Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions Real Talk from the Church Planting Front Lines—10 Do-Overs

Real Talk from the Church Planting Front Lines—10 Do-Overs

In 2003, we planted a church. In 2004, we closed the doors.

Here are 10 things I would have done differently.

1. I would taken a more rigorous church planter’s assessment.

I often joke that if someone would have just looked at my checkbook, they would have stopped me from my attempt to plant a church.

I’m sure other indicators would have surfaced as well, but a good assessment would have either helped delay us until we were really prepared or prevented us from doing one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

2. I would have been more patient and processed more with my senior pastor.

I guess looking back, I laugh a lot because I joke about this with my lifelong pastor and friend, Greg Simas, “Why didn’t you stop me?” I would have taken more time to ask him more questions like:

  • Do you think I’m ready?
  • How hard has it been for you to plant?
  • Is the timing right?
  • Where should I plant?
  • Can the church send us?

My impatience of feeling like I was done with youth ministry only gave me a couple options, and since I felt that God gave me a desire to plant a church, that’s what I pursued.

3. I would not have planted with the denomination I was affiliated with.

In 2002, the denomination we were associated with at the time had not developed a proven church planting strategy. We received what I call a “pentecostal pat on the back” and their blessing, which at the time was all I thought I needed.

A church planter needs more than required approval. They need real assistance. 

I would have sought out a church planting organization or movement that was better equipped to equip me and had the vision and knowledge on how to plant a church successfully.

4. I would have spent a year on just getting supporters and raising support. 

I would have focused more time on learning how to raise funds and would have had definite goals in place of how many supporters I needed to fund the plant so that I could give my undivided attention to the work.

As you may know, a church planter who has to work an additional job is less likely to get the church established.

At one time, I was working three jobs!