101 Church Planting Tips
If you follow all of these tips…
…you’re crazy. However, we do hope that most of you can find a few tips below that help move (or tip) you forward in the mission of God. From Church Planters to Church Planters, that’s what we want… to help you move further towards success in the vision set before you!
Thanks and enjoy!
1. The BBQ you went to, that dinner party you hosted last weekend… can be the first steps in an amazing new Church Planting journey.
2. Churches have life cycles because people have life cycles. The need for Church Planting is inevitable, or the Church is terminal.
3. Believe God is calling you into Church Planting? Your next step is to look for the others He is calling. He always stirs communities for community!
4. Don’t let fear of failure keep you from planting the church that God has called you to. Fail forward and fail fast. God will provide.
5. When you arrive at your mission point, the first thing you are to do is pray, the second is to hear the prayers of the people.
6. God may not call everyone to lead a community, but he can use ANYONE to kickstart a community of disciples!
7. One of the biggest mistakes made in launching a new ministry is in the thinking that SUCCESS depends on how long it SURVIVES.
8. Starting a church in a multi-ethnic community? Don’t launch until you can begin with diversity. It won’t be easy, but it will be right.
9. Your church not yet ready to talk planting another church? Start setting aside money each month for it, because you will be!
10. Creating your Vision? Include a WHERE and WHEN along with your WHY, HOW and WHAT. That keeps it focused and measurable.
11. Be patient with your strategic planning: “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” -Wooden
12. We know you’re willing to work for the least amount of support possible. But your job is to ask for what the vision requires.
13. Work with a coach or mentor who has gone before you and is willing to stick it out with you.
14. From the beginning, make a habit of asking new and potential disciples who else they can bring along in the journey.
15. Don’t make Church Planting into something more complex than making disciples. That is enough.
16. At no point in his life was Jesus not also a disciple to the Father (Jn 12:49). He was a disciple, making disciples. That is our model.
17. Your best sermon each week isn’t your 30-minute speech, it’s the other 167.5 hours spent living it out.
18. Changes around us often bring changes within us. Incorporate Staff and Church Retreats into your disciple-making methods.
19. God makes churches out of made disciples. Start with following Jesus, the rest will follow.
20. If one does not intend to BE or MAKE disciples in a particular activity, the follower of Jesus should not engage in it.
21. Adopt the model that allows you to do “life together” most naturally as disciples in your context. Our communion identifies us! Jn 13:35
22. Success in ministry has more to do with active hands and feet than it does warm imprints on a seat.
23. The sermon they see is louder than the sermon they hear.
24. To make something complex, is easy — involuntary even. To simplify disciple making we must be intentional. It must be something ANYONE can do.
25. Walk a mile first in Jesus shoes, then talk about it. Let the practice of following him guide the discussion about him.
26. Your job as a disciple isn’t to try and make following Jesus easier for others to do. It’s to illustrate that though hard, it’s worth doing.
27. The fruit of a faithful disciple isn’t a larger church, it’s Christ-likeness. A growing church is the fruit of Christ’s work, not ours.
28. We rush to TEACH as much as we can in hopes that something RESONATES. When in fact, the message of Jesus only resonates when PRACTICED.
29. We spend too much energy inviting people to HEAR our words than we do inviting them to FOLLOW the Word.
30. Perhaps the greater challenge today isn’t serving others like Jesus did, but rather serving others just like we would serve Jesus.
31. Your goal isn’t to reproduce yourself in others; it’s to reproduce the “Christ in you” in others.
32. If God’s presence is essential for something, then for that it is essential we pray. Prayer postures our hearts for partnership with God.
33. Loyalty to your GOALS is of far greater value than loyalty to your METHODS.
34. God doesn’t call us to start new churches so much as he calls us to reach new peoples. Then HE makes a new church.
35. Even outsiders can spread the word of your mission. Never underestimate the power of every contact in your network.
36. The missional church doesn’t look at people as things to be kept, but as gifts to be sent.
37. Our job isn’t to push people to Christ, but to walk with people until they are drawn to Christ. It is a journey of grace to Grace.
38. To fulfill the Great Commission, we must realize that most of the workers needed for the task haven’t even heard of it yet.
39. If there’s anything we learn about the process of making disciples that Jesus used, it’s that he wanted to prove ANYONE could be one.
40. When things get tough… Change of Place + Change of Pace = Change of Perspective. Remember the big picture.
41. No one ever quit because they were told it could not be done. They quit because they believed it. Keep the faith!
42. Your most challenging obstacles won’t be the ones that you can see, but in learning to see the ones you are unaware of.
43. We mustn’t just reimagine HOW we function as a church, we must also reimagine WHERE the church should be functioning.
44. Don’t invest in leadership at first; invest in followership. If one is truly following Jesus, they can be followed by others.
45. As a leader, one of the best ways to disciple others is to share what you’re learning as you learn it. Give as it’s received.
46. Jesus came into the world needy and he sent out his disciples needy (Luke 9:3–4). Your aim is NOT to be self-sufficient in ministry.
47. Take incredibly great care of your family! Your love and care for them will be like your resumé to the onlooking community.
48. People naturally look to people who seem in control. They follow those who are in control of themselves. Invest in a disciplined life.
49. To TRUST the work of the SPIRIT without having to watch Him work is essential as a leader. You cannot be in more than one place, but HE can!
50. We’re in a fog. We need leaders who are willing to walk ahead and return to lead us by hand, not ones who shout back from within the mist.
51. When leadership micromanages ministries, leadership development regresses. When leadership spends time in empowering prayer, it progresses.
52. You are a LEADER if only ONE is following. And you are a GOOD LEADER based on the quality of your character, not the quantity of followers.
53. Most of us walk to get somewhere, few of us walk to be someone. Where you walk and how you walk will define you. Just ask Jesus.
54. Don’t just pray and walk away. What you do after you pray makes all the difference. Leaders must plan to pray and plan to act.
55. Some will invest in your vision. Some will invest in your locale. All need to invest in you — your character.
56. Don’t worry about trying to keep members in your church. Instead, worry about keeping your church in the mission!
57. A simple way to Love your neighbor as yourself: Always allot time to do everything twice. Serve others as you’ve served yourself.
58. If you can explain your church growth strategy on a napkin, then it’s simple enough to be remembered and implemented by every member.
59. The best follow-up with visitors starts before you first meet. A culture of authenticity and genuineness is very inviting.
60. Have your congregation take an inventory of the communities and groups they already belong to. They are missionaries first to those peoples.
61. There are two places your church MUST engage the city you are in: 1) Where people are searching; 2) Where they least expect you.
62. Your church needs gathering points, as well as scattering points. A mission to invite as well as a mission to excite.
63. Learn the PAST and PRESENT story of your city. To tell of a NEW and GREATER story you must learn first HOW to tell it.
64. Removing someone from their tribe comes with many hidden costs. As often as possible, reach people where they are and commission them there.
65. The Great Commission instructs us to teach them “TO obey”… Not “HOW to obey.” Let’s unleash the Spirit’s imagination in disciples!
66. The Spirit-led, Mission-Sent Disciple is God’s response to injustice today. Create a culture of empowering and sending out of disciples!
67. To be incarnational is to give flesh to something. Your neighborhood shouldn’t need faith to know you exist. Make your vision tangible.
68. Your message is best illustrated before you preach, not after or during.
69. 99% of the disciples you will ever make will be bi-vocational missionaries. You must figure out a way to provide onsite training.
70. You want to give a city hope? Impact the youth! Give the community a reason to believe tomorrow will be a brighter day!
71. Everyone brings weaknesses to the table, therefore the team that learns how best to compliment one another is strongest.
72. Planting a church? Start with a team! The Great Commission has always been a group effort!
73. We need a more dynamic and holistic view of teamwork. It’s bigger than you think; we must team-up with the past, present and future as well.
74. Serve others in tandem. Never alone. The best way to illustrate a WITH US God in mission is to work WITH OTHERS in mission.
75. Build your team around prayer and service. God can do more through someone on their knees than someone on their feet.
76. “Holy discontented” vs “Wholly disgruntled”? When you build a core team, their motivation is a bigger factor than their ability.
77. If you can do it alone, don’t do it. Every solo act is a missed opportunity to disciple or be discipled by another.
78. Effective fundraising is the result of great execution on multiple levels. Not gifted in an area? Ask for help! It takes a team!
79. As often as you are able, encourage other Church Planters in your region. Chart a brave path forward in dialogue and sharing!
80. The mission requires a group effort… a CHURCH effort! To plant a healthy church, involve the whole church.
81. Meet with community leaders and ask what the greatest needs they believe the area has. Start your ministry there.
82. In summer: Meet at the beach, a park or a playground. Bring the church to the people. And while you’re there…serve.
83. Serve needs, not agendas. Move at the speed of life.
84. Instead of a church service, take the church serving.
85. Lead a service day for a neighborhood. Connect needs to abilities. Then light the BBQ for a block party to celebrate.
86. Next to the proclamation of the Gospel, the act of silent attention (listening) is the most powerful service you can render to another.
87. Want to make a huge impact in your city? Serve a small need…very well…every day…with great love. Double the impact? Bring someone with you!
88. Work out of a café. Take the money saved in rent and utilities and use it to serve.
89. Your Church doesn’t have to come up with new ministries. Join existing public services and minister to and through them.
90. For the Christ Follower, nothing exists that we are above doing. It’s hard to get any lower than your knees in service or death in devotion.
91. Is your church satisfying the hunger for righteous justice in your city? How are you bringing Heaven’s blessing to Earth?
92. “What will we do?” always trumps “Where will we meet?”
93. As followers of Jesus, we must regularly ask ourselves “where isn’t his church?” Then we must go there.
94. Think of VISION as your target and clarity as your STRATEGY. Does your strategy address the obstacles, or create them?
95. One of the best questions we can ask ourselves is: “How will I obey Christ’s commission today?”
96. Got a tough decision to make? Ask: 1) Does it hinder the Gospel/Mission impact? 2) Does it throttle your Vision/Values?
97. Your family will be remembered long after your sermons are forgotten. How much time are you planning to invest in them this week?
98. What advice do you wish you had been given when you started? Have you shared that with other aspiring planters yet?
99. “Where am I seeing Jesus?” Answer this question and you know where you ought to serve today.
100. “Where and how can I become ‘less’ that Jesus may become ‘greater’ through me in the world around?”
101. Do you know all that you are meant to obey? A disciple is someone who knows AND obeys Jesus’ teachings. Life starts each day at his feet.
Do you have any #ChurchPlantingTips to share? You can let us know in this survey! Thanks!