A parenting church is a church that initiates and guides a new congregation, helping and supporting the new body of disciples until it is self-supporting, self-governing, and self-reproducing.

A parenting church is:

  • Harvest-oriented, always seeking one more life to bring into the kingdom of God.
  • Prayerful, asking the Lord of the harvest to send out workers (Matthew 9:38).
  • Called and empowered by Christ to fulfill the Great Commission locally.
  • Courageous, overcoming obstacles and fears through perseverance.

What is the role of the parenting church?

Parenting churches receive training and apprenticeship to enable them to successfully establish a new congregation that grows to maturity. They are an empowering ally of and a directive partner to the launch and leadership teams of the new congregation.

Other churches, teams, or organizations can be supportive partners, but the parenting church takes primary responsibility, authority, and accountability for the new church’s direction and progress. This may mean a significant, major, or total investment through financial and people resources.

A parenting church:

  • Recruits, assesses, sends, and provides coaching for the lead planter.
  • Is a strong protector in both the natural and supernatural realms through prayer, advocacy, and communication.
  • Is a long-term partner that celebrates victories with the new congregation and continuously models health, growth, and reproduction.
  • Is coached by another leader or parenting church so it can fulfill its highest potential as a reproducing church, avoid common errors.
  • Continue to empower (not control) the new church until it reaches the point where it is mature enough to be self-supporting, self-governing, and self-producing.


Stories about planting and parenting

Parenting church behavior

To learn more about parenting a new church, please call the RCA Church Multiplication office at (800) 968-3943. We would love to hear from you!