As N.C. Baptists seek gospel advance in the state and beyond, local churches should be ready to deploy the next generation of pastors and planters.

A church planting residency can provide coaching and encouragement for prospective planters in nine to 18 months. When churches build a church planting residency, the process provides an opportunity to reflect on and evaluate their intentions and networks. 

When you start a residency, you remember God’s heart for multiplying leaders. 
Scripture offers several examples of recognizing and training leaders and equipping people for service (Exodus 18:21, Ephesians 4:11-12, 2 Timothy 2:2).

You clarify and share your vision.
Does your church want to help young leaders identify a call to ministry or further disciple mature believers? Will you focus on church planting, international missions or raising up leaders within your congregation? Can you develop multiple groups with the same level of excellence?

A residency helps you identify your development philosophy. 
A commitment to starting a residency means pastors and church leaders need to determine the program’s model. How will individuals be developed as a whole person — with their mind (theology), heart (shepherding) and hands (the work of ministry) each equally considered? What professional and leadership skills need to be cultivated? Will residents serve full-time, part-time or as unpaid volunteers? Will they live within the church’s community or in a targeted community?

Establishing a residency asks you to get to know the people around you.
When recruiting residents, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal people to invite to grow as leaders. Look inside and outside the church walls. Consider your staff, deacons, small group and ministry leaders and volunteers. Connect with local churches in your area. A future leader can often be found serving in other spaces without a residency. One of the benefits of being part of a family of churches is the ability to share development opportunities with each other.

A residency opens opportunities for mentorship and relationship building.
Residency directors and facilitators are encouraged to share their own experiences, including how God called them into ministry. This kind of transparency builds trust. Build relational bridges between residents and church leaders, and connect residents to the life of the church.

To learn more about starting a church planting residency or getting connected to one, contact [email protected].

by NC Baptist Communications