Being prepared makes all the difference, especially when it comes to church planting. Church planting residency through Stadia is invaluable, because it provides great leaders the experience, coaching, and training necessary to plant a thriving church.
Through helping hundreds of leaders start new churches, Stadia has identified these 10 factors as those most important to develop in new church leaders. (Download the full list and corresponding competencies.)
- Spiritual Vitality: Church planting is first and foremost a spiritual activity. (2 Peter 1:3)
- Marriage & Family: How you lead at home predicts how you will lead a church. (1 Timothy 3:4)
- Personal Capacity: Speed of the leader, speed of the team. (Luke 12:48)
- Work Ethic: Church planting is hard. (Colossians 3:23-24)
- Disciple Making: If you can’t make disciples, why bother? (Matthew 28:19)
- Relational Skills: Church planting is all about relationships. (Acts 2:44-47)
- Catalytic Leadership: Leading others is the primary work of a church planter. (Ephesians 4:11-12)
- Directional Clarity: Clarity brings focus and energy especially when it’s hard. (Acts 16:10)
- Contextual Awareness: What worked there won’t work here. (1 Corinthians 9:19-27)
- Communication: Communication is how people become aware of and perceive the new church. (2 Timothy 4:1-2)
Church planting residents receive ongoing coaching from the host church.
The calling, character and competence you will need to start a church are not honed in a classroom, but in the real-world context of life and ministry.
There is a lot to learn from hanging around a great church, observing their culture and watching their leaders. You don’t get better sitting in the stands watching others play the game. Real growth happens when you get in the game. That’s why Stadia residents are given job descriptions in their host church with real work to do and measurable goals to accomplish. It’s this real-world experience that creates the context for personal growth and development.
While each resident’s job is unique, we encourage residency host churches to include these 5 elements:
- Start a new ministry.
- Make an existing ministry better.
- Start and reproduce a discipleship/small group along the discipleship pathway.
- Recruit and develop new leaders within the leadership pipeline.
- Consistently and intentionally build relationships with people far from God.
You will meet regularly with a residency supervisor in your host church who will help you accomplish and hold you accountable for completing your ministry goals.
Each church planting residents experience and training is guided by a personal growth plan.
Apart from God’s favor, the character and competence of a church planter are the greatest determining factors in new church effectiveness.
We believe the value of a church planting residency goes far beyond learning more about church planting. The real goal is to become more of the kind of disciple and leader who can and will effectively start a new church. That’s why each Stadia residency is guided by a personal growth plan based on Stadia’s 10 success factors and your church planting assessment.
Every growth plan is unique, but they typically include:
- Books to read
- Conferences to attend or classes to complete
- Habits to form (or break)
- Leadership experiences to have
- Skills to develop
- Spiritual practices to grow in
You will meet regularly with a coach in your host church who will help you work through and hold you accountable for completing your growth plan.
Support from host churches varies. Stadia provides fundraising training and coaching for all residents.
Stadia residencies are hosted by partner churches in a wide range of communities. As a result, the financial support available to, and needed by, residents varies from church to church and resident to resident. In general, Stadia asks all host churches to “have skin in the game” by providing the following:
- A portion of a residents needed income during the residency.
- A commitment to support the new church financially during startup.
- All residents are expected to raise a portion of their income during the residency and to raise the additional funds needed to start a church at the end of the residency. (Stadia provides training and coaching that has proven highly effective in helping residents and planters raise the funds needed.)
Check out the specific residency opportunities below to learn more about the financial support offered by specific churches.
Church planting residents are future church planters with clear church planting timelines.
Stadia’s residency intended to be the final season of preparation for leaders who will start new churches at the end of their residency. Residency timelines are created inclusive of the church planting timeline and typically work backwards from an anticipated launch date for the new church. Typically, timeline includes:
- 3-6 months of fundraising prior to beginning residency
- 9-18 months in residency at the host church
- 6-12 months of prelaunch focus prior to the start of weekly gatherings
Check out the specific residency opportunities below to learn more about the length of residencies offered by specific churches.
Church planting residents complete Stadia’s discovery process and interview with potential host churches.
Stadia’s church planting residencies are a partnership between the Stadia, the residency host church and the church planting resident. Each plays an active part in the residency discovery, selection and interview process.
- Potential residents complete Stadia’s Discovery Process.
- After completing Discovery, potential residents are introduced to potential host churches. Stadia is a “match-maker” only in this relationship and the process only moves forward by mutual agreement of the resident and the residency host church.
- The potential resident, and a representative of the host church, attend Stadia’s Church Planting Assessment Center.
- With a recommendation from the assessment center, Stadia, the host church and the resident will enter into a residency agreement.
Once the residency agreement is in place the resident will begin fundraising and preparation to begin the residency at the specified date.
Crossroads Community Church (Valencia, CA)
Crossroads Community Church is a non-denominational, Elder-led, Bible-teaching church, in Valencia, California, whose mission is taken from Colossians 1:28, which we summarize by Know-Grow-Go. We aim to know Christ, grow to be like Christ, and go to serve Christ. Crossroads Community Church started as a small group Bible Study during the summer of 2006, and the first formal services were held in September of 2006 at a local high school.
Crossroads moved into an industrial park leased facility in 2008, continued to grow from an initial group of 25-35 to several hundred, and for the past several years has been looking for a larger permanent location. Although it has been problematic to find a building that would meet the needs of our growing church, God has provided our new permanent home in Valencia, CA, which was opened in January of 2018. By God’s grace, we now have a modern 1000-seat worship center and plenty of room for offices, children, youth and adults. God has blessed our church body with continued growth, and our total attendance in three Sunday morning services is now averaging approximately 2000.
Our Core Ministry Philosophy is:
- Depth over Breadth
- God-centered over seeker-centered
- People over Programs
- “The” Kingdom over “A” Kingdom
- Expositional over Topical
- Stand and Serve over Sit and Soak
- Grace and Truth over Grace or Truth
- Equipping over Entertaining
- Whole Life Discipleship over Life Coaching
Valencia, CA is in Los Angeles County and is part of the City of Santa Clarita, which is located about 35 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Santa Clarita was incorporated in December 1987 as the union of four unincorporated communities- Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, and Valencia. The four communities retain separate identities, and it is common for residents to refer to a specific neighborhood when asked where they are from. Santa Clarita is annually ranked as one of the top 100 places to live in the United States, as well as one of the safest. The population has roughly doubled over the last twenty years and is made up largely of modern suburban neighborhoods. It is estimated that 10% of Santa Clarita residents regularly attends church, although there are a number of strong Bible-teaching local churches in the area.
The Crossroads Residency Program
Crossroads desires to find a man who will plant an independent, elder-led, non-denominational, Bible-teaching local church within 3-5 years after planting, to be located within an approximate 150-mile radius of Valencia, CA. As a part of your residency, you will be exposed to some of the best church planting trainers and coaches in our nation. You will be taken through a strategic training curriculum that was developed specifically for church planters. You will also take part in interviews with church planters and church planting pastors to learn from their experience and wisdom. You will also take part in at least one church planting conference with other church planters, church planting organizations and potential church planting partners.
Interested in a Residency with Crossroads? Start Here!
Front Range Christian Church (Castle Rock, CO)
Front Range Christian Church is a fast-growing church plant in the suburbs of Denver, CO. Our mission is to help people become intentional neighbors through knowing and following Jesus and we do that through a very active presence in our community.
Castle Rock is a family-focused suburb conveniently located right in between Denver and Colorado Springs. 90% of the residents of Castle Rock and the surrounding area do not have a relationship with Christ which makes this very fertile ground for church plants.
The Front Range Residency Program
The Front Range Residency Program is designed to give leaders an opportunity to gain invaluable wisdom, skills, character and experience that is essential for full-time vocational ministry. In this residency, you will be given the experience, training, coaching and one on one development that will prepare you to plant a church. You will be in a church that was started 4 years ago by the lead pastor. You will gain insights and wisdom that comes from first-hand knowledge. You will also have access to many of the original plant team and learn from their experience.
As a part of your residency, you will be exposed to some of the best church planting trainers and coaches in our nation. You will be taken through a strategic training curriculum that was developed specifically for church planters. You will also take part in interviews with church planters and church planting pastors to learn from their experience and wisdom. You will also take part in at least one church planting conference with other church planters, church planting organizations and potential church planting partners.
Interested in a Residency with Front Range? Start Here!
Rain City Church (Seattle, WA)
At Rain City Church, we believe that God’s purpose for your life is to be ROOTED in His Son, RAISED in His family, and REACHING in His love. We root our lives in Jesus because He is the only life-giving soil that can transform our souls, hearts and lives into who we were made to be. We gather every Sunday to study His word and learn how to live it in our everyday lives. We were never meant to go through life alone, which is why God has brought us together as one big, messy family called the Church. Whether we experience that connection through sharing meals together, midweek groups, or our Sunday services, we are a family learning to serve, trust and love one another. Because of the great things we’ve personally experienced through Jesus, we are compelled to share good things with our neighbors here, near and far. Whether we’re serving in our neighborhoods, schools and workplaces, or caring for orphans and bringing clean water to rural Ethiopia, it is all in response to the great love that God freely gives us.
Rain City Church meets at Bellevue High School in the heart of the exploding city of downtown Bellevue. Surrounded by young tech workers and young families working for businesses like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Alaska Airlines, and many others, our community consists of young influencers, thought-leaders, and executives.
The Rain City Residency Program
The resident will serve for a minimum of 1 year as a staff pastor at Rain City church in a variety of roles to ensure effective understanding of our culture, mission, vision, values, and voice. Examples of roles the resident will receive training for are Teaching Team, Leadership Development, Volunteer Management, Stewardship, Engagement, and communications.
Interested in a Residency with Rain City? Start Here!
Revolution Church (Annapolis, MD)
Revolution Annapolis is a church committed to church planting. After launching in 2010, we sent out our first resident, Scott Ancarrow, to plant a new church in Baltimore, MD. In 2015, our second resident will be heading out to plant another church in the Baltimore/Washington region. Revolution’s residency program lasts for one to two years and is customized to develop strengths and develop weaknesses of residents that are discovered in the planter assessment processes and prior experiences.
Revolution is a church for people who don’t like “church” and is committed to helping people find and grow in a revolutionary relationship with Jesus by exploring God and faith, connecting in community and actively serving our city. Revolution is a mobile church committed to excellence in our Sunday services and throughout the week. We actively serve our city by focusing on food insecurity of children in Annapolis.
The Revolution Residency Program
The resident’s role will be tailored to the resident’s experience, strengths and weaknesses but will consists of extensive exposure to the regional church planting community, church development theories, practices and metrics, and contextual learning experiences. Teaching, small group leading, discipleship strategizing, worship planning, service project planning, event planning, finance, creative planning, and marketing are all potential areas of growth in a Revolution residency.
In addition to demonstrating the qualities typically associated with resident success, the kind of leader who will be effective in a Revolution Residency role has the following characteristics:
- Strong, apparent love for pre-Christians
- Demonstrated experience in relationship with pre-Christians
- Commitment to excellence
- Commitment to honor
- Strong sense of perseverance
- Excellent communication skills with other leaders (paid and lay-leaders)
- Flexibility and agility
Interested in a Residency with Revolution? Start Here!
Thrive Church (Mt. Pleasant, MI)
Thrive Church began in 2013 with a vision to be a church that people who have given up on God or church will find irresistible, and its mission is to help people find and follow Jesus. Thrive is different than anything you’ve ever experienced before. Thrive values being simple, fun, and real. It’s passionate about Jesus and the message of the gospel – Thrive believes that message can change lives. Every week lives are being transformed, decisions to follow Jesus are being made, and relationships are being restored.
Thrive Church is located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan – home of Central Michigan University. In addition to the 27,000 students enrolled at Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant is home to 26,000 community members. The Central Michigan area includes several surrounding towns, bringing a population reach of 130,000 people within a 30-mile radius of Thrive. The Central Michigan area is a proud college district, full of life and energy. You will also find a rich community life that will quickly make you feel at home.
The Thrive Residency Program
Ministry Residents at Thrive Church will have a variety of experiences and responsibilities, as determined by their gift mix and desire for future planting roles. Residents will shadow active church planting positions, learning the nuts and bolts of establishing and executing all aspects of ministry. Specific opportunities are available with a focus in the following areas: students, creative, worship, administrative, discipleship and/or leadership.
Interested in a Residency with Thrive? Start Here!
Discovery Christian Church (Davis, CA)
Discovery exists to help people discover the good news of Jesus. Our dream is to be a church that serves our city and blesses the world by multiplying disciples and planting churches.
Our model is simple. We invite people to journey with us in three environments: Gatherings, Groups, and Generosity. Each environment is formed by the values of Community, Joy, Creativity, Authenticity, and Multiplication.
We want to send out great leaders, teams, and disciples who form new communities and churches to further the mission of helping as many people as possible discover that Jesus is the best possible news for humanity.
Discovery sits in a very unique context. Davis is a small, college town in the middle of agricultural fields. And yet, at the same time, our University is a world changer, recently named the 9th best Public University in the country. Davis itself sits between Sacramento, the capital of California, and the San Francisco Bay Area the capital of the tech world. As a result, our influence is significant, out of proportion to the size of the population in many ways.
Davis is an awesome place to live. It offers great outdoor living, a walkable/bikeable lifestyle, a world class farmer’s market, and excellent schools. Davis is the epitome of a post-Christian city and provides a relatively safe environment to share the gospel with people who represent the direction our culture is heading.
The Discovery Residency Program
Discovery is praying for a leadership resident who is passionate about planting a church in a post-Christian community (specifically near a major university). Residents will be challenged to share their faith in new and creative ways, learn how to lead and multiply teams, and utilize their gifts in each of our environments (gatherings, groups, and generosity), through a customizable plan we create together.
Interested in a Residency with Discovery? Start Here!
Momentum Christian Church (Henry County, GA)
Planted on the south side of Atlanta in 2007, Momentum currently is a multi-site church with two locations. Momentum offers live teaching at both campuses. Momentum is FOCUSED on becoming more like Jesus and bringing glory to God. Momentum wants people to experience TIGHT relationships and to be OUT THERE beyond its walls serving its community and the world.
Momentum is located in Henry County. Split down the middle by I-75, Henry County is part of the southern crescent of Atlanta. The county is growing and is the rural meeting the city. Momentum finds itself in a diverse, suburb community 20 minutes south of the Atlanta airport.
The Momentum Residency Program
The purpose of a Momentum residency is to prepare a person for senior leadership in a church plant. The residency will focus on Momentum as a whole, teaching the resident the inner-working of leading a church. Residency experience will include casting vision, understanding the community, leading staff, implementing systems, and much more. The residency will be very pragmatic offering high-level access to our organization.
Interested in a Residency with Momentum? Start Here!
Real Life Church Ministries
Real Life Church Ministries is a multi-campus church in Southern California with campuses in Valencia (Real Life Church), Canyon Country (Canyon Church), Simi Valley (Discovery Church) and online. Our mission is simple: to help people find and follow Jesus! In the process of fulfilling our mission we strive to be a church that unchurched people love to attend. Our weekend service is designed in a way to help the unchurched or dechurched connect with Jesus without assuming they know anything about Him or Scripture. This dictates what we say and how we say it. We strive to strip away any barriers that might get in the way from someone fully experiencing the good news of Jesus. In this we honor our guests and create a space that is welcoming and safe for everyone in any situation.
Our hope, as we help people find Jesus is to move them to become fully engaged by continuing to attend a weekend service, become a generous giver, find growth in community, live out their faith in service and become a person who is inviting others to join in. Each campus loves and serves the community they are in by locking arms with healthy non-profit organizations as well as city and county agencies and schools. In doing this, a campus is able to mobilize people to live out their faith by providing relief and restoration.
Each community we serve has unique and similar characteristics. Valencia and Canyon Country are both growing neighborhoods that partially make up the city of Santa Clarita in Los Angeles county and are very appealing to young families. Canyon Country is a bit more affordable, is connected to the 14 Freeway and on the southeast part of the Santa Clarita Valley. Valencia is a planned community with stricter HOA’s. It has many walkways and bike paths, golf courses and the famous Magic Mountain theme park. Simi Valley is in Ventura Country just outside of LA County and the San Fernando Valley. It is also a great family location, closer to the coast and home of the Ronald Reagan Library. All of these communities are favorite TV and Movie filming locations, so you’ll most likely notice your area on the silver screen. With large populations, a mix of socio-economic and racial demographics these towns are full of great people who may have never heard who Jesus really is and most likely have never been to church.
RLCM seeks to create more campuses and plant more churches to expand the Kingdom not only in California but around the world. Our Residency program is designed to be a place for growth and development and to fully experience a church fully committed to reaching the none’s, the unchurched and the dechurched. Our hope is for a Resident to either plant a church, potentially serve on staff at one of our campuses, or to showcase a Resident to be hired elsewhere
Our Residents will be matched with a staff coach and will navigate through a variety of leadership and spiritual development modules. Residents will be considered on staff at one or more of our campuses, leading and starting areas of ministry. Our church planting residents will have the chance to meet with several other church planters in varying stages of their church lifespan. Residents will help co-create their own job descriptions and will be able to learn and lead in areas that best suit their strengths and passion.
Interested in a Residency with RLCM? Start Here!
Rise City Church (Lakeside, CA)
Rise City Church is located in Lakeside, CA. Rise City launched in October 2013 and has grown very quickly in her first years. In the first three years, there have been over 135 people baptized and an attendance of over 600 people. Most recently, Rise City Church obtained a paid-off facility through a merger.
The vision of Rise City Church is to be a loving and life-giving church who brings hope and healing in Jesus’ name. Our mission is to call people to wake up to Jesus, rise to life in Him, and shine to others for him. There are four core values that pave our way forward. They include being Gospel-Centered (grace over good), Journey-Minded (incremental over instant), Community-Focused (investment over isolation), and Action-Oriented (give over get).
Lakeside is an eastern suburb of San Diego, CA located about 25 minutes from downtown. Lakeside is more rural in nature and a blue-collar community. Lakeside joins El Cajon, La Mesa, Alpine and Santee to make up East County San Diego. East County is considered the lower income part of San Diego. That being said –the medium income of Lakeside still is around $65,000/year because the cost of living throughout San Diego County is higher than most of the nation. A majority of families are two income families to make ends meet.
The Rise City Residency Program
The church plant resident will serve as a staff member at Rise City Church. Roles will include rotating throughout various ministries (Pastoral, Children’s, Creative and Outreach) in order to get a well-rounded view of ministry in a growing church environment. The resident will participate in creative service planning, preaching, small group trainings, counseling, as well as other ministry functions that arise week-to-week.
Interested in a Residency with Rise City? Start Here!
Venture Church (Hartland, MI)
Venture Church is a non-denominational, staff-led, elder-protected, Christ-focused church. Venture’s mission is to turn the largest number of non-churched, seeking people into fully devoted followers of Christ. The church offers two Sunday morning experiences and averages approximately 1,100 in attendance.
Hartland is in Livingston County, one of the fastest growing counties in Michigan. It is a bedroom community to metropolitan Detroit, located about 35 miles northwest of the city. Hartland is surrounded by the additional bedroom communities of Brighton, Howell, Fenton and Highland from which to reach and draw to the church. The Hartland school district ranks in the top 6% within Michigan and is a major draw for young families, evidenced by the current building boom of modern suburban neighborhoods. It is estimated that between 10-20% of Livingston County residents regularly attend church. This provides a great opportunity to reach, grow and accomplish Venture’s Mission.
Venture Residency Program
Venture desires to find a called leader with the gifting of a Lead Pastor who will plant a Venture Campus within 2 years to be located outside a 30-minute radius of Hartland MI.
As a part of your residency, you will be exposed to some of the best church planting trainers and coaches in our nation. You will be taken through a strategic training curriculum that was developed specifically for church planters. You will also take part in interviews with church planters and church planting pastors to learn from their experience and wisdom. You will take part in at least one church planting conference with other church planters, church planting organizations and potential church planting partners.
Interested in a Residency with Venture? Start Here!