In the Center for Church Development (CCD), we believe that churches plant churches. Because of this, our vision for planting is simple: we want to partner with every church in the North Texas Conference and provide support in order to see the majority of churches transforming communities through planting.
In the CCD, we define planting as any endeavor that seeks to engage a neighborhood in discipleship and gospel renewal through the creation of new and/or innovative missional strategies. In short, the CCD will endeavor to create a discipleship movement by supporting churches in developing new spaces for new faces.
Over the past two years, the CCD has moved all church starts to matching funding. Strategic and contextual grants have replaced uniform and block grants for new churches in the North Texas Conference. In 2020, CCD projects are receiving anywhere between $0.11 to $2 from the CCD for each $1 in congregational giving up to a specific total amount for each project.
This model has worked well. In a normal season, this funding model increases congregational giving, outside support of new churches, and greater connectionalism as congregations learn their gifts are being matched by the North Texas Conference. To state the obvious, we are not in a "normal season."
To adapt to the decline in offerings during this season when our churches are not congregating, the CCD is adapting funding of new churches. For each Sunday one of the new churches is not meeting, the CCD will fund the new churches as if the congregational offerings met the full grant potential. For example, if a church has a $5,200 grant potential for the year, the congregation can expect to receive the full $100 for each Sunday the congregation did not hold in-person Sunday worship ($5,200 / 52 Sundays a year).
In doing this the CCD is taking away the additional stress of planting pastors and congregations of not meeting their matches for CCD funding during this abnormal season. While this adjustment in funding does not affect the total amounts available for each church start or the annual conference budget, our new churches in the North Texas Conference can know that their conference stands behind them and supports them in these difficult times. Please pray for our new church pastors and congregations as we all continue to pray for one another in these difficult times for our world, nation, Church, and conference.