Common sense tells you: church planting, like most entrepreneurial pursuits, requires a good leader.
And the Bible tells you: God’s church, in order to thrive, requires good (i.e. spiritually qualified) leaders (see 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1).
So the Acts 29 Network has traditionally invested most of its time and energy into identifying, assessing, and training called and qualified men to plant fruitful churches. Since 2006, we’ve used a carefully built and rigorously maintained assessment process to “guard the gate” into church planting leadership. A recent audit of that process revealed the following data, which may be of interest to other geeky leaders like me who enjoy metrics:
Over the last 7 years (2006-2012), we – and when I say “we,” I mean pastors who are leading their own churches and volunteering their time and effort to serve God’s mission – have assessed 808 potential church planters.
- 487 of those Applicants (60.27%) were approved to move into Candidacy. (A “Candidate” church is one that does not yet have 40 core members and thus is not considered a fully viable member church).
- Currently 381 (78% of the approved applicants) are Active in church planting with Acts 29
- 106 (22% of the approved Candidates) didn’t make it through candidacy for various reasons (didn’t end up planting, couldn’t gather a core, etc…)
- 30 Full Members left Acts 29 (resigned from church, moved out of Lead Pastor role, or withdrew from Acts 29)
- 8 Full Members in the last 7 years closed their church (2.23%).
- Thus, the “Viability/Success Rate” for those assessed and who become Full Members within Acts 29 is 97.77%.
- Through the Candidate process, 78.23% of Candidates become Full Members.