Since its launch in 2008, Redeemer Fuquay has planted five churches and supported two others both inside and outside North Carolina. Learn more about their story in the Q&A below.
When Redeemer Fuquay launched as a church plant in 2008, it wasn’t all smooth sailing.
“We sort of stumbled our way through it,” said Josh Wredberg, lead pastor of Redeemer. “We didn’t really know what we were doing.”
Since then, Redeemer Fuquay has spent much of its time and resources helping start five more churches and supporting two others with people and finances.
“Having done it ourselves, I think that’s what started our desire (to church plant),” Wredberg said. “About two years in, we had the opportunity to plant a church with one of our staff pastors in Wisconsin.”
“It took a while to do the next (church plant) … but we planted again in 2018 with N.C. Baptists in Sanford. From that point, we just started picking up more and more steam,” Wredberg continued, adding that Redeemer partners with Pillar Network and SendNC to help send planters.
“Now, it’s who we are,” Wredberg said. “The church is always like, ‘Well, what’s next? Who should we plant next?’ It’s created a culture that’s not just accepting it, they’re expecting it.”
In the following Q&A, find out more about church planting from Redeemer Fuquay’s lead pastor Josh Wredberg and executive pastor Adam Darnell.
Why is church planting important to you?
Darnell: For me, church planting has always been a priority. I planted a church about the same time that Josh planted Redeemer, and then came here about three years ago.
I’ve been excited to jump in because it’s been a big thing in my own heart after looking at the Book of Acts and seeing how churches are always being planted as disciples go out. We want to see new people reached for the Lord. We want to be a part of that by planting churches.
What are some ways Redeemer helps church planters?
Wredberg: I would say it’s 100 little things, whether it’s helping them get initially planted or financial support. But it’s ongoing care and help where it’s needed.
That doesn’t come just from us as leaders. We have people who will go over and help, too. We’ve had some just randomly ask for us to go to another church plant for a weekend. One of our members who’s a painter is going to go down to paint for a church planter who just bought a house in Greenville.
Darnell: Another example is Ian Kitchen planted Risen Church in Concord and launched in January 2022. We sent teams for the first five Sundays to provide childcare and help with greeting. We were there to encourage the core team that was launching the church.
How do you emotionally support church planters and their families?
Wredberg: Church planting can be very lonely, both for the planter and the family. Through ongoing engagement, we show them they’re not forgotten. They get texts and calls. We have some internal church communication, and we use Slack for that. And it works.
Our church uses Slack very well; members and our planters stay on that. When planters put in a request, they can share it immediately to our whole church body and people respond right away. And they’ll respond sometimes to another request saying, ‘I’m praying for you.’
Darnell: We also talk with our planters regularly. We have a monthly call with all our planters … where we check in and ask, ‘How’s it going? What are your summer missions, plans? Anything that we can do together?’
How do you find church planters to support and send? What does that process look like?
Darnell: Our assessment process internally happens through relationship. We most often learn of the planter through his membership at Redeemer or sister churches. During the residency period, we continually assess the potential planter and provide feedback and, if necessary, redirection.
Part of our assessment process is SendNC’s thorough assessment program, which gives the planter tools for success and honest feedback to help him grow and thrive as he works to establish a new congregation.
Our residency is a one-to-two year program designed to give the church planter broad exposure to all aspects of church life and ministry, while giving our leadership team time to invest in the planter. During the residency, the congregation also has the opportunity to get to know the planter and his family, if applicable, and consider whether the Lord would have them go help start the new church.
How has SendNC assisted Redeemer in the church planting process?
Darnell: SendNC has connected our church planters with other church planters across the state. Pillar Network is great at that, as well. Our church planters have found more partners in the places they’re going because of their relationship with SendNC. That’s really strengthened their ability to start well, launch well, and to have good relationships in the community where they’re located.
I think the SendNC assessments have been helpful for our church planters. They’ve given some really practical help, and financially it is a big thing. They’ve supported the planters in their residency and then also when they went out.
How does your church congregation stay motivated to keep giving to other church plants?
Darnell: There’s just a joy in doing it. I think we get a kick out of seeing God’s kingdom expand and new churches planted. We’re talking about it all the time.
And we think generosity begets generosity. We are not hesitant to put the needs in front of the congregation. We don’t think it’s a zero-sum game where if we give to that, then maybe we won’t make operating budget. We think it’s actually the opposite way around. If they’ll give this, they’ll be encouraged to give to that. And that seems to be what the Lord’s doing.
What advice would you give to a church who desires to plant churches?
Darnell: I would say don’t wait until all your internal challenges are surmounted before you get started. Focusing on church planting, which is focusing on God’s mission, will help your church health .… If we maybe not worry so much about having all these ducks in a row and just focus outward on God’s mission, some of these other things end up taking care of themselves.
Wredberg: The more we planted, the more generous our people have become because they’ve learned to connect their generosity to what God’s doing.
You just have to say, ‘This is important; it’s worthwhile; we’ll do it.’ Maybe it means that we will have to cut down on some other things. We will have to sacrifice a little bit in order to do it. But the long-term result is that, as life gets breathed into your church through this, it produces more generosity, more excitement for the gospel, more engagement in missions.