Models of Church Planting

A. Mother-daughter Act_8:4-8 Act_11:19-24

  • Core groups spun off from the Jerusalem church because of persecution

  • gathered more disciples around them where they settled

    1. Same culture Act_11:19
      preaching …to no one but Jews only
    2. Cross-cultural Act_11:20
      some of those who where scattered, men born in Cyprus and Cyrene, spoke to the Greeks
    3. churches established Act_11:22-23
      sent from the church, saw the grace of God, encouraged them to continue
      church in Antioch organized with 5 “elders” when Paul and Barnabas were commissioned
  • the basic structure and probably a sizeable congregation remained in Jerusalem after the mini-diaspora; the apostles and elders presided at the Jerusalem council in Acts 15

  • contemporary implementation

  1. members from a neighborhood distant from the mother church form the core group for a daughter church in their own location

  2. members form a core group for a daughter church and target a neighborhood distant from the mother church; may include change of residence for the core group

  3. this model is well-suited to a cooperative effort among sister churches who each provide from their resources

B. Pioneering Act_16:9-14 see also Rom_15:20

  1. planting team – Paul, Silas and Timothy Act_15:40 Act_16:3
    Paul and Barnabas – elders of a local church before they were sent out

    followed previous “path” revisiting Tarsus, Derbe, Lystra & Antioch in Pisidia; from there it seems they were seeking places to minister but had no goal other than wherever there was need and opportunity

  2. called to minister in Macedonia, a general region not a specific place Act_16:9
    no core group, only the planters
  3. Philippi, the first city without a synagogue Act_16:13
  4. no knowledge of any interest, any God-understanding, simply a divine call Act_16:9-10 followed by the opportunity
  • contemporary implementation

  1. the sending church identifies and commissions a planting team to establish a church in a particular location or region

  2. the location is determined by

  • the planter’s individual call –or
  • the sending church’s assessment of need; e.g., identifying an unevangelized or under-evangelized city or neighborhood

C. Church split Act_19:1 Act_19:7-10

  1. began in the synagogue, attempting to reform it Act_19:8
  2. didn’t try to take over, took believing followers and left Act_19:9
    1. group was large enough to provoke dissension but not a majority
  3. two-pronged approach to subsequent ministry

    1. established a Christian church – see Rev_2:1 – first in the list of churches on purpose?
    2. founded a “school of church planting” Act_19:9-10
    3. church was self-propagating from its inception

  • contemporary implementation

  1. a church is in the process of reforming and reaches a decision point; the “vote” indicates lack of broad consensus; one group leaves to start a new church

  2. a doctrinally declining or unsound church has a group of members who desire to restore doctrinal purity; after meeting long-term resistance they leave to begin a new work

  3. obviously there are numerous other reasons churches split but few if any have biblical warrant; the abovementioned are biblically warranted if not explicitly modeled

D. Bible study Act_18:1-3 Act_18:7-11 Act_18:19-26 Rom_16:3-5 1Co_16:19

  1. Priscilla and Aquila had the model from both Corinth and Ephesus Act_18:7-11 1Co_16:19
    the Bible study Paul started in Corinth in Justus’ home “next door to the synagogue”

    the church that perhaps Paul started that met in their home in Ephesus

  2. they were accustomed to providing doctrinal instruction in their home Act_18:26
  3. they hosted a house-church again after they returned to Rome Rom_16:3-5
  • contemporary implementation

  1. a member hosts a home Bible study, inviting nearby friends and neighbors for the purpose of potentially forming a core group

  2. the core group transitions from Bible study to worship service mode

  3. the Bible study leader becomes the planting pastor –or-
  4. a man with church planting gifts is sought to continue the work in the next phase


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