Over the past two newsletters I have unfolded the rationale for our new strategic plan detailing our goals, purpose, and mission. My intention in this letter is to outline our strategy for how we plan to reach our primary goal of catalyzing new church plants and our secondary goal of creating a supportive community of African Americans in the PCA.
LEADERSHIP PIPELINE & ECOSYSTEM APPROACH
Our plan to find new church planters involves creating a leadership pipeline and cultivating the complex network of existing African Americans from all over the country who are in PCA churches.
Church planters have a very specific calling with accompanying gifts. One might argue that church planters are not "made" -- they are "discovered." To reach the goal of starting new churches led by African American leaders, we will be creating a broad leadership pipeline that is filled with leaders of all types. As they progress through the pipeline, we (and they) will discover which ones have the mix of unique gifts needed for church planting.
The leadership pipeline will be undergirded by an ecosystem of existing leaders and congregants who create a supportive community in which developing leaders can succeed. This ecosystem includes African American men and women, as well as culturally-supportive advocates. By culturally supportive advocates, we mean non-African American leaders who are committed to our mission and are intentionally growing in their understanding of African Americans, the importance of our presence in the PCA, and the challenges we face. These advocates might include internship site leaders, church planting network directors, financial partners, etc.
The role of the ecosystem (or "community") will be to help potential church planters:
- Identify their calling
- Develop their gifts and character
- Clear obstacles from the leadership pathway
- Provide support along the way
Potential "leaders" include:
Steps in the Pipeline & Ecosystem Development
- Ordained and pre-ordained leaders interested in planting churches
- Candidates pursuing ordination to serve at existing churches
- Leaders (male & female) interested in serving on denominational committees or church staff
- Seminary students (male & female)
OVERVIEW OF STRATEGIES
- Start with a broad leadership pipeline (many leaders in the funnel)
- Provide relational and financial support to all kinds of leaders
- Empower leaders to provide support to other emerging leaders
- AAM gives increased attention to church planters as they are discovered
- The broader the pipeline, the more church planters will be discovered
- The stronger the ecosystem, the more leaders will remain in the denomination
We have developed a four-stage strategic approach involving supporting, equipping, recruiting and mobilizing people into ministry. Our intention is to cultivate a Support network for potential leaders through African American leaders and advocates; Equip leaders for gospel-advancing ministry in church, work and community; Recruit and raise up new leaders; and Mobilize and encourage leaders to play an influential role in the denomination.
We are excited about our new strategic plan and are looking forward to implementing it. In order to move forward with our plan, we need the help of partners who will pray for us and provide the needed financial support to fund additional staff. Would you consider joining us as prayer partners and financial supporters in making the PCA a truly multi-ethnic denomination that feels like home for all its members?