7 Things I Wouldn’t Do Again if Planting Another Church

I’m a church planter. I love the process of planting. I love the energy and the enthusiasm a new church brings to a community.

Having planted two church, I’ve learned a few things. Some of the things I’ve learned are things I wouldn’t do again if were were planting another church.

Here are 7 things I wouldn’t do again if planting a church:

Limit God’s vision – We started as a church to reach one section of town. Now we are in two locations, reaching two entirely different segments of our community. God has continued to refine and shape our path as a church.

Fail to challenge people to grow in their walk with Christ – I don’t know that I shied away from this; it certainly was my heart and our vision, but in the early days, I was very conscious of reaching the lost, so I may not have been as bold as I wish I had been in saying what needed to be said.  I wrote more about this HERE.

Shy away from money talk – So many people think all a church does is talk about money. We avoided this stigma from day one. In the process, we neglected to develop our core givers, we put ministries on hold we should be pursuing, and we robbed people of the opportunity to become generous givers and consequently to feel the reward of trusting God completely.

Resist leaders from other churches – We wanted to plant a church for non-believers, but we needed leadership to do that. When leaders from other churches came, however, we were hesitant to plug them in for fear we’d be seen negatively by other churches. In the process, we missed out on quality leadership and we denied people the right to follow their heart.

Expect everyone to be as excited a few years in – The fact is, life changes. Some are starters and some are finishers. Some of the original people grew bored with things as they were. They had a great impact in our beginning, but sought opportunities elsewhere in later years…and that’s okay.

Assume everyone is “happy” – I love what God is doing. I love watching lives change. God is doing something amazing among us. Some people just don’t get that excited. It’s not that they don’t care or love our church, they just haven’t received the same call on their lives I have.

Wait long to reproduce – We were 5 years old when we launched our second campus. I see churches do this in their second full year. There are so many in our city who need hope. Taking a risk on my own comes easy. Sometimes I’m too careful when representing God…as if He can’t handle something so large. When God leads, I want to move.

And the bonus…very practical one…

Wait too long to hire a business administrator – With a background in business I was a natural to do this, but I hated it and didn’t do it as well as it could be done. If a church is 400 or 500 hundred in attendance this becomes a full-time job. We were running well over 1,000 before we hired someone to do this and it crippled me in leadership. (Thanks Dennis for making my life better!)

WANT MORE? I wrote similar thoughts about what I’ve learned as a church planter in THIS POST. I also wrote a shorter post on what I would and wouldn’t do in a church plant HERE. Finally, HERE is a post on planting in a new community.

Have you ever been part of a church plant? Anything you could share with us?

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

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17 thoughts on “7 Things I Wouldn’t Do Again if Planting Another Church

  1. This information will be really helpful. We are starting a Bible Study that will form the core group to do a church plant here in our small town. I appreciate this helpful info. Thank you for your blog and helpful insights.

  2. Thanks Ron! Love these tips. I just joined a church plant here in Loveland, Co. Do you have any leadership ideas or thoughts on Children/Student Ministry? I'd love to hear some of your thoughts, some of your ideas, and what you did/are doing for those ministries. Keep the great leadership stuff coming, I've been benefiting from you for a while now, but this is my first time commenting.

    • Thank you so much. I'd be happy to connect you with some great pastors in both areas. My philosophy was to staff those areas with people passionate about them, willing to study best practices and what others were doing, and pour into students. Those were very delegated areas. I am passionate about seeing them done, but not able to put a lot of hands on energy on them and still lead everything else.

      • Ron, that would be awesome. I'd love to get some contacts here in the area if you know of them… Please shoot me an email whenever you happen to get the chance!

  3. Thank you Ron. What a wonderful article. Having planted or co-planted or been actively involved in 4 church plants I can identify with some of those pitfalls you highlight. Your honesty is refreshing and I'm inspired that you would let us benefit so much from your knowledge, experience and insights. Thanks.

  4. I am apart of a church plant in South Florida. We are launching in September. I love hearing/reading these types of things from leaders who have gone before me.

    Thanks Ron.

  5. These are great tips. Thanks! I'm on staff at a church planting church in Northern Virginia. Very excited about God leading towards a church plant in the future. Practical tips like this are priceless. Thanks, again.