Our BFC Church Planter
The evangelistic church planting missionary is the key to successful church planting. A church planter follows in the footsteps of such gifted planters as Paul, Barnabas, Silas, and many others who have planted churches throughout the centuries. Church Extension recruits men who are called to church planting and possess the necessary gifts. We take our recruits through a comprehensive assessment that evaluates their versatility, ability to be innovative, visionary abilities, evangelistic fervor, and commitment to prayer and the Word. Training is also given before being assigned.
If you are interested in planting churches with the Bible Fellowship Church, please contact Director Gundrum for information concerning Church Extension Ministries and a Church Planting Assessment.
The Church Extension Ministries exists to plant churches to build the Body of Christ through extending the Bible Fellowship Church. It does this by evangelizing in areas, communities and neighborhoods as well as among people where Bible Fellowship Churches do not exist, by forming and nurturing to maturity new congregations.
What does it take to be an effective church planter? Dr. Charles Ridley conducted a study of church planters in the United States and Canada. Based upon his research and subsequent field testing, he developed a list of thirteen characteristics that define effective church planters. For over a decade, these characteristics have been used to select church planters.
There are several documents available for download on the right hand side of this page. If a document or file you are looking for is not listed, please contact Church Extension.
Characteristics of Effective Church Planters
- Being a person who projects into the future beyond the present.
- Developing a theme which highlights the vision and philosophy of ministry.
- Coping effectively with non-visioning elements.
- Not erecting artificial walls or limits either overtly or subconsciously.
- Establishing a clear church identity related to the theme and vision.
- Believing in God’s capacity to do great things.
- Having a desire to do well and a commitment to excellence.
- Stick-to-itiveness and persistence.
- Having initiative and aggressiveness without the negative connotations.
- Having a willingness to work long and hard.
- Being a self-starter with a willingness to build from nothing.
- Having a high energy and vitality level; physical stamina.
Creates Ownership of Ministry
- Helping people to feel responsible for the growth and success of the church.
- Gaining a commitment of the people to the vision.
- Establishing a congregational identity.
- Avoiding stereotyping of the congregation by imposing unrealistic goals.
Relates to the Unchurched
- Communicating in style that is understood by the unchurched.
- Understanding the psychology or mentality of the unchurched.
- Moving and functioning in the personal space of the unchurched without fear.
- Quickly getting to know the unchurched on a personal level.
- Breaking through the barriers erected by the unchurched.
- Handling crises faced by the unchurched.
- Having an explicit agreement regarding each partner’s involvement in ministry.
- Having explicit rules regarding the use of home as an office.
- Evaluating the consequences of ministry demands upon the children.
- Functioning as a team through individual and collective action.
- Having a strategy for dealing with strangers.
- Modeling wholesome family life before church and community.
- Agreeing upon and sharing the ministry vision.
- Deliberately planning and protecting private family life.
Effectively Builds Relationships
- Responding with urgency to expressed needs and concerns of people.
- Displaying Godly love and compassion to people.
- Getting to know people on a personal basis.
- Making others feel secure and comfortable in one’s presence.
- Not responding judgmentally or prejudicially to new people.
- Appreciating and accepting a variety of persons.
- Spends time with present parishioners without ignoring them for new people.
Committed to Church Growth
- Believing in church growth as a theological principle.
- Appreciating steady growth without preoccupation with quick success.
- Committing to numerical growth within the context of spiritual and relational growth.
- Recognizing that non-growth is threatening and self-defeating.
- Establishing the goal of quickly becoming a financially self-supporting church.
- Not prematurely falling into a ministry of maintenance.
- Seeing the church project within the larger context of God’s kingdom.
Responsive to Community
- Understanding the culture of the community.
- Identifying and assessing community needs.
- Responding to community needs on a priority basis.
- Determining successes and failures of other attempts to respond to the community.
- Not confusing what the community needs with what the church wants to offer.
- Acquiring and understanding of the character and pulse of the community.
- Adapting the philosophy of ministry to the character of the community.
Utilizes Giftedness of Others
- Understanding the culture of the community.
- Releasing and equipping people to do the task of ministry.
- Discerning of spiritual gifts in others.
- Matching the gifts of people with ministry needs and opportunities.
- Delegating effectively in areas of personal limitation.
- Avoiding personal overload by delegating effectively.
- Not prematurely assigning ministry positions before people are equipped.
- Not placing unwarranted restrictions on other’s spiritual giftedness.
Flexible and Adaptable
- Coping effectively with ambiguity.
- Coping effectively with constant and abrupt change.
- Adapting oneself to the uniqueness of the particular church planting project.
- Shifting priorities and emphasis during various stages of church growth.
- Doing whatever is necessary whenever necessary.
Builds Group Cohesiveness
- Developing a nucleus group or groups as a foundation.
- Quickly incorporating newcomers into a network of relationships.
- Engaging others in meaningful church activity.
- Monitoring the morale of people.
- Utilizing groups effectively.
- Dealing with conflict assertively, constructively and tactfully.
- Experiencing setbacks without defeat.
- Riding the ups and downs (i.e. attendance).
- Expecting the unexpected.
- Rebounding from loss, disappointments and failure.
- Possessing a conviction regarding one’s call to church planting ministry.
- Believing in God’s action.
- Having expectation and hope.
- Having a willingness to wait for answers to specific prayer requests.
Dr. Charles Ridley, A leading pioneer in church planting assessment, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana