Starting Right… pt. deux

As bad as not praying enough is, I wish I could say that was the only mistake I made in the early part of the church plant process!  But unfortunately it wasn’t… here were a couple more:

MISTAKE #2: Not Paying Enough Attention to Raising Money

Don’t get it twisted… one of a church planter’s main responsibilities is to secure financing for the new church.  It is his job to be the primary vision caster, and it is his job to be the main fund raiser.  Through donors, denominational affiliations, churches/people with whom he’s built relationship… from any and everywhere, the planter must raise money.

It costs a heck of a lot to start a church!  Sound equipment, children’s ministry supplies, musical instruments, marketing, office equipment/supplies (even if you’re working from your home office), video/media equipment, stage design, outreach, assimilation… the list goes on… there are tons of ministry areas for which money is needed.  And the planter must be able to “make the ask!”  After God leads him to various possible donors, he needs to be able to – with a clear and compelling vision – articulate not only what the church will do, but also what it will cost.  Not paying enough attention to this crucial area can mean the difference between reaching dozens of people or reaching hundreds… or even thousands.


MISTAKE #3: Not Paying Enough Attention to Growing the Launch Team

We had some really good people to help launch Mosaic… we just didn’t have enough of them!  Part of the reason was because I waffled so much between having “vision meetings” or having Bible studies.  Some were telling me, “Darren, you can’t have these people with you without regularly feeding them.”  Others were saying, “Look… there is going to be ample time to feed.  Right now, you need to LEAD, and these people need to constantly be hearing your heartbeat so they can embrace the idea of this new church, and are excited about asking others to join you in the journey!”

I should’ve listened to the second group…

Because as critical as money is to a new church, people are just as much so.  My initial launch team was about 8 people… and after meeting for a couple of months, we had a Vision Nite… where I cast a strong (or so I thought) vision for what our new church would look like.  We gathered maybe another 8-10 people from that.  A few months later, we started our monthly preview services (we held three total)… which ranged in attendance from 45 to 65 people.  Our “Opening Day” service saw about 50 people (not including our launch team), but the next week… Mother’s Day… we had about 12 in attendance.  And over the next several months, we would limp along at right about 20-25 people.  Two years later, we had more than tripled our average attendance, and was steadily growing… but that first year was rough!  And a big reason was the size of our team when we launched. Make no mistake about it: a crowd draws a crowd.

In order for God to do great things through your church plant, you need to trust Him to bring alongside of you some great people… people who are totally committed to planting the church.  Growing the launch team is critical, because – as every church needs evangelists for Jesus – they also need people who are excited enough about their church to constantly invite others to join them in the journey.  Let’s face it: the goal of starting churches is to make more and more disciples… and the planter cannot do this by himself.  If, as a planter, numbers don’t concern you, then you’ll always relegate your ministry to a meager existence.  LAUNCH LARGE by making as many disciples as possible… and the larger your launch team, the more chance you’ll have for that to happen.

Okay… two more MISTAKES (though there were surely more) in tomorrow’s post.  DON’T MISS IT!

Until lata,


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