The Top 7 Things That Almost Guarantee Your Church Plant Will Win

by Charles Hill

So…you are one of the crazies trying to start SOMETHING out of NOTHING? There are a MILLION things you are thinking that you need to do…but here are my top 7 focuses when starting with a blank slate, that I believe if you pursue, with the help of the Holy Spirit, you will win.

1. God/Spiritual Warfare/Spiritual Matters.
**If you are not prepared to deal with this…you will be gravely sorry. It is an all-out battle. Don’t sluff this off in the business of planting. A prayer team is as important as a launch team.

2.  Your Family.
**OK you are saying…I know these 1st 2. Well, most people know them, but they still don’t practice them. Or they might even take #2 too far or their spouse might not have realistic expectations and not understand that planting has “seasons”.  I have had staff make excuses for not working hard or while we are in a season using their family as an example. Seasons are seasons and they should COME and GO! Date night, family time, truly disciplining your family is easy to say, hard to do. SCHEDULE THIS!

My Wife went back to work for the 1st time in 12 years. We need to be wise in our dealings and we had to make BIG changes. Big changes if you are not focused and in tune with your family rhythm, cycle and style will lead to your plant not even launching more than likely.

3. Your Place.
**Read Ben Arment’s book: Church in the Making. Many of you should read it, pray about it, them probably move. If you are radically rebelling against this advise, then I pray you truly had a Macedonian Vision. God uses us best in the places he has already ordained for us that we know. Not always, but generally. We were called to Utah by God, but this book helped us greatly realize where our next calling was and where we need to focus for the long-haul as church planters.

4. Your Team. If you do this alone, you are STUPID. Not just crazy. You are STUPID. [I say this in LOVE and with EXPERIENCE]
**Build a team. Don’t settle for 2nd best. Cast a HUGE vision and recruit the best you can. If you do this alone, well, you are stupid if you didn’t catch me the first time in love, and if you hire or settle on 2nd best in hopes that they will pan out…you are double well, let’s soften it…crazy. Really.

5. Fund Raising.
**This is your #1 job. Making connections are key…yes. But you will not have a prevailing plant outside of an Acts 2 moment [which is rare, hence the world miracle]…You need to raise $250-$500,000. Yes, you do. Stop focusing on building a service, finding a worship space, and networking alone. Build a strong financial base on top of #1 and #2 on this list, your spiritual base.

6. Networking with People, Pastors, Leaders and Seekers.
**How you enter your town is as important as what you do when you are there. We host a pastor’s luncheon that we pay for and send a letter to every pastor/church in our area letting them know who we are, what we are, what our vision is, and that we want to PARTNER WITH THEM to reach the city. They were there 1st. They are your best source of support! Join the Chamber of Commerce. Connect with city and school officials. And don’t forget…your church plant begins on your back deck. Do you really know your neighbors and are you teaching your launch team that this plant starts on their decks?

7. Vision/Strategy/Execution
**Setting clear vision on paper, in print, on the web, etc. is KEY. What you will become begins in the DNA of how you start. If you aren’t doing it now, you will have a much harder time later. We desire to be multi-ethnic [30%+]…well, our launch team better reflect that! We desire to focus on outsiders, so our team better figure out how to get to know some! We desire to launch with a permanent facility, that is strategy, so we better have a clearly defined plan. We desire to have a clear strategy for growth [numerically and spiritually] so we better have staff at each level to make that happen! Do you truly have a SIMPLE, well-defined plan, vision and strategy for your plant? If you don’t…well…you better hope for that miracle!



**Do you need help with your plant? Contact me [[email protected]]. We have church planting and established church coaches in every area. [Planting, Executive Pastor, Worship, Youth/Kids, Etc.] We want to help you become everything you need through Christ! Need some strategy coaching? We are partnered with the best group in the country, Church Solutions Group, we can connect you.

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About Charles Hill

Charles Hill is a church planter who specializes in helping people do BIG THINGS with LITTLE RESOURCES. He loves to encourage those in smaller communities and hard to reach places where no one else wants to go! Contact him for Leadership Development Resources, Multi-Site Consulting and Church Planting Coaching. Read More About Charles Hill At His Author Page

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  • Larry Rutledge

    Have you actually read any of the New Testament? Jesus didn’t look for the “Best”. And Paul certainly could have accomplished so much more if h would have had you to guide him. You need to go back through each of your points and compare them against scripture. Your plan looks more like a model for starting a new business than for starting a church. I’d suggest grabbing some seasoned mentors who have been pastors for a long time and run you “plan” by them. I can’t imagine any of them endorsing it.

  • Kimberly

    Yuck and double yuck – where in your seven steps are the people the church hopes to serve? Where is the servant leader ethos? Where is the passion, drive and call to lead people who are seeking a community that aims to be the hands and feet of God in this broken and beautiful world? Where are the simple steps of getting to know the community into which you hope to plant and calling together those who love to serve? $500,000 really?? Don’t recall fundraising stats mentioned in Acts. If the type of church you are suggesting is just another insiders club to make more insiders rather than creating disciples who serve the world in all her pain then you can keep this kind of church thank you.

  • Brian

    $500k and you will “almost guarantee your church plant will win”? Yikes! Not one mention of the Lord of the harvest being involved… Sad commentary on western churches!

    • Kimberly


      Please don’t confuse this version of “church” with all Western churches. I promise there are thousands of little congregations out here in the highways and the hedges of America just serving God’s people and loving Christ in simple, calloused-hands ways.


      • charles hill

        Thanks Kim, you are so right and I love those so much that I founded a ministry for those churches. // check it out sometime:)

        For the rest…this is not a theological work [do that every weekend and did a ton in seminary]…and if so, it was grounded in #1. If church planters have the SPIRIT OF GOD [again, #1], then the rest of these things are shown to help reach seekers and build believers.

        This is not exhaustive, but in my 12 years and 5 campuses planted and thousands who have trusted Christ, I would say that the Spirit of God has been at work, the Lord of the Harvest is alive and well, and I am just a very fallible sinner doing my best to reach and disciple people for the sake of the gospel:) Thanks for the dialogue!

    • charles hill

      I could have sworn that #1 was God…listed that as #1 for a reason…don’t have time to write a book. Churches that don’t raise funds or whom God does not send funding too, have a much harder time…just plain fact.

  • Geoffrey

    Well said. I am now in my 2 ( but really fourth long story but believe me) plant and I agree with th above. 500k might throw some but if we plan to plant a large attractional church it is true. We are doing it on less but feel the pinch. Thanks for the good word. May your tribe increase.

  • Powell’s

    The most important piece of advice I can give on this topic is that it’s all in where and how you start your church plant. My wife and I started in a community building, so many people wanted us out of their town they started “reserving” the building for the Sunday. We once had service in a back room, sat about 12 people. Which was fine, we only had about 7 then. But, it was free.
    Then we moved into a building that we shared w/ another community group, it wasn’t free but was very do-able. Finally, after 5 years, we moved into the largest church building in the community. All debt free, and with small investments along the way.
    Collegues of mine have gone into communities, looking for the nicest building, looking to remodel, etc. By the time they are done, they are in debt to their ears, have worked their hands to death, and still have no people to fill their glorious building.
    God’s word tells us not to despise small things…. That’s the place to start.