How will we plant STS Churches?
The most effective way to plant churches is through churches making disciples and raising up leaders in the local context. Parachute church planting has proven to be very ineffective. Even the most effective church planters who come from another context need 3-5 years of embedding before successfully planting.
With this in mind, we intend to build a church planter pipeline that begins intentionally introducing high school students to disciple-making practices that would lead to new churches being planted. This training will start with Saturate the School, be supplemented by summer intensives for high school and college students, connect to our church-based theological training and lead to internships and church planting residencies. We need to think long term to see Gospel Saturation of the Puget Sound. Doing so requires intentionally beginning with our teens.
STS Churches will collaborate to provide church planter training that is multi-phased. STS will partner with organizations like City to City (i.e. Incubator) to provide cohort learning environments specifically designed to train church planters. STS Church planters must practically work out their training, ideally in a 2-year residency, in the context of an STS affirmed Church-Planting Church. They will need to show that they are qualified, having godly character, church planting competencies, leadership capacity and a proven track record in making disciples, raising up leaders and multiplying Gospel Communities on Mission.
Assessment happens in two stages. First, all potential church planting residents are assessed before being accepted as a church planting resident. STS churches will form and use a common set of assessment tools in partnership with seasoned church planting organizations.
The second stage will occur toward the end of a church planter’s residency and prior to being sent and supported to start a new church. The assessment teams will be made up of local pastors from STS churches (ideally from the Learning Cohort that plans to support the planter) and outside approved organizations for objectivity.
STS Church plants will be sent and supported by a collection of STS churches. The ideal sending and supporting team would minimally be comprised of churches from an STS Learning Cohort. The church planting team should be made up of people from STS churches who are already living out the STS vision and mission in their context (i.e. GCMs). These churches would partner in sending and supporting the church plant in one of a variety of ways:
1. Sending people from STS churches already on mission in the locale to join STS church plant.
2. Financially supporting the new church for 1-3 years.
3. Gifting resources (sound equipment, chairs, etc…)
4. Providing an advisory/legal board until leadership from within is identified and appointed.
5. Preaching at the church plant to give planter a break
6. Providing opportunities for church planter to preach at an STS Church for ongoing exposure and support.
To request more information, email [email protected].