How to Gauge your Churches Readiness to Plant
When is your church ready to plant or help plant a church? It can feel daunting, especially if you are only considering metrics. When considering whether or not your church is ready to plant a church, rather than metrics, I want to encourage you to think about mentality. Here are three people and their necessary mentalities that can signal if your church is ready to plant a church or help plant a church.
Elders - ready with open hands
Before we received the initial interest phone calls from the pastors we eventually planted, our elders were on-board with planting churches. We knew from Acts how the gospel advanced through church planting. We knew, through celebration of many glory stories, what God can do through church planting. We as elders did not know the when or the who, but we would be open-handed when God presented the opportunity.
We did not need the entire plan; we only needed open hands before God who held the entire plan in His hands.
I remember when I shared with our elders the first opportunity. The consensus green light to proceed with the next step was given at that meeting. The elders were ready with open hands. We had plenty to figure out, but all of that would, and could, come later. We did not need the entire plan, we only needed open hands before God who held the entire plan in His hands. Are the elders ready?
Pastor - ready for a little Brother
The pastor of the planting church must have the heart and the margin to welcome a little brother for the purpose of helping to raise him up, guide and encourage him. The result will be a special brotherhood. If planting locally (both of our church plants are local), the margin needed will afford time for lunches and coffee meetings and phone calls. These interactions will include the coaching and encouragement the church planter desperately needs. GCC understands that the church network has its place providing assessment and training and funding and expertise, but that only the on-the-ground hosting pastor and church can provide the relationship planters desperately need.
Timothy and Titus were not Paul’s franchisees; they were partners in reaching the world for Jesus.
In Acts, it is abundantly clear that Paul had great brotherhood with the men he was discipling and planting. Timothy and Titus were not Paul’s franchisees, they were partners in reaching the world for Jesus. As Paul was in prison, he longed to see his brothers. Is the pastor ready?
Team - ready to spread the love
It is not only the elders and sending pastor who must be eager to give time, wisdom and care but also the staff team of the sending church. After all, the elders nor senior pastor know the ins-and-outs and how-tos of every ministry in the church! The broader team, whether full-time, part-time or volunteer, carries a wealth of experience, stories and best practices to offer the church planter and his team. This past month, our Kids Ministry Director met with the Kids Ministry Directors of both churches to talk shop, strategize, build relationships and pray together. We have found that our leader team is rich with best practices that are regularly “a-ha’s!” for the teams of the other churches and thereby relieve unnecessary burdens and complications for up-and-coming ministries. Is the team ready?
If your elders, pastor and staff team do not yet have these mentalities, what can be done to develop them? Rather than another list, let me share an observation from Matthew and then a corresponding work of God in Acts. In Matthew 14, Jesus fed 5000 inside the borders of Israel. In Matthew 15, Jesus fed 4000 outside the borders of Israel in Tyre. Same Savior and LORD. Same miracle. The main difference? The location. Nearly 30 years later in Acts 21:1-5, Paul visits disciples of Jesus in… Tyre!
The gospel message is empowered to spread and must be planted beyond your existing borders. How might The LORD use your church?"
The gospel message of Jesus Christ had taken root in Tyre and God had been reaching more souls. The gospel message is empowered to spread and must be planted beyond your existing borders. How might The LORD use your church?