1. When does your selection process for the Residency Program begin?

Candidates are encouraged to and can apply at anytime and applications are considered year round.  Ideally, applications are received before Feb 15th, interviews of candidates for the upcoming year take place in the Spring and the class is established by June 1 for the upcoming September.

2. What is required to apply?

The following are among the items considered in building our cohort:

  • A candidate’s resume and references
  • Link to candidate’s communication skills
  • Application
  • Interviews

3. Describe your “best fit” Candidate Profile?

Leaders come in all shapes and sizes.  Some are more naturally gifted organizationally, while others excel more at building relationships. Still others are better at seeing the big picture and playing the role of team captain.  Each is equally important in value.  The most effective teams are made up of leaders that complement each other in these areas.

Our Leadership Residency is geared toward training the leader who is gifted in overall leadership to serve in the role of team captain – whether you call that person the directional leader, team leader, lead pastor or some other title.  He is the person on the team that naturally stays focused on the big picture, brings entrepreneurial energy, and keeps the team moving forward in unity.

We are big believers in team.  The New Testament church was founded on team.  We believe it’s one of the essential elements to building healthy churches.  Team allows leaders to operate in their main strengths, allows for stronger teaching and inspires others to live for something bigger than themselves.  We wouldn’t dream of sending a church planter out to plant a new church all by himself.

Because our training is primarily focused on the practical aspects of church leadership, we do require that our Residents have a solid Biblical theology that they can articulate.

4. What specific leadership characteristics are you looking for in assessing potential candidates for the Residency Program?

  • Leadership ability that is evidenced by past performance
  • An entrepreneurial spirit
  • Commitment to a team approach to ministry
  • A track record of responsibility
  • A spirit of courage and confidence with a great sense of humility
  • A proven communicator and teacher
  • A passionate commitment to Jesus Christ and His vision
  • Teachability and a desire to learn
  • A strong gospel-centered orientation, theology and life.

Acts 29 also listed some helpful characteristics of a church planter:

  1. Has demonstrated past successes in starting new ventures.
  2. Is an innovative and strategic visionary.
  3. Is highly energetic and enthused about starting a new work.
  4. Shows ability to enlist others in new ventures.
  5. Evidences being a self-starter.
  6. Has a willingness to work intensely for an extended period of time.

5. How many Residents are selected for your program each year?

Typically, we will invite up to six to eight candidates to join the program each year but will only accept the number of candidates we feel best fit our profile.

6. Do you pay the Residents a stipend during the 7-month program?

Each year Fellowship Associates and our partners cover the cost of:

  • All books and materials required for training
  • Travel expenses to and from Residency locations
  • Hotel and lodging costs during cohort times together
  • Most years we have also been able to provide a monthly stipend to invest in each Resident 

The details of these agreements are discussed with Residents invited to participate each year.

7. What can selected Residents expect to take away from their experience?

A number of our former Residents claim that the time spent in the Residency Program have sent them “ten years down the road’ in terms of their leadership and pastoral learning curves.  While it is impossible to include all of the opportunities and experiences offered in Fellowship Associates Church Planting Residency Program, we have listed some of them below:

  • Explore and understand your core strengths (who you are) and weaknesses (who you are not) as a leader
  • Study the advantages of team and what makes it work
  • Develop a roadmap and timeline for planting your church
  • Receive training in fund raising and in managing a budget
  • Discover the types of leaders you need on your leadership team
  • Master leadership disciplines that will increase your effectiveness
  • Master proven best practices that are being effectively used to build church plants around the country
  • Gain insights from other church planters at various stages in their journey who are already a part of the Fellowship Network
  • Learn a strategic planning process that will help give your church clarity of direction and greater effectiveness
  • Understand the dynamics of being an elder-led church
  • Be exposed to an Alumni Network of over 80 church planters and leaders in all phases of the church planting process.

8. What expectations are placed on the Residents during the nine month program?

Along with the normal day-to-day and week-to-week experience of the Residency Program itself, Residents are expected to read several books and journal articles for discussion and ultimately develop and present a Strategic Ministry Plan of their Church Plant to the Fellowship Associates Board.  During the off weeks when Resident’s do not gather together, they are expected to develop their plans under the guidance of their host church.

9. What benchmarks are used to measure a Fellowship Associates church once they are planted?

We would expect to see the following take place over a 2-3 year period:

  • Pre-launch Team Gathered and Developed
  • Successful Launch of the Church
  • Continued Gathering and Assimilation of New Members
  • Financial Independence
  • Recruitment of Team Partners
  • Continued Leadership Development of the Church Planter
  • Ongoing team unity, role clarity, and the establishment of a governing elder board.

10. Can Fellowship Associates’ Church Planters join other networks and denominations?

Not only do we allow this, we strongly encourage our alumni to partner with strategic networks or denominations as they lay the groundwork for their new church.  We are strong believers in the need for a church planter to gather the support he needs to thrive as a church planter and leader.

11.  Are Residents expected to plant a “Fellowship Bible Church”?

No, not at all.  While several church planters have chosen to use the “Fellowship” name in some form,  that decision is up to the planter.