Jumpstart Program for Church Revitalization

Through the JumpStart Program, Bethlehem Baptist Church aims to assist a church experiencing decline or plateaued growth in four ways:

  1. By assessing the church and honestly recommending options for the future.
  2. By providing the church with a qualified new pastoral resident selected and trained through the Bethlehem Baptist Church pastoral residency.
  3. By providing two years of training, supervision, and accountability for the church and pastoral resident.
  4. By assisting the pastoral resident and church leaders in casting a renewed vision and strategy for the church to return to fruitful ministry.

Criteria

Generally speaking, declining churches that meet the following criteria make good candidates for the Bethlehem Jumpstart program:

  • Doctrinal Affinity—A church whose leaders gladly embrace the Bethlehem Baptist Church Elder Affirmation of Faith.
  • Revitalization—A church that is in some measure of decline and open to the hard work of revitalization.
  • Financially Sound—A church that is free from burdensome debt and able to pay Jumpstart pastoral residency expenses ( approximately $3,333/month for 12 months).
  • Pastoral Transition—A church that is planning for transition from the current pastor to a new pastor.

Timeline

Past experience tells us that allowing 2–3 years for the transition is best: starting with the application process, continuing through a congregational affirmation of a new pastor and new vision, and then concluding with the installation of the new pastor.

TCT Network (TCTN)

Churches in the JumpStart Program will pursue covenant membership in the Treasuring Christ Together Network. Most TCTN churches are also affiliated with other denominations and/or networks.

Case Study—The Heights Church

In 2011, leaders from Hayden Heights Baptist Church in St. Paul, MN, requested help from Bethlehem Baptist Church. Building on the decades of fruitful ministry of Hayden Heights Church, we then sought to find a pastoral resident suitable to lead the church in a new vision that, by the grace of God, might result in revitalization.

Through our search process, God called Weyland Leach into our pastoral residency. As a pastoral resident, he began getting to know the people of the church and casting a vision for the future. Then, in July 2013, the congregation affirmed the new vision, installed Weyland Leach as pastor, and shortened the church name to “The Heights Church” (theheightschurchmn.org).

The original members welcomed the new leadership, and new people came to partner together for renewed growth. Soon, church attendance more than doubled as God renewed the life and ministry of the church under the new leadership. Join us in praising God for his more than 90 years of faithfulness to The Heights Church, and pray for many more years of faithful and fruitful ministry in the years to come.

Contact Us

Please contact Kenny Stokes, Pastor for Church Planting, or Cleon Engel for more information or to talk over whether your church might be a good candidate for the JumpStart Program.

Downtown Campus

720 13th Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55415
Sundays: 7:30am, 9am & 11am

North Campus

5151 Program Ave, Mounds View, Minnesota, 55112
Sundays: 9am & 11am

South Campus

20700 Kenrick Ave, Lakeville, Minnesota, 55044
Sundays: 10:30am