Our Top 5 Posts of February
Sat Mar 08, 2014
Resurgence Roundup, 3/7/14
Fri Mar 07, 2014
How to Replant a Church, Part 5: Rally Your Troops
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Bubba Jennings
The 4 Pillars of Pastoral Work
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Dave Bruskas
10 Ideas For Keeping Lent
Wed Mar 05, 2014
by Winfield Bevins
Plant Churches Like a Missionary, Not a Pastor
My biggest mistake in starting a church was approaching a new church start like a pastor and not a missionary.
You need people to be a shepherd
I guess I can be forgiven, because being a pastor is what I knew. My previous ministry experience was as a pastor. I was a college pastor out of undergrad, and then became an associate pastor at a large church a few years later. The people were provided for me. I was to grow the ministry from what I had and shepherd the people as need arose.
But this is no way to start a church. Yes, we must be shepherds to our people. But I was not a shepherd first because I had no people!
If I was sent out as a missionary to another country nobody would expect me to go and counsel, preach sermons on the weekends, and facilitate smaller groups. The sending church would expect me to do evangelism. That’s what missionaries do, especially when they are first getting started.
Domestic new church starts should be the same because missionary work is evangelism that results in new churches.
Don't just go for the low-hanging fruit
I know church planters often don’t have to do evangelism to start churches domestically. They can start with a group of people from their sending church. They can recruit from other churches. They can find a group of people who are fed up with how other churches do things and launch from there. Some of these are legitimate ways to plant a church. Some of these are shady.
Every new church must have some believers, but are they purposefully interacting with unbelievers?
But all of them miss evangelism. The lead guy is immediately doing pastoral work, which is probably his preference anyway. I know that’s what I wanted. I didn’t want to consistently initiate with people who would reject me. I wanted the easy sell, the low-hanging fruit, and I wanted it to give me a decent, sustainable new church.
Find your unbelievers
The church planter is a missionary first, doing evangelism, and leading the believers in his church to reach lost people. Every new church must have some believers, but are they purposefully interacting with unbelievers? This was the most important paradigm shift for me, and as I interact with other planters, the most important paradigm shift for them.
If you are thinking of starting a church, are you willing to be a missionary?