Having completed or effectively initiated the strategies set forth in the first phase of LH360, Living Hope’s leadership feels led by God to move the church into the next phase of its strategic plan to fulfill its core values.
This plan can best be described in three words: Planting, People, and Property:
One of the most effective ways we serve our world is by planting churches. Churches that become vital contributors to their communities open doors for the Gospel to permeate and transform families, businesses, schools, and others within their realm of influence.
Living Hope church plants are guided by the core values we believe are essential; yet embody the personality and characteristics of the communities in which they’re located.
In the years ahead, our LH360 strategy for planting churches is to continue to identify communities around our city and world where churches that uphold the values of Gospel, Community, and Mission are most needed.
God’s Kingdom is unleashed on earth when His people—the Church—demonstrate His love to the people around them. The Church is at its best when its people are equipped for the task at hand.
Living Hope desires to be strategic in its efforts to equip by finding, training, and assessing those who desire to be a part of its church plants. Just as a doctor-in-training would shadow more experienced doctors to learn a particular specialty, our church planting residency gives planters-in-training the opportunity to learn from those who have gone before them. This allows our church planters to make the most of the opportunity they’ve been given, and offers a resource to draw from when facing the inevitable challenges that accompany the launch of a new work.
Our church planters receive training in six areas:
Calling—Are they called by God to the new work they’re undertaking?
Character—Do they possess the character required to fill the role of a biblically qualified leader or pastor?
Chemistry—Are they of like mind and practice with Living Hope and its values?
Conviction—What are their core beliefs, doctrine?
Competence—How can we best shape, train, equip, and empower church planters in the areas they’re gifted?
Capacity—How can we help them understand ways the Lord has gifted them, and at the same time, help them understand their limitations?
As we’ve experienced firsthand at Living Hope, launching a church without a base of operations creates a wide range of challenges. We help church planters raise funds to locate and maintain a home base in the neighborhood where the church will be planted. This provides them with a place to work and meet, and also allows them to become a part of the community they’re hoping to reach.
Living Hope also designates funds for debt retirement on our current facility. By consistently and aggressively paying off our remaining debt, we free up resources for the work of ministry. Our desire is to be free of debt as soon as possible so that all resources can be directed toward local and global efforts to spread the Gospel.
(separate from Living Hope’s Operating Budget, over a three-year period):
Debt Retirement $2 million
Church Planting $1 million
Total $3 million
Our financial goal for LH360 is to raise $3 million outside of our normal Operating Budget over a three-year period. Of this amount, $2 million will be designated toward debt retirement and $1 million will be designated toward church planting.
A portion of the $1 million designated for church planting will facilitate the following:
• The continued work of planting Living Hope Vollintine Evergreen in Memphis as well as seed money for more church plants around Memphis and the globe.
• The renovation and rehabilitation of the property and facilities presently housing McLean Baptist Church in Vollintine Evergreen Memphis for use by Living Hope Vollintine Evergreen.
• Establishing and operating a Church Plant Residency at Living Hope.