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Church planting is a holistic fulfillment of the Great Commission. Going further than simply sharing the gospel, it aims to establish and grow a new community of believers in specific locations around the world.
The men and women who undertake this vital work are often supported by church planting networks. Navigating a new city, potential language barriers, and the overall stress of the church planting process isn’t easy to do alone. Organizations like the Acts 29 network have committed to coming alongside church planters as they embark on their journeys, offering resources, training, and accountability.
Let’s learn more about these organizations that work to support church planters through the rewarding but challenging call to create gospel-centered communities.
Twenty years ago, ARC set out with a dream to equip a new generation of church planters and function as an extended family. Today, it stands as a testament to that dream, having planted over 1,000 churches since its founding. ARC’s unique structure emphasizes autonomy, enabling church plants to run independently in all aspects—from operations to finance and government.
As a non-denominational organization, church planters have the opportunity to fulfill their unique mission based on personal context and convictions. New church planters are thoroughly vetted and offered resources through training and seed funding. Then, they’re able to come together with other church planters through events and conferences for connection, guidance, and practical support.
Acts 29 is a worldwide alliance made up of over 700 churches across six continents. With a focus on diversity, it aspires to be known as a radically dynamic church planting network, aiming to embrace and celebrate philosophical, cultural, ethnic, and economic differences. The organization collaborates with churches to fulfill its mission of seeing the Great Commission carried out through the local church.
Leveraging decades of experience, Acts 29 recruits, trains, and supports church planters through an in-depth, four-step assessment process. Prospective members over the age of 28 must first apply, complete up to 15 hours of coursework, and undergo an assessment. Prospective church planters and existing churches can both apply to join the Acts 29 church planting network.
Founded in 2003, Stadia is helping new church planters reach communities with the transformative message of the gospel. “Thrive, grow, and multiply” is Stadia’s motto for seeing the next generation of church planters empowered. It’s working to both establish new congregations and create environments where families and communities can thrive.
With a unique mission to see that “every child has a church,” Stadia supports more than 2,000 new congregations through the ups and downs of church planting. The organization uses a comprehensive roadmap that guides aspiring church planters through the entire process. After attending a three-day Discover Center, eligible participants can move on to benefit from Stadia’s project management, training, coaching, and post-launch support services.
NewThing is an intercontinental church planting network affiliated with over 23,000 congregations in 47 countries. Through a robust training framework, existing churches are led through “The Movement System,” where pastors learn how to create disciples, leaders, churches, networks, and entire movements.
The organization has a dream of planting a church within every community across the globe and has seen success with over 9,000 launches since 2005. NewThing works with existing churches to develop new locations, helping them evolve and create their own church planting networks that can go on to reproduce even more locations. Through community, residency programs, and resource pooling, NewThing is equipping leaders to transform congregations into reproductive movements.
Starting, strengthening, and sending churches—this is the heart of Converge. Formerly known as the Baptist General Conference, this organization is united by a dedication to sharing the redemptive work of Christ with the world. Its commitment to catalyzing vibrant church communities makes it a resource hub and support system for church planters.
Converge is guided by a mission to help people meet, know, and follow Jesus. Over the last century, it has brought together approximately 1,700 congregations to spread the gospel. Together, they’ve gone on to plant more than 950 churches. Converge’s three-phase church launch boasts a 92% success rate, offering personalized coaching, leadership development, financial grants, and a residency in partnership with Wheaton College.
Co-founded by Timothy Keller, Redeemer City to City (CTC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting leaders who are passionate about bringing the gospel to urban communities. CTC is located in the bustling heart of New York City but has helped launch over 1,600 churches across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America.
The vision of CTC is to witness the gospel of Jesus Christ transforming lives and impacting urban areas around the world. This global network is equipping pastors through coaching, mentorship, peer-to-peer fellowship, and training opportunities. Anyone interested in partnering with the organization can take the “Am I Called to Plant a Church?” course to learn more and get advice on next steps.
Since 2011, Harbor Network has developed leaders and planted over 75 new churches through its threefold approach of launching, leading, and multiplying. This organization is one of the smallest church planting networks on our list but offers a wide range of services. It’s committed to advancing the mission of reformed churches and their leaders through tight-knit partnerships with church planters and existing pastors.
Harbor Network’s mission is to see the transformative power of the gospel renew lives and cities on a global scale. It’s steadfast in its reformed convictions, requiring all partnering churches to share a commitment to reformational theology, credo-baptism, and biblical governance. Harbor is launching churches through intentional assessment, residency, training, mentoring, and retreats.
As part of the North American Mission Board and Southern Baptist Convention, SEND Network has launched more than 10,000 churches throughout the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The organization recognizes the unique journey of each church plant, helping to clarify personal callings and develop customized strategies. Its mission is simple—to spread the gospel to communities through the churches it partners with.
Aspiring church planters can apply to join the SEND Network, and applicants will receive an invite to attend an assessment retreat or jump into the Church Planter Pipeline. Then comes orientation, training, coaching, and continuing care. Existing churches looking to get involved can choose to cooperate, support, send, multiply, or mobilize in partnership with the network.
One of the oldest church planting networks on our list, DOVE International is a 40-year-old organization that had its beginnings serving the unchurched youth of America. Today, it’s a flourishing family of over 1,000 small group-based congregations and house churches across six continents.
DOVE’s mission is to support and empower church planters. The organization provides a wealth of resources through articles, stories, demographic tools, and free church planting materials. The free church planting assessment and practical manual give a glimpse into what it means to start a church. DOVE also offers a 24-lesson church planting boot camp that walks potential church planters through the entire process with stories and strategies.
Exponential is a dedicated group of leaders with a vision for growth. Accelerating multiplication is the driving force behind this organization, partnering with 50 different church planting networks and denominations. Although Exponential doesn’t fund or work to plant churches directly, it comes alongside church planting organizations like ARC, NewThing, Acts 29, and Stadia.
The organization’s work revolves around a bold aspiration—the 16% Mission. Exponential wants to create a tipping point in the US, bringing the percentage of churches that plant churches up to 16%. Offering two digital workshops and a collection of resources, Exponential is transforming leaders into Multipliers. Its goal is to equip believers with actionable principles, ideas, and solutions that can be used to multiply churches.