(This is part 2 of a series on Church Planting Success. Read part 1 here.)
Last week, I introduced two questions that aim to gauge one’s level of preparation for the church planting field–more specifically, for those diving into a new environment. The first question had to do with finances: How will you be personally funded? The second question had to do with your cultural relevance: How does the site selection match up with your cultural background/experience? These questions, and the ones that follow, are all centered around this main idea that a great church planter dropped into an unfit atmosphere will not succeed.
Here are this week’s questions to consider:
3. How many ministry partners will move with you?
Ministry partners are those volunteers or quasi-staff who are called by God to the project as much as
the church planter is called. They are willing to pull up stakes if necessary and move with the church
planter to the new target area. These are people who have some history with the church planter. They
have a common language and understanding of the vision. Value and agenda harmony issues are pretty
much settled. With more ministry partners the risk is reduced. For example, if a youth pastor from
a parent church becomes the church planting pastor for the daughter church, presumably they would
have enough meaningful relationships (ministry partners) to bring with them. But if the church planter
drops in on a new community by themselves, they’d tally just one point.
4. How many pre-existing adult contacts (individuals or couples) that you already know or are aware of,
might likely become part of your team?
Pre-existing adult contacts are not the same as ministry partners who are already called to the new
project. These are folks who live in the community but they may or may not even be Christians yet.
Perhaps they’ve expressed some interest in the new church, or perhaps they’re a “friend of a friend”
and at least they become a starting point for making contacts in the community. Obviously, there’s
some advantage when the church planter has a running start. If a parent church is looking to start a
daughter church in an area where pre-existing contacts already exist, that’s a positive.
So, with the four strong factors, it’s possible to earn up to five points each, or twenty points total.
The more points, the less the risk. But let’s be careful to not shy away from some risk. It’s entirely
consistent with our faith to take risks for God.
Next week, we’ll take a look at four more minor factors to consider. Remember, these questions are crucial to consider, not just for you, but for all those involved. I would encourage you to ask your peers, and loved ones, what they might advise.
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