How to Get Involved with a Church Plant

Would you like to be involved in getting a church or churches started in your area? Would you like to help your church with its multiplication strategy? Here’s a pathway for you to serve in Church Planting:

Barnabas Teams

Local churches, local associations and the state convention work in cooperation to plant churches throughout our state. Along with these partners, it takes qualified church planters, worship leaders, discipleship leaders and many committed volunteers to launch a new church. One pathway for lay leaders to participate in church planting is by serving on a Barnabas Team. Barnabas was a Jewish Levite who encouraged Paul and was a catalyst for church planting and church growth (Acts 11:25). It’s our desire to create a statewide network of encouragers & catalysts for church planting in Louisiana.

There are two types of Barnabas teams needed:

  • Associational Barnabas Team (ABT)
  • Local Church Barnabas Team (LCBT)

The purpose of this document is to provide background information and a job description for LCBT members.

Associational Church Planting Strategy (ACPS)

The ACPS developed and adopted by the association, sets a goal for the number of new church plants in the next ten years based on research of population and population projections. The ten-year goal will inform the association’s work in each one-three year window (see 10-3-1 church planting process).

What is a Local Church Barnabas Team (LCBT)?

An LCBT is a group of volunteers that work alongside a church planter in a specific area to evangelize people who will become a part of the core group of the new church plant or new campus. The intent of the LCBT is to give strength, depth, experience and workers to all new church plants.

The local sponsoring church will oversee the selection and orientation of members.

A trained evangelism volunteer will lead the LCBT.

The LCBT will consist of members from the sponsoring church, partner churches, the new church plant and other members of the association.

The state convention will provide training for new LCBTs.

Help for Church Staff in Saving Records

What Do I Keep?

What to keep? Although it is very tempting to keep just about everything that is created by the church, it is not practical to keep every single scrap of paper. These guidelines were developed to give a general out-line of the items necessary for legal, historical and financial matters of the church’s history. A lawyer should always be consulted on any legal matter, including the maintenance of all the church’s records. For safety’s sake, it is recommended that a duplicate copy, such as microfilm, be kept in another location. Contact the Louisiana Baptists’ Archives for information on microfilming these records. This service is free of charge.

The first step in determining what to keep is getting input from all interested members of the congregation, as to not leave any important materials out of this process. After listing the materials, determine how much space will be needed to archive these items. Make sure you allow enough space to have a work area and that the area is secure with proper environmental conditions. Limit access to a special history committee or archivist. The committee or archivist should also establish goals, policies and accession procedures for the church archives collection.

This listing will give the committee or archivist an idea on what needs to be a part of the church’s permanent collection or what only needs to be kept for a few years. If there is ever a question, it’s always best to keep the item.

Permanent Collection

  • Church minutes
  • Minutes of staff, committees, deacons, WMU, etc.
  • Legal papers (deeds, trust agreements)
  • Taxes (federal, property, state)
  • Financial records (audit reports, payroll records, general ledgers, journals, annual reports)
  • Final drafts of sermons, special presentations, etc.
PUBLICATIONS (only keep one of each):
  • Newsletters
  • Worship bulletins
  • Membership directories
  • Brochures and pamphlets published by the church
  • Written and oral (recorded & transcribed)
  • Recordings of services or special events
  • Church members and special celebrations
  • Church building
  • Pastors, Ministers of Music, Education or other church leaders
  • Members
  • Plaques
  • Communion ware
  • Diaries, scrapbooks, or trophies
  • Birthday cards
  • Invitations
  • Birth/death announcements
  • Church and church members

Helpful archival hints

Do not use tape of any kind or Post-it notes. ONLY use stainless steel staples and paper clips. For permanent collection, only use acid-free boxes, folders, plastic sheets, and paper. This will insure your collection for many, many years to come.

Suggested Record Retention

2 to 3 years:
  • Bank statements
  • General correspondence
  • Voided payroll checks
  • Delivery receipts
3 to 4 years:
  • Deposit slips
  • Expired insurance policies, all types
  • Requisitions & purchase orders
4 to 5 years:
  • Correspondence with applicants
  • Employees’ applications (terminated)
  • Tax withholding statements
5 to 6 years:
  • Equipment inventory records
  • Safety, insurance, fire inspection reports
  • Internal audit reports
  • Monthly trial balances
6 to 7 years:
  • Bonds, registers & cancelled
  • Expired contracts & agreements
  • Employee records (terminated)
  • Federal/state income tax returns
  • Insurance, group disability, etc.
  • Invoices, paid
  • Payroll, general, part-time, over-time
  • Sold real estate records
7 to 8 years:
  • Checks, payroll
  • Purchase orders for capital expenditure
8 to 9 years:
  • Accident reports (after settlement)
  • Agreements, leases (after expiration)
  • Checks, general & petty cash
  • Compensation cases (after closing)
  • Vouchers, cash & numeric copy

2013 Annual Meeting Video

Opportunity Louisiana was the theme for the 2013 Louisiana Baptist Convention, November 11-12 in Alexandria. Special emphases included the Final Report from the President’s 2020 Commission on Monday evening and the election of the new LBC President, Dr. Steve Horn from First, Lafayette, on Tuesday morning.

Louisiana Baptist Story (1960’s)

Microfilming Your Church’s History

Louisiana Baptist churches are — the people, the buildings, the services. Each church has its own unique beginning, struggles and triumphs. Preserving that history is as important as the Sunday morning service. Without a plan for keeping history safe, many parts of it will be lost!

Fire, flood and other natural disasters are a few reasons why it is imperative that you have your church records microfilmed.

One way to preserve the records of your church is by microfilming. The primary purpose of microfilming church records is to provide a replacement of materials for researchers, historians and future generations of the church.

Fire, flood and other natural disasters are a few reasons why it is imperative that you have your church records microfilmed. Another reason is that the great majority of material is written on paper. Early paper-making techniques and the use of alkaline materials contributed to the longevity of paper. Contemporary high speed machines produce inexpensive paper with high acid content which sets the stage for its own destruction. Paper deteriorates much more quickly when housed under poor environmental conditions. Too often church materials are stored at inconsistent temperatures and in too humid areas (always a problem in Louisiana). Ultraviolet light, air pollutants and other chemicals may cause the paper to become unusable.

The microfilm process is reasonably inexpensive. Microfilm is durable and with the proper handling and storage can last for many, many years. If deterioration does begin for any reason, it can be caught with regular inspections, and a duplicate can be produced; therefore it has an unlimited life-span.

The Louisiana Baptist Archives are able to provide this microfilming service your church needs to preserve its history, free of charge. The earnings from a gift given by the Mr. and Mrs. Clark Williams Estate of Oak Ridge to the Louisiana Baptist Foundation in 1969 are designated for the collection and preservation of Louisiana Baptist history.

Listed below are a few steps to follow before contacting the archives.
  1. Suggest and/or obtain permission that your church’s records be microfilmed. The church history committee or clerk can present this recommendation.
  2. Organize the records and prepare a general list of all items being filmed, such as, chronological by groups (minutes, financial reports, bulletins, etc.). The Louisiana Baptists’ archivist can suggest ways that will be beneficial to historians. Remove all staples, paper clips and other minor bindings to aid with the speed of filming.
  3. Please allow 2-3 weeks for processing. The minutes and records are kept in a secure, environmentally controlled area while being filmed.

The Louisiana Baptists’ archivist keeps a copy of the microfilm available for viewing and photocopying in the archives. The Historical Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention houses the master film in a fire proof, environmentally controlled vault. If the your church chooses to have a copy of the film, it can be obtained through the Commission at the church’s cost.

If necessary, transportation arrangements can be made for the materials through your associational office to and from the convention archives.

Now you can feel secure – if fire, flood or time destroys your church’s records, a copy is and will always be available!