Skip to main content

Church Planting 101

A huge thanks to Leila Disburg for sending me to a Church Planting 101 conference at the East Ohio conference. Some of the highlights:
  • Affinity is everything. How & where did you grow up? What's happened in your life that God's redeemed and now others will relate to you through that? Bad plants are usually a mismatch between a planter and their affinity/mission field
  • The #1 responsibility of a church planter is to put people in seats
  • Don't launch until there's critical mass - have enough people to run a service week in and week out
  • Attraction is the old wine skin - that worked when church & culture were identical - we could build something and they'd come
  • Now, relationships lead to invitation
  • In church planting, no matter how good your vision is, people don't hear it the way you want them to
  • By 2050, there will be no majority population
  • Most churches don't reflect their mission field
  • The people right outside the church aren't reflected inside the church
  • As a church planter, you have the blessing & responsibility of being the DNA and mission field that connects most to you
  • Every church casts a shadow in its community (in a good way!) - how far does your shadow reach?
  • Are you a pastor who plants a church...or a church planter who pastors a church?
One of the best learnings:

Pastors have to develop a tough skin because they have so many difficult decisions - they lose vulnerability with others - many end up losing vulnerability with God

Comments

guy m williams said…
Thanks for sharing some of the content of your conference here. I'm curious to hear you say more about the last bullet-point: "Are you a pastor who plants a church...or a church planter who pastors a church?"

thanks much...
jenny said…
Guy - We spent a lot of time reflecting on our personal leadership styles. Most leaders fall somewhere between apostolic tendencies and pastoral tendencies. Most church planters lean towards the apostolic side. But both types can be church planters - the pastoral type just needs a good context that fits them.
Luke D said…
Thanks for sharing this. I am a church planter from St. Paul, MN and I needed to be reminded of these facts. Especially:
# Most churches don't reflect their mission field
# The people right outside the church aren't reflected inside the church
# As a church planter, you have the blessing & responsibility of being the DNA and mission field that connects most to you

Most Read

Why Some Experienced Clergy (and Lay People) Have a Hard Time When Younger Clergy Take Renewal Leave

This is a guest post from my very own dad! He's a United Methodist pastor serving in Bend, Oregon. I enjoy chatting church leadership with my dad and it's fascinating to see how our generational differences bring different perspectives to our calling as pastor. We need each generation to walk with each other as we figure it out in this new world. We've been reflecting lately as I finished up a renewal leave and he prepares to retire this June. 
By David Beckett
I fall into the category of experienced clergy which is a polite way of saying I am old. I’ve been pastoring for nearly 40 years. When I was a young pastor my role models were mostly white males who presented an image of success that equated with dedication, overwork, and sacrifice. My first senior pastor talked about the 20 hr/wk he invested in sermon preparation. And he expected his staff to work beyond their stated hours. During those three years of full time seminary and a large youth group I put in up to 80 hr/…

Why pastors need collaboration, not competition

There's competition in every industry. Some get promoted over others. Some work incredibly hard but their gifts go unnoticed. Others do good work and people assume they're fine but underneath, they feel like they could never be honest about how hard life is in this season. People spend more energy figuring out how they measure up in a work culture instead of doing the actual work.

Competition itself implies there are two sides.

I remember field days at my elementary school in Alaska. The half-frozen spring ground was covered with clumps of dirty gray snow. Jackets were thrown on the ground as the fourth graders tried to beat the fifth graders at tug of war. Rope burns were shrugged off as sweat dripped down our young faces. We were determined to beat those fifth graders. Our pride was on the line.

Whether you're a fourth grader or an ad manager at a fancy marketing agency or a senator trying out for attorney general, competition runs deep in our DNA.

We want to be the bes…

Why I stay in the United Methodist Church

We can't ignore the numbers. The United Methodist Church is in decline. Many ask, "Why do you stay? Denominations are useless these days."

But I face that reality with overwhelming hope and excitement. I see the Holy Spirit weaving its way through our current & new leadership in ways I've only dreamed of. A couple years ago, I thought about leaving. But I decided to ask some hard questions about why we're in decline. And that journey to the heart of the United Methodist movement has lit a fire in me to see it renewed.

Why I Stay...

1. Our faith is active. We get our hands and hearts dirty in service & relationships.
2. Every United Methodist church is connected through a network of gatherings, prayer, service, money, agencies and leadership. I would never want to serve in building God's kingdom by myself.
3. I see God changing hearts and lives every. single. day.
4. I am fascinated by our founder who's only intention was to create a renewal movement ins…