Starting a Church Plant

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

Reformed Church in America

Being part of a denomination like the Reformed Church in America means classes, regional synods, and churches come together in planting a new church. The RCA has been planting new churches for almost 400 years, and our long history grounds us as the gospel compels us forward.

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, in partnership with RCA Global Mission, benefitting from their 300 years of experience as we start churches in Costa Rica, Nepal, Hungary, Kenya, the Netherlands, India, Thailand, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and more.

Steps to starting

The Church Planting Process

Every church plant is unique, yet they all follow the same steps to get started.

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.

Discern

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

  • Fresh Expression: Fresh Expressions of church are new or different forms of church for a changing culture. They are highly contextual.
  • 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.

Take assessments:

  • Measure your readiness to plant; Church Planter Candidate Assessment (CPCA) and Stadia are recommended.
  • Evaluate your church plant location

Prepare to grow

  • Find partners: sending church, prayer team, coach, core team, a classis or region if you’re planting in the U.S. or Canada, RCA Global Mission if you’re planting internationally, and RCA Church Multiplication
  • Get training: preferred training partners are Ministry Grid, Fresh Expressions, and Stadia.
  • Submit a New Congregation Plan (NCP), your official application to plant an RCA church
  • Form an oversight team: a group to help you lead your church plant. View oversight team handbook
  • Make sure that you’re either commissioned or ordained to serve in your role as a church planter.

Grow

  • Evangelize
  • Make disciples
  • Gather regularly
  • Develop leaders

Organize as an RCA church

Your church plant is:

  • Self-supporting
  • Self-governing
  • Ready to start more churches!

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.

Email multiply@rca.org to start a conversation.

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