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Apply: Church Planting

Track Two

Church planting is a missionary endeavor to form new Christian communities of faith from persons currently outside of existing  established Christian communities for the purpose of discipling the new community to be witnesses in the whole of their lives to the creation-wide good news of Jesus Christ.

We seek to release the capacity of these leaders and communities to multiply their witness to the good news in the whole of their lives - in their neighborhoods and cities, in their vocations and families, and around the world. We work to foster an increasing number of networks of leaders and communities connected in relationships of mutual learning, encouragement, and influence. We do all of this as we seek to discover and participate in God's mission in fresh and fruitful ways.


Through our Church Planting Track we seek to learn from experiments that are:

  • Actively seeking to discern new postures and practices for discipling new faith communities to be witnesses in the whole of their lives to the creation-wide good news of Jesus Christ. 
  • Engaging in practices that help us listen to the Spirit through the Scriptures, and our local context that lead to discovering how the Spirit is at work ahead of us and how we can join God. Practices such as:
    • Listening (to God and neighbor), including through dwelling in the text and neighborhood and attentive and intercessory prayer. 
    • Discerning (what God might be saying, doing) 
    • Experimenting (with what God might be asking us to do) 
    • Adopting (the learning and practices that have come out of the other 3) 
    • A.R.T. (Action Reflection Theological) work (after every action, taking time to reflect, learn from and engage with what the Spirit might be saying & doing). 
  • Actively involve a CRCNA church plant, microchurch, church planting hub, or classis.
  • In and with a local context (a neighborhood or community) not just the church plant, microchurch or multiplication hub.
  • Integrated with on-going, sustainable, ministry in the context. 
  • Preference will be given to experiments led by the following types missional leaders: 
    • Members of an ethnic minority
    • Participants in a diaspora community
    • Those serving in an urban community
    • Young adults
    • People who are within CRCNA church plants

Adaptive Challenges: Church Planting

Practicing Barrier-Crossing Friendships

Adaptive Challenge #1

Church plants often operate at the edge of multiple barriers: barriers of race, barriers of culture, barriers between Christian faith and other faiths, and barriers that hinder fresh encounters with the gospel. These barriers interfere in our relationships with our neighbors and present many challenges to our gospel witness. We all need to learn how to notice, welcome, and walk alongside those who are different from us through the power of the Holy Spirit and the gospel practice of barrier-crossing friendship.

Opening Space for Missional Initiatives of Young Adults

Adaptive Challenge #2

For church plants to thrive, we need to learn to acknowledge, empower, and open space for the missional initiatives of young adult lay leaders in our local contexts. Church plants are even uniquely gifted to become places where young adult leaders are identified and future church planters are inspired and equipped. We all need to overcome the presumption that only “ordained,” “commissioned” and “experienced” leaders can be agents of mission.

Joining the Spirit on Mission in Our Neighborhoods

Adaptive Challenge #3

In all of our strategic planning and desire to see our church plants grow and multiply their influence, we can miss the reality that it is God’s mission we are being invited to participate in. We need to foster practices and habits that help us discern what God is doing in our local contexts. We long to discover new postures and practices that lead us into a more intentional way of joining the Spirit of God on mission in our local communities and neighborhoods.

Engaging Our Cultural Context

Adaptive Challenge #4

How can the people of God engage our cultural context faithfully with the gospel? How can we discern when and how to affirm culture for its creational goodness? How do we discern the ways that sin twists and distorts this goodness? How do we learn to avoid becoming culturally irrelevant on the one hand and how do we learn to avoid becoming absorbed by the powerful idols of culture on the other hand? How might listening deeply to those outside of our cultural context help us become more discerning? Faithfully engaging our cultural context is vital to our mission. We welcome experiments that help us discover practices which will help us grow in our discernment

Applications Closed for 2022