Starting Over When You Have Over Started in Revitalization Part IV

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 fifth of eleven pitfalls that are often present when a church over starts and needs to restart:

Pitfall #5 – Spiritual Warfare and persecution within target community.

Many church planters are called to plant within a community where there is a high degree of spiritual warfare and persecution. Ephesians 6:12 remind us “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Remember, every pastor struggles against the evil one and his forces through out their ministry.

If the Lord called you to a community that has a high degree of spiritual warfare and persecution stay put and allow the Lord time to work through the powers of evil for His name sake. Realize, that the work may be slower and more difficult than in other areas and you will have times where you must restart because you have over started.

Paul teaches in Ephesians 6:10-11 “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Times of fasting and prayer with other spiritual leaders within your area is essential as you pray for the Lord to open your ministry area to Christ Jesus.

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, or

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