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Starting a Church Plant

Steps to starting

The Church Planting Process

While there is a church planting process with steps to get started, every church plant is unique.

How each step happens in a particular church plant reflects the context and vision for the plant. What these steps look like, well, that’s where the personality of your plant comes in.


Pray, asking if God is calling you to plant a church. What type of church might God be calling you to plant?

Types of plants:

Fresh Expression

Fresh Expressions of church are new or different forms of church for a changing culture. They are highly contextual.
Learn more

Multiplication Center

These new congregations come from sending churches who regularly plant new congregations. They often function in a multi-site model.

Classic Plants

These classic church plants are the backbone of RCA church planting. They grow to be self-sustaining and independent churches that become sending churches themselves.

Next Steps
Evaluate your church plant location: Request a free MissionInsite report to learn the demographics on your potential church’s neighborhood.
Take assessments: Email to take assessments that measure your readiness to plant.

Prepare to Grow

Once you’ve completed the assessments and have a plan to move forward, you have to prepare to grow. And that takes some work. Growing a church plant involves relationship as we walk you through the process. This process includes forming partnerships, getting training, developing a New Congregation Plan, and forming an oversight team.

Next Steps
Find partners: Email for assistance in finding partners.
Get training: Email for access to our preferred training partners Ministry Grid, Fresh Expressions, and Stadia.
Submit a New Congregation Plan (NCP): Email to develop and submit your official application to plant an RCA church.
Form an oversight team: Email to learn how to form a group to help you lead your church plant.
Make a plan to be commissioned or ordained: Email to learn how in order to serve in your role as a church planter.


Now that you have done the preparation, you’ve launched your church plant. Congratulations! It’s time to grow. Just like plants take some time to grow, so does a healthy church body. It’s a journey; we are with you in every step. Email when you need guidance.

Next Steps
Make disciples
Gather regularly
Develop leaders

Join the RCA family

Celebrate that your church plant is a mature church! You can further the mission of starting new churches and church plants and make new disciples. You are part of a family and have a voice in that family, which lets you be a decision maker. It also gives you a covenant relationship with a whole denomination of churches, leaders, and believers.

Top Ten Reasons Why Organizing a Church Plant Matters

Download a pdf version

  • It is a visible sign of maturity, as the church is now able to govern, support, and multiply/reproduce itself.
  • It protects the church from becoming isolated from the greater body.
  • It moves the church from recipient to contributor and stakeholder.
  • It is a step of faith that God will provide, leaving the safety net of external dependence on others.
  • It empowers ordained and installed leaders. Once a church is organized, its leaders are ordained to the offices of elder and deacons; these are spiritual experiences and celebrate the Holy Spirit’s gifts in the lives of church leaders.
  • It provides stability and order for the church, offering internal leadership, succession, clear rules of order, and bylaws to keep everyone on the same page and to reference when necessary.
  • It ensures multi-level representation. Local elders offer a discerning voice in decisions at all levels.
  • It lets the church be a full participant in mission.
  • It strengthens the whole church and enables more new church plants.
  • It gives strong bonds of relationship and accountability.
Next Steps
Email to work toward organizing your church within the Reformed Church in America.

Get started planting a church

The very first step in church planting is prayer: asking God if you’re called to plant a church. When you’ve affirmed that call, the next step is taking a few assessments to get you started on the right foot.

RCA Church Multiplication works with planters from many backgrounds and cultures, with different life experiences, who speak different languages and have a variety of theological training. If you’re called to plant, let’s talk.

If you’re called to plant,
let’s talk.

  • Measure your readiness to plant
  • Evaluate your church plant location

We’re not in this alone

Partnering to Plant

Partnerships are a foundation in this work. Church planting can be lonely work, and support for planters and launch teams is absolutely required for starting a church that lasts.

Start a church planting movement in your area

Ministry Grid
Assessment and training for fresh expressions of church and classis plants

Fresh Expressions
Smaller, contextual versions of church often organized around a common theme.

Assessment and training for our Multiplication Center Model plants

Planter Plan
Project Management software app for RCA plants.

Reformed Church in America

Being part of a denomination like the Reformed Church in America means you're part of a family. This family comes together in planting a new church. The RCA has been planting new churches for almost 400 years, and our long history and rich theology grounds us as the gospel compels us forward.

View our theology

Sending churches

Partnering with established churches is a huge blessing to new church plants, and it's a two-way street. Sending churches provide relationship, guidance, prayer and financial support. In return they grow in vitality, enthusiasm for the gospel, and learn from the church plant. As church plants grow and become self-sustaining, they send out new congregations themselves, growing a multiplication system where planting new churches is embedded in their very DNA.

RCA Global Mission

Historically, the RCA has planted churches within the United States and Canada. Now we’re also planting internationally. We do this in partnership with RCA Global Mission, benefitting from their 300 years of experience working with local leaders, as we start churches in Costa Rica, Nepal, Hungary, Kenya, the Netherlands, India, Thailand, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and more.

View RCA Global Mission