Church planters often have questions that can best be answered only by other church planters.
An informal network is meeting that need for about 40 church planters who gather each month at Pine Ridge Church in Graham to discuss the unique issues related to planting, nurturing and growing a new congregation.
“I think the only people who understand church planters are church planters,” said Tadd Grandstaff, a leader of the network and pastor at Pine Ridge, one of the new churches started the week of the Southern Baptist Convention’s 2006 meeting in Greensboro.
Grandstaff, who had been involved in a similar network in Atlanta, said the group started about eight months ago when about 10 church planters met for lunch.
The group grew as those attending invited friends who are starting churches.
“It’s a time to connect and form relationships,” said Grandstaff.
Church planters register to attend the meeting on the Pine Ridge web site. Registration includes an opportunity to post questions for discussion. Each month, participants discuss about 10 of the questions on topics ranging from how to form a core team to how best to follow up with visitors.
The network might become more formal, and the church planters are even talking about working together to start more churches, Grandstaff said.
While the Raleigh and Greensboro areas are most represented in the group, others have come from the coastal region, Kentucky and Virginia.
Many of the church planters are associated with the Baptist State Convention, but others are affiliated with other groups.
“You get different perspectives from different churches,” Grandstaff said.
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