Getting a head start on your church plant is critical.  How you approach the first years will usually determine the ultimate outcome.

  1. How many honest spiritual conversations have you had with thoroughly unchurched people in the past 90 days?
  2. How many unchurched people have you personally brought to Christ (not just to a worship service) in the past year?
  3. How many life-changing small groups did you get started in your previous churches?
  4. How much experience have you had in churches that average over 750 in worship per week?
  5. Is this your first church plant? If not, how did previous plants go?
  6. What specific ministries, ideas, programs, and systems are you thinking about using the first year of the plant to grow it? Be specific; if you have decided on or are thinking about a specific tactic or program, spell it out.
  7. How much money have you personally raised for this plant and what method did you use?
  8. Where will your church plant meet?
  9. Who is the target audience for your plant?
  10. Rank the bulleted tasks in the list at the end of the post according to these instructions:
    1. First, arrange each task from top to bottom based on how much time a growth pastor (church planter) spends on each task.
    2. If there are any items in the list that you don’t feel a planter should do, put an X by it.
    3. Next, copy the list and re-arrange them in order of how much of your time is currently spent on each task.
    4. Finally, once they are in order, estimate how many hours per week you spend on each task.

Here is the list to work with.

  • Preparing a dynamic, life-changing sermon
  • Planning and preparing for a life-changing worship service
  • Intentional time in personal prayer and spiritual disciplines
  • Keeping the church running smoothly by providing support with administration
  • Showing support for your church’s ministries by attending meetings and events
  • Helping members work through (or get over) grievances, issues, conflicts, and discontent
  • Helping members become more committed disciples by teaching Sunday school, leading small groups, etc.
  • Creating marketing materials and keeping the website up-to-date so guests are attracted to your church
  • Keeping your leadership skills sharp by reading leadership books, engaging church-growth types of materials, and being personally mentored/coached
  • Ensuring availability to the church’s leaders by keeping set office hours
  • Helping members and others become spiritually healthy through pastoral counseling
  • Spending time in the surrounding community, intentionally developing relationships with people outside the church
  • Ensuring effective ministries by attending committee or team meetings
  • Keeping the church’s worshipers informed about the exciting church ministries by attending and reporting at meetings, preparing newsletters and articles, and emailing/telephoning/visiting members
  • Ensuring participants feel secure and loved by visiting them in the hospital and/or in their home in times of illness or crisis
  • Keeping the staff, if you have any, focused on the church’s programs and ministries by leading staff meetings that keep the calendar up-to-date and everyone apprised of what’s going on and what’s coming up
  • Expanding and investing in online social networks in order to reach the younger, digital generation
  • Helping new members and/or visitors make a connection in your church’s ministries
  • Following up with first time and returning guests
  • Providing one-on-one intentional coaching and mentoring appointments with staff and key leaders
  • Keeping up-to-date with current trends by reading secular books and magazines, watching television, going to the movies, attending local non-faith-based events, etc.
  • Keeping your family intact by spending time at home and being available to them
  • Keeping your marriage intact by spending one-on-one time with your spouse without children, friends, church members, etc. (often called dating)
  • Keeping my collegial ties strong by attending ministry alliance meetings, lectionary studies, denominational meetings, etc.
  • Keeping my theological education sharp by reading the great historical theologians, commentaries, and mind-expanding current theologians

You may think of some more so feel free to add. Please don’t try and second guess us as to what the “right answers” are … just answer as spontaneously and as honestly as you can. Do NOT overthink it.

Question: What did you learn about yourself and/or your ministry from answering these questions? Share your insight in the Comments section below.

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