FAQ

1. With all the various networks and agencies currently training church planters, why another network?

First and foremost, PLNTD exists for local churches.  We don’t find our identity or mission as a network or in comparison to other networks, though we enjoy a great relationship with many of them.  Rather, we simply want to create an environment through which church planters can fulfill their calling and churches can accomplish their mission to make reproducing disciples and multiply gospel-centered churches.  Therefore, we believe that as long as the Great Commission calls us to join Christ in building His church, we hope to play a small part in that calling in our generation.

2. Are you seeking to develop into another denomination?

The quick answer is no. Our work in church planting and revitalization is not directly connected to any denomination.  Our goal is not to build the network but to build churches.  We believe that if we decrease (in serving the local), then churches will increase.  So long as PLNTD exists as a means to an end, we believe the development of the network will serve the mission.  If we become the end in-and-of itself, then we have failed to fulfill the purpose for which our network was created.

3. Do you support church plants that are not baptistic?

PLNTD has three levels of affiliation: public (without condition), semi-public (with condition), and private (via application and assessment).  Church planters and churches of all theological convictions are encouraged to access resources made available to the public.  However, in order to best direct our efforts in church planting, we have asked those who would participate in our online community and training opportunities adhere to the conditions of our network core values and confessional consensus.  In one sense, we support church plants that are not baptistic through our online resources, encouragement, and prayer support; in another sense, we are not planting churches who do not hold to baptistic distinctives and convictions.

4. When you say Reformed, does that mean you have to be a five-point Calvinist?

Not necessarily.  By Reformed, we are first referring to the five solas of the Reformation (sola Scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia, solus Christus, soli doe gloria).  Additionally, we are referring to a foundational belief in the sovereignty of God in salvation (and in all other matters) as well as a robust Trinitarian soteriology.  We have adopted a modernized version of the Abstract of Principles to succinctly summarize our confessional consensus and theological parameters for network affiliation.

5. Do I need to have formal theological education or seminary degree to qualify as a church planter?

While it is not required to have formal theological education, we believe strongly in theological education, especially through local churches.  We are explicit and driven by theology in our network philosophy and missional praxis. In keeping with such theological commitments, we endeavor to provide theological education and training opportunities for prospective church planters.

6. What is your position on culture and contextualization?

We are neither culturally liberal nor fundamental.  By that PLNTD upholds theological triage as well as cultural triage by discerning matters of culture that should be received, rejected, and redeemed.  We have a chastened approach to contextualization, recognizing the need to adapt our methods while never adapting the message we have been entrusted.  Our position is to rigorously contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints while redemptively contextualizing the faith by becoming all things to all men that by all possible means many might be saved.

7. How are church planters financially supported through the network?

Church planters do not receive financial support directly from PLNTD.  We do not fund church planters.  However, what we are doing is building a community of strategic partnerships through a “relational funding” system that connects donors with planters under the oversight and direction of our leadership team.  As relationships are established with individuals, churches, businesses and organizations, church planters can receive financial support without arbitrary timelines, affording a longer launch ramp to becoming a self-governing, self-funding, self-propagating church.

8. Do you have any other partnerships or affiliations with other networks?

PLNTD enjoyed partnerships and affiliations formally and informally.  We have benefited from training materials from the Porterbrook Network, community development from GCM Collective and Cobblestone Network, system formation from Global Church Advancement, and coaching consultation from Converge Worldwide.  Informally, we have benefited from numerous network directors and denominational leaders and hope to strengthen those relationships while forming new ones in the years to come.

9. Are you are a network planting only Southern Baptist (SBC) churches?

While we are committed to planting distinctively Baptistic churches, we are not planting only Southern Baptist churches.  We are committed ecclesiologically but not denominationally.  Because we are focused on local churches, we are not directly involved in denominational life, though we hope to have a friendly relationship with denominational entities, state conventions, and local associations.

10. I am a church planter and interested in being trained in the local church through a residency center. Where do I begin?

A great place to begin is by joining our relational communities online (via Cobblestone) and get plugged into the informal training system available there, including the readers, discussion groups, and Roots Initiative.  As you become integrated into the training system online, we can help direct you to church-based residencies within our network where you can discern the call, develop competency, and be deployed in the community God has placed you.

 

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