It’s hip, sexy, trendy and awesome to plant a church, but it’s also a lot of hard work. You think you need money and people, but in my experience, there are more fundamental requirements. I’ve seen too many church planters flame out because they missed one of these five things.
1. You better love Jesus.
If you’re planting a church to be famous, to be the boss or to stand on a stage, then reconsider. A love for Jesus must be the primary motivating factor. Tim Keller says, “You must have the gospel firmly in your heart so that you are not ministering out of a need to convince yourself of your competence or worth but out of love.” I got sucked into the spotlight of success and it derailed my effectiveness and soul. I don’t want that to happen to you.
2. You better have the support of your family.
If you family is not 100% on board, and doesn’t have a good understand of what they are in for, then don’t plant a church. Church planting is every bit as hard on your family as it is hard on you. In many ways, it will be harder on them than it will you. So make sure it’s a team sport.
3. You better love your city.
You better pray for the success of your city, and care about the needs in your city. You must be a good citizen, care about public education, and look to help the local economy. God cares about all the needs in your city, not just about the church you want to start.
4. You better love the local church.
I’m not talking about the church you’re going to plant…I’m talking about every local church. You better love the church from the different denomination. You better hope for the success of the traditional church. You better love the church where you served as a youth pastor who didn’t do things the way you’re going to do. If you don’t have a respect for the local church in all her styles, don’t start one.
5. You better be called.
Church planting is hard, and there will come a day where you will want to do something else. The offering will be bad and people will be annoying and you’ll have better opportunities. In those moments, you’ll go back to your call. Some days, that will be all you have.