Church Plant Pathway
The mission of the Crossway Network of Churches is to plant and support healthy, reproducing churches and regional networks of churches throughout the world for the glory of God. The following represents the pathway for planting a church with the Crossway Network. You can also download the Church Planting Pathway here:
PHASE 1: PREPARE
1. Crossway Network Alignment
- The church planter must be known and in relationship with an existing Crossway Network local church pastor team for a period of one to two years. In some cases this relationship will be in the context of a church planting residency.
- Completion and affirmation of Crossway’s DNA Studies (Biblical Convictions, Ministry Philosophy, and Leadership Culture) with existing Crossway leadership.
- Attend a Crossway Network Leadership Huddle.
- There must be a clear biblical sending relationship with the sending church that reflects Crossway’s leadership culture.
- Clear communication one year in advance of launch with the sending church pastor team with agreed upon timeline, general plan, and recruitment strategy.
2. Church Plant Assessment
- A favorable Crossway Network Church Plant Assessment. For interest in starting Crossway’s “in house” assessment process, please email email@example.com
- Or a favorable church plant assessment by an approved assessor.
- This should include discussion and understanding of the need for complementary team members.
3. Assemble Core Team
- Establish a dedicated prayer team to share the ongoing needs and celebrations of the new church.
- Recruit core team members from your sending church and collaborate with other Crossway Network pastor teams in order to recruit from their existing churches as well.
- Demonstrate the presence of a functioning plurality. If there are not 2 or more pastors from the beginning, there should be a close relationship with and “remaining under” the sending church pastors until a local a plurality is raised up.
- Establish a Crossway Church Plant Coaching relationship. See Phase 2 “Pre-Launch” below. To make the connection with a church planting coach please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- At a minimum, Crossway recommends a healthy core team of 6 adults that God has clearly called to build the church from the “ground up.”
4. Church Plant Bootcamp
- Core team participation in a Crossway Network Church Plant Bootcamp
- To start process of planning a Church Plant Bootcamp with please email email@example.com.
5. Crossway Network Licensing
- At a minimum, lead pastor licensed with Crossway. We recommend a 2nd pastor pursue licensing for greater alignment, but it is not required.
- We encourage others on the pastor team (initial plurality and ongoing) to pursue licensing as well.
- Please see the licensing process and application here on our Resource page.
6. Church Plant Proposal
- Complete a church plant proposal that includes strategy, target group, demographic research, timeline, accountability, funding sources and budget, and other key items in Crossway’s Template.
- To work through the Church Plant Proposal Template please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Present the Church Plant Proposal to the sending church and the region for approval and funding.
7. Church Plant Approval
- Leadership affirmation and approval by the sending church. The sending church will provide a recommendation letter to the Region.
- Proposal, budget, and recommendation letter sent to the Region.
- Unanimous regional approval of the church plant (all lead pastors in the Region) affirming and celebrating the launch of this new Crossway Network Church.
- Specific Regional funding (amount and timeframe) will be decided by Regional lead pastor team.
- Crossway Network Servant Team confirmation of the process.
- There is freedom to approach other Crossway Network Churches for funding.
PHASE 2: PLANT
- Start regular communication including monthly meetings with your church plant coach.
- Execute, model, and create culture around the vision, mission, and values in your Church Plant Proposal.
- Establish and multiply small groups.
- Focus on community engagement and outreach.
- Establish clear plan and structure for assimilating new people.
- Recruit and develop a launch team of ministry partners with complementing gifting and maturity. This includes roles like worship leaders, small group leaders, deacons, a finance team, and others.
- Crossway recommends waiting on a public launch until a launch team of 30 adults has come together.
2. Public Launch
- Soft Launch – Monthly or quarterly preview services.
- Hard Launch – Established weekly gatherings for the church and community
- As these gatherings develop, continue to emphasize establishing and multiplying small groups.
3. Healthy Church Growth
- The church continues to grow through conversions and matures as a body while it stays on course with the mission, vision and values.
- The focus is not just on crafting good Sunday services but being on mission and reaching the community.
4. Financially Self-sustaining and Multiplying Healthy Church Plants
COMMITMENTS AND EXPECTATIONS
The following are ongoing commitments and expectations for all churches in the Crossway Network.
- Participation in the annual Crossway Network Huddle.
- Participating in regional pastor gatherings in person if possible, or via video (“lead” pastors’ meet monthly and all pastors/elders meet quarterly).
- Participation in the new region when 3-4 Crossway Network churches are in relationship by being birthed or adopted in relatively close geographical proximity to one another.
- Set aside 10% of all general giving for church planting – 5% (can include other missions efforts outside of Crossway Church Planting) and 5% specifically to Crossway regional church planting. The second 5% listed will be sent monthly to a collective regional account. The regional lead pastors decide in plurality (including those adopted in) how this collaborative fund is spent on church planting according to guidelines each region sets up independently. While this value and practice is recommended from the time contributions to the church begin, a new church plant is expected to commit to it beginning at the start of their second official fiscal year.
- Annual Crossway Network contribution. This ranges between $250-$2,000 each depending on the size of the church.
- Quarterly updates by a church plant team to sending church and regional churches for prayer and support.
- Reports 2 times per year from the church planting coach to the sending church and Regional Coordinator from the church planting coach.
- The lead pastor of every Crossway Church must be licensed with Crossway. We recommend a 2nd pastor pursue licensing for greater alignment, but it is not required. See the Licensing Process Here.