The Need, by Don Overstreet.
SUPPORTING CHURCH - A Supporting Church is a great way for a church to "get it's feet wet" without taking on the primary responsibility of the new church start.
There are three main areas of help a Supporting Church can offer: Pray, Participate, and Provide.
1. Pray - Church planting, in large part, is a spiritual battle which requires spiritual warfare. Planters are stepping out of their comfort zones and away from church families to follow God’s leading. Their work is spiritually challenging and the warfare is overwhelming without a solid base of prayer support.
Partners are needed who will be on prayer teams, conduct prayer walks, meet for special seasons of prayer, and adopt a neighborhood for which to pray. Several ways of praying with and for a church plant are possible. This is where you can get creative with the church planter. Monthly updates from the planter will help facilitate this.
2. Participate - Missions teams also play a strategic part in starting a church. Mission teams encourage the church planter and their team by their helping hands and hearts. Some individuals serve as short-term interns or lifelong team members for a church plant
What about working with the planter to send your Mission Team to help him do a VBS, Sports Camp, Prayer Walking, Family Fun Day, etc? What if your church could send a Mission Team at least one time during a three-year partnership?
3. Provide - This can certainly include monthly financial support, of even a smaller amount if necessary. California is a very expensive place to live and do ministry. (If you live in Los Angeles County in 2018 you would be considered "Low Income" if you make less than $72,000 per year for a family of four - source, OC Register)
It can also include providing assistance in other ways such as offering to print color flyers or weekly bulletins on your church's nice printer. What about offering a web-designer in your church to help a new church plant get a website and logo? The options here are endless. Whatever your church needs, the new church plant probably needs, too.
SENDING CHURCH - Does the things a Supporting Church does, plus takes responsibility for a church plant, serving as its primary partner until it is able to stand on its own and is self-supporting, self-governing and self-reproducing. A church plant may have many Supporting Churches (and should), but usually only one Sending Church.
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