is a relational and personal process that focuses upon small group discipleship and one on one mentoring.
- The Ministry Belongs to the Laity - The Pastor's Primary Job is to be a Leader/Equipper. Ephesians chapter 4 states that all the saints are to be engaged in ministry and service, according to how each has been gifted by God's Spirit. The pastor is to equip the people of God to do works of service.
- Intentional Leadership Development - Leaders in churches do not appear magically. Through discipleship and equipping, the church's primary leadership has a calling of God to multiply leaders for the sake of the spread of the Gospel and the building up of the Body of Christ.
- Mercy and Justice - The gospel is spread through gospel deeds as well as gospel words. Just as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, we are to pursue the shalom of our communities through serving. Collaboration and partnerships are critical in this calling.
50% of the CPIR's (Church Planter in Residence) time will be spent in "on the job training", typically assisting in our ministry to young ydults. He will serve as a team member helping provide pastoral leadership for single adults in their 20's or early 30's and/or the Young Marrieds. This will involve team meetings/relationships, pastoral care, evangelism, discipleship, preaching/teaching and ministry planning and coordination. He will receive feedback from the Pastor of Young Adults and/or a pastor serving one of these groups under the direction of the Pastor of Young Adults.
The other 50% of his time will be spent learning "Perimeter Best Practices". The specifics of this will be established and tailored (to some degree) to match the needs of the planter. It will focus on both Perimeter's "way of doing ministry" (principles, not programs) as well as essential skills needed for successful church planting.
During this first year, the planter and the Director of Church Planting will more seriously explore possible areas in which he might plant. This will include some significant time for the planter and his wife (if married) in the most probable target area(s). Our goal will be that, by the end of year one, all interested parties of the plant (planter and wife, if married; Perimeter's leadership; PCA or network churches nearby, the Network's Vision Team and associated Presbytery MNA committees) will all be "on board" and supportive of the effort.
Again the planter's time will be split 50/50. 50% of his time will be spent helping a church planter or young and developing church "in the field" in a way that is mutually beneficial to both the church and the planter. This may include more opportunities to preach, plan, and lead worship, develop new ministries and/or lead ministry team leaders. This will give the planter a better "feel" for what it will be like to plant.
The other 50% of his time will be spent in the following: settling on a place to plant (if necessary), doing demographics and spending time in the target area, developing a Ministry Plan, raising funds, and preparing his first few months of preaching.
Throughout this experience, the planter is coached and supervised by Perimeter’s Director of Church Planting, who will continue as his supervisor until the church plant elects elders.
We seek to take men who have moderate to extended ministry experience and give them specialized equipping, experience, and truth in church planting that would not be readily available outside a church such as Perimeter. This is why we do not describe this as an internship but as a residency.
The following provides a “profile” of a man we would seek to hire as a Church Planter in Residence:
• Has completed or will soon complete his M.Div. or comparable seminary training.
• Has demonstrated in a ministry context many of the necessary competencies of a church planter–preaching, evangelism, discipleship, leadership, etc. This demonstration may be in its infant form but truly exists.
• A willingness to be further trained and equipped in ministry in each area mentioned above and others.
• A consistent walk with Christ, healthy marriage and family life (if married), personal integrity and competent relational skills, and an understanding of the gospel centeredness of “the whole Christian life”, as well as of ministry itself.
• Will be able to pass the PCA Church Planting Assessment Center as “recommended for church planting” or “highly recommended” before his residency is complete; or who has already been assessed as “recommended” or “provisionally recommended.”
MINISTRY AND LIFE EXPERIENCE
An ideal candidate might have any of the following previous ministry or life experience at a bare minimum. A number of our previous residents have had even greater previous ministry experience but gladly embraced the opportunity to learn from and be sent out from, Perimeter Church.
• A man who has campus ministry experience, “world missions” experience, or parachurch ministry experience, but not local church ministry experience.
• A man who has local church experience, but only with youth or college ministry, not yet having been a leader to and shepherd of adults.
• A man who has been an assistant pastor, but was not adequately mentored in this context to be prepared to church plant.
• A man who has had (1) significant years of experience in “the market place” (or education, government, healthcare, etc), (2) experience as an officer of a local church and “volunteer” shepherd, and (3) has perhaps even enjoyed the opportunity of part-time ministry experience while in seminary, but who has yet to be given the opportunity to be a “full-time staff pastor”.
• A man who has been in full-time pastoral ministry, has yearned for a more “progressive and innovative” church experience, but—to date—has only “seen ministry” in rather “traditional” church models.
After two short years in residency, the CPiR will be as prepared as a church planter can be. We seek teachable men who know the degree of difficulty of church planting, but who, nonetheless, feel called to do so. They put their faith in the Lord while sharpening the sickle and plow. And with passion will evangelize, disciple, equip, teach, preach and serve according to the power of the gospel.