Why Send Network: Care

By Micah Millican

At the North American Mission Board (NAMB), our goal is to see 1,200 churches planted every year. This is just a numerical goal, though. We desire to plant churches that are pastored by healthy men who are leading healthy families. We know that the long-term health of the church is predicated on the health of the pastor and his family.

Historically, church planting has fostered isolation, discouragement, unrealistic expectations and financial hardships. Send Network’s Planter Care Ministry wants to address these trends and bring needed support to the planter and his family. Southern Baptists love their missionaries, and the Send Network is committed to walking alongside our church planters and offering practical care, love and support.

We want to encourage and bless planters
We desire that all Southern Baptist church planters and their families would be blessed through our no-strings-attached approach to encouragement. We truly believe that this investment will foster health as these men and women do the hard work of impacting their cities with the gospel of Jesus. Any Southern Baptist church planter whose church is less than five years of age can benefit from this ministry.

Some of the blessings a planter can expect include:

  • Ongoing prayer support
  • Phone calls and handwritten notes of encouragement
  • Gifts on their birthdays and anniversaries
  • Free books, blogs and eBooks to equip them as they serve
  • Invitations to events in their city and region
  • Other surprises throughout the year

Our desire is that planters would receive things they actually want—gifts that are life-giving for them and their families. We also want them to feel a sense of belonging, or better yet, a true experience of brotherhood.

The Planter Care Ministry is dedicated to actually knowing our church planters—not just their names and church names, but really knowing the church planter and his family. We want to cultivate a relationship with our planters. We want to be there in the peaks and valleys—to pray with and walk through the tough situations and celebrate the wins and successes. We want planters to feel that we at the North American Mission Board are part of their journey, and that they are not alone. While we are thankful for the number of people who come to Christ through our church plants, we are first and foremost thankful for the leaders who give of their time and energy to make these churches a reality.

The beauty of the Send Network’s organization is that we can respond immediately when something happens to one of our planters. We genuinely want planters to know they are a part of a network that cares for them, whether that means last minute plane tickets to a funeral of a close family member, extra support through a family illness, help with other unexpected expenses, or counseling during difficult times.

The health of a planter is paramount in church planting. For that reason, we see this ministry as being absolutely critical to the Send Network strategy. This ministry undergirds everything Southern Baptists are doing to push back lostness by planting healthy, evangelistic churches.

Learn more about joining this network at https://www.namb.net/church-planter-care-development.

Published March 17, 2017

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Micah Millican

Presently Micah serves as the Director of Planter Care for the North American Mission Board (NAMB). His role is to oversee the “Planter Care Ministry” of the Send Network. This ministry exists to bless, encourage, and equip church planters and their families as they serve on the front lines of ministry. Currently more than 2,600 church planters are involved. Micah has had the joy of being married to his wife Laurie for over 11 years and they have three boys, Daniel, Luke, and Caleb.