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370. 2 THE CORE FORMATION STAGE

Core formation is the first visible phase in the multiplication of congregations.  To move into this stage, several criteria must be met:

When a group of individuals are ready to form a core group, they must have a sponsor.  This may be a local church, a network, a group of local churches, or the conference.

The point person(s) (pastor or lay leader) of the core group shall be accountable to the sponsor, a peer network led by a network leader, and a coach.  The sponsor shall provide support in the form of consultation, personnel, materials and/or finances.

Once a core group has been formed, it is recommended that it aim to move to the next stage within three years. Only under exceptional circumstances, approved by the sponsor and/or coach and peer network, should a core group continue for more than three years without moving to the new congregation stage.

The point person(s) of the core group is responsible for preparing persons to become members. The memberships of individuals participating in a church multiplication project will be listed in the sponsoring church membership rolls.

The point person(s) of the core group may appoint a leadership team from within the core group to provide counsel and direction, under guidance from the sponsor.

A vision/mission statement, core values and basic ministry plan must be established.  Research must begin along various lines (e.g. demographics, structure, methodology, etc.).

The ministry plan must be approved by the sponsor, peer network participants, coach and the director of church planting.

Before applying for Charitable Organization Status with the Canada Revenue Agency, the core group shall obtain Trade-Mark License and Association Agreements from The Free Methodist Church in Canada. (See ¶301.1)

Full self-support should be reached as early as possible. The core group may hold and disburse its own funds. Until a new congregation/ministry has been approved by the Canada Revenue Agency as a Registered Charity, the sponsor must supervise all financial transactions and be responsible for auditing the accounts and issuing charitable donation receipts. Only societies and affiliated churches may hold real property.  If a group at any other stage acquires real property, it will either be held in trust by the sponsor or the conference.  (See ¶305.5.7 for further details).

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