Mass shootings, political strife, threats of war, the daily onslaught on the soul of our children — say what you will, but our world is rapidly changing, if not declining. With so much uncertainty in our world, one thing remains steady and sure: America desperately needs Jesus, and North Carolina Baptists take the responsibility of God’s mission in North Carolina seriously. While the strategy for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) is “impacting lostness through disciple-making,” church planting is one of the best pathways to make that happen — and that’s what Church Planting NC (CPNC) is all about. CPNC is not just about planting; it’s also about the calling to catalyze a reproducing church movement in partnerships with local North Carolina Baptist churches in cities and towns from the mountains to the coast. We don’t just want to plant churches — we want to plant churches that plant churches that plant churches. On top of that, we want these reproducing churches to be healthy, life-giving churches that will impact their communities with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As we strategize towards making this happen, CPNC has decided to focus on three core values over the next season of ministry: tribe, reproduce and restore. This is part one of a three-part series about our new church planting core values at CPNC. Over the next three months CPNC will define and explain each of these core values and how they will deepen our relationship with planters and reproducing churches across North Carolina.

Core value one: Tribe
The Urban Dictionary describes the word tribe like this, “A group of friends that becomes your family.” A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader (Jesus) and connected to an idea (the gospel). Your tribe is the group of people that will be there for you no matter what.

By God’s grace, I was invited to a lunch for church planters that changed my life. That was the day that I found my tribe.

As a young planter, I wondered if anyone understood how I was feeling. When we planted, our church was the only church plant in our geographic region. I had contact with many other pastors of local churches, but in the stage that we were in, it seemed that no one really understood where I was as a pastor and church planter. It was during this time that I realized what was missing: relationships with other church planters. Unknowingly, I was seeking a place where I truly belonged — where I was truly understood. By God’s grace, I was invited to a lunch for church planters that changed my life. That was the day that I found my tribe.

CPNC seeks to provide that experience for church planters across North Carolina. While our denominational heritage may be what initially draws CPNC together, it’s the shared experience of the tribe that makes the true difference in these planters’ lives. At CPNC, we desire to do more than just give training. We match funding, provide accountability and offer denominational affiliation. Our greatest desire is to prepare planters and their wives for the hard work of planting and give them a network of people who understand where they are, where they have been, as well as where they’re headed. Think about this:

  • Who can you pray with about the sensitive issues of ministry?
  • Who can you really be vulnerable with during a hard season?
  • Who really suffers and celebrates with you?
  • Who really challenges you when you get tired or wayward?
  • Who really holds you accountable?

We need fellow brothers and sisters as partners, as well as for accountability. Who understands where you are better than other planters? We need one another, and the gospel is the driving force that makes this possible.

The CPNC tribe lives this out as we care, pray for, support and live out our care for one another. When planters partner with us they become part of a family. CPNC is not an organizational entity. We, meaning the people who work at CPNC, are not Church Planting NC — you are Church Planting NC. There is no CPNC without you, and your tribe is a treasure.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first article in a three-part series on Church Planting NC’s core values. The other articles in this series may be accessed here: Part 2 and Part 3.