I mentioned the Association of Related Churches (ARC) on the Encounter website as one possible Encounter partner. ARC comes highly recommended by several people I've talked to recently as well as Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv (see his post here).
Just to let you know, ARC seeks to provide encouragement and coaching that includes close mentoring relationships and financial resources for new church planters. There are four components in everything they do - and those four components are what interested us in ARC.
- They Believe in a Big Start – They want to help us build up to a big start. They coach planters how to build a team, raise funds, develop a worship team and children's ministry, and open our doors with excellence and momentum. If we can start strong, we have a greater chance of growing strong.
- They are Focused on Reaching the Unchurched — They are focused on finding ways to cross the cultural wall and reach the lost. ARC is all about helping build churches that are culturally relevant with passionate worship, practical Bible-based teaching and dynamic family ministries.
- They Build Friendships and Do Life Together — They believe friendships and relationships are critical for being successful in life and ministry. As ARC churches expand around the country, there is a group of people that can help us, coach us, and be there for us as we plant Encounter in Helena.
- They Offer a Network of Practical Resources — ARC offers help on many levels including conferences & seminars, the ARC Intranet (resources for sermon series ideas, outlines, PowerPoint and media), Bible training, internships, missions opportunities, and much more.