Why do some church plants fail? (12)

Constantly raise up leaders

Why do some church plants fail? I don’t know. But I do know that I’ve had to constantly raise up leaders.

Even if you only have 10 people, see everyone as a leader. There is potential in everyone. Some may learn and progress quicker than others. But everyone can lead. Some may not measure up to the calibre of others but everyone can lead at their own level.

For every person you raise up as a leader, you will end up gaining at least another ten people. This is not some sort of magic, but a reality of leadership. When people are trained, and raised up to leadership at any level, they will begin to influence others and many more will be impacted.

I realize that my impact and potential is limited. But as I continue to develop leaders, my limited potential becomes limitless. The possibilities are endless. Leadership development is not an option, it is a necessity.

Read the entire series: Why do some church plants fail?

  1. Trail of failures
  2. Persist in the process
  3. Stick to your values
  4. Continually share the Good News
  5. Seek out training
  6. Find fellowship
  7. Become a voracious reader
  8. Ask questions
  9. Leave a trail of influences
  10. Learn from criticism
  11. Learn from your mistakes
  12. Constantly raise up leaders

13. Be in it for the long run

–     – –

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Why do some church plants fail? (11)

Learn from your mistakes

Why do some church plants fail? I don’t know. But I do know that I’ve had to learn from my mistakes.

Gathering people and forming them into a new community takes skill and maturity (and lots of grace from God). Such leadership skill takes time and a difficult road. Accept the fact that you’ll make some significant mistakes. These are inevitable, and necessary.

If you take these experiences in the proper perspective, you’ll certainly benefit. Take each failure and setback as a stepping stone to get you to the next level in your leadership.

Read the entire series: Why do some church plants fail?

  1. Trail of failures
  2. Persist in the process
  3. Stick to your values
  4. Continually share the Good News
  5. Seek out training
  6. Find fellowship
  7. Become a voracious reader
  8. Ask questions
  9. Leave a trail of influences
  10. Learn from criticism
  11. Learn from your mistakes
  12. Constantly raise up leaders

13. Be in it for the long run

–     – –

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Why do some church plants fail? (10)

Learn from criticism

Why do some church plants fail? I don’t know. But I do know that I’ve had to learn from criticism.

Criticism has always been unpleasant. But we’ve got to accept it as a part of life. Someone said that there is some truth in every word of criticism. Look for that grain of truth within the hurtful words you hear.

When you’re newly planting in a community, the pastors of churches that are already there my not respond favorably. In fact, some will misunderstand you and may be ruthless in their approach. Their words will hurt deeply, but you need to stand firm and be kind to such people.

God will use those experiences to build you up to be the person he wants you to be. But to become that person, it will take time and lots of pain.

Read the entire series: Why do some church plants fail?

  1. Trail of failures
  2. Persist in the process
  3. Stick to your values
  4. Continually share the Good News
  5. Seek out training
  6. Find fellowship
  7. Become a voracious reader
  8. Ask questions
  9. Leave a trail of influences
  10. Learn from criticism
  11. Learn from your mistakes
  12. Constantly raise up leaders

13. Be in it for the long run

–     – –

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Why do some church plants fail? (9)

Leave a trail of influences

Why do some church plants fail? I don’t know. But I do know that I’ve had to leave a trail of influences in our community.

We minister in a fairly small community of about 30,000 people. Once while traveling through town with my daughter, I was waving and saying hello to several people on the street. As the waving and hello’s continued, my daughter, in a frustrated tone, said to me “Daddy, you can’t possibly know all these people. You seem to be greeting just about everyone.” All I said to her was: “Sort of…”

No, we don’t know everyone in our town. But at various levels, we have been able to touch the lives of many people in our community. It’s difficult to give an exact number, but out of that, only a few have actually become followers of Jesus.

There are numerous stories of healing, and the miraculous intervention of God in the lives of people throughout our town. But for some reason, they are not ready for a commitment to Jesus. Maybe they’ll do that one day. But it’s their choice and it’s obvious that the day has not come.

All these people are a part of the trail of influences that we’ve been leaving behind. It’s all for the glory of God. But in the future, more of them will turn to Jesus.

Read the entire series: Why do some church plants fail?

  1. Trail of failures
  2. Persist in the process
  3. Stick to your values
  4. Continually share the Good News
  5. Seek out training
  6. Find fellowship
  7. Become a voracious reader
  8. Ask questions
  9. Leave a trail of influences
  10. Learn from criticism
  11. Learn from your mistakes
  12. Constantly raise up leaders

13. Be in it for the long run

–     – –

Click here for more resources.

Why do some church plants fail? (8)

Ask questions

Why do some church plants fail? I don’t know. But I do know that I’ve had to ask questions of others.

It was in 1992 that we ventured out for our second church plant (in the first one, we were not the church planters but were on the planting team and helped with evangelism and small groups). Just out of seminary, I had a degree, but very little confidence.

At that time I enjoyed the privilege of phone conversations with a seasoned church planter who had successfully planted several churches by that time. Before the call, I would take out a notepad and make a long list of questions.

By the end of our conversation, I filled several pages of notes and scribbles. Those were fodder for me to tweak what I did. This habit has remained with me through the years. I continue to ask questions about outreach, leadership, preaching, and numerous other factors that are important for leadership.

Read the entire series: Why do some church plants fail?

  1. Trail of failures
  2. Persist in the process
  3. Stick to your values
  4. Continually share the Good News
  5. Seek out training
  6. Find fellowship
  7. Become a voracious reader
  8. Ask questions
  9. Leave a trail of influences
  10. Learn from criticism
  11. Learn from your mistakes
  12. Constantly raise up leaders

13. Be in it for the long run

–     – –

Click here for more resources.

Why do some church plants fail? (7)

Become a voracious reader.

Why do some church plants fail? I don’t know. But I do know that I’ve had to become a voracious reader.

My focus for reading was centered on church planting, evangelism, church growth, leadership, management, marketing, and a variety of general topics as well. I don’t believe that this reading gave me all the answers I needed. But this constant reading would regularly force me to rethink what I do and how I do things in ministry.

Methods, practices, and systems were constantly tweaked on the basis of my readings. After all, it’s an ongoing learning process. I’ve never told anyone that I had no clue as to what I am doing, or that I am learning as I go. Let that be a secret.

Being bi-vocational throughout all my years of ministry, I’ve always been pressed for time. So, I would place a few books in different rooms in the house. In one sitting I may only be able to read two or three pages. This means it took me several months to finish one book. But eventually I would finish. Kindle books were another means that helped to use any spare time while traveling or waiting.

The slower pace of reading also helped me to process the information and apply them to the ministry and life.

         Always looking forward to the next book.

Read the entire series: Why do some church plants fail?

  1. Trail of failures
  2. Persist in the process
  3. Stick to your values
  4. Continually share the Good News
  5. Seek out training
  6. Find fellowship
  7. Become a voracious reader
  8. Ask questions
  9. Leave a trail of influences
  10. Learn from criticism
  11. Learn from your mistakes
  12. Constantly raise up leaders

13. Be in it for the long run

–     – –

Click here for more resources.

Why do some church plants fail? (6)

Seek out fellowship

Why do some church plants fail? I don’t know. But I do know that I’ve had to constantly seek out fellowship for me and for my family.

Like-minded individuals connect at deeper levels for more meaningful relationships. This is not only for the sake of convenience but it is a vital aspect of healthy families during the church planting stages.

Although we made a conscious effort, we could not build meaningful relationships with other pastors in our area. Either they were suspicious of us or they felt that we were not up to their level of expectations.

This forced us to seek out relationships with like-minded pastors in other areas. But the initiative was mostly on our part. We had to initiate the contact and work to develop the connections. I don’t recall anyone making the effort toward us.

We could not wait for others to initiate the relationships. We were in desperate need to connect. Looking back, those relationships were often a significant source of strength for us.

Read the entire series: Why do some church plants fail?

  1. Trail of failures
  2. Persist in the process
  3. Stick to your values
  4. Continually share the Good News
  5. Seek out training
  6. Find fellowship
  7. Become a voracious reader
  8. Ask questions
  9. Leave a trail of influences
  10. Learn from criticism
  11. Learn from your mistakes
  12. Constantly raise up leaders

13. Be in it for the long run

–     – –

Click here for more resources.

Why do some church plants fail? (5)

Seek out training

Why do some church plants fail? I don’t know. But I do know that I’ve had to seek out training for myself in the process.

Now as I look back over the years, I remember the numerous seminars we’ve attended and books on church planting that I’ve read. Sometimes I’d put the book away thinking that I’m wasting precious time reading someone else’s experience. But now I see how each one encouraged me and gave me perspective in what I’m doing.

I’ve tried numerous approaches through the years and sometimes I get tired of these “approaches.” But I’ve learned from all of them. Some were specifically local but others were international in nature.

There has also been a trail of audio, video and online training for planters that were helpful. None of these were the special “key” that enabled the process but all of them played an important role in molding my thinking and giving training and encouragement to move on (Tweet this).

Read the entire series: Why do some church plants fail?

  1. Trail of failures
  2. Persist in the process
  3. Stick to your values
  4. Continually share the Good News
  5. Seek out training
  6. Find fellowship
  7. Become a voracious reader
  8. Ask questions
  9. Leave a trail of influences
  10. Learn from criticism
  11. Learn from your mistakes
  12. Constantly raise up leaders

13. Be in it for the long run

–     – –

Click here for more resources.

Why do some church plants fail? (4)

Continually share the Good News

    Why do some church plants fail? I don’t know. But I do know that I’ve had to keep sharing the Good News personally with people in my community and encourage others to do the same.

    Since I teach in a Seminary, it’s difficult for me to connect with unbelievers on a daily basis. I’ve had to make an extra effort to reach out and connect with others.

    Praying for an unbeliever who is sick naturally gives opportunity to share my faith. But even otherwise, I look for opportunities to “turn the conversation deeper” Then I share my experience with Jesus.

    I’ve made it my goal to pray for one sick person or share Jesus with one person every day. Although I’ve not been successful every day, I’ve been able to do that several times per week.

    When I teach people in church, I use my personal experience as I encourage them to share Jesus. This gives them perspective and encouragement to do likewise.

Read the entire series: Why do some church plants fail?

  1. Trail of failures
  2. Persist in the process
  3. Stick to your values
  4. Continually share the Good News
  5. Seek out training
  6. Find fellowship
  7. Become a voracious reader
  8. Ask questions
  9. Leave a trail of influences
  10. Learn from criticism
  11. Learn from your mistakes
  12. Constantly raise up leaders

13. Be in it for the long run

–     – –

Click here for more resources.

Why do some church plants fail? (3)

Stick to your values

    Why do some church plants fail? I don’t know. But I do know that I’ve had to stay faithful to who I am. My values cannot be compromised regardless of local trends.

    When things aren’t moving along as expected, it’s common to doubt yourself – especially to doubt who your are: You’re values. You begin to think that just maybe, you should be like someone else, someone more successful.

    I’ve been approached by pastors in our area regarding some of my practices. Their question was clear: Why aren’t you like us? These questions were quite difficult as I struggled with the church planting process.

    Sometimes I’ve wondered if being culture current for my town means being like the other churches. After all, they’ve been around much longer and seem to be successful.

    Over the years, I’ve come to the realization that my values define who I am as a minister of the Gospel. If I try to change who I am, I’m trying to change what God wants to do through me in my community. I’ve got to stick to who I am.

Read the entire series: Why do some church plants fail?

  1. Trail of failures
  2. Persist in the process
  3. Stick to your values
  4. Continually share the Good News
  5. Seek out training
  6. Find fellowship
  7. Become a voracious reader
  8. Ask questions
  9. Leave a trail of influences
  10. Learn from criticism
  11. Learn from your mistakes
  12. Constantly raise up leaders

13. Be in it for the long run

–     – –

Click here for more resources.