Are you interested in forming an Anglican congregation in your area?
Whether you are ready to plant a church or are simply interested in exploring possibilities, you are invited to begin an informal conversation with the bishop.
Church planting is not for the faint of heart.
The goal of this diocese is to foster congregations that will mature and endure. Thus, we take a careful and deliberate approach to the process.
People and process
Who are some of the key people involved in planting a church? How does the planting process work?
For the layman desiring a church in his area:
- First, there should be a few people who will serve as the core collaborators. For example, this may be a married couple or a few Christian friends seeking to grow in their faith.
- Next, as the core group and the bishop develop ideas for a plant, additional people in the community will be invited to widen the circle. This is a significant step in forming the nucleus of a congregation. An initial visit by a minister will occur.
- Then, at least one person from the group will begin training as a catechist. As the planting group continues to form and the catechist has sufficient training, he will lead studies in the Bible and Christian doctrine. Ministers will make follow-up visits.
- As the work of the planting group takes a more-defined shape, members will continue to build relationships in the community to grow the size of the group.
- When the group has achieved sufficient milestones (committed core supporters, a trained catechist, etc.), an initial service will officially launch the church plant in the community. Occasional clergy visits will be scheduled.
- A regular schedule of services and other activities will begin, with scheduled visits by clergy. As the plant grows and resources are available, it may be assigned a regular minister for ongoing support.
- Over time, the plant may become a self-sustaining church and call a permanent pastor.
For the ordained minister wanting to form a congregation:
- Begin by exploring the interest of people in the area. Find out if there are other Anglican congregations nearby. Seek to build friendships with people who may be interested.
- After connecting with interested neighbors, meet for informal discussion. Gauge the degree of interest.
- When you have identified a few people who wish to join you as a core group, collaborate on reaching others. Plan casual fellowship events and formal Bible studies.
- As interest continues to build, organize an occasional service of Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer. Invite the committed and the curious to visit. Provide some simple explanations about the liturgy and the service.
- As a nucleus of committed people builds, begin to organize for more frequent events. When the group has achieved sufficient milestones, officially launch the church plant in the community.
- Begin a regular schedule of services and other activities. As the plant grows, allocate resources for ongoing ministry.
- Over time, the plant may become a self-sustaining church.