To reach our goal of 1000 healthy churches in a generation, the Baptist Association of NSW & ACT needs to see many new churches birthed, and existing churches linked to church planting projects. We look to be a diverse/blended economy, planting 4 different models of churches (in order to attract different church leaders/members and fit different locations/contexts). It can be tricky to keep up with what these are and know all the lingo, so we thought we’d break it down simply below!

  1. Regional Churches
    These churches are often larger, generally drawing across a larger region with people travelling. They’re often more organised/structured in their ministry/mission and governance, and there’s a central place that people come to. They are usually led by teams with specialist ministry focuses and a Lead Pastor who serves as a figurehead. An example of a regional church within our movement is Manly Life.

  2. Simple Churches
    These are often lay-led (with no paid staff). They often don’t own property, and have smaller budgets that are focused on direct giving to ministry/mission (rather than towards maintaining structures, etc.). They’re relational, nimble, flexible, and can change pretty quick. They usually consist of a relatively small number of members, though often have a significantly larger number of non-members connected to their community. They can exist anywhere and could be based around factors such as a workplace, a community group, a theme/purpose or a project/interest. An example of a simple church within our movement is Church on the Hill.

  3. Neighbourhood Churches
    These are place-based; they’ve got their area/community that they’re based, and ministry/mission flows from that context. They play a priestly, chaplain-type role in that place. That means they often tend to be more relational, and are often smaller. They often have a single Pastor (maybe part-time) with a broad range of pastoral, administrative and leadership responsibilities. They are often built around a parish model of church, ministering to the felt needs of their neghbourhood. They tend to be quite relational, localised and organic. Though it has grown into a regional church, Greenhouse Church started as a neighbourhood church – calling people to move into the neighbourhood, having dinner parties within walking distance of where people were, etc.

  4. Resource Churches
    The goal of this church is not just to build itself, but to be a resource for facilitating other mission/ministry in and around itself – strategically planting and resourcing other churches in their large (and often growing) population. They are not just there for themself, but for their region/area. They seek to grow leaders, active partnerships with their region, and a bigger vision. A regional, neighbourhood or simple church could double as a resource church. You might be planted intentionally as a resource church (like Marrickville Baptist). Or, you might not initially set out to become a resource church, but as God moves, that shift could just happen (such as Narara Valley Baptist).

(Note: These four titles refer to the way a church organises itself: its structures, processes, budgets, etc – NOT a particular approach or style. Read more here!)


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