Why Aspiring Planters Need a Church Planting Residency

I’ve seen it time and time again: A potential church planter who is determined to launch a healthy church.

It’s a great, godly ambition.

But there’s often a big problem: Rarely has the potential church planter actually participated in a healthy church. Not to mention that they’ve never been on a healthy church staff, led in a healthy church, or started a healthy church.

Understandably, these men are often reacting to some kind of unhealthy church experience. They know with crystal clarity what they don’t want their church to be. But they don’t really know what they do what it to be.

At least not beyond their imaginations or the books they’ve read.

It reminds me of the young married couple who both come from broken or dysfunctional homes but are determined to have a healthy marriage. It can be done, but what they probably need is some kind of healthy model (or models) who can show what a strong marriage really looks like. Without this input and modeling, the young couple is sure to repeat the mistakes of the past or make new mistakes that could have been easily avoidable.

church planting residency

This is why potential church planters should consider doing a church planting residency at a healthy church. Few things could be more valuable.

In a church planting residency, the young leader is immersed in the life of a healthy church where he can spend time with leaders, ask questions, learn from mistakes and have the freedom to fail. He can see firsthand what a healthy ministry environment looks like and his chances of starting something similar increase dramatically.

Sadly, there are too few healthy churches (at least when it comes to leadership culture). Additionally, there aren’t too many churches with church planting residencies available.

I’m happy to be part of Redemption, a healthy church with a growing residency program.

But there are some others I know of:

I want to see healthy churches get planted by healthy leaders. These churches make a bigger impact for a longer period of time.

This is why I hope that potential church planters will consider delaying their dream for just a year or so to get a clear picture of the kind of culture and environment they hope to create.

Interested in the church planting residency program at Redemption? Contact me for more information.


What are some other healthy churches with strong residency programs?

Published by Luke Simmons

I was born and raised in Denver, CO and lived there through high school. Then I moved to Champaign, IL where I attended the University of Illinois and played on the Fighting Illini baseball team. I was married in December, 2001 to Molly, who I met at the U of I. In June of 2002, we moved to Phoenix and have been here ever since.

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