Risks, Regrets and Revelations of Church Planters


Veteran church planters talk about starting a new church from scratch in an article from Outreach Magazine.

When sensing God’s unique call to plant a church, most pastors are full of dreams about the church and culture they want to cultivate. But even the loftiest dreams are not enough. The task of church planting requires seeking guidance from those who’ve been there. Outreach sat down with five veteran church planters—

Planting a church requires significant personal risks. What were some of your initial struggles and fears?

Bob Roberts: In terms of difficulty, I think church planting—on a scale of one to 10—is a 10. It’s a difficult thing to do in and of itself, but you’re not just planting a church. Most guys who do it are young, so you’re doing life, too—learning how to be a husband, how to be a dad, how to grow your church, how to be a person. For the first time, you’re really out there.

John Burke: I thought I knew what it took to start a church, but actually it was 10 times harder. We had no money. No team. No core. We had nothing. How in the world is this going to come together? That was a big fear.

Efrem Smith: In the beginning, I was serving as an associate pastor at a historic, established church. Early on, I had all these fears: How are you going to start a church from scratch? What if people don’t come? What if it fails? What if it doesn’t grow? What if people don’t feel compelled to the vision? How am I going to support my family?

I was fortunate to have some pastors and denominational leaders pray with me through it, coach and mentor me. I feel like you should not plant a church without a team that’s mentoring and coaching you.

If you were mentored through the church-planting process, how did that impact you and your ministry? Would you recommend church planters find mentors?

Read the entire article, “Field of Dreams: What It Means to Plant the Church”

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