HOW TO BUILD YOUR INITIAL CHURCH PLANTING GOVERNANCE TEAM
WHERE TO LOOK FOR A TEAM
1.Start with your sending church leadership
Church planters are asked to have a sending church that is either an actual mother church that hives them off, a church that adopts the church planter, or even 2-3 churches that partner together to send a planter. It is best if the leadership of the sending church, or at least some of its members, can serve as the oversight team for the new church.
2. Consider your denominational or planting network leaders, pastors, elders
Church multiplication leaders from your denomination or planting network (if you have one) would be great people to ask to be a part of your team. You also may want to consider pastors and elders of previous church plants or sending churches.
3. Financial supporters
People who are invested financially in your church plant are people who have already shown they care and are bought into the vision. Be careful, though, that people who are chosen aren’t using money as a way to steer or control decisions.
4. Prayer supporters
People who pray for you, your family, your team, your neighborhood, and your new church are great people to ask to be on the team. Building an oversight team that prays for you should be a very high priority.
WHO SHOULD BE ON THE TEAM?
At least 3 other leaders and preferably no more than 6 – You don’t want too big or too small of a team. At the beginning of a plant, you’re looking to put together some simple oversight.
People who “get” church planting – Planting a church is a unique task with particular challenges. The approach to planting and leading a new church is different than leading an established church. It requires a pioneering spirit, tons of flexibility, and an atmosphere that is fiercely nimble. People on the team should have some experience or expertise in church planting.
People who understand and love your vision – Make sure that people on your oversight team are supporting you according to the vision of your plant. This does not mean that you aren’t open to their direction and counsel. You just want there to be clarity that you are starting a church with a particular vision, for a particular people group, in a particular place. This makes every church somewhat unique. Competing or unclear vision can make the oversight team’s role very difficult.
Someone with financial expertise – Consider adding someone to your team with some understanding of non-profit finances, taxes, accounting, etc. You’ll benefit greatly from someone who brings this knowledge to the table.
People who pray – Enough said.
People who have a heart for you and your family – Since one of the primary objectives of your Oversight Team is to care for you and your family, it is good to know that the people you chose for this team have previously demonstrated that they appreciate you, your family, and your ministry. You want to know that they are behind you and are supportive.
People with leadership experience – You’ll want to add people to this team who are leaders, and especially pioneering leaders. Entrepreneurial business leaders, other church planters, and sending church leaders should be at the top of your list of consideration.
People who know your planting context – Just as it is important for your oversight team to know your vision, they must have some knowledge of your context. If possible, find leaders from your city, or those who at least understand the nuances of the people among whom you are planting.
BASIC OFFICIAL TEAM ROLES TO APPOINT
President – someone to lead the governance team who can know and lead the overall scope of the mission
Treasurer – someone to oversee finances and give monthly financial reports
Secretary – someone who can take good notes, create official minutes, and provide necessary paperwork