When should a church plant daughter a new church? When is the right time? What are the right factors that need to be considered? As we think through our church planting strategy for renewing our city with the gospel, I’ve been thinking through the necessary criteria to determine when we should plant another church. The primary factor is, of course, the leading of the Holy Spirit. In addition to the Spirit’s prompting and guidance, I’ve come up with the following list of factors to consider when planting a new church out of your existing church:
1. Qualified Elder: Qualified pastor-elder who has demonstrated sufficient leadership in pastoring, missional commitment, applied gospel.
2. 5 Equippers: Sufficient expression of the five equippers of Ephesians 4 (prophet, teacher, evangelist, apostle, shepherd).
3. Number & Location of People: Critical mass of people in a geography far enough from our current Sunday Gathering.
4. Diversity of Spiritual Gifts: Good variety of spiritual gifts present in this critical mass.
5. Gift of Administration: an elder or co-leader with strong kingly gifts
6. Missional Health: an emerging critical mass that has demonstrated sufficient missional health
7. Gospel Health: an emerging critical mass that has demonstrated a good grasp of the gospel in theory and application.
8. Structural Health: a group of people who possess the requisite talents to facilitate healthy church structures (gatherings and missional communities)