Planting a Church
22 years ago I started my first church in Gresham Oregon. I made many mistakes, and didn’t follow all the rules, but in the end God was faithful to raise up a church that was not there before. In my ministry, I have planted 2 churches and resurrected one church that basically was an empty building. Just this last weekend I met another successful church planter named Steve Sjogren. He started the Cincinnati Vineyard Christian Fellowship which ended up becoming a church of 6,000 people. We hit it off instantly, partially because of our mutual love for church planting. It is because of this meeting and because we have started a church planting section of this website, that I decided to write a post on how to plant a church.
6 Steps To Starting A Church.
In all honesty, there is no finite number of steps to start a church. I used the number 6 because of my warped sense of humor. There is a competing website that comes here all the time and gets ideas from us. When we started the church planting section of this website they immediately did a blog post on church planting. It was called “How to Plant a Church? 6 Helpful Steps” Church planting is a journey and not a formula. However there are some basic ingredients that most church plants other than accidental ones, have in common. I will try to outline for you what those ingredients are.
The call to be a church planter.
The call to be someone who starts a church is an unique calling. It takes more than a seminary degree or an ordination. It takes a personality and drive that is different from regular pastoral callings. There are personality traits and evangelistic giftings that need to be in place as well. You must know that you are called to start a church.
1 Corinthians 3:6
New Living Translation (NLT)
6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.
The Apostle Paul was a consummate church planter. He would go to town to town and start a church and then leave it in the hands of people that he trained to continue the ministry. Not all people have this calling or are equipped and gifted for this type of ministry. So before you run out and decide to start a church, prayerfully consider whether or not you are called to this type of ministry. Here are a couple of resources to help you in this consideration.
Engaging in a church plant is more than just starting a church. It is taking territory away from the enemy. It is an offensive move against the kingdom of darkness. As such, you better have people who are called to pray for you and your new church. I find that one of the key indicators that God is calling you to plant a church is whether or not people of prayer will commit to praying for you and the new church daily.
I recommend that you have between 25 and 100 people that will commit to praying for you and the new church for at least 15 minutes per day. This is more than people just praying for God to bless you. It is people that will beseech heaven on your behalf for souls to be saved, for protection for you and your leadership team, and that the Holy Spirit will move in powerful ways.
Every mighty move of the Spirit of God has had its source in the prayer chamber. – Edward McKendree (E. M.) Bounds
You might be able to start a church without prayer, but it will be an ineffective church. It will not see people saved, healed, and filled with God’s Spirit without a prayer backing. So do not neglect this step and do not ignore this if God does not bring alongside of you people willing to pray.
I recommend you read these two books about prayer before starting your church plant.
- The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds – Experience the wonders of God through prayer.
- Rees Howells: Intercessor
Read more about how to start a church on page 2
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