North Carolina Baptists, in partnership with the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) Send Network, today announced the launch of SendNC — a new collaborative church planting partnership designed to maximize support for N.C. Baptist church planters.
The SendNC partnership will provide additional opportunities for church planters, including augmented coaching, expanded care, synchronized training, first-year benefits and increased funding.
The partnership was announced Tuesday, Sept. 27, during a regularly scheduled meeting of the N.C. Baptist board of directors at Caraway Conference Center near Asheboro, N.C.
Mike Pittman, N.C. Baptist church planting strategist, will lead the effort as the SendNC director.
“For N.C. Baptists, ‘on mission together’ is more than a catchphrase,” Pittman said. “This partnership allows our planters to belong to the larger Send Network planting family while maintaining N.C. Baptists as their immediate family. They will feel the support of the whole network while knowing that their first and primary partner and base of support is right here at home.”
Todd Unzicker, N.C. Baptist executive director-treasurer, described the partnership as offering “all of the expertise with N.C. Baptists, being fueled by the momentum of Send Network.”
“SendNC allows churches of all sizes to be obedient to the Great Commission in planting churches. It gives N.C. Baptists the best vehicle to reach a lost world and see God’s kingdom come to North Carolina as it is in heaven,” Unzicker said.
N.C. Baptist staff will continue to connect church planters with experienced coaches, while NAMB provides situation-specific training. Ethnic and language planting strategists will be able to supplement NAMB’s training to meet planters’ unique needs in different cultural contexts. The partnership will also expand internship and residency programs throughout the state.
SendNC-endorsed planters can access NAMB’s church planter care resources in addition to N.C. Baptists’ existing care initiatives. SendNC opens channels for N.C. church planters to receive NAMB’s benefits, including medical insurance, retirement, life and disability insurance, bookkeeping services and online giving tools. It will also increase and extend financial support for planters.
“Our church planting team is excited to be able to harness the power of Send Network and their tools, and to be the face of Send Network here in North Carolina,” said Pittman.
Kevin Ezell, president of NAMB, said, “We could not be more excited about joining in partnership as we have assessments and training and coaching that the people in North Carolina actually do for their planters. It’s the best of both worlds.”
N.C. Baptist leaders responded to the announcement with excitement.
N.C. Baptist board of directors’ president Casey Norkett said the partnership represents what it means to be on mission together. Norkett serves as missions pastor at Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C.
“Being on mission together means working together in planting churches,” said Norkett. “North Carolina needs healthy churches in strategic towns and cities to proclaim the good news of the gospel. N.C. Baptists’ partnership with NAMB will help fulfill this vision.”
State convention president Micheal Pardue, pastor of First Baptist Church Icard in Connelly Springs, N.C., called the announcement “monumental.”
“I think it’s a monumental step in expanding our efforts to reach every city, town and community throughout the state,” Pardue said. “We are doubling our efforts in church planting in partnering with NAMB, who has seen great success all across the country in church planting. I think North Carolina Baptists can be proud that every corner of the state will now be a place where we want to plant more churches to reach more people with the gospel.”
Learn more at sendNC.org and on social media by following @sendnetworknc on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
by NC Baptist Communications