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Administrative Matters & Information

In addition to more broad themes and directions that have been shared in this orientation document, there are a number of administrative matters and additional support that are provided as a part of the Appendix section, or as informational content below.


These covenant agreements are available as the accepted (yet modifiable) platforms from which to enter a formal relationship. These agreements represent two separate covenants: 1) Cohort Pastor/Consultant Pastor Covenant, and 2) Partnering Church/Project Covenant.

NOTE: Please see full sample copies in the Appendix section of this document.


Are you interested in new church or new ministry development, or do you feel called to plant a church? To help you discern this specific call to ministry, we have an assessment process in the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area. This process includes eight phases and the timeline runs congruent with the appointment year. Project development and recruitment usually begin each year after September 1 and extend through the end of the year. Each phase ramps up intentional phases of the process.

The eight phases include: 1) Recruiting, 2) Inquiring, 3) Initial Screening, 4) Initial Assessment, 5) In-depth Screening, 6) Assessment Interviews, 7) Assessment Follow-up, and 8) Recommendations for Deployment.

NOTE: For more information and details on each phase, including a proposed timeline, please see the Assessment document in the Appendix section of this document.


Potential planters may be required to take a Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), which is a useful instrument that has been validated cross-culturally.

Cultural competence involves understanding and responding, appropriately, to the distinct combination of cultural variables, which include: age, ethnicity, experience, gender, gender identity, tradition, beliefs, national origin, sexual orientation, race, religion, socioeconomic status, and geographic affinity. Cultural competency evolves over time, beginning with an understanding of one’s own culture, ongoing interaction with people from various cultures, and extending through one’s own expansion of knowledge.


Each planter will be assigned a professional, experienced coach, if they receive funding and other resources from the conference office. If you have a preferred coach in mind, the Office of Congregational Development will interview/vet the candidate to ensure the coach is a good fit for our strategic initiatives and contextual challenges.

Coaches have a specific role in the development process. They are to “coach” the planters. We have outlined the specific roles of the coaches and how they are to relate to the project in relationship to the primary roles of the District Superintendent, Board Liaison, and Office of Congregational Development (collectively, part of the stakeholders). While the following list provides an overview of the primary roles, there  may be situations that overlap. Primary roles are as follows:

      • District Superintendent: Supervisory and Oversight
      • Professional Coach: Coaching
      • Board/Committee Liaison: Communications
      • Office of Cong. Dev.: Resourcing and Mentoring

NOTE: See a complete descriptions for details on each role and how they relate to one another in the supporting “Roles & Relationships” overview in the Appendix section of this document.


Planting churches is an incredible adventure that requires special gifts, skills, and stamina. However, all of these items cannot find fruitfulness without a compelling vision and a comprehensive ministry plan. To help you identify the personal tools and support an emerging vision, the Office of Congregational Development (OCD) requires each potential planter to go through an assessment process. If you have not yet contacted the OCD or been assessed for this work, please contact Rev. Dr. William D. Gibson ( before submitting a new church development proposal.

Our boards and committees across the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area require a consistent format for all proposals of new church development projects, which will foster ministry plan development. The purpose of this new format is twofold: 1) We want to provide a framework that offers the managing stakeholders (District Superintendent, Cabinet, boards/committees, and the OCD) clarity in understanding the vision, intent, leadership, growth, metrics, and expectations; and 2) We want to foster the development of a good ministry plan that will support the fruitfulness and multiplication of the project.

NOTE: For a copy of the Ministry Plan Development Guidelines, please see the Appendix section of this document.


Planters are required to provide quarterly reporting on the fruitfulness of and learning from their new church development project. The new metrics for measuring new church development projects, while centered on a couple of numerical indicators, primarily rest on narrative and inquiries that reveal how the numbers inform the narrative and how the narrative informs the numbers.

Benchmarks are set in consultation with the District Superintendent, Director of Strategic Faith Community Development, and the assigned Coach. The established benchmarks will be aligned with the the strategic initiatives of the district and the contextual ministry focus of the project. Meeting benchmarks is essential to the ongoing funding support and growth of the new church. Adjustments are determined based on results and data; therefore, timely quarterly reports are required from each new project/planter/launch team.

NOTE: For a copy/example of the Measuring Ministry Quarterly Report, please see the Appendix section of this document.


Our Treasurer’s Office has provided a detailed outline for how new church projects are to handle their money, to include setting up and managing accounts, providing financial reports, conducting audits, and getting a tax ID number.

NOTE: Please refer to the Appendix section of this document for these details and instructions.


coffee_on_table-smallThere are instituted requirements for each planter to take a sabbatical leave of four to six weeks, following their fourth appointment year. The work of planting new churches is extremely challenging and tends to drain pastors/planters at a rapid pace. This required sabbatical leave should be planned between years four and five of the appointment cycle.

Additionally, boundaries are extremely important in this work. Planters are expected to shape healthy boundaries within their congregations and projects, keeping adequate time for family and personal spiritual formation. Additionally, planters are expected to have a regular, weekly rhythm of sabbath, which further allows for renewal, rest, and an example for the congregation.


The Office of Congregational Development is committed to developing vital congregations that are financially sustainable and foster multiplication. We are here to resource your efforts in ways that are contextually appropriate for your ministry setting. Through these efforts, we make available Western Jurisdictional training geared contextually for our unique ministry context.

Strategic Training:

Trainings events include: Step One, which is an entry point training that assists in the discernment and exploration of church planting in our jurisdiction; LaunchPad, which is a planning training for the planter and her/his launch team/leaders; First 12, which is a newly developed training designed to help gather the first 12 leaders; and other regional and national gatherings, such as Exponential West and the National Church Planters Gathering.

New Pilot Program:

For the 2016-2017 appointment year, and in cooperation with the Seattle and Tacoma Districts of the PNW Conference, we have developed a pilot training program that is designed to reinforce our strategic multisite direction across the Greater Area. This pilot program will be led by Brian Zehr of Intentional Impact and is a cohort-based training that includes the voices of existing church planters and high-capacity pastors in more traditional appointments.

We are calling this pilot training Multiplying Ministries, which focuses on three areas: 1) Fostering cultural shift, 2) Developing spiritually grounded leaders, and 3) Re-establishing an expectation of multiplication in our churches. The program extends over eight months and includes six cohort all-day sessions and six follow-up coaching calls. Each participant will be required to have a strategic goal targeted for development/implementation within her/his ministry setting and aligning with the strategic initiatives of the districts in which she/he is appointed.

Based on the results of this pilot program, we hope to make this training available across the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area.

MissionInsite Support:

missioninsiteWe are able to provide our planters and pastors across the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area with the latest demographic data of appointed communities. This tool is extremely helpful in providing various snapshots and data of neighborhoods, communities, and regions, which can support ministry plans, discipleship systems, and mission field engagement. MissionInsite empowers faith-based and nonprofit organizations with the tools they need to visualize and cultivate their current and prospective members, donors and volunteers and solve their most difficult challenges.

Click here for more details on how to register and use this service, paid for by our conferences, please contact Patrick Ferguson.


For more details on the support of the Office of Congregational Development, contact Patrick Ferguson, Assistant for Leadership & Congregational Development, at or at 206.870.6802 (direct line).

Rev. Dr. William D. Gibson
Director of Strategic Faith Community Development
Office of Connectional Ministries • Office of Congregational Development
Greater Northwest Episcopal Area
P. O. Box 13650 • 816 South 216th Street #2
Des Moines, WA 98198
800.755.7710 ext. 334 •