The Church Planting Residency Program of Family Church is a two-year intensive program designed to train and resource leaders for new church plants. Since we take a team leadership approach to church planting, this program is designed not simply for lead planters/pastors, but also for those who will lead in other roles, including worship leaders, associate pastors, operations/admin, student and kid’s ministry. Our goal is to plant viable churches in communities throughout Palm Beach County and beyond, in an effort to spread the gospel across South Florida.
Planting a church is a difficult task even for the most gifted individual. It is therefore our belief that there is no substitute for proper training and personal integrity for the person who believes he/she has been called to church planting. For that reason, our primary goals include: providing a solid doctrinal foundation, developing specific ministry skills and placing an emphasis on strong moral character. These themes have been purposely integrated throughout the program and, should the need arise, any observed deficiencies in these areas will be addressed in a constructive, Christ-honoring manner.
Throughout this program there will be on-going evaluations of each candidate, including his/her personal progress and the health of his/her family. It is our intent not only to prepare you for the immediate purpose of planting a church, but also to prepare you for the on-going challenges of maintaining a new church. Our hope and prayer for you is the process of planting a church will be a positive and rewarding experience for your entire family.
The training curriculum will consist of both theological and practical materials, and will be delivered through a variety of methods including lectures, group discussions and reading assignments. Each month a new topic will be introduced for review. Each topic will include a required reading assignment and a set of discussion questions.
For example, the Year One topics are as follows:
Each year of the program residents will be exposed to a wide array of church life activities. Involvement in these activities is designed to prepare residents for a wide variety of future ministry responsibilities. Assignments will be customized for each individual, e.g. those who aspire to leading worship, students, or kid’s ministry will lead in those areas.
One of the commonly underdeveloped tools for leaders is formal and/or public writing. In order to assist residents with developing this skill as part of their overall ministry preparation, each resident will be required to publish or post articles.
As part of this program memorizing specific biblical passages will be required. A new passage is assigned each month and residents are expected to commit to memory these passages as assigned. Scripture memory for our residency will relate to the qualifications and roles of pastors.
During the two years of the program there will be a reading assignments given for each month. Residents are expected to come prepared in advance, having fully read the material and able to demonstrate an understanding of these materials at each training session. Residents will be expected to discuss personal “take-aways” from the text to further demonstrate comprehension of the subject matter.
As part of our ongoing feedback and evaluation process each resident will participate in one or more coaching sessions with one of the program leaders. These sessions are designed to be an encouragement and exhortation for our residents as we seek to partner with each person in a meaningful and transparent way. Every attempt will be made to provide feedback that is specific, candid and constructive to the development of the individual.
As part of the progress report and coaching process we have incorporated several so-called “off-ramps.” The first will occur in December and the second will occur in May. These same periods will also occur in Year 2 of the program. These “off-ramps” are simply points in time throughout the process where either the resident or the core team may choose to end the participation of an individual in the program. As previously mentioned, planting a church is not an easy task and our concerns are both for the health of the individual and his/her family, as well as for the health of the plant. So, for either the good of the resident or for the health of the program, one or both parties may decide it’s best for a resident to take advantage of another season of growth prior to moving forward with the plant.