Being a church planter and the pastor of a small church, I always hoped we would some day be able to send out and support a fellow church plant. Yet, it felt like it would be a long time until we could be a sending church. Then I came across the idea of church planting triads and my whole concept of how we could be involved in church planting changed.
What exactly is a triad? And how did it change my view on planting? The triad model is a way of planting a church by having three churches partner together to help plant and support that church. This model provided a way for me to be an active participant in planting. This simple method can empower pastors to get involved and give them the ability to see their goals achieved. There are many benefits to triads, but three, in particular, are especially helpful.
1. Vision to Plant Your First Church
Joining a triad gave me the vision to take the first step in planting a church. Working with three churches allows a person to cultivate a new shared vision for church planting in a specific city, community, or area. Not only do you develop new vision and excitement about planting, but you’re able to create clear goals and action steps necessary for its success. A shared vision and actionable steps happen in the context of the support which comes from partnering with two other churches.
2. A Coaching Model Leading to Healthy Churches
One of the key components of the triad is a coaching model which increases the health of your church and the other churches in the group. Coaching is coming alongside people to encourage them, help them process ideas by asking them powerful questions, and help them identify where God is at work in their lives. The coaching model helps create a healthy, encouraging relationships within the group; leads to deeper growth, and makes for more effective strategic planning toward goals within the three churches and church plants. In these relationships, you’re able to hold each other accountable and they lead to plans and steps for real solutions within your church.
3. Affinity Groups
Another benefit to triads is the ability to form affinity groups among the various ministries. An affinity group is made up of leaders with a shared passion or expertise from each of the triad member churches. For example, the kid's ministry leaders would meet together to discuss ways to provide support for the new church plant. What you will discover is not only will the three leaders of each ministry discuss how to help the new church plant, but they will end up sharing ideas and ways to help each other out in their own ministries. This leads to these ministries improving and growing as well.
With a triad, you will be able to eliminate many of the barriers of church planting. As you work with churches of similar size or those close in proximity, together you’ll each provide pieces to see a Vineyard church in the next neighborhood, city, or town over. But the most impactful part of forming a triad is the depth of healthy and deep friendships developed while working together to seek big goals!
Michael Houle is the pastor of the Valley Vineyard Church located in a small town in Northern Wisconsin for the past 11 years. He and his wife, Trisha, and their 2 children, ages 18 and 20, planted the church in 2005. He is an active team member of the Vineyard Small Town Partnership. Michael is also a certified coach with Multiply Vineyard. He is passionate about evangelism and discipleship.