Church planning

A Strategy to Develop Change Readiness for Succession Plans in a Post-Baby Boomer Era at First Baptist Church in Crowley, Texas

Aaron William Summers D.Min.
The Church is at a tipping point. Over the next five-to-ten years, decisions made by the local church will either prepare it for closure or seize the future for the Kingdom. The Western Church loses the second-largest generation when the Baby Boomers [Boomers] either die or become unable to continue attending and serving.
Is the church prepared? Is the church constructing a succession plan for when the Boomers are gone? The church will experience extreme shifts during this transition in leadership style, methodology, authenticity, polity, structure, and behavior. This project sought to understand the complexities of the coming generational transition and provide a starting point through the development of the change readiness of First Baptist Church [FBCC], Crowley, Texas.
The results of the project revealed an increase in change readiness for organizational succession planning after a sermon series designed to promote understanding and readiness toward change. These findings demonstrate that with proper biblical presentation and much prayer, the local church can be hopeful for the future.

Developing a Manual for Multi-Ethnic Church Planting at Nations Church, Houston, Texas

Zane Buddy Brents
Houston, Texas, is a multi-ethnic city with a need for more multi-ethnic churches. As a result, Nations church Planting Network and Nations Church Houston have adopted a goal of starting multi-ethnic churches. This Doctor of Ministry Project aimed to research the field of multi-ethnic church planting to design a training e-manual for Nations Church Planting Network and Nations Church Houston.

This project was guided by the ministry research model as prescribed by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Research goals included understanding the main key components for multi-ethnic planting and skill development for learning how to design a manual. This research project has increased the director's knowledge of multi-ethnic church starts and his ability to write a functional 3-manual. In the end, the research goals shaped the project outcome of a multi-ethnic church planting e-manual.

Developing a revitalization Strategy for Bethel Baptist Church, Pleasant Grove, Alabama

J. Eric Taylor
The purpose of this project was to develop a revitalization strategy for Bethel Baptist Church, Pleasant Grove, Alabama. The project director gathered demographic data for the city of Pleasant Grove, Alabama, as well as a three-mile ring surrounding the church. Additionally, the project director analyzed internal church data and surveyed the congregation to augment his research. The community and church data helped the project director produce a profile of the trends in the community and congregation. The project director researched church revitalization models and methods, interviewed pastors involved in revitalization, and read extensively on the subject of revitalization. This investigation produced a report of best practices and potential steps toward revitalization. A team of strategic leaders in the church served as the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) and the project director led this team through a process to develop the strategy for revitalization. Various groups in the church received the presentation of the revitalization strategy and their input produced a final version of the presentation to be presented to the church body. The project director along with the SRT presented the proposed strategy to the congregation for approval. The church unanimously approved the strategy in a business meeting called for December 1, 2021.

Church Revitalization Strategy for Morgan Chapel Baptist Church, Sturgis, Mississippi

Luke M. Gardner
The purpose of this project was to develop a church revitalization strategy for Morgan Chapel Baptist Church, Sturgis, Mississippi. The project director will conduct an internal audit of the church's demographics and key functions to determine the revitalization priorities of the church. The project director will research the field of church revitalization to determine the best practices in church revitalization. Next, the project director will select and train a diverse group of church members to serve on the strategy development team (Dream Team). The Dream Team, along with the project director, will design a church revitalization strategy for Morgan Chapel utilizing the best practices in church revitalization. Finally, the project director will present the completed strategy to the deacon body for evaluation and then the church for ultimate approval at a scheduled business meeting. Experts in the field of church revitalization will be enlisted to evaluate the process and the completed strategy.

The Art of Seamless Pastoral Transition: A Guide For Church Leaders

Lee D. Kricher D.Min.
A standard practice during pastoral transitions is the appointment of an Interim Pastor, who serves for months or years between permanent (“settled”) pastors. A viable alternative is Seamless Pastoral Transition, an option that is becoming more and more common across traditions. With the goal of preserving congregational continuity and momentum, Seamless Pastoral Transition eliminates the gap in time between the service of the Outgoing Pastor and Incoming Pastor. This paper presents several Seamless Pastoral Transition case studies, about half of which are from mainline denominations, and covers three virtues to embrace and six pitfalls to avoid for church leaders in transition.

Developing an Islam Mission Strategy for Rasimpasa International Church, Istanbul, Turkey

Kwangmyeon Kim
The purpose of the project was to develop an Islam mission strategy for Rasimpasa International Church which is located in Istanbul, the political and economic center of the Islamic Republic of Turkey. For this Islam mission strategy development model, the project director first studied the areas of professional strategic planning and development for church planting and studied theories and practical application cases for Islam mission in order to establish and develop general strategic planning concerning church planting. Second, throughout the process of this study, the project director identified theoretical bases for Rasimpasa International Church to actively participate in the Islam mission ministry and developed a specific Islam mission strategy that can be applied in this situation of the church in Istanbul, Turkey. Third, the project director presented a developed Islam mission strategy for approval to selected group of leaders of Rasimpasa International Church. It also reflected the objective evaluation of experts on the achievement of the presented misistry goals and professional goals for this project. Lastly, the project director made suggestions for the deep and good practice through analysis and reflections after the preparation, and implementation and evaluation process for the Islam mission strategy development model.


Philip Schenck D.Min.
There are high expectations that a church plant grow by seeing people come to faith in Christ. Such seems to be the expectation placed upon every church plant, as evidenced in literature and conferences and denominational leaders. Experience has not born out what the church anticipated in terms of multiple and regular conversion growth. Academic research, interviews, surveys and focus groups were utilized to understand evangelism and outreach as a whole and as it pertains to the local church that was the focus of this project. Attempt has been made to determine and suggest a response or series of responses that might aid the church in its evangelistic effectiveness. Church members indicated a desire to see the church grow by conversion, but raised concerns about individual preparedness, the need for training, and overcoming fear. Community members raised questions and shared expectations of local churches and church leadership. An overall need for pastoral leadership in the area of evangelism was highlighted. The strategic plan for evangelism and outreach seeks to address the areas of concern and focus that came to light as a result of the research and study, the surveys and interviews undertaken, and conversations with members of church leadership. Is has sought to address needs represented and stated by church and community, leaves opportunity for further study and innovation and invites the involvement of every ministry team and every individual in the church.


James L. Betner D.Min.
Nothing stays the same. This inevitability of change and transition should prompt
every active lead pastor to understand that the place you stand in today may in fact be the
place another stands in tomorrow. To be fully cognizant of that reality aids in the pastor’s
ability to be able to see beyond the present and to begin thinking about and perhaps even
preparing for the unavoidable future of the present ministry. Pastoral enmeshment and the
improper views of competition in ministry must be countered with a clear understanding
of the pastor as a steward who is called to build the Lord’s kingdom, not a personal one.
Succession planning, then, must include a theology of leadership development and a clear
understanding of what a healthy pastorate looks like. There must be a mutual synergy of
pastor and people who can appreciate yesterday and today and yet still anticipate with
greater affection the possibility of tomorrow. This work identifies biblical models for
succession and offers practical methods to prepare the pastor and people for eventual
Without attention to succession planning, a church and its pastor succumbs to
being reactive at best, and negligent at worst, by waiting for a crisis to unfold as a result
of inevitable changes in leadership. However, when a proper perspective of succession is
developed for the church and the pastor, it adds stability to the mission of the church and
frees the pastor to willingly give it away at the right time.
At the core of this project is the process of the development of a succession plan
for the Delaware Valley Baptist Church of Willingboro, NJ in particular, and succession
in the Protestant congregational church in general.

The Ministry Benefits and Personal Growth that Came from Using Participatory Action Research to Develop a Workshop for Cree Mentors

Benjamin Kenneth Peltz D.Min.
This Doctor of Ministry (DMin) Research Portfolio details the author’s development as a leader throughout the program via his Leadership Narrative, Ministry Context Analysis, Project Report, and Philosophy of Leadership. His research project consisted of using Participatory Action Research (PAR) methods to develop a mentoring workshop for Cree adults. Using PAR methods caused him to revisit his assumptions and alter the way he designed and ran the workshop, which increased participants’ confidence in ways that he did not originally anticipate. This experience, alongside other elements of the DMin program and developments in his leadership responsibilities, led him to identify his calling as leading intergenerational and intercultural reconciliation using communal discernment processes. Alongside demonstrating how spiritual experiences, faithful mentors, Christian community, and formal education can enable an individual to overcome a difficult upbringing and become a capable Christian leader, this portfolio offers insights into the value of using PAR and similar processes for improving ministry endeavours in an indigenous context.

Developing a multiethnic church planting strategy for Green Acres Baptist Church, Tyler, Texas, to reach interntationals in Portland, Oregon

Gregory S. Smith
The purpose of this project was to develop a multiethnic church planting strategy for Green Acres Baptist Church, Tyler, Texas, to reach interntationals in Portland, Oregon. The external demographic data and common elements discovered provided the basis for which the multiethnic church planting strategy was developed. The project director utilized various information gathering resources to determine the needs of internationals and to identify common elements for effective multiethnic church planting models. The project director researched strategy planning techniques, especially strategies that focused on reaching multiethnic communities. He then led a selected planning team to develop a multifaceted strategy on how to reach the diverse ethnicities represented in Portland, Oregon. The final state of the project was for the project director to present the multiethnic church planting strategy to Green Acres Baptist Church’s church planting team for approval.
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