Intentional Church Start Profiles
Why Intentional Starts
CBF Global is working collaboratively with our State and Regional Organizations (SROs) to develop intentional church starts. While many of our church starts begin organically through a spiritual discernment process with individual church starters and their core groups, there are communities across the United States primed for a potential CBF congregation.
To develop these intentional church starts, CBF wants to partner with our SROs to begin developing profiles of potential areas, church starters, and pocket groups of CBF inclined individuals.
In developing these profiles, our goal is to provide detailed information for vetted church starters open to transition to new areas, as well as provide resources and discernment opportunities for existing church starts and core groups.
Together, we want cultivate profiles in three key areas:
- Identifying potential locations for new churches
- Identify and develop relationship with existing church starts
- Identify and develop relationship with pocket groups of CBF inclined individual
Potential Locations for New Churches
CBF church starts thrive in many different contexts. Often in more affluent areas, such as major cities, college towns, and suburbs, there tends to be more cultural, ethnic, theological, and economic diversity, which provide a dynamic demographic for church starts. CBF church starts tend to attract more socially and spiritually innovative people found in such settings.
At the same time, there are successful church starts in less affluent areas. Some of our church starts have discovered ways to build intentional community or centered their vision around meeting the economically challenged needs of the community.
Consider the various areas of your state or region that have vast assets, which could help the church start be more successful.
As you are zeroing in on potential locations for new churches, there are several key questions we want you to consider:
- Where are these areas in your state or region? What makes this area come to mind? Explain.
- What are the major industries in the area? Are there universities or colleges? Are there plans for development growth residentially, commercially, and industrially? Explain.
- Are there potential partner churches in the region? What type of assets do these potential partner churches have? Assets can be any number of things, including and not limited to: monetary resources, space, volunteers, financial administration, group health insurance, etc.
- Does the SRO, partner churches, or other organizational partners know of local business owners that could provide a part-time to full-time job to a bi-professional church starter? Who are those business owners and what types of businesses do they own?
- Are there CBF inclined individuals in the area? What makes them CBF-friendly? Are these individuals interested in being a part of a new church?
Existing Church Starts
In the last few years, many of our commissioned church starts were new congregations/starters that discovered CBF after their initial launch. Some of these churches were new to being Baptist in general. Though the congregations are diverse, their stories were the same; they discovered that CBF is the big tent community they have been looking for.
If you are aware of new churches starting in areas across your state and region, consider reaching out to the church starter, building a relationship with the pastor/core group, or introduce the church start to CBF’s church start initiative and staff.
If you are unfamiliar with new churches starting in areas across your state and region, consider reaching out to partner churches for new insights they might be able to provide.
Depending on where the church start is in the life of the church, we may be able to come alongside the church leadership in an intentional discernment process and partnership.
Commissioned church starts are currently receiving a three-year renewable covenant with CBF, which includes: nearly $15,000 grant, leadership development and church start training, professional coaching, retreats, visits, commissioning at General Assembly, and promotion of the church start’s story throughout the Fellowship.
Existing church starters will be expected to enter an intentional discernment process with CBF. This process takes a different timeline for each starter.
Pocket Groups of CBF Inclined Individuals
We have discovered pocket groups of CBF inclined individuals throughout the country. Often these individuals are attending congregations that may hold some of their key theological convictions and similar Baptist principals. Others are traveling great distances to attend a CBF church not in their area.
While we are not interested pulling members from their existing church community, we do want to provide the opportunity for dialogue and creating community among like-minded people in their area.
Do you know of CBF inclined individuals in an area without a CBF church? Can you create a space for dialogue about entering a discernment process to potential form a new church?
CBF’s Innovation Group Process is designed to provide groups opportunities for sharing their dreams, learning from each other, and discovering God’s dream together.
The resource is centered on 8-sessions of dialogue: 1. Dreaming of new possibilities, 2) Discovering their identity as a group, 3) Discerning a shared vision, 4) Contextualization, 5) Strength-Based development, 6) Forming a church start or faith community plan, 7) Expanding the innovation group, 8) Engaging what comes next.
To prepare for the session, individuals will reflect on scripture, read an article, engage an assessment, or observe the needs of the community.
Groups can enter a covenant with CBF to receive 4-free coaching sessions for the group leader.
After engaging the discernment process, groups may enter a partnership with CBF in several ways, including:
- Applying for a church start grant
- Networking to discover a church starter
- Entering coaching covenant
Spark Strategic Development
There are other facets of potential church starts that you can begin to strategically develop, including:
- Raise funds specifically for church starting
- Start an endowment, allowing congregations to specifically give to future church starts
- Recruit church starters with CBF Global
- Network with partner schools and seminary students about intentional church opportunities
- Study existing church starts (both CBF and non-CBF) in your state/region. Study what may have caused them to fail or what may be causing them to be successful.
- Host church start related workshops at your annual gathering
- Host creative video calls for people in the state/region interested in partnering with or participating in church starts
- Develop a collaborate site visit, specifically focused in the areas identified for potential church starts. Meet with partner organizations and potential church starters. Asset map the community