Church Planting is a unique journey. There are as many unique journeys as there are church plants and failed church plants. Thankfully, Two Cities Church has been fortunate enough to learn from both. I’ve had many conversations with people who have planted, are planting and plan on planting. I’ve had great coaching from North Point Ministries, their North Point Strategic Partner Office, and from Growing Healthy Churches. The thing about coaching is, your coaches won’t always agree on what you ought to do. And there’s a reason for that. Every church plant is unique and every community is unique. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach that I’ve found. Maybe you have? There are transferable principles and timeless truths, but you’ve got to adapt to your own location, talents, and resources. The common denominator in any church plant is, it could not succeed without the power of God making a way for it to succeed.
Despite the mountains of resources available to church planters. I’ve found that there continues to be 5 common church planting misconceptions. There’s probably more, but these are just some that I’ve run across.
- Church Planting Should Be Easy
Here’s the logic, “If God is behind it, meaning it’s his will, then Church Planting should be so easy.” Well, maybe, but if there’s no struggle, it’s going to be cheap. The best wines in the world involve a vine that has to struggle. The richness of that struggle comes across in its taste. The best church planting stories I’ve heard involved struggle. If you don’t struggle how are you supposed to develop into the person, leader, or pastor God wants to use in order to expand his kingdom? Easy doesn’t necessarily mean good.
- Church Planting Will Kill Your Family
I’ve heard about church planters neglecting their family and it ultimately causing marital issues. I can see how easy it would be do to that. I mean you’re doing “the Lord’s work” so obviously it comes first, right? Well, maybe we have a misunderstanding of the Lord’s primary call on our lives. Making our families a priority over the church is important. There will be sacrifice, but there doesn’t have to be death of relationships. Fortunately, my wife and I both work from home and get to have meals together, can help each other out when the kids are acting crazy. We carry each other’s burdens as much as possible.
- Build it and They Will Come
Nope. ‘Nuff said.
- People (and Money) Follow Vision (Alone)
This is true, in part. I think people gain interest based upon the vision, but they don’t follow you based on a vision. They follow you based on what you’ve done. The best way I know how to describe this is having some sort of track record. Makes sense, right? So if you don’t have a long track record, be prepared for things to take longer than usual, so that you can establish a voice in the community.
- Church Planting is About a Building
Just because you have a place to meet or a building, does not mean you’ll pack the house. It is important to be able to meet somewhere, but it’s more important to have committed people on your team. When we announced we were planting a church, people asked me, “So, where’s the church?” At that moment, the church was spread over five house-holds. Three in Santa Rosa and two in Fresno/Clovis. The church is people, not a building. We can not forget that.
With those 5 Common Church Planting Misconceptions in mind I want to share the planting story of some friends of our in Gainesville, FL. This past Sunday they celebrated their 5 year anniversary! But as you can expect, it hasn’t been an easy ride. As a part of the celebration they released a 16-minute documentary about their start-up story.
So, what church planting misconceptions have you heard or believed?