2016 Wesleyan Discipline: 510
510. A developing church is either a formerly established church that has been reclassified by the district board of administration because it no longer meets the qualifications in 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:518, or a church planting project supervised by a parent church, a cluster of parenting church partners, the district board of administration, or the Church Multiplication and Discipleship Division. A developing church is eventually intended to become an established church, but does not yet meet all requirements for this classification (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:518). Its local organization shall be in keeping with 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:807. A developing church shall be authorized by the district conference (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1180:24) or the district board of administration (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1233:30), and shall be governed as follows:
- (1) The pastor shall be selected by the district board of administration and appointed by the district conference, except in the interim of district conference sessions when the district board of administration shall have full power of appointment.
- (2) A membership roll shall be maintained, ordinarily for one to twenty-four members. Candidates for membership shall be examined and recommended by the pastor until such a time as a local advisory council is formed and assumes this duty; and their reception shall be authorized by the district superintendent (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1310:17).
- (3) As soon as qualified members are available, the district superintendent, in cooperation with the pastor, may appoint a local advisory council of three to five members. The pastor shall serve as chair of this council (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:807; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1310:17). The council shall exercise the duties and powers of a local board of administration (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:782), making all recommendations to the district superintendent or the district board of administration instead of the local church conference (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1310:17). All investments in land, buildings, and equipment (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1233:33; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:4650–4670), matters involving employed staff, and other major decisions must be authorized by the district board of administration; and all actions of the local advisory council shall be subject to the review and approval of the district superintendent. The local advisory council shall be responsible to assist the district superintendent in qualifying the church as quickly as possible for organization as an established church.
- (4) All property of a developing church shall be held by the district, with titles secured as given in 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:4660.
- (5) A developing church may have one lay delegate to the district conference when so assigned by the district board of administration (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1086; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1100:2; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1103).
- (6) Each developing church shall be assigned by the district board of administration to one of the following categories for annual district conference and General Church reporting purposes, until it is organized as an established church or discontinued:
- (a) District/denominational church plant (a new church initiated and supervised by the district or the Church Multiplication and Discipleship Division but not yet classified as an established church in keeping with 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:518);
- (b) Daughter church plant (a new church initiated and supervised by a parent church or a cluster of parenting church partners but not yet classified as an established church in keeping with 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:518);
- (c) Revitalization project (a former established church reclassified by the district conference or the district board of administration in keeping with 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:518:7 for the intentional purpose of renewal and redevelopment); or
- (d) Restart project (a former developing or established church temporarily closed by the district and subsequently reopened at the same location and/or with some of the previous members).