Today God is blessing His Church with a variety of models but its purpose remains the same. It is still by the Spirit’s working through the Word, God’s power unto salvation, and sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion that we are brought into the Christian faith and nurtured and discipled in it for an entire lifetime. The purpose of the church is to go to all people groups throughout the world with the purpose of making disciples through the teaching of God’s Word (the Bible) and baptism. Matthew 28:19, 20. The Christian Church exists to, “proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins in the Name of Jesus to all the nations.” Luke 24:47.
Missions and Ministries are churches in the making and can be started using different models. The church still exists for the same purpose of going, making disciples and proclaiming repentance and forgiveness of sins in the Name of Jesus.
This is a small gathering of Christians in an area that may or may not grow any larger than 50 people and is quite often much smaller. The group gathers for worship, bible study, outreach and member care and may be lead by a neighboring congregation’s pastor or a retired pastor. Due to the size of the ministry the preaching station model cannot afford a full time pastor and in reality does not need one.
This is a mission church that has the capacity to become a strong self supporting congregation within 3 to 5 years, has their own mission developer or church planter and will be a full service ministry. Congregations generally can support a full time pastor and budget when there are at least 125 people in worship and congregational offerings exceed $125,000 annually.
This mission model is widely used in our FL-GA District. It is favored because it allows for a core group of leaders to be commissioned as local missionaries sent to serve in the Daughter Mission. These leaders in turn pass on the mother church’s DNA and will return to the Mother Church once their assignment is done. Resources of the Mother Church also assist in the growth and maturity of the Daughter Mission. These resources often include some level of funding, administrative and clerical assistance, book keeping, office space, music, and education. The Mother Church model is similar to parenting. In this model both the Mother and the Daughter have their own identity.
This model is very similar to the Mother/Daughter Model with respect to receiving the healthy DNA from an existing congregation along with resources mentioned above. It is different however in that it is started as one church in multiple locations. One church staff covers all locations. There is one budget, church council and a unified ministry program that is offered to all locations. Sometimes in larger satellite venues the pastor’s message is live at one place and broadcast to the other locations. Central staffing, planning and coordinating of ministry are the advantage of this model. It is also generally easier to get buy in from the host congregation. They are told we need to expand our ministry and we will open a satellite at a second or third satellite location. The satellite model is also a very effective model for church planting however the satellite may seek to establish a separate identity at sometime in the future.
Side by Side
This is a model that is often used in the launching of an ethnic ministry. The existing congregation, in an effort to reach its entire community, opens their facilities to be shared with an ethnic ministry that is better able to reach this ethnic group. We have several such ministries in the FL-GA District. This greatly reduces the costs of opening a new ministry. Congregations considering such a new ministry start should contact the Executive Director of Outreach for tools and resources.
We have no current examples of this yet in the FL-GA District however it is something that is seen elsewhere. This is a group that gathers for informal worship, usually is event or service focused, lives incarnationally in the community and focuses on connecting people to Jesus.
The FL-GA District is committed to connecting people to Jesus and we believe that church planting is one of the best ways! Since 2000 we have launched 63 new ministries with more new missions and ministries in the pipeline right now. By God’s grace we will have launched 200 or more missions in the FL-GA District by 2025.