Hey Church Planters! A Quick Question for you.


As part of my seminary program, I’m currently in an Urban Church Planting class. As an assignment, I’m supposed to ask you all:

What are some things you wish you had known before planting, or things you wish you had done differently?

A penny for your thoughts? Please also include your church’s name and your position there.

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3 thoughts on “Hey Church Planters! A Quick Question for you.

  1. Mission team member, rhydfellin methodist church wales uk. I was part of a year long team trying to embed and start a church plant at the wishes of the “mother” church. We began all kinds of things which took off, but whilst the sending church had said they wanted youth and teens, when it came done to it, they didn’t and so after we left they pretty much lost there kids work. So I would have tried to tease out a deeper conversation at the start of the year as to what the sending church’s vision really was. Hope that helps and God bless Andy.

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  2. Name of church: St. Thomas the Doubter (4+ year old church plant in Dallas)
    Position: Elder

    Struggles:
    -We had a major disagreement with our appointed elders which caused us to leave our denomination (I wasn’t an elder at the time though this led to me becoming an elder). One of my takeaways from this was that there needs to be elders that are actively involved in the life of the church from the get go. Or a church plant needs to get out from under remote elders as soon as possible. Or if remote elders are necessary – they need to commit to spend as much time as possible with the church plant body.

    -Partly because of the before-mentioned problem but also partly because we are not actively marketing ourselves, our growth (membership numbers) has been really slow. We should really update our website.

    -It took us moving around a bit before we found a steady place for worship. While a hotel conference room isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing space – we have found a constant space to meet – which is a good thing.

    – We have dropped the ball on several service opportunities that were presented to us because we weren’t organized enough to make sure they were taken care of.

    Triumphs:
    -We have been flexible but focused on our mission. We started out with a mission to reach out to the immigrant and refugee communities in Dallas – specifically second generation Muslims and Hindus. While we still have a heart for those communities we have had a lot more success with atheists and Christians who are struggling with life.

    -We have kept things simple. Setup/teardown takes 5 mins. We have a one page insert that changes every week to go along with a twelve page worship guide which doesn’t change every week. We sing two independent songs a week and our liturgy is easy enough for someone to help fill in if someone else misses a Sunday.

    -We have kept things interactive: there are several rotating opportunities for volunteers every Sunday (nursery, worship set up, scripture reading, home group hosting).

    -We have a very committed and loving congregation. I don’t think we can take credit for this – but it is nice to have. We have seen tremendous spiritual growth in several of our members over the past few years.

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  3. David Thorne- Velocity Church in Cleveland, OH. http://Www.velocitycleveland.com
    We’re a 5 year old church plant. One mistake we made was starting with 2 services. We should have only started with one. One thing we did right was serve our brains out. We felt a desperation and worked our butts off serving the city. I’ve personally been part of the team that oversees a church plant that eventually failed and have seen a few others fail. Here’s why they failed. 1. Lack of money. 2. No vision. 3. Need work on speaking. The other pastor I work with, we talk about this a lot and have figured out, if you don’t have a little edge to you, a little cockiness, you probably shouldn’t plant a church. If you aren’t a go getter, get it done now, ask questions later type of person- do something else! You will start a church of maybe 100 and struggle for years. Also, if you don’t have a strong and clear vision and reason for starting a church, don’t do it! I like to say, ‘if you can’t explain to me in 3 sentences why you’re starting a church and make me want to join you, you shouldn’t plant a church.’ And once you have that vision if you’re afraid to ask people for money and fundraise your butt off- your church will fail. I’m not saying all this to be negative. Our church is 5 years old and we’re having a lot of fun! But, we’ve seen it go bad and it’s always the reasons mentioned above. If you have no money, it may be because you don’t have a strong enough vision. If you do have a strong vision, then it’s because you’re afraid to ask which either means a. You really don’t believe in your vision that much because if you did you would believe people would be stupid to not give you money. Or b. You don’t have enough cockiness to ask which means you may not have enough edge to effectively plant a church. I’m not saying these are the only ways or that God can’t work around these things, I’m just sharing from experience out on the field. http://Www.refuelblog.com

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