Designed for lay church planters to journey together

We are offering lay church planters the opportunity to journey together on a learning pathway, designed to equip them over two and a half years with the tools needed to plant and establish new church communities.

Lay church planters will assemble a small team and join with others to form a learning community, growing together as they explore themes including: vision and discernment; leading and teams; formation and core practices; planting and discipling; growth and multiplication. The Myriad Pathway includes five two-day in-person gatherings, online learning and mentoring.

The gathering is an opportunity for teams to come together, hear updates on how each is progressing, receive input, reflect on the input and their experiences, and then make action plans.

Online learning topics supplement the input received at gatherings at a pace defined by each person.

Mentoring is available for each lay planter with an experienced practitioner so they have a space to ask questions.

The expected outcome of the two-year journey is that each team will start a new church community if they have not already done so. These churches will look different but share the same DNA consisting of prayer, a devotion to Jesus and a missional outlook.

This is for lay (i.e. non-ordained) people who have recently started a new church community (e.g. within the past 12 months) and need training and support. This is also for anyone who feels called to start a new church community but hasn’t yet worked out what that looks like and how to go about it. The person doesn’t need to be working towards ordination but there does need to be an agreed discernment that God is calling them to plant a church. 

Our requirement for anyone applying to this Myriad Pathway is that the person and their application are supported by an oversight minister. This should be their current ordained leader within the Church of England (i.e. their vicar) or the leader of the sending church (in any denomination).

Q: What kind of training input will I get?
Our content is based on five themes: vision and discernment; leading and teams; formation and core practices; planting and discipling; growth and multiplication. Each gathering is based on one of those themes and online learning topics are categorised accordingly.

Q: How much time does this require?
The journey of planting a church, especially when someone is bi-vocational, can be very intense. We have designed the programme to be lightweight so you can do it alongside church. We anticipate that in each six months of the programme you will 1) attend the gathering (two days); 2) carry out online learning (8-12hrs); 3) have mentoring meetings (3-4hrs); 4) have a supervision meeting with the hub leader (1hr). There will be some additional onboarding activities that need to be done (e.g. safeguarding training, online induction event, etc.).

Q: I can’t attend one of the gatherings. Is that a problem?
We ask that the lay church planter attends all of the gatherings and we will provide all of the dates up front so that you can put them in your diary.

Q: How many people are in a team?
We anticipate that a team is usually between three and five people, and no fewer than two.

Q: My team is changing, do they have to commit to each gathering?
Ideally your team comes to each gathering as this is a team-based experience. However, we recognise that teams can sometimes change with new people joining and others leaving. It is helpful to recognise that people starting later will have less familiarity with the environment and materials, than those who have journeyed from the beginning. 

Q: Do all my team need to fill out the application form?
No – only the lay planter needs to fill out the application form. 

Q: I want to attend but I don’t have a team yet, will I still be accepted?
We recognise that people at the beginning of their planting journey may not have a team around them yet. We do expect every planter to bring along at least one other person with them to the first gathering, and to be building a team that will attend from gathering two onwards. By ‘team’ we envisage two to three people in total, but more may be possible.

Q: Do I have to find my own mentor?
The hub team will partner with you to find an appropriate mentor. This will be someone we have confidence in and has fulfilled safer recruitment requirements. If you know someone that might be suited as your mentor, then do let us know. Usually a mentor is different to an oversight minister.

Q: I started my church a year ago. Can I still apply?
Yes – we encourage people to apply if they are still in the early stages of church planting. We have designed the content to be applicable to both those who have already started as well as those yet to start.

Q: Is this just for those in the Church of England?
We are happy to accept applications from any denomination. Our requirement is that each lay planter must be supported by an oversight minister and this will usually be the recognised leader of the sending church (ordained if within the Church of England). 

Q: How do I know I am called to plant a church?
This isn’t always easy – the support of praying friends and your church leader will be important. Do have a look at our guide “Am I called?” as this may help your own discernment.

Q: What is the difference between this and ordination?
Ordination is a deeper and longer journey into church leadership within major denominations. It normally includes a period of discernment, preparation, training and placement (often a number of years) before you get the opportunity to step into a leadership role. This learning pathway is a lightweight approach to leadership training where you will be equipped with the basic skills you need to lead a new church community, under the oversight of an ordained leader, where the outcome is that you will be a recognised but not ordained leader.