There are many reasons we should start a church. There are even more reasons we should plant churches that plant churches that will continue to multiply… and plant more churches. There are also numerous reasons not to start a church. We may visit these various reasons in upcoming blog posts, but for now, here is just one reason NOT to start a church:
It has become a trendy thing to do:
When I first started church planting, it wasn’t as common as it is today. Praise God! I didn’t do it because it was cool. Far from it! It was hard work. I did it because I was called to an area and God gave my wife and me a heart for the people.
The first few churches we planted started with zero people and zero funding. While this was not the optimal situation, it was our reality. From the beginning and into the first year, my family was the worship team, the janitors, the counselors when needed, the outreach coordinators, and I was the main communicator.
Today it has become somewhat trendy. We have heard over and over – “it is easier to birth a baby than raising the dead. So many came to the conclusion that starting a church is much easier than pastoring an existing church. Can I tell you something? BOTH ARE TOUGH!! If you are looking for easy, you have a false understanding of ministry.
Cool and trendy will only get you so far.
You can find the best location, have the best sound system, and be an awesome communicator, but even all of that is not enough. My hope and prayer is that those who endeavor to plant new churches will see beyond the externals of a Sunday service. The worship gathering is just a small fraction of what pastoring and church planting entails.
If the cool factor is one reason you are drawn to church planting, do yourself (and your family) a favor and don’t take the plunge! Don’t do it! Your heart isn’t in the right place and you may be doing more harm to the Body of Christ than good.
Many visionaries focus on the Sunday gathering but lose sight of discipleship and helping people take their next steps in their faith journey.
So, what’s the solution?
Understand your gifting. If you are the primary vision carrier of the church plant, but you are not a true shepherd (pastoral in nature), then you need to have someone on the team who does have the calling of a pastor. Staff your weaknesses. This is not to say they are paid staff, but they need to be on the team and committed to the work at hand.
We all have “blind spots.” Getting a mentor, coach, or a truth-telling peer can help you identify weak areas and help fortify the church plant for the long haul.
Last but not least – Don’t stop praying! Don’t stop seeking! Don’t shut out the Holy Spirit’s guidance as you navigate the waters of church planting.
Trendy now will be the norm in 10 years or less. Make sure your heart is right and your motivations pure.
Church planting WILL NEVER BE EASY, but it will be worth it. May we be obedient to God and His Great Commission.