5 Characteristics Needed to be a Church Planter

Recently I posted a funny video about what it takes to be a church planter. Want a laugh? Watch it HERE. I decided it might be a good idea to share what I really believe is necessary to be a church planter. Church planting is a difficult, but rewarding assignment in ministry. All pastors and planters should operate under a calling of God, but it does appear to me that there are some unique qualifications for church planters.

From experience, here are five characteristics I believe it takes to be an effective church planter:

Love of risk – There is an entrepreneurial heart in most church planters I have met. Church planters love things that are new, changing and growing. They have an entrepreneurial spirit about them, embrace change readily and get bored with status quo. This characteristic can bring it’s own problems, which leads to number two.

Willingness to be patient – Notice I didn’t use the word patience, even though that’s part of the fruit of the spirit all believers should be developing. Effective church planters are willing to be patient for God to do His work. The balance between these first two is a constant challenge, because church planters are wired for growth, but effective church planters develop a good plan, surround themselves with the right people, and then wait as God works.

People who believe in you – Church planting is not to be a lone ranger activity. Without the structure of an established church, church planters must depend on people to help develop ministries and systems. Effective church planters learn to rely on volunteers for success and are willing to share leadership and responsibility with others to plant the church.

Healthy family life – Church planting is a family activity. If a planter wants to be effective, he or she must have a healthy family life. Ministry is tough, so this is true for all ministries, but church planting, because of the unique uncertainties and risks involved, places additional stress on a marriage and family. Effective church planters begin with and maintain a healthy family life.

Close walk with God – Church planting will test a person’s faith many times. Church planting is not always popular in some church communities and can make a planter feel like an outcast in the church community. The risks involved and the waiting process challenge a planter. Church planting, like all ministries, is an act of faith and requires constant communication with God. Effective church planters continue to build and draw upon a strong relationship with Christ throughout the process of planting.

Again, many of these may not be unique to church planters and are possibly shared by others in ministry, even in many secular settings, but my experience as a planter of two churches leads me to believe these are critical needs for a church planter.

Are you a church planter? Have you ever considered church planting? What would you add to my list?

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

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9 thoughts on “5 Characteristics Needed to be a Church Planter

  1. Ron, I love your list. I would also love to hear what you think about adding "Embrace Personal Accountabiliyt" to the list. Leaders who excel at Chuch Planting are high risk and spiritually vulnerable. It's part of what makes them great at what they do. That makes Personal Accountability crutial to their ultimate success.

    Thanks for what your doing to encourage the Body of Christ.

    • Ray, you are so right. The temptation is strong and the opportunity is wide. Most of the time church planters are “more free” to make decisions than an established church pastor is and that comes with incredible opportunity to take advantage of that. Good call. Thanks!

  2. Excellent post, Ron. Thank you. Every point you mentioned is important. But I would say that you listed them ascending in importance. We spent 5 1/2 years church planting in Colombia, now we just arrived in Argentina to begin the process all over again. Keep up the great work, we are all in this great kingdom work together. Keep up the great posts too. I'm happy to have found you on google+.

  3. Ron –
    Great list. While I am not an official 'church planter' I do believe everything you listed applies to my daily walk as a 'good news planter."
    Thanks for leading!
    Bless you.