It’s natural to expect a new congregation to become independent, just as we expect our children to one day mature, support themselves, make wise decisions, and birth the next generation. Most plants should be able to organize within three to seven years. An unhealthy dependence develops if growth and organization are delayed.


  • Protects a congregation from becoming isolated from the greater church. It solidifies ties of relationship and accountability.
  • Is a step of faith that God will provide for the church’s ministry.
  • Ensures representation at all levels of the denominational system. Elder delegates lend a discerning voice in decisions at classis, regional, and bi-national levels.
  • Empowers elected leaders. Once a church is organized, its leaders are ordained to the offices of elder and deacon. Through ordination, the church recognizes and celebrates the Holy Spirit’s movement in their lives.
  • Provides stability for the church when the founding pastor leaves by having elected, ordained leaders in place during this transition.
  • Establishes a rotation of leadership. Bylaws require a regular turnover of leaders, which enhances ongoing leadership development and prevents leadership stagnation.