Starting Over When You Have Over Started in Revitalization Part V

The Pitfalls 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 sixth and seventh of eleven pitfalls that are often present when a church over starts and needs to restart:

Pitfall #6 – Improper planning and focus by the lead church planter.

Many church planters are visionaries but poor planners and even worse administrators.
While they are focusing on the big picture, often the things that need to happen weekly for the church to continue are left as last things in the planters schedule and eventually this will catch up with them and the new church launch. It always takes longer to launch and assimilate than most church planters believe. Some think that because they are gifted expositors they will be able to build a large group quickly. That is seldom the case so having a focus on leading those you have will help keep the core while you go after even more. Having a plan and a focus is a must in this area.

Pitfall #7 – Insufficient funding streams developed prior to starting the launch.

Lack of developing funding stream prior to launch has hurt many a church planting effort. Many church planters over estimate the money they can raise after they arrive to the field to plant a church. It is a good rule of thumb to raise what you will need either in gifts or pledges for the first two years of a plant. Habitually, new church plants are paralyzed due to a lack of adequate funds to plant the work. If resources haven’t been raised for the pastor’s support and start-up costs before the plant initiates or during its early months, the church plant is going to suffer. Developing resources may even sidetrack the planter from the mission involved in planting. As a result, the quality of the new church’s ministry may not be appealing to the target population it is seeking to reach.

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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