step 4: Development

If we hope to send qualified and well-equipped men to plant healthy churches that last, a development process is critical to helping planters develop the life rhythms, spiritual habits, personal and marital health, and ministry competencies needed to thrive in the faith-filled and difficult calling of starting a new church. Our primary venue for developing church planters and their families in the areas listed above is through a 12-month development cohort.


the church planter development cohort

Combining theological training with practical church planter mechanics, the goal of this cohort-based development is:

  • to provide development and care in the 12 areas listed in the Church Planter Profile that were found to be deficient during the assessment process,
  • to prepare planters personally, spiritually and organizationally to plant and launch their church
  • and to offer a venue to planters where lasting and supportive and personal relationships are forged with other planters.
 

the process of development

Step 1: Attend an Alignment Weekend + a SN Assessment

Before a church planter can enter into one of our development cohorts, he must have completed the other two prerequisite phases of our church planting process: (1) attend an Alignment Weekend and (2) complete and receive approval through our assessment.

Step 2: Receive an Invite to the Cohort

This cohort is an invite-only cohort for church planters who receive an “approved” or “approved with conditions” decision at one of our church planting assessments. After completing our assessment and post-assessment video call with a member of our staff, a church planter will then be personally invited into the next development cohort.

Step 3: Commit to and enjoy the Cohort.

These cohorts have been intentionally and thoughtfully crafted with the planter in mind and are designed to be a well-resourced avenue for continued training, relational connection, and a deeper dive into the culture and values of our network. While this is something that will require time and effort on the planter's part, we believe it will prove to be worthwhile for the planter and the health of his family and ministry.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Development cohorts

Why a “cohort”?

We believe that the cohort model functions well as a venue for church planter training, as a springboard for relationships to form with other pastors and wives in the network, and as a small-scale venue that allows new church planters to diver deeper into the culture and DNA of our network. How often do these cohorts being? The cohorts begin every six months.

How long does the cohort last?

The cohort is 12 months long. We believe a little extra time in training, in building relationships, and in evaluating the health of your soul, your family, and your team in the beginning will bear great fruit in the long term health and durability of your church.

How is this development cohort different than a locally based church planting residency?

Local church training (i.e what is often called a “residency”) usually focuses on the planter’s calling, character, and basic ministry giftings (preaching, shepherding, leading). To supplement this local church training, our development cohort functions more like a finishing school to assist guys who have worked through church planting residencies in their local churches, gone through our alignment weekend, and completed our assessment.