Greetings all,

This month we're kicking off a series on the key steps for turning your church into a hub church – in short, a church that fosters the planting of many more churches. The natural place to begin is to allow someone who's experienced the process first hand to outline the advantages and disadvantages.

Trinity Mt Barker was launched in February 2010 and is part of the Trinity Network of churches in Adelaide, SA. I've often called this networks planting method the 'Rollys Royce' of planting. Helfpully, Clayton Fopp (church planter and lead pastor) outlines some of the highs and lows of the approach as follows:  

Advantages of mother-daughter planting

  • We inherited strong Trinity DNA. The Core Team and first Leadership Team (from 100 days after launch) had all been members of Trinity churches so we avoided uncertainties and disagreements over key goals, theological positions, etc.
  • We’d been able to prepare for evangelism as a large group for a while before launch, ie, Starting Six, praying for each other’s non-Christian friends, etc.
  • Strong connections to the Trinity Network. This includes budget contributions, ie half of planting pastors time in the year prior to launch was set aside for planting.
  • We were able to share some ministries early on with the sending church (12 minutes away). For our first year we sent our Friday night upper primary kids to youth group there.
  • Makes the most of existing relationships with non-Christians in the region, ie planting pastor and Starter Group are already engaged with lots of people across the community.  
  • Large Starter Group means ministry tasks can be shared among the members.  It also means we could try new ministries prior to launch, such as our Toys & Tucker door knocking at Christmas, since we already had 60 people on board.
  • In SA there is good “brand” familiarity for Trinity.  Being connected to Trinity in SA says “mainstream, stable, not lunatic”!

Disadvantages of mother-daughter planting

  • Large group on Sundays means it’s easy to think Sunday is all that matters and to lose evangelistic edge and focus.
  • Large numbers and rapid growth has put us at capacity in our building by about 20 months and struggling to find a larger capacity which means moving to two services in 2012.
  • Strong relationships in the sending church means we’ve seen some continual drift from the sending church to the plant in the first couple of years.
  • Not an insignificant percentage of the sending church are sent!  We took 60 from a church of two congregations with total attendance of 300.

You can here more about the Trinity Mt Barker story from Clayton Fopp here:

'Rolls Royce' model or read about it here. Food for thought, and more to come as February gets underway!

– Scott