1. How to pray.
Starting a new church is a miracle, and only God can work miracles. If you start a church without prayer, it won’t be a church, it will be a club. If you don’t know how to pray, learn how. Make prayer a central part of your planting strategy. Recruit others to help pray. Keep them informed of answered prayers as well as prayer needs.
2. How to build teams.
There is only one Lone Ranger, and he is not you. He wasn’t actually even “Lone”, because he had Tonto. It is not good to go it alone. To be successful in church planting, you must create teams—even before you start. At the very least, you will need a prayer team, finance team and launch team. If you can’t recruit planting teams early on, your church plant will most likely stay small and struggle for a long time. Read Doing Church as Team by Wayne Cordeiro. Apply what you learn.
3. How to share the Gospel.
The reason we plant churches is to join Jesus on His mission of seeking and saving people who are far from God. When the Gospel is shared, Christ’s Great Commission is fulfilled. Share the Gospel, first in deed, then in words. If you don’t know how to walk the walk and talk the talk, you should not plant a church! But don’t stop because you feel unqualified, learn how to share the Gospel by hanging out with others who do it successfully and then emulate them. Then you will be ready to plant!
4. How to have faith.
God’s dream is always bigger than any dream you currently have. Faith believes God for what you cannot see and also for what you need to succeed. Be vision driven—not provision driven. Learn how to trust God to provide for the challenges that are bigger than you. If little obstacles paralyze you and keep you from moving forward, you are not ready to plant a church. (*Spoiler Alert*) You will never have everything you think you need to start a church. Never. You will always have less than you need, which will force you to build your faith and find God’s provision. When you depend on Him, you will always have what you need when you really need it.
5. How to be flexible.
A very wise man I know often says, “Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be broken.” Take this as a word of wisdom. Your best plans will almost always need to be adjusted. Expect stuff to happen that will mess up your plans and then choose to be happy when it does. Flexibility will add joy to your church and years to your life!
6. How to pray.
I know, I already mentioned prayer. But it really deserves to be mentioned twice. Planting is one part strategy and one part miracle! Prayer connects us to the miracle. Start and end each day by talking and listening to God. Listen for His still small voice when praying, when planning and while doing everything else.
So, there you have it. 6 things every planter needs to know.
What do you think? Would you add anything else to this list?