One of the strategies intended to help our Network to fulfill our 3 purposes (Reaching people for Jesus, Inspiring leaders and Empowering the local church) is to lead our existing churches to health and effectiveness. Sometimes situations have resulted in a church that cannot walk the road to church health alone. For those churches, we offer Parenting.
Simply put, Parenting is when a church that is further down the road toward health and effectiveness comes alongside of a church that is struggling to reach their God-given vision. There are three types of Parenting, each of which is tailored to a specific situation.
For the existing church that is coming into the Network, or for the church that just needs a little guidance to get on down the road to health and effectiveness, we offer “N.A. Mentored” parenting. In this relationship, the Superintendent appoints a mentor to assist the pastor of a Network Affiliated church for a set period of time. That mentor is charged with walking closely with the pastor to see that they get all the support they need to reach health and effectiveness.
For the less healthy church who is a candidate to be “turned around” and someday be a General Council church again (usually these are churches that were General Council affiliated), this relationship pairs the “turn around” church with a parent church. In this relationship there is a 3-5 year time frame within which both parent and PAC work together to bring the church to a point of health and effectiveness that enables them to move back to General Council status. For the duration of the relationship, the parent has complete responsibility for the PAC, and accountability to the Network to be a great steward of that trust.
Some struggling churches are in the place where the most effective strategy to find health and effectiveness is “Parenting in Perpetuity.” In this relationship there is the expectation that the PAC will remain a part of the Parent church “in perpetuity.” That means the property of the PAC will be transferred to the parent, and the future of that PAC is to be part of the ministry vision and strategies of the healthier parent church.
Each of these parenting relationships has the same goal: To live out the three purposes of our Network (Reach, Inspire and Empower) in order that together we will see the God-given goal of 600 healthy churches and 250,000 people in their services.