Those individuals or groups of individuals called to plant new works and wishing to affiliate with the Bethel Network will need to consider meeting the following criteria:
- Church plants interested in becoming partners for the purpose of enhancing their planting activity will allow the Bethel Network to evaluate their situation — spiritually, financially, and demographically. This evaluation will assist the Bethel Network in determining the viability of the interested church in becoming a part of the Network.
- Decisions regarding this viability are at the sole discretion of the leadership of the Bethel Network.
Should the interested church plant be determined as a viable candidate, the following criteria will be followed:
- Allow the Bethel Network to provide financial oversight in regard to funds related to the church plant. Donations and support from other churches and individuals will flow to the Bethel Network, who will set up an account for the specific church plant. This will provide accountability for financial dealings as well as provide donors with a 501.3.c destination.
- Jointly work with the Bethel Network in developing a ministry plan regarding the establishment of church plant. This plan will include criteria for establishment of church plant leadership; assistance to be provided by the Bethel Network in terms of prayer, people and finances; and will encompass all aspects of incorporating the prayer, people and finances of other supporting churches that are not part of the Bethel Network.
Jointly agreed-upon milestones will be utilized to map and measure the church plant’s progress. Eventual “graduation” of the Church Plant to a fully self-sustaining church which in turn is actively engaged in planting other new churches is the overall goal of this series of actions.
- Agree to consult the Bethel Network leadership in all matters relating to the church plant, including (but not limited to) demographic and locale of the church plant insofar as it is within the vision given by God to those planting; major expenditures greater than 5% of the church plant’s start-up budget; personnel hiring and de-hiring; background checks for children’s workers; doctrinal issues; and real property transactions related to any temporary or permanent facility.
- Leadership of the church plant, regardless of position in the church plant, should agree to not only abide by the Bethel Network Covenants, but to allow those Covenants to guide their ministry activities.
Those churches wishing to affiliate with the Bethel Network for the purposes of assisting in church revitalization and church planting and taking advantage of the benefits of mutual assistance among the network churches should consider meeting the following criteria:
- Allow the Bethel Network to assist the affiliate church in determining where prayer, people and financial assistance the supporting church wishes to contribute can best be utilized.
- The entire leadership team of the supporting church, whether staff or voluntary, should agree to not only abide by the Bethel Network Covenants, but as well to allow those Covenants to guide their ministry activities.
- Agreement by the church congregation desiring to become a supporting member of the Bethel Network should indicate their support by means of a +75% vote by their congregation during a called business meeting of the membership.