Want to Find Your Calling in Church Planting?

July 08, 2014

The purpose of starting a new church or faith community is to make disciples of Jesus Christ that will become agents of God’s mission for the transformation of the world. Creating new places for new people is a significant enterprise, requiring a great deal of discernment and preparation on the part of the potential church planter.
This guide is intended to help any person - clergy, lay, or church team, who is interested in starting a new church or faith community, to move through a process of learning, discerning and listening to God’s call for church planting.
People who are called often feel that God confirms God’s calling ‘every time’ they pray or read the Bible. If you feel that you may be called to church planting, or simply wondering what’s next for you, take a second to consider the following steps:
1. Begin with Path 1’s online assessments for discerning to find your calling to be a church planter.
2. Speak to your Pastor, District Superintendent, or Annual Conference staff person responsible for Congregational Development to help you better understands the results of your assessment.
3. Explore more information at the “Calling to Plant” orientation event open to any person or church team who is interested in the Basics and Why’s of Church Planting. The event will be held at the UMC Conference Center in West Sacramento on September 27, 2014, from 10am - 2pm.
4. In the Western Jurisdiction, the Trailhead, New Church Leadership Institute (NCLI) is an excellent event that helps potential planters to discern their call, gifts, and graces for starting new churches or faith communities. This event will be held November 13 – 15, 2014, Redondo Beach, CA. Contact adedral@calnevumc.org, or visit
http://www.path1.org/calendar.php, and look for Trailhead to learn more about this training event.
5. Participate in The Gathering of Church Planters, where both active and prospective planters will learn together and inspire one another. For more information, contact AdedraL@calnevumc.org.
6. Enjoy the experience of making disciples of Jesus Christ and learn to live out the values, principles, and strategies for developing a new church or faith community by getting involved in a new United Methodist Church start. This is the best way to discern you’re Call to Plant.
7. Find out what church planters are thinking about when it comes to new church development by visiting this site: http://umcnewchurchstarts.org.
8. Study the description of a high-potential United Methodist church planter by accessing this site: http://www.path1.org/images/File/Hi-potential_planters_10-05-10.pdf.  
If you still have questions about being a planter? Please contact:
Rev. Dr. Bener Baysa Agtarap, Conference Superintendent for Congregational Vitality benera@calnevumc.org.