Q&A: Church Planter Residencies

Episode 636: Residencies are crucial to multiplication in church planting, but how do you start and organize them? Host Clint Clifton discusses the practical components of residency with Noah Oldham, pastor of August Gate Church in St. Louis.

In This Episode, You’ll Discover:

  • How Noah Oldham designed the August Gate church plant in St. Louis to be a multiplying church
  • How the August Gate residency is designed
  • The importance of pursuing people when you see they have potential to plant churches
  • Day-to-day practical components of a residency 
  • Why residency requires a deep sense of humility
  • Why churches should maintain warm relationships with planters they send out

Sharable Quotes (#NewChurches):

Part of our vision is to be a church that plants more churches until the St. Louis Metro region is saturated with gospel.  @NoahOldham

I don’t think there’s anything that’s contributed to the fruitfulness in multiplication in church planting, like having the residency. @ClintJClifton

We just talk about church planting all the time. Because of that, there’s always energy around it. @NoahOldham

Residency’s like a junk drawer category; it’s never clean and buttoned up. And it just means getting people ready for ministry.  @ClintJClifton

A big part of our residency is giving somebody the opportunity to do things planters do, on top of what pastors do. @NoahOldham

We use the imagery of peeking behind the curtain. I say, “I’d like to invite you behind the curtain, to see how things go here and be a part of what we do behind the curtain so that you could get a sense for, if this is the sort of work that you feel drawn to.”  @ClintJClifton

Equipping precedes calling. We got to be doing a lot of equipping, and usually calling grows out of the fertile soil of equipping, not the opposite. @ClintJClifton

Covenant members are the first level of leadership in our church. And then we’re always looking for covenant members who are serving above and beyond the standard. Who’s hungry for more? Always trying to call out the called. @NoahOldham

The number one qualification of an elder is that they aspire to the office. A lot of people don’t know they have permission to aspire to it until we give them permission. @NoahOldham

It’s really powerful when your pastor comes to you and says he sees gifts in you and invites you into a category most people aren’t invited into. That really begins to ignite a passion for church planting. @ClintJClifton

When you have been a pastor and a church planter, you can recognize those gifts in others and you should verbalize that. @ClintJClifton

For us, what we do in a residency comes down to who the guy is. What does he need? @NoahOldham

You’ve got to create your own way in training. You’re going to become familiar with a whole bunch of tools that apply to various situations. We basically have a syllabus that covers everything but, depending on the situation, we don’t always do all of it. @ClintJClifton

The ability to lead a church plant and to lead a team comes by being in a church plant and being on a team. @NoahOldham

It’s almost impossible too, to reproduce something you’ve never seen. @ClintJClifton

If you have a guy with the ability to plant a church and you know it is three to five years before he needs to plant, get him on your team and call it a residency. @NoahOldham

If planting churches is in your church’s DNA, you just can’t help but do it. @NoahOldham

Having a residency is sort of like having a girlfriend. You can’t describe it. You’ve just got to get one and then you’ll understand. @ClintJClifton

One of the major things I’m trying to do in residency is help somebody see themselves as they truly are. @ClintJClifton

Cage stagers don’t make it very far in residencies. @NoahOldham

Residency is simply discipling future church leaders. @ClintJClifton

If you have great leaders in your church, you’re going to lose them, one way or the other. You can either prepare them and send them or you can lose them and someone else prepares them and sends them. @NoahOldham

I want us to be the church that identifies those leaders, speaks life into them and helps them with their calling, but then also prepares them. @NoahOldham

We’re not starting franchises here. We’re starting a family. @ClintJClifton  

Helpful Resources:

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Published January 27, 2022

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