We wanted to plant a church for non-believers, but we needed leadership to be successful. When leaders from other churches came, however, we were hesitant to plug them in for fear we would be seen negatively by other churches. In the process, we missed out on quality leadership and we denied people the right to follow their own heart.
Expect everyone to be as committed a few years into the plant.
Worry about the external critics.
In both plants, it seemed our biggest critics were from other churches in the area. They didn’t agree with our style of worship, our teaching (which we tried to make very Biblical), or even the need for us to exist. I let it bother me too much the first couple years. Then I had a wise planter give me some advice. I still hold on to it today for other applications. He said, “Ron, seek your affirmation among the people God sent you to minister to”. The people we were reaching with the church plant – the hurting, lost, wanderers – were so thankful we had obeyed God to plant. The more I focused on them the greater sense of accomplishment I felt in my obedience to God.
Wait long to reproduce.
We were 5 years old when we launched our second campus. I see churches do this in their second full year. There are so many in our city who need hope. Taking a risk on my own comes easy, but sometimes I’m too careful when representing God – as if He can’t handle something so large. When God leads, I want to move quickly. We saw several opportunities to launch other locations we passed on because we didn’t feel “ready”. I’m not sure we ever would have been.
Delay the need to add structure.
We were a church plant. We were often escaping the structure and traditions which keep so many churches from growing and reaching outsiders. But, with growth can quickly come chaos without some carefully planned policies and procedures. You want to add smart structure – and always want to be open to frequent and even constant change, but even church plants need a few systems to guide the
This article was written by Ron Edmondson and originally appeared at his blog. You can find it here.
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