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Eight Types of Church Planting Churches

By Ed Stetzer

We asked the question, “What are some of the characteristics of churches that consistently plant other churches?” We aggregated the characteristics and categorized them into eight different models to provide a rich understanding of how some churches are planting churches. We hope these profiles will both inspire and spark ideas for how organizations can encourage their church plants to reproduce, not based on a set template, but on their own uniqueness, just like many of these churches did.

Our intention is to share so that organizations can see the variety that exists when it comes to best church planting churches. We hope organizational leaders will find the descriptions of these models helpful as they continue to align their church planting systems with multiplication principles.

Eight Types of Church Planting Churches

  1. HISTORICAL TRACK RECORD

Churches that have consistently and faithfully planted churches for several decades

 2. DECENTRALIZED NETWORKS

Churches that not only plant churches, but also strategically catalyze networks and movements

  1. CITY-FOCUSED PLANTING

Churches that have a strategic focus on planting churches in their city and metropolitan area

  1. RESIDENCY & SENDING CULTURE

Churches that have a well-developed residency and a culture of sending hundreds of members out

  1. ECOSYSTEM

Churches that raise up planters from within their network to start networks throughout their city

  1. PLANTING FROM DAY 1

Churches that have planted every year since day one instead of waiting until they grew to a certain size

  1. GLOBALLY PLANTING

Churches actively involved in planting not only in North America, but also all over the world

 8. FAMILY OF CHURCHES

Churches that plant autonomous churches and choose to be aligned in name and shared resources

Diversity opens more lanes for multiplication

We believe that multiplication happens when you open up more lanes in church planting. Diversity in an organization’s leadership can lead to diversity in the kinds of churches being planted. Intentional implementation of diversity in your church planting strategy has a direct impact on how many lanes are being opened within an organization.

*This excerpt is adapted from Best Practices in Church Planting Systems that I wrote with Jeff Christofferson, Daniel Yang, and Daniel Im. Download the e-book for free.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ed Stetzer

Ed Stetzer (@edstetzer), is a professor and dean at Wheaton College who also serves as Executive Director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center. Stetzer has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, has earned two master’s degrees and two doctorates, and has written hundreds of articles and a dozen books. He is regional director for Lausanne North America and publishes research through Mission Group. Stetzer is a contributing editor for Christianity Today, a columnist for Outreach Magazine, and is frequently cited in, interviewed by, and writes for news outlets such as USAToday and CNN. He is the founding editor of The Gospel Project, a curriculum used by more than 1.7 million individuals each week for bible study. His national radio show, Ed Stetzer Live, airs Saturdays across the country. He serves as teaching pastor at Highpoint Church in Chicago and has been the interim teaching pastor at Moody Church in downtown Chicago.

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