One Piece of Advice for Want-To-Be Church Planters

One of my best rules (suggestions) for church planting is don’t try to be a lone ranger. That may work in western movies, but not in church planting. (And even he had Tonto…which makes me question his name…but that’s another post…)

If God is birthing a vision in you, the chances are great that He is birthing the same or similar vision in the hearts of others.

Find those who share your passion for reaching the lost and as you share your vision with them….after you’ve prayed together tons…then, if God is in it…form a team…  To be successful you will need buy-in from other people.  You may even need to give your vision away to people you trust.  (Read a post about that thought process HERE.)

I hear from those claiming to be church planters with a vision who say they have no one to help them plant.  My best advice would be to wait until God reveals those people who are ready to share the burden with you.

There will be lonely nights out on the range of church planting…you’ll be glad you have others around to encourage you to stay the course….

Church planters….do you agree?  How did you find those who were willing to support your God-given vision?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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16 thoughts on “One Piece of Advice for Want-To-Be Church Planters

  1. Ron…this was a great article that I think really hits the mark…church planting has obviously been happening from the formation of The Church…something that has been lost on our culture today of "church planting is sexy" mentality…secondly, I remember being led to plant a church in 2001 that was mission centric well before the whole "missional" mentality permeated inside the church…however…while I had a tremendous vision, significant experience, decent track record, and supportive friends…I did not have however, people around me who were willing to die with me, pastors and churches who would sacrifice with me, the maturity and spiritual relationship that would lead me during my difficult moments, the vision to see the amazing things during the rough times, the leadership to see the unexecuted aspects during the amazing times, and the resiliency, hope, persevering attitude, reliance on the holy spirit mentality that it would take to not just plant a church but plant a light that reverberates throughout a city. It wasn't until waiting nine years for God to do all those things inside of me that it all came together. It wasn't through the influential friends that it all took place but rather through deep scaling of my soul, heart, mind that it began to come together…It was the selling out to others visions and desiring to help others accomplish inside of them what God had called them to do, that bought me buy-in on what God was asking me to be a part of, and I guess the last thing was realizing it really had nothing to do with me, but more about making Christ the center of the moment, making leaders, more than desiring notability, and having it come down to one question, is this the well done moment of my life or just me trying to do what I want to do for me to gain well done from the people around me? That said…I surely haven't arrived with that insight and God is still working in me all those things and developing my heart for what it takes to be who he has called me to be! Thanks for letting me give my thoughts!

  2. I completely agree. There are no Lone Ranger planters. I was once counseled by a pastor that had planted 9 churches that before I plant to find the "worthy man" (Matt. 10:11). This person may or may not be a pastor or even on staff eventually, but they are your right hand man so to speak. They share your dream, vision and passion and can make things happen. This takes a huge responsibility off the lead planter to do all the planning and execution. I'm in the process now of finding my worthy man.

  3. I agree, Ron. One addition to the sentiment, is this: seek out your ministry team based on shared vision. Your ministry team (youth / worship / children's leaders) needs to be the strongest champions of that vision (next to your spouse and children of course). Then, allow them to keep you accountable to that vision. Don't treat these people as accouterments, be sure they are partners in mission or don't use them at all. IMHO.

  4. Yes, I have gone through exactly this. Tried to start without a team, had a horrible time gathering a team, didn't have anyone pushing this as a coach. We believe we followed God, prayed a lot, but had no team and it was our biggest issue.

    Visioneering by Andy Stanley is the best book (only) I've read discussing this issue. The waiting period and the waiting for God to orchestrate a team.

  5. I am not a church planter but I have witnessed what you wrote here in the ministry of my former senior pastor, who is a successful church planter….

    When he re-announced his vision in year 2003 he had planted 50 churches in areas where there were no churches and was planning to plant 50 more new churches in another 10 years.

  6. This info is timely.Some church planters wants to make a name for themselves instead of for God.Vision/idea may be given to one person but its fulfillment must be through teamwork.And church planters must study the time,trend and culture of the location where they want to plant,this makes them to be equipped.Thanks pastor Ron.

  7. I have limited experience with church plants, but learned plenty from my experience with a church plant that ultimately flopped. In hindsight it all boiled down to three major problems: the church was planted based more on a perceived need than a God-birthed vision, it became directed more by human desire than prayer and spiritual guidance, and the leader refused to give his "vision" away to those who could have done amazing things with it.

    Sharing your vision with others is important, but remember not to limit yourself to a group of "yes men" as your team when the rubber meets the road. You must be willing to challenge and be challenged, to prayerfully consider and possibly incorporate the vision of others, and ultimately give your vision away to those who can run with it.

    As you mentioned, Ron, even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. I agree that planting a church should not be attempted without a team in place and a sound vision that has been confirmed through plenty of prayer.

    • Absolutely. I am not a fan of yes men. (or women). Thanks man. Just realized you are in Canada. Love the times I have been there.