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Church Planter Training Process

As you know CEM exists to start church-planting churches by recruiting and developing church planters, supporters and leaders. For over 60 years we have always been, and always will be, about starting new churches. But before a church is launched there is a lot of work that goes into finding the church planter and preparing him for the work.

After initial contact, a few board members and myself meet the couple interested in starting a church in person. If we see potential, we set up a time for the rest of the board to meet them. Once we have had a chance to get to know each other and want to proceed, the board makes the decision to send the couple to a week-long assessment center. At assessment, the couple will go through several assignments along with the other couples from other church planting groups. These assignments allow us to observe the couple in a lot of different settings. They also help us evaluate if they have the 16 essential building blocks required to start a church. At the end of the week, a detailed profile is complied along with a recommendation that is brought back to the board to process.

This profile for the church planting candidate couple not only helps the board make a better decision but it is also used to create a residency program specific to the areas the couple will need to grow in to be ready to start a church. Because most people have never started a church before, the residency is vital to give them experience that they would not otherwise have before the church is started. The couple moves close to a new church so they can see and feel what it is like to be a part of a new church. Our typical time frame is one year. Most of the time will be spent with the Pastor and other key leaders of this new church. Two or three trips are set up for the potential church planter to observe and ask questions of other church planters in actual church planting settings.

At the end of the residency, the church planter will have an interview with the board where he will present his church plant plan for the community he wants to start the church in. Up to this point CEM's goal is to do everything possible to set the couple up to succeed. If the couple is ready, we hire them. Another level of church planter care is set up to provide the encouragement, support and direction needed to birth a new church.

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4th Clinton COC in Clinton IA

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