02 Oct What Does It Take To Be A Church Planter?
Church planting can be a daunting task and will require many different aptitudes from the planting pastor. Discussed below are the top five qualities we believe every planter must excel in to be a successful planter.
First, you should be an exceptional communicator or you should reconsider your call to plant. This one thing stands out among all other gifts and abilities for those who are succeeding at planting a church. The people who have growing and thriving plants are exceptional communicators. There is no way around it. Those who are struggling in planting a church are below average in their communication skills.
If you are a planter, preaching and communicating is your craft. Communication needs to happen on three levels: first, one on one communication is necessary to create buy-in from individuals setting across the table from you. Secondly, small group communication is necessary to cast vision to your core team in a clear, understandable way so they can help share the vision and mission of your church plant; thirdly, it is necessary to be extremely strong preaching to crowds. If you struggle delivering your message, guests will not stick around long enough to know what a great pastor and person you are.
The second biggest task of a church planter is fundraising. Everything you need to plant a church must be raised including your salary and any staff you may hire. Let’s face it; none of us enjoy asking for money. But if you are unable to raise money and ask people to believe in you, then church planting is probably not for you. The positive side of fundraising is that you have to cast vision in order to raise funds. This task prepares you to cast vision to people who are presently not in church. In a real sense, being able to raise money is an ability that is needed to plant a church. If you plant a church, you will ultimately have to find a building. Without sounding too fatalistic, you will be raising funds and teaching stewardship the rest of your life.
Third, you have to wake up every morning wanting to network and meet new people. Every day becomes an opportunity to meet with new people and develop relational networks in the community where you are planting a church. People who are presently not going to church will only come if they have some relational connection with you or someone in this new church plant. At first you are the only person who is committed to attending the church plant every Sunday. Sounds almost crazy to say this out loud but it’s true.
Fourth, you need to be an attractive leader. First, be attractive spiritually. Maintain your spiritual disciplines so those around you will say, “That person has been with Jesus and I want to follow them as they follow Jesus.” Secondly, to be an attractive leader, develop leadership skill so potential workers will see you as a good leader and will want to get on board and work with you. Third, you must be culturally attractive. This is the leader that understands and is relevant to the culture of his/her community. A cutting edge leader will attract creative people that will want to be a part of his/her team and leadership.
Finally, you need to be able to reach the unchurched. Church planting isn’t about people transferring church membership; it’s about reaching the lost. You must be able to create inroads to the lives of the unchurched and be willing to invest the time, effort and energy that it takes to win them over. This will require getting outside of the four walls of the church and meeting them on their turf. In the past, people believed, then they belonged. However, there is a new culture trend. Now people need to belong before they believe. This means giving duties and tasks to new people to get them involved in the church so they belong and soon they believe.
Accurate assessment of church planting potential is essential. Unless you really like pain and frustration, you do not want to attempt to plant a church unless you have been equipped, gifted and specifically called by God to do so!