If you are called to plant a church, we understand that is no small task. Which is why we are here to help. Here is a lit of 10 practical tips for church planters. Check out these words of wisdom – right from the experts:
1. Put together a launch team, rather than a core group:
Planting a church is by no means a one-man job. You need the support of a team that brings a range of gifts to the table. From effective administrators and implementers to creative minds and marketing experts – you need them all. Ideally, you want a high-commitment and flexible launch team, not a core group with a potential sense of entitlement.
Dr. Tom Nebel says that gathering a launch team, instead of a core group is key. By definition, launch teams are task-oriented, and once the task is completed (i.e. the church is successfully planted) you are free to reassign them or they are free to leave. On the other hand, a core group implies a close-knit team at the center of all decision-making activities, and fundamental to the execution of your church’s vision. A core group doesn’t disband easily post the launch.
2. Collaborate, don’t compete with fellow pastors:
Pastor and church planter, Ed Stetzer stresses the need for church planters and plants to form healthy relationships with other churches. Established churches and experienced pastors can offer valuable insights to church planters like you (and vice versa is also important).
Moreover, such relationships prevent the emergence of a myopic approach to ministry in a new church plant. Collaborating with other churches will remind you that you are part of both a local and global mission.
3. Empower others from the start:
In Global Church Planting: Biblical Principles and Best Practices for Multiplication, authors Craig Ott and Gene Wilson emphasize the need to instill a spirit of empowerment earlier on in a new church plant. Mobilization of the whole church for ministry allows a church to keep growing and reaching people for Christ. The church planter’s role then shifts from being motor and model to mobilizer and mentor.
Therefore, remember to focus on nurturing, equipping and developing lay leaders. As lead pastor of Next Level Church, Matt Keller says, “Communicate not just the How and What of your church, but also the Why behind the What.”
4. Create an annual funding plan, not just a budget:
More often than not, funding remains a challenging area for church planters. Therefore, it is crucial to develop a funding plan, with all the information related to your church’s financial needs.
Casey Graham from The Rocket Company urges church planters to go beyond creating a budget to making a funding plan that includes following up with donors, emphasizing digital giving, discipling high-capacity givers and more.
5. Normalize a culture of generosity and money conversation:
Many pastors avoid the money talk either out of fear or not knowing how to lead in the area of giving. Brad Leeper from Generis stresses the need for church planters to talk about money and stewardship like any other regular conversation. More importantly, you need to encourage your core teams to be generous. “Generosity may be the best evangelism strategy that you possess,” adds Leeper.
Therefore, don’t hesitate to talk about money with your church. Remember that people will not give you money, unless you ask.
6. Sort out your paperwork soon:
Planting a church takes vision and calling, but also requires a fair share of administration. We can’t stress it enough – don’t wait to get your church documents in order. Once you have decided to plant a new church, there are several important affairs, such as preparing your church constitution and statement of faith, which should be taken care of from the start.
In addition, you have incorporation, tax-exempt status, bank accounts, insurance coverages and other legalities to think of, too. So, listen to Joel Kurz, lead pastor of The Garden Church, and get your documents organized as soon as you can!
PS. We put together a Church Plant Timeline for exactly this reason.
7. Welcome diversity:
Plant your church for all people. Make it a point to reach out to people across ethnic and economic lines. According to Mark DeYmaz, founding pastor of the Mosaic Church, “Whether you are in a larger or smaller congregational context, know that the pursuit of the multi-ethnic vision matters to God and to your community.”
Diversity will help carry the message and influence of your church much farther and wider.
8. Be responsive to community:
Each city, community and group of people is unique. Therefore, it is crucial for you to identify the pulse of the community where you want to plant.
Make a special effort to get to know the culture, traditions and needs of the people. This will help you develop outreach programs that specifically cater to that particular community. Ron Edmondson says that it is important to personally get involved and serve in the community where you want to plant a church. In his words, “To be a Kingdom-building pastor, you MUST be a community-building pastor.”
9. Be ready to adapt:
Mark Reynolds from Redeemer City to City has one advice for church planters: “sustain high-learning agility.” Sometimes church planters can get taken up with a specific ministry model. This means that they set themselves up for discouragement if it does not work.
Therefore, remind yourself to learn from any mistakes that you make, and constantly adapt to the surrounding conditions. Mark says that having an experienced coach can help church planters and plants adapt as well as grow.
Further, church planters need to be patient with other leaders and teammates who might disagree with their vision and direction for the church. Founding pastor at River City Community Church, Daniel Hill’s advice to church planters is to be flexible with how people may grapple with their vision.
10. Don’t forget to invest in your family and marriage:
This one may be the most important, because church planting is not only stressful for the church planter, but also his/her family. Often church planters sideline their spouses and kids as they fully invest themselves in serving the Kingdom.
Michael Lukaszewski, founder and CEO of Church Fuel warns about how easily the desire to spread the Gospel and do ministry work can draw you away from ministering to your spouse and family.
Your family members can be your biggest support system as you take on the BIG responsibility of planting a church. Therefore, involve them in what you are building for the Kingdom.
So, are you ready to start a church?
The experts at Portable Church have been helping church planters successfully launch in all kinds of venues for the last few decades. Reach out or give us a call today at 800.939.7722, and we’ll help you move into the perfect church location for your weekend services.
We have also put together some of the most important things to keep in mind as you launch your church in a FREE e-book for you. Download the 5 Essential Ideas for Church Planters today!