Recently Seattle church planting pastor Steve Leddy (firstname.lastname@example.org) spent some time with Texas Church Planting coordinator and former northwest pastor Tom Evans (email@example.com). Steve mentioned how he was impressed that the Texas Conference leaders asked potential pastors if they are supportive of church planting before they are hired. This shows how deeply committed the conference leaders are to starting new Adventist churches. He was also impressed with the regular coaching meetings with church planting pastors and lay leaders in each major metro area. The Texas Conference has recently voted guidelines for groups to qualify as an organized company or church. Here they are—
Requirements for obtaining COMPANY STATUS in the Texas Conference—
1. 25 baptized members.
2. 30+ average attendance for the previous 3 months.
3. $25,000 in projected annual tithe.
4. Date set to complete the Natural Church Development survey.
5. Date set for first semi-annual review.
6. Assigned pastor or pastor-coach if group is lay led.
Requirements for obtaining CHURCH STATUS in the Texas Conference—
1. 50 baptized members.
2. 60+ average attendance for previous 3 months.
3. 10+ individuals have joined by baptism or profession of faith since the company was organized.
4. Company has held at least one public evangelistic series.
5. $50,000 in projected annual tithe.
6. Treasurer has completed certification process with the Texas Conference Treasury Department.
7. Completion of the Natural Church Development survey with minimum average score of 50. The Conference will cover the cost of the first survey.
8. Voted commitment to a supportive (meaning subsidizing groups children to attend church school) or constituent relationship (which includes monthly financial subsidy) with an SDA church school. If church is located beyond 45 miles or a 45 minute drive of an established school, a monthly financial subsidy should still be a part of the local budget for an agreed upon monthly school project with the conference.
Note: A good rule of thumb for initial school subsidy is equivalent to 3% of tithe.
9. Completion of 2 semiannual reviews.
10. Assigned pastor or pastor-coach if the church is lay led.