So that no new church pastor would ever feel alone or lost, our new comprehensive strategy places support all over the map. This strategy places support in four directions (N, S, E, W), hence 4-D! Our goal is to cover the whole map of support, addressing different areas of need.
In every target city, we will give birth to new kinds of faith communities who are as missionally-minded as they are disciple-driven. This happens best when leaders are supported by a:
1) COACH (due North on the map)
The Coach’s purpose is to facilitate personal growth in general. It’s life-situational, the processing of stress from a 360-degree perspective. The Coach is not connected to the new church pastor’s supervisory up-line. Content is not church planting specific. We will be utilizing the Passion in Partnership network within the NC Conference for this purpose.
2) CAPTAIN (due East)
The Executive Director of New Faith Communities will serve a the Captain. This line of support is church planting-specific, mission-focused and content-rich. The purpose is to refine mission, vision, strategy and coach toward results, making adjustments as needed. This dimension is more like an apprenticeship of a veteran church planter to a new planter.
3) HUDDLE (due South)
Every pastor needs a peer group learning community to help increase their leadership and strategic effectiveness. We are using the Learning Community Environment from 3DM — a discipling, peer-group huddle of 8 pastors that meet weekly for a conference call and semi-annually with 3DM’s experts for teaching and training. This shared, integrative dimension of support helps our pastors create a discipling culture from which their missional faith communities will emerge.
4) TEAM (due West)
This is the District-level line of support and accountability. Some Districts will have a Congregational Development Team made up of nearby stakeholders, both clergy and lay, the District Superintendent, the Exec. Dir. of New Faith Communities and the planter’s Spouse. Other Districts will be less formal, but still include major stakeholders. This is also the area of the map that presents the greatest potential for confusion. So that we minimize the problem of having two Supervisors, the Exec. Dir. of NFCs is the Strategic Missional Lead, the accountability line for how the emerging church relates to the mission field. The District Superintendent is the Administrative Lead, the accountability line for how the emerging church relates to the United Methodist Connection. In movie industry terms, the Exec. Dir. of NFCs is the Director, while the DS is the Producer.
Surrounded by support in 4 Dimensions, or Directions, our hope is that all new church pastor-leaders will never ever again feel like they are lost or alone as they do this important kingdom work!