Plant NC is a community of Kingdom-minded leaders who cooperate and collaborate together to enhance their ability to advance the mission of God in under-reached places or among under-reached peoples. As pastors and leaders seek ways to work together, networks have become a major part of church life in North America. Most fall into one of two categories:
- They are either alliances of churches and organizations with clear outcomes focused outside the participants’ church (i.e. churches planted or communities being transformed).
- They are environments (regional networks and conferences, teleconferencing, peer learning communities, coaching, etc.) created to enhance the leadership capacity of its participants.
Plant NC is a network that is committed to living out both of these. As we come together to make disciples through planting more churches and the strengthening of existing churches through training and resourcing for pastors and leaders, we believe that this will produce healthy churches and pastors that will multiply the work of the gospel.
Why a church planting network?
Experts say that church planting is the number one way to reach unchurched people and make new disciples for Jesus Christ. C. Peter Wagner says, “Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.”
Here are some stats:
- There are 120 million unchurched people in the U.S.
- The number of unchurched has almost doubled from 1991 to 2004
- The U.S. is the largest mission field in the Western hemisphere
- The U.S. is the fifth largest mission field on earth.
- In America, 3500 – 4000 churches close their doors each year
- Only 17.5% of Americans attends church on a given Sunday
- There are 139,791 evangelical churches in the U.S. With a population of over 300 million, this means there is one church for every 2,200 people. If every American showed up for church on Sunday morning, there would not be enough seats to hold them.
Plant NC Regions
As Plant NC continues to gain traction across our state, it is imperative that we take the necessary steps to ensure that planters, pastors, and leaders are being equipped, coached, and developed within our network. As we decentralize the vision of Plant NC into strong regions, this will ultimately strengthen and unify our churches across geographical lines and keep them better connected, unified, mobilized, and informed.
These regions allow a greater sense of connectedness and ownership of the Plant NC vision. They also facilitate greater contextualization and application of the gospel across the state, as each region is unique. Regions provide ideal environments for coaching, peer-to-peer learning, greater accountability and the equipping and training of church planters in the various responsibilities of church leadership.
The six primary purposes of Plant NC regional gatherings are: coaching, equipping, networking, church planting residencies, church planting assessments, and planting churches. As a network, we focus on training and equipping in five areas that we believe are core to a pastor:
Plant NC believes that the health and progress of church planters and churches alike are determined by the centrality of the gospel. The gospel lies at the heart of everything we do and functions as a hermeneutic and grid through which we evaluate everything we do. We believe the gospel cannot be assumed, truncated, shelved, or marginalized at any point in the existence of the local church. More than anything else, we desire to train church planters who love the gospel, preach the gospel, share the gospel, and stand on the gospel as the source of their hope, ground for their confidence, and cause for perseverance in the journey of planting, establishing, and reproducing more gospel-centered churches.
Plant NC believes that scripture determines what a biblically qualified and called man of God looks like as he plants and pastors Jesus' church (1 Timothy 3.1-7; Titus1. 5-9; 1 Peter 5.1-4). Therefore, the lead planter must at least meet these minimal qualifications if he hopes to to plant a church that honors God. The Lead Elder is setting the precedent for what faithful and fruitful pastoral leadership looks like. When Jesus pours out his grace to plant a church, he begins by pouring out his grace on a man who is aware that God's grace is on him for a purpose, a calling, and a mission.
Plant NC believes that one of the greatest ministries and gifts that you impart to your church, is the way the way that a pastor loves and leads his family. The Apostle Paul says it this way in 1 Timothy 3.4-5: "He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?" It is imperative that each pastor have a plan for his family to accomplish what God has appointed him to do. Men who are gospel-centered lead their wives and children in a manner worthy of the gospel, who then lead Jesus' church with gospel centrality.
Plant NC desires to harness the missionary zeal for the advance of the local church through church planting. We do not see mission as a department of the church but essential with the nature of the church. Mission is not something we do, it is something we are. As a sent people, we seek to be a catalyst for equipping churches to embrace this sending through bringing greater alignment for church multiplication. As a network of churches, we seek to incorporate a full-orbed vision of God’s mission that encompasses the entirety of church life. God’s mission, coupled with God’s church and the gospel, are woven together as the DNA of why we exist.
Plant NC is not a methods based network. Nor do we believe that methodology should ever drive and determine the theology of a church. Rather, the methodology that a church embraces must flow out of our understanding of who Jesus is, how we structure church leadership to most effectively be God's mission to our culture, to the ministry methods by which we contextualize the gospel to our communities. Methods answers the question of how we can most effectively expand God's Kingdom where are sent. When we properly understand the gospel, each context will determine the best praxis on how we will bring the gospel to bear upon people who do not know Jesus.
Currently there are six regions operating within Plant NC:
- Eastern - Greenville
- Triangle - Raleigh
- Triad - Winston-Salem
- Western - North Wilkesboro
- Southwest - Hickory
- N. Charlotte - Huntersville
- Roanoke, VA coming soon