The Four Absolute Musts (No Excuses!) of Church Planting

2. Be Sent by a Healthy Church

Healthy churches are planted by healthy churches. In fact, I believe churches, not organizations or denominations, should plant churches. The only reason denominations and organizations plant churches is because the local church has failed to multiply and reproduce itself. Less than 4% of churches are intentionally planting churches or have a strategy to do so.

Being “sent out” by a church is a must. I often meet church planters that aren’t being sent out or supported by any local church at all. 99.9% of the time, it’s either because the church planter has issues with spiritual authority or lacks the skills and calling to plant a church. The greatest litmus test one can use to assess the health of a church planter is to ask, “Who is sending you?” If they say nobody, then immediately raise a red flag.

If you’re planting a church and don’t have a sending church, then find one. If you can’t, then you must begin asking some serious questions about what you’re getting yourself into, or more importantly, why you’re getting into it. 

3. Be Obsessed With the Kingdom, Not the Church

Recently, we helped plant three churches in Long Beach, California. Two of these churches had more than 650 people (more than 1,300 total) participate in their launch. Depending on how you look at it, that’s either a church planter’s dream or a church planter’s nightmare.

It was fun to celebrate with the church planters. I encouraged them to be careful in not allowing themselves or their leaders to become obsessed with the church, but to rather be obsessed with the Kingdom. I truly believe that one of the greatest failures of the Church in the west is that, as leaders, we have become obsessed with church. When we do this, we lose our focus and become slaves to the needs of the church instead of the Kingdom.

A Kingdom framework looks much different than a church framework. Don’t let the church you plant become your obsession. If you do, you’ll pay a big price for it, and your church will fail to become a Genesis 1:28 church.

4. Be Surrounded by Great People

It was so much fun to see who showed up to support each of the three church plants in Long Beach. There were local pastors, coaches, mentors and other church planters. There were also people of local influence (the mayor, business leaders, educators, etc.). It was a reminder of how important it is to be surrounded by great people.

If you’re currently planting a church, I encourage you to take inventory of the people that surround you. If you lack the people you need to be successful as a planter, then find them and ask them to join in.

Here are seven individuals every church planter should be surrounded by:

  1. A church planting coach.
  2. An intercessory prayer champion.
  3. A lead pastor from a local church.
  4. A successful entrepreneur or business leader.
  5. A friend or mentor with whom you have complete safety and anonymity.
  6. Lost people — vision begins with a lost world.
  7. People who are good for your marriage and your spouse.   
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Chris Lagerlof
Chris is a strategic thinker, project specialist and experienced leader. His passion is to help leaders and churches move forward by maximizing their focus, clarity and performance. Chris worked for 17 years as a Pastor and Champion of several ministries at Mariners Church in Irvine, CA. Chris spent the last several years using his experience and expertise to consult churches and nonprofits. Chris recently launched Mission Orange County, which exists to mobilize and multiply churches in Orange County to collaborate within their cities to impact every man, woman and child with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Chris lives in Irvine with his wife Kristen and their two daughters Tessa and Mandy. Chris likes to golf, cook, snowboard and tailgate with his family and friends at UCLA football games.