Starting new churches is one of the best ways to reach new people and introduce them to Jesus. When done right, with the right people, in the right place, and at the right time, God can do remarkable things through what is commonly called “church planting.”
In the past thirty years or so of ministry, I’ve had the pleasure of being directly involved as the senior pastor in two church plants and indirectly involved as a team member in three others. I’ve watched it done with God’s favor and wisdom, and I’ve also seen it done poorly too. Through all of these experiences, I’ve learned a lot.
There are many qualifications for success, but here are what I consider to be the top ten non-negotiable requirements for those called to plant a church:
- A clear call to church planting which is confirmed by other leaders and pastors who know them and have worked closely with them.
- A supportive spouse and a stable, healthy marriage and family.
- A strong emotional resilience. (Without it, they won’t likely survive.)
- A heart for evangelism with a proven gift and ability to reach the lost.
- A capable teacher who is an anointed and gifted communicator.
- A proven ability to gather and inspire others.
- A demonstrated ability to start something new.
- A proven ability to recruit, train and deploy others into ministry.
- A demonstrated track record of wisdom in life and in leadership.
- A teachable heart proven by the ability to take direction and constructive criticism without defensiveness or arrogance.
The where, when and how of church planting are all critical issues, but the who matters most. I’ve seen many start-up churches come and go over the years, and the ones that survive and thrive have leaders with these qualities and more.
Church planting is glorious, challenging and an adventure! May those with the call, the learned or God-given capabilities and the chops to attempt it . . . know God’s favor.
Always remember, like any farmer, the Lord loves to plant!
photo credit: sergecos