Getting a head start on your church plant is critical. How you approach the first years will usually determine the ultimate outcome.
- How many honest spiritual conversations have you had with thoroughly unchurched people in the past 90 days?
- How many unchurched people have you personally brought to Christ (not just to a worship service) in the past year?
- How many life-changing small groups did you get started in your previous churches?
- How much experience have you had in churches that average over 750 in worship per week?
- Is this your first church plant? If not, how did previous plants go?
- 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.
- How much money have you personally raised for this plant and what method did you use?
- Where will your church plant meet?
- Who is the target audience for your plant?
- Rank the bulleted tasks in the list at the end of the post according to these instructions:
- First, arrange each task from top to bottom based on how much time a growth pastor (church planter) spends on each task.
- If there are any items in the list that you don’t feel a planter should do, put an X by it.
- Next, copy the list and re-arrange them in order of how much of your time is currently spent on each task.
- 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.
You Might Also Like:
- Ten Most Common Mistakes Made by Church Starts
- The Next Level Coaching Network, which specializes in church planting
- Creating a Church Planting Movement