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Get Trained:
Four Tiers of Church Planter Development

Justin Juntunen

Justin Juntunen

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If you are thinking about planting a church, whether you want to be the lead church planter, a team member, or you hope to send out a planting team from your church, training is probably high on your list of priorities. How do people develop the skills they need to plant a church?

We’re always thinking about new ways to answer that question at Multiply Vineyard. Local churches are the best places for church planters to grow and be raised up. We’re here to come alongside the local church and help them raise and develop church planters really well.

Pastors, church planters, we want to be a resource to you. We’re here to help provide you with the tools you need to multiply like crazy. So, first of all, if you haven’t dug into the training resources available on our website you should take a little time to check them out—there are quite a few helpful documents, videos, and other resources housed there for planters, senior pastors, and multisite coordinators.

Beyond those individual resources, though, we’ve organized several levels, or tiers, of training for churches and planters, which involved increasing levels of commitment.

Multiply Vineyard Training Overview:

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Tier 1: Church Planting Intensives with Facilitators’ Guides

The first tier is comprised of four church planting intensive classes. Each intensive has videos, student guides, and facilitator guides and contains 8 hours of content. They can be run in many different ways, as fits the needs and schedule of the pastor or church running them—a weekend workshop, or a one-day intensive, or over the course of a handful of weeks as a small group for example.

Each intensive covers a different area of church planter development: Discover, Vision, Health and Growth. The Vision, Discover, and Health Intensives are available now here. We just filmed the Growth Intensive, and it will also be coming along soon.

Senior pastors that would really like to get some of the other tiers of training up and running in their churches can take the intensives of tier one to use as a trial run of sorts. Take these, use them, and see if you think you can give more time to run something like a Tier 2 or 3, or if these intensives on their own will work well for you. You can also use them to give planters a taste of what the Residency+ Program might be like.

Think of these as your complimentary marketing package for church planter training in your church.

Tier 2: Internship Resources

A key Vineyard value is to equip believers to do the ministry. In addition to this, we want to train those who are called into full time service to plant and to pastor churches with our philosophy of ministry. Our pastoral intern program resources aims to fulfill this objective. We are providing resources to create a program is geared toward those who could potentially be sent out to plant or pastor within 1-2 years.

We are developing some resources and frameworks to help structure internships in your church. You may already have an internship program – sweet! We are hoping to provide content that may refine, refocus, or resource all churches whether the currently have interns or not. Please go to our website to learn more to download our internship development packet. Also, we are currently building more of these resources and would love your help and feedback if you have something great to share.

Tier 3: Vineyard Institute Degree

The third tier option for church planters to get training is to enroll in Vineyard Institute to earn a certificate of Biblical Studies with a Church Planting emphasis. We have been partnering with VI to develop some core electives that will help students interested in planting to get trained and point to ongoing training for those who continue to pursue planting afterward.

This tier is the most expensive option, but doesn’t require as much of the local church leadership to help the planter. Please go to VineyardInstitute.org to begin looking into these courses. This summer we will provide detailed information about the Church planting emphasis track.

Tier 4: The Residency+ Program

The fourth tier of training is our everything-package—a full in person cohort of leaders in a residency program. It is the local church woven together with the Vineyard Institute learning model and coursework, which adds up to 12 credits and can be counted toward a full VI degree (as in tier 2). The planter/student would just need to take three additional courses beyond what is required for this tier to earn the VI certificate.

We see this option as the most in-depth in terms of training. It gives planters a full academic experience at the same time they are gaining hands-on experience and being discipled in their sending church.

The VI material augments the training a sending pastor can provide to planters, and vice-versa. If you want more on this tier, check out our other, shorter article on the Residency+ Program.

We encourage you to try one or a few of these options. If you want to get trained, find out what your church offers, or what your pastor might be willing to start offering. If you are a senior pastor with potential planters you’d like to train, consider how you’d like to invest you and your church’s time and resources to do that really well.

Please bring us your questions and ideas. We never want to stop improving and developing our training resources. We’ll keep you all updated on new resources we are adding online. Bottom line is, we want to continue developing more and more training for both planters and sending pastors, so that you all can get out and multiply!

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