July 19, 2007

Planting Missional Churches - (CH 5) What Makes A Church Planter?

The chapter starts out talking about the diffent types of sponsors for church plants:

--Teams Plant Churches - This was the practice of the apostle Paul, who consistently used team ministry in his church planting.
--Individuals Plant Churches - Although this is the most common method today, it's the least common in the New Testament
--Laypeople Plant Churches - This reminds us that those not called specifically to pastoral ministry can be involved in the ministry of church planting.
--Agencies And Denominations Plant Churches - Many people feel strongly that agencies and denominations should not plant churches because they're concerned about control and support.
--Churches Plant Churches - This method remains the preferred one today

Stetzer then presents some pretty convincing statistics to show that church plants who have a sponsoring church are much more likely to succeed for a variety of reasons.

We then move into discussing what a church planter looks like and there are five areas that go into the makeup of the planter:

  1. Spiritual Gifts
  2. Heart Or Passion
  3. Abilities
  4. Personality Type
  5. Experiences
Ed's aruging pretty strongly about the need for assessments of church planters and why they are important and necessary. The correlating statistics would suggest so as well. Planters who are assessed are far more likely to succeed than those who aren't and much to my surprise, there aren't many organizations that you can plant a church with today that you are not required to go through some sort of assessment. Then the characteristics of successful church planters are listed. They are:
  1. Visioning Capacity
  2. Intrinsically Motivated Means
  3. Creates Ownership Of Ministry
  4. Relates To The Unchurched
  5. Spousal Cooperation
  6. Effectively Builds Relationships
  7. Committed To Church Growth
  8. Responsive To The Community
  9. Uses The Giftedness Of Others
  10. Flexible And Adaptable
  11. Builds Group Cohesiveness
  12. Demonstrates Resilience
  13. Exercises Faith
There are some other qualifications that are explored as well:
  • Certainty Of Call
  • Call To A Community, People Group, Or Culture
  • Extraordinary Faith
The chapter then ends with the wrong reasons for planting a church and I have to say, these were tough to read. You really have to ask God to search your heart and make sure none of these are the underlying motives. These are strong:
  • A strong desire to preach but no one will give you the chance
  • Frustrated where you are because you can't do what you want to do
  • Can't get an invitation to pastor an established church
  • Out to prove something
  • Need to get some experience and you figure church planting is the way to do it
  • Dreaming of a large ministry to boost your ego or reputation
Overall, a great chapter and one I took many notes on. This is truly an awesome book.

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