Starting Over When You Have Over Started in Revitalization Part III

The Pitfalls of Running Too Far Too Fast in a Church Start Without Assimilation

In Webster’s New World Dictionary, a “pitfall” is defined as (1) a lightly covered pit used as a trap for animals and (2) an unsuspected difficulty, danger or error that one may fall into.

Church planting is chock-full of pitfalls. It is best to be aware of them as you begin the adventure of starting a new church. If you have already launched and find yourself needing to start over because you have over started ask God to clearly show you what needs to be eliminated and what needs to be elevated. Our God is sovereign as we rely upon him, he can help us out of the pitfalls and revive the church plant and get it moving forward.

Let’s look at the fourth of eleven pitfalls that are often present when a church over starts and needs to restart:

Pitfall #4 –Premature launch of the new church before it is ready.

Probably, the most common killer of new churches is premature birth. The church goes public before it is ready.

Here are Eleven Consequences of a Pre-mature Launch (from Rodney Harrison and my book SPIN-OFF Churches B&H Publishing Group)

#1 If you launch prematurely you will find yourself and your new church experiencing a lot of wasted energy! You will find yourselves always regrouping. You will find yourselves always repositioning. You will see your church always experiencing a re-opening of sort because you will keep starting over and could loose core group as well as momentum!

#2 If you launch prematurely you will find yourself and your new church displaying a lack luster look to potential new prospects or members. Often lack luster displays that you do not have your act together and that you are winging it. Additionally your credibility will be questioned because you appear so haphazard.

#3 If you launch prematurely you will find yourself and your new church wasting: Kingdom resources, Kingdom money, Kingdom timeliness and Kingdom power.

#4 If you launch prematurely you will find yourself and your new church could loose much of your core group members right off the bat due to such a big and quick build-up only to fizzle at the start.

#5 If you launch prematurely you will find yourself and your new church with the necessary momentum strained if not entirely lost!

#6 If you launch prematurely you will find yourself and your new church could see the task and vision become unclear. You will always be playing catch-up.

#7 If you launch prematurely you will find yourself and your new church will need constant revision of the planting plan.

#8 If you launch prematurely you will find yourself and your new church will display an unclear launch strategy and it will become useless because the destination remains unclear and the worthiness of the journey becomes in question!

#9 If you launch prematurely you will find yourself and your new church loosing the opportunity to grow. Never rush to launch because man suggests strongly that you do!
If God suggests you launch right away He will provide the way every time.

#10 If you launch prematurely you will find yourself and your new church lacking spiritual discerners or advisors. These discerners are vital in assisting you discern the will of God as to what He wants you to do first, second, third, etc.

#11 If you launch prematurely you will find yourself and your new church not able to see God’s activity because you are doing your own thing and not His!

Churches are like babies. They should come to full term in the “womb” before they are born. Gathering a core group of 50 to 70 adults trained in the variety of ministries needed by a small church takes months. Those in the core need to be patiently taught the reasons why it is important to wait until the church is ready before it is launched. Planter’s often will desire to preach in a more formal setting sooner and sacrifice the gift of gathering God gives during pre-public launch.


You can connect with Dr. Tom Cheyney and the RENOVATE Church Revitalization Coaching Network additionally via Facebook at RENOVATE Conference. Tom is the co-author of Spin-Off Churches (B&H Publishers), a conference speaker and a frequent writer on church planting, new church health, and church revitalization. Be looking for The Biblical Foundations for Church Revitalization by Tom Cheyney and Terry Rials later this year. If you or your church would like more information about how to be considered for the next series of RENOVATE Church Revitalization Applicants you may contact him at Tom@renovateconference.org, or tcheyney@goba.org.

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