Church plant update
Triad Baptist’s effort to launch its first church plant in late 2019 or early 2020 is expected to accelerate in January with the creation of a new steering team.
Led by newly-named deacon Jason Johnson, and including Lead Pastor Robert Decker and Executive Administrator Dennis Roberts along with other members who expressed their willingness to serve, the new team will lead efforts to locate, equip, and open Triad’s first church plant.
Located within a 20-mile radius of Triad’s South Main Street campus in Kernersville, the new church plant would be supported by Triad for its first three years but then be on its own.
Since presenting a lead candidate to Triad Sept. 23, Lead Pastor Robert Decker said the search committee also evaluated four other finalists to lead the work but, while each had strengths, none to date have proved the ideal fit for helping Triad add a series of church plants to its existing missions and other outreach ministries.
While not giving up on the possibility of still finding a church plant coordinator to lead the launch of church plants (and help identify pastors to serve each church) if the right person were to become available, Decker said that Triad is increasingly considering the possibility of hiring church-planting consultants as key resources for Johnson and the steering team.
“Church planting is such an important outreach priority for us that we did not want to further delay the process of getting our first plant established by re-opening the hiring process and going back through another round of candidates at this time,” Decker said.
“As we got further into our process, it became clear that using consultants for the planning and logistics just made sense and was a much better way to proceed,” he said. “We have not hired a consultant yet, and have not set a date when any consultant would begin but, if we did move in that direction, it would be in early 2019. The cost for a consultant would be one-third the cost of a coordinator, allow us to roll those savings right back into this new and important ministry, and likely mean we can move more quickly to find the actual pastor who will lead the first church.”
Johnson, a longtime Sunday School leader and high school youth ministry worker, was a key architect of the church’s addition of a contemporary worship service to its worship ministry lineup. He also served on the search committee that hired Braden McKinley as contemporary worship director.
“Leading this new church plant steering team is a big assignment but one I’m excited about because I share Pastor Rob’s vision of further extending the church’s influence to reach people for Jesus Christ and continue to move our focus outward versus inward,” Johnson said. “My wife Julie and I had already talked about wanting to be part of the core team for the first church plant.
“There is a very large body of expertise available for us on how to go about the work of planting a new church — and all that’s required — and we plan to draw on that and learn from the experience of others to inform our own efforts.”
While the church’s original plan for hiring a full-time staff member to lead the planting ministry also called for that same person to lead Triad’s Missions Committee and Triad’s small-group Connect Groups ministry, Decker said there will be no leadership changes to either at this time. Jason Shuler will continue to lead Connect Groups, and Duane and Linda Cross will continue to lead Missions.
Money for the new church plant is the top priority of Triad’s current “All in” end-of-year giving challenge which hopes to raise at least $120,000 for the work over and above normal tithes and offerings.
While the salary and benefits for the church-plant ministry leader already was part of the church’s 2019 budget, Decker said any money contributed in the “All in” challenge would go to such costs as rent, utilities, and equipment.
Any funds contributed over $120,000 would go to two other needs identified in the “All in” challenge: construction of a picnic shelter and storage building.
In 2017, Triad’s members gave $142,000 in end-of-year gifts.