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Publication Date

Fall 10-15-2019


This dissertation explores the importance of supporting church planters and church plants after they are started. Support is given and modeled by God, and it is vital for the maturing and survival of a church plant. This dissertation will outline possible ways for a church plant, church planter, network, denomination, or movement to identify and support key needs.

Church planters are seeking support. Like newborn children, church plants need a lot of attention and support after birth. They also need to be cared for when they are young (four to ten years old). Church planters serve as spiritual parents, nurturing and caring for the new church so that it will grow and mature to the point of supporting itself, its leaders, and future planting endeavors. More support is needed for church planters and plants after they are launched than what is typically given. This support is best when it is personal, organizational, and systematic, and when it addresses the specific needs of the planter and the church plant.

This dissertation will be based on a large-scale case study. Over seventy interviews were conducted with church planters, church planting directors, and denominational leaders in the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Part One highlights the need for greater support to be given to church planters, especially after the birth of the church plant, with five main needs identified. Part Two develops a theology of support, exploring the challenges planters face and how support helps planters overcome; God himself provides support and a model for supporting others. The goal is for the Sent to become the Senders. Part Three offers suggestions on how the five needs can be met by the planter, the church plant, and the denomination/network, and how support responsibilities can change as the church matures.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Morey, Tim

Document Type





New Church development, Church planting, Support, Care, Missions, Practical theology


Missions and World Christianity | Practical Theology


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