“If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.”
Over the last year, the Multiply Vineyard team has been intentionally working to create new partnerships with organizations to better support you, pastors and planters, on your church multiplication journeys. These groups offer support in areas like the legal aspects of establishing a church, training on creating cultures of multiplication in our existing churches, and much more.
Stadia is one of these partners, offering their expertise in church planter assessment, along with help in practical areas like project management, bookkeeping, fundraising, and more.
We get a lot of questions about this partnership. People often say, “if I’m starting to discern about church planting with the Vineyard, why are you sending me to another church planting organization?”
We like to say we are walking together hand in hand, partnering to offer robust support and services to planters and pastors.
We recently sat down with Nathan ‘Chivo’ Hawkins, Stadia’s West Regional Director, to talk about this partnership and how we’re working together toward our shared vision of healthy churches in every city and town.
You can watch the video or check out highlights from the conversation below!
Who is Stadia?
Stadia is a church planting organization that is passionate about starting new churches for the next generation. Stadia works with organizations from a handful of different denominations. Over the past couple of years, Stadia’s model of working with church planters has changed.
Chivo gave a little insight into that shift saying, “The pivot we made back in 2019 was a pretty radical shift to move from network to platform…We took a look at the shape of church planting primarily in the U.S., heavily influenced by a report put together by Pinetops Foundation. They identified that church planting across the board had plateaued. We had been seeing 4,000 new churches being started a year across the board. On average, 3,700 to 3,800 churches were closing before COVID-19. Of course, COVID is accelerating that up to 5,500 a year. So, we went from a net gain of maybe 200, 300, maybe 400 to a net deficit of 1500…this compelled us to say, we need to do something differently.”
Stadia started to wonder – what was their role in this? This led to the development of their ‘no strings attached’ model. This means there is no obligation for church planters who receive services from Stadia to commit money to the organization. Stadia hopes by removing this barrier, they are able to partner with more churches and better fulfill the great commission.
Why are we partnering together?
Stadia’s team brings professionalism and experience to the table in the area of assessment of church planting candidates. For those who are still discerning if God is calling them to plant a church, Stadia is able to come alongside them, get to know them through conversations and assessments, and lead them through a process of discernment they call the Discovery Process.
Multiply Vineyard’s Operations Coordinator Corey Garris says, “As a movement, we’re looking for people who have been there and done that. [Stadia is] the expert as it relates to assessment and project management.”
One of the things we love about this discernment process is that it not only assesses the candidate for planting, but also affirms their readiness and aptitude to start a new church. We’ve found having someone outside of our movement give input on areas for growth and share affirmation of God’s calling to be invaluable.
Chivo explains the process by saying, “Our discovery process is designed to be a ‘mutual discernment’ process. You introduce us to a leader, we get to know that leader, that leader gets to decide what role Stadia and Multiply Vineyard plays. We’ll help with that process which includes our Church Planting Assessment Center, a 4-day process that we’ll all do together collaboratively.”
After participating in a Church Planting Assessment Center, Multiply Vineyard planters get to decide what kind of additional support they’d like to receive from Stadia from bookkeeping or project management to coaching or learning communities.
How do we win?
‘…I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you send me and have loved them even as you have loved me.’ —John 17:20-23
Chivo says, “We take Jesus’ prayer in John 17 to heart. Jesus prayed that we would be one, so that the world would know. There’s a purpose for the unity Jesus prayed for. That purpose is mission…When we can align on mission, I think that is one of the most powerful testimonies that we as a ‘Big C’ church have.”
Through partnerships with other church planting and resourcing organizations, we’re able to do more together than we could ever do on our own. With around 50 current potential planters in process with Stadia and more on the way, we’re looking forward to our continued collaborative work together!
A process that invests in you
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