We work a lot with church planters, and if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that planting a church can be a challenging process! But there are a few things that can help you proceed with wisdom, care, and the proper focus, so that you don’t hinder God’s work by getting off track. Read on for 5 church planting tips!
#1: Be Adaptable.
When you get a vision in your head for a new church, whether it’s local or international, it can be tough to remain flexible if things need to change down the line. It’s fine to have a ministry model or a specific picture in mind for your church plant, but if you’re not willing to rethink things if God starts moving you in a different direction, it’s going to be a really hard road – and it may end up coming to a dead end.
#2: Don’t Rush.
When you’re planting a church, everyone around the project will want to know the latest news. “How’s the church plant going?” will be a question you’ll hear often! You may feel the urge to make something happen, regardless of whether the timing is right, so that other people (and you!) will have a sense of excitement about the project.
But building a community happens slower than we’d like. It takes time to build trust, develop relationships, and nurture a sense of family. Once you do have a community in place, though, you’ll be amazed at how much further the whole group can take your church plant as opposed to what you could have done on your own – and waiting on the Lord is the wise choice, in the end, as He tends to know what’s best for us.
#3: Choose Your Team.
Whether you call it a “core group” or a “launch team,” you need a cabinet, so to speak. Other voices, ideas, and perspectives are essential for church planting. And logistically, you just won’t be able to do everything yourself!
Pray about who should be involved in the church plant, approach them respectfully and in person, lay out what you’re asking them to do in clear terms, and give them the freedom to say no. You want your team to share your values and your love for ministry — not helping you out of a sense of obligation.
Work with the other pastors and church planters in your area. When many of you can form a network of support, the potential for reaching people increases exponentially. It can be surprisingly easy to fall into the trap of wanting to compete with other pastors, but this temptation must be resisted. Instead, keep the large goal in mind: reaching the world for Christ. Work together, pray together, consult with each other, and your reach will go much further than if you isolated yourself.
#5: Let God Work.
At the end of the day, God builds a church – not man. That doesn’t mean we sit around and ignore God’s calling on our lives; we should move in obedience to the task He has placed on our hearts. After all, God does command us to spread His word!
But as we’re planting a new church, we don’t need to watch the door, sweating over how many people (or what type of people) walk through it. If we are obedient, and we proceed with wisdom and a ministry-focused heart, then we should feel confident that God will move people into our community of believers. Our job is to nourish the people under our care at any given time, and let God handle the rest.
Interested in Church Planting?
Here at Doulos, partnering with church planters is one of our main focuses. If you’d like to get involved with our work, or you simply want to know more about it, feel free to read more on our website. You can also contact us for more information. We’d love to hear from you!