Getting a good head start on your plant is critical.  What you approach the first year is critical. So here are some questions to chew on and an exercise

  1. How many honest spiritual conversations have you had with thoroughly unchurched people in the past 90 days?
  2. How many unchurched people have you personally brought to Christ (not just to a worship service) in the past year?
  3. How many life-changing small groups did you get started in your previous churches?
  4. How much experience have you had in churches that average over 750/week in worship?
  5. Is this your first church plant? If not, how did previous plants go?
  6. What specific ministries, ideas, programs, systems, are you contemplating using the first year of the plant to grow it? Be specific; if you have decided on or are thinking about a specific tactic or program spell it out.
  7. How much money have you personally raised for this plant and what method did you use?
  8. Where will your church plant meet originally?
  9. Who is the target audience for your plant?
  10. Rank the following bulleted tasks:
    1. First, arrange each task from top to bottom based on how much time a growth pastor (church planter) spends on each task.
    2. If any of the following list you don’t feel a planter should be doing put an X by it.
    3. Next, copy the list and re-arrange them in order of how much of your time is currently spent on each task.
    4. Finally, once they are in order, estimate how many hours per week you spend on each task.

Here is the list to work with.

  • Preparing a life-changing dynamic sermon
  • Planning and preparing for a life-changing worship service
  • Intentional time in personal prayer and spiritual disciplines
  • Keeping the church running smoothly by providing support with administration
  • Showing support for our church’s ministries by attending meetings and events
  • Helping members work through (or get over) grievances, issues, conflicts, and discontent
  • Helping members become more committed disciples by teaching Sunday school, small groups, etc.
  • Creating marketing materials and keeping the website up-to-date so guests are attracted to our church
  • Keeping my leadership skills sharp by reading leadership books, engaging church-growth types of materials, and being personally mentored/coached
  • Ensuring availability to the church’s leaders by keeping set office hours
  • Helping members and others become spiritually healthy through pastoral counseling
  • Spending time in the community intentionally developing relationships with people outside the church
  • Ensuring effective ministries by attending committee or team meetings
  • Keeping the church’s worshippers apprised of the exciting church ministries by attending and reporting at meetings, preparing newsletters and articles, and emailing/telephoning/visiting members
  • Ensuring participants feel secure and loved by visiting them in the hospital and/or in their home in times of illness or crisis
  • Keeping the staff, if you have any, focused on the church’s programs and ministries by leading staff meetings that keep the calendar up-to-date and everyone apprised of what’s going on and upcoming
  • Expanding and investing in online social networks in order to reach the new digital generation
  • Helping new members and/or visitors make a connection in the church’s ministries
  • Following-up with first time and returning guests
  • Providing one-on-one intentional coaching and mentoring appointments with staff and key leaders
  • Keeping up-to-date with current trends by reading secular books and magazines, watching television, going to the movies, attending local non-faith based events, etc.
  • Keeping my family intact by spending time at home and being available to them
  • Keeping my marriage intact by spending one-on-one time with my spouse without the children, friends, church members, etc. (sometimes called dating)
  • Keeping my collegial ties strong by attending ministry alliance meetings, lectionary studies, denominational meetings, etc.
  • Keeping my theological education sharp by reading the great historical theologians, commentaries, and mind-expanding current theologians

You may think of some more so feel free to add. Please don’t try and second guess us as to what the “right answers” are … just answer as spontaneously and as honestly as you can. Do NOT over-think it.