Is Your Daughter Church Ready to Fly Solo?Posted: February 18, 2011
I am in great support of the influx of church planting networks that focus greatly on creating “church-planting-churches.” Planting networks like PLNTD and Acts 29 have made this a major point of emphasis in their overall missions. The churches these churches plant are typically called “daughter churches.” They tend to be smaller versions, in leadership and governmental structure, of their “mother church.” This is assuming, of course, that the long-term goal is that the daughter church will become its own fully self-sustaining body.
The question I usually hear from pastors who are or are hoping to be a mother church is, “How do/would we know when the church we plant is ready to be her own church?”
I think that there are three main characteristics to gauge it by:
1) Gospel-driven – Does this church see itself as a local body with its sole mission to serve and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ? There is no more paramount characteristic than this. Are the leaders and members of the daughter church largely sitting by and forming a holy huddle every Sunday, or are they actively engaging their community?
2) Trustworthy Leadership – A great question to ask yourself is: Would I allow the pastor(s) of this church to lead in the mother church? Now, it’s likely that you determined this early on in allowing this leadership to be there in the first place, but it is necessary to continually train and observe the leadership to see that they are shepherding the way you had hoped.
3) Self-supporting – Of course, a key aspect of mothering a church is that you are supporting it financially. In turn, it would make no sense to turn this church loose, as it were, without it being in a position to support itself. If the church is making budget by the skin of its teeth, would have to cut cost immediately if you stopped supporting it, and/or has a fluctuating attendance then this church is probably not ready yet.