The New Testament model for the spread of the gospel is churches planting churches. As Christians proclaimed the gospel and the number of Christ’s followers increased, new churches began. Churches then planted other churches as they equipped, trained up, and sent out men to lead new churches.

Through our Missions Program, we equip and send missionaries and church planters to reach the unreached with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have different processes and development plans for missionaries and church planters, but for church planters, the Church Planting program prepares men in both the theological “whys” and practical “how-tos” of church leadership before launching them into pastoral ministry and church planting.

The church planter track of the Missions Program has been reverse-engineered from the Acts 29 application and assessment process centered around their 11 competencies and 76 microskills. Fundamentally, we develop planters by assessing them, investing in them, preparing them, providing for them, serving them as venture catalysts, and planting them as a multiplying church. We focus on leadership characteristics such as character development, self-awareness, gospel-centered living, missional ecclesiology, strategic planning, and staff development.

Church Planters will immerse with The Village Church pastors, staff, and church body—and with strategic ministry partners across DFW and the nation—for the intentional development of godly character and leadership competence. They will meet weekly in a cohort to learn and discuss course materials with the Church Planting Director, staff or elders, and develop and engage with their personal discipleship plan. In addition, Church Planters will be active in the life of the local church community in various forms of participation and service as a means of hands-on ministry.

Benefits of the Program

  • Focused training on Acts 29’s 11 competencies of a church planter
  • Investment from The Village Church elders, staff, and leaders into the life and ministry of the planter
  • Opportunities to learn, grow, and "fail" under the covering of The Village Church
  • Freedom to cast vision, recruit, and fundraise from within The Village Church
  • Commissioned and sent as the Lead Elder / Church Planter of your church plant from The Village Church
  • Ongoing coaching, care, and relationship once church is planted
  • Time and development opportunities from every department within The Village Church in developing your vision and makeup of your church (e.g. Production, HR, Communications, Technology, Worship, etc.)
  • Investment, training, and care for the church planter’s wife and family
  • Connection with Acts 29 and other church planting networks leaders and training
  • DNA to be a church-planting church to the ends of the earth

Program Qualifications

The program is specifically created for men who have a strong conviction and call to church planting in the next 2–3 years. They should have a known track record of pastoring, serving, leading, reaching the lost, and giving of their time, talents, and treasures within their local church, with demonstrated preaching / teaching skills and observable fruit in ministry, marriage, and family life.

All potential candidates should rigorously study 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1, and 1 Peter 5 to understand God’s expectations for pastors/elders. All Christians are in the process of sanctification, so qualifications must be read against the backdrop of God’s grace (i.e. the standard is maturity, not perfection). However, Scripture is clear that no man is qualified to lead a church unless he is:

  • A mature Christian, not a new/young believer (1 Tim. 3:6)
  • An exemplary, godly leader in his marriage and family (1 Tim. 3:4–5)
  • Self-controlled and disciplined in his personal habits (1 Tim. 3:2–3)
  • An exemplary steward of his financial resources (1 Tim. 3:3)
  • A man of observable, proven godly character (Titus 1:8)
  • Skilled in the study, teaching, and defense of God’s Word (Titus 1:9)
  • Able to recognize and combat all types of false teaching (Titus 1:9)
  • Courageous enough to confront sin and error (Titus 1:10–13)

Additionally, Fellowship Associates and Acts 29 have developed an ideal candidate profile for Church Planters. According to their research, the ideal candidate is marked by:

  • A strong gospel-centered orientation in theology and life
  • A commitment to a team approach to ministry
  • A leadership ability that is evidenced by past performance
  • A spirit of courage and confidence with a great sense of humility
  • A proven communicator and teacher
  • A teachable spirit and a desire to learn and grow as a leader
  • An innovative and strategic visionary able to enlist others in new ventures
  • An entrepreneurial spirit that has demonstrated past successes in starting new ventures (not necessarily in the local church), casting vision, recruiting others, and evidences of being a self-starter
  • A highly energetic and enthused spirit about starting a new work
  • A commitment to a team approach to ministry and a plural form of church governance
  • A willingness to work intensely for an extended period of time

A Church Planter will need to be in agreement with The Village Church’s basic beliefs and theological distinctives, as well as our primary desire to plant Acts 29-affiliated churches. Therefore, the Church Planter and his church plant must have foundational theological convictions in relation to Acts 29 theological distinctives.

Commitment & Cost

  • The workload is estimated to be 35–40 hours per week. The majority of the work consists of personal study and writing around the competencies of a Church Planter, cohort meetings with other residents, trainings, and hands-on ministry participation in the local church.
  • Church Planters will be responsible to raise their own support/living expenses from donors for the 17-month program. Training, coaching, and compensation for each Church Planter in relation to fundraising will be provided by Reliant based on need and current benchmarks (unless funding support is provided elsewhere).
  • Church Planters will need to commit to spending roughly 17 months as full-time staff at The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, starting in August.
    • January–July: Pre-residency support raising
    • August–December of the following year (17 months): Church Planting Program / Residency
    • January: Move to target location and begin gathering a core group
    • August/September: Launch of church plant

What We Provide

  • Most materials for the Church Planting Program (books, training materials, classes, etc.)
  • Acts 29 (or other preferred denomination or network) assessment ($1,300 plus travel)
  • Monthly contribution to your support raising account while in the program (TBD after approval into the Program)
  • In-depth and seasoned church planting training and evaluation
  • Church Planting Wife Training
  • Bblical Counseling fees (up to 6 sessions a year while in the Program)
  • Initial Entity Formation expenses
  • Conference and other training opportunities (as needed)
  • Financial support once you are Commissioned from The Village Church
  • Other expenses discussed on a case-by-case basis

Apply to Become a Church Planter