Church Planting Assessment–Journey into Church Planting (part 6)
So after seeing our hearts change, Rach and I decided to pursue church planting through our home church Redeemer Fellowship. By God’s providence, we are at a church which is passionate about church planting and has recently become an official church-planter sending center with the Southern Baptist Convention. This means that Redeemer has greater resources (financial and programmatic) with which to train and equip those who sense a calling into church planting. The first step to officially plant a church with Redeemer is to complete an assessment which includes both a written application and an interview with the elders. If accepted, the applicant then begins a one-year church planting apprenticeship/residency.
The written portion of the assessment process is very straightforward. First, there is an essay portion of the exam which covers doctrine, calling, and experience. Some of the questions addressed were, ‘What is the gospel?’ ‘Describe your devotional life.’ ‘How has your experience and education prepared you for ministry in the church’ ‘Are you in agreement with Redeemer Fellowship’s Statement of Faith and ministry approach?’ ‘Describe your desire and qualifications for pursuing a church planting residency.’ The essay portion is accompanied with references and basic biographical information.
After this was completed, we entered into the interview stage. The interview, like interviews with the Acts 29 network, included both me and my wife Rachel. The interview was before the elders of our church and included a series of questions about calling, ministry, health of our marriage, and desire to pursue church planting. We were both asked questions and much of what were pressed into had to do with what type of support and training we would need to plant a church. Overall the experience was very affirming us. The elders at our church really take the task of planting a church seriously and want to protect not only the individuals who wish to pursue church planting, but also the church being partnered with. After the interview was completed we headed home, and found out later that evening that the elders had prayed about it and gave us the official acceptance!
In my next and last post, I’ll share what the church planting residency looks like and how you can be praying/partnering with us this year.