The Most Important Question A Church Planter Can Ask

by | Nov 28, 2022 | Church Leadership, Church Planting, Church Revitalization, Pastoral Burnout

I’ve planted three churches. One in my early 20’s, one in my late 20’s, and my final one after I had just turned 40. The funny thing about getting older is that you seem to know less than you did when you were younger.

Now I know that not all church planters are in their 20’s or 30’s…some set out to plant much older, but church planters, regardless of age, typically have certain things in common.


Church planters tend to be entrepreneurial.


Church planters have done all they can to educate themselves in the field of church planting (seminary or some sort of formal or informal education, conferences, workshops…and of course, they’ve read everything ever written by Steve Sjogren.

But the thing is, no matter how prepared you are, no matter how much you know…you don’t know what you don’t know, and it can kill ya.

Therefore, the best question a church planter (or any pastor, as far as that goes) can ask their key leaders is this:


“What do you see that I don’t see?”


Never underestimate the likelihood of personal blind spots and for those blind spots to sabotage your relationships and ministry. Regularly when you meet one-on-one with your leaders or even in a group setting, get used to asking, “What do you see that I don’t see?”

The insight, perspective, and information this simple question provides will prove invaluable as you move forward in your church plant.


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Dave Jacobs

I was ordained and entered the full-time ministry at the age of 19 and would go on at the age of 21 to plant and pastor my first church in southern California in 1980. That would be the beginning of a 30-year career of pastoring in five different churches, three of which my wife and I planted. Ellen and I have been married for 42 years, we have five adult children and 13 grandchildren. I graduated with honors from William Jessup University with a degree in Theology and Christian Leadership. In 2006 I retired from pastoring and launched my nonprofit organization ‘Small Church Pastor’, which provides coaching, consulting, resources, and encouragement for pastors of all size churches, but I specialize in small churches. I have been a full-time pastoral coach for the past 15 years. In addition to this I moderate a large Facebook group for pastors of small churches that numbers 4,900. I am also the author of five books, and I write regularly for my blog and a newsletter that I send out weekly. ​