A new church is ready to organize when it is self-governing, self-supporting, and self-multiplying.

Self-governing: The congregation has developed servant leaders who:

  • Are spiritually mature.
  • Have internalized and lived out the vision of the church.
  • Have demonstrated leadership skills in other areas of ministry within the congregation.
  • Can fill in the gaps when some are selected to serve in ordained roles so that other areas of ministry do not suffer.

A transition in the oversight team for the new church should take place between the church’s birth and its organization. External members (parent church leaders, classis representatives, denominational or other wise counsel) should gradually be replaced by people from within the congregation who have the qualifications of elder or deacon. At organization, the team should be almost entirely made up of leaders from within the congregation. These internal leaders will join the team by recommendation of the planter and confirmation by the rest of the oversight team.

Self-supporting: The congregation has sufficient income to meet all of its financial obligations. Generally, this means that the church can support itself through the gifts and offerings of the people attending it. In rare cases, sustainable external giving to supplement internal giving is necessary and acceptable.

Self-multiplying: The congregation is multiplying disciples, leaders, and ministries. It is either considering helping birth a new church, or is already in the process of becoming a parent.