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AN OVERVIEW OF THE CHURCH PLANTING PROGRAM OF THE MINNESOTA BAPTIST ASSOCIATION
Purpose of the Program
The churches of the Minnesota Baptist Association, in recognizing God’s command in Matthew 28:18-20 to reach the lost for Christ, to build up new believers in the their faith, and to establish New Testament Baptist churches, have been led to join together in promoting the Planting and Watering program for the purpose of starting new churches within our state.
Definition and Scope of the Program
The Planting and Watering program will serve as the name of the church planting program of the Minnesota Baptist Association. The name of the program comes from 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase” (KJV).
The scope of the Planting and Watering program will be starting and establishing new churches.
- Planting. Working together to establish New Testament independent local churches (recovery or struggling works are addressed in another program).
- Watering. Providing mutual support, resources, and counsel to aid a church to move from being a new work to becoming an autonomous, Baptist church.
The goal of Minnesota Baptist Association participation is to produce a strong Baptist church. It is our sincere desire that the new church plant would associate with the Minnesota Baptist Association.
We acknowledge that God’s hand is unseen and providential. He often works in ways unforeseen to us—to Him be the glory! Taking into account that there are innumerable ways that God may bring about a new church work, we recognize that there are at least four common ways in which a new church may come about in Minnesota:
- A parent church birthing a new church
- An existing group of believers seeking to organize into an independent, Baptist church
- A church planter with a burden to plant a church
- A community identified by pastors and/or the Planting and Watering committee with a need for a gospel-preaching church.
Finances of the Program
The Minnesota Baptist Association will provide a maximum of $60,000 to a church planter to support his personal/family needs and/or the needs of the new church. This will not exceed $12,000 per year. Any additional funding would be considered on a case-by-case basis. If the Minnesota Baptist Association cannot support this need financially, the Planting and Watering committee may inform and encourage Minnesota Baptist Association churches to support the new church plant directly.
Personnel of the Program
The approved church planter(s) must meet all Scriptural qualifications. He (they) must evidence a positive fellowship with the Minnesota Baptist Association. A supported church planter must be in sympathy with this program and the churches of the Minnesota Baptist Association; if at any time they cannot agree, they will no longer receive the support of the Minnesota Baptist Association. The Planting and Watering Committee may withdraw their recommendation for doctrinal, moral, ethical, or practical reasons.
Duration of the Program
Direct Minnesota Baptist Association support of a missionary pastor and/or the church plant will continue five years from the time the Minnesota Baptist Association begins to support a candidate or until the church achieves financial independence, whichever comes first. The Planting and Watering committee would review an extension on a case-by-case basis.
Oversight of the Program
The Planting and Watering committee will select the church planter and bring its recommendation to the full board for approval to initiate support. The Planting and Watering committee will administer the program, distribute funds, conduct periodic reviews of the progress of the new work, and handle other affairs related to the Planting and Watering program and provide a report to the full board. The Planting and Watering committee will propose to withdraw support of the church planter and bring its recommendation to the full board for approval to terminate support.
Relationship of the Program to Local Churches
The Minnesota Baptist Association desires to assist local churches, when requested, by providing counsel and/or assistance in the location of a church plant, location of a building, workers helping, methods used to reach and train people, services (when, how many, etc.), literature used in outreach and training, time spent in calling, etc. The Minnesota Baptist Association will offer guidance to a new work but will not function as a governing body over or parent organization to the church. A local church will operate as the parent organization to a church plant.