Starting Over When You Have Over Started in Revitalization Part VI

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

Pitfall #8 – Hastening individuals into prominent leadership positions.

Yes new churches survival is contingent upon developing new leaders to assist with the ministries of the new work. Most plants face this sort of challenge for at least the first five years of the plants development. Leaders of all types are needed in the birth of a new work. Yet placing un-proven and yet-to-be-proven people into leadership is a crisis waiting to happen. Church planters in an effort to get the church growing often recruit far too quickly individuals to serve in areas what can be harmful to the life and vitality of the work. The need to thoroughly investigate an individual for a key place of ministry is a must. It takes time to see if the individual has the stuff needed for the place you want them to fill. People who are not happy in any other church can often migrate to your new one and cause you the problems that have been part of their tenure in other churches. Planters often run the danger of killing the church if not splitting it when wrong people are put into key leadership positions.

Pitfall #9 – There is unconfessed sin and unrepented sin within the leadership ranks.

Leaders in new churches can fall into the pit of sin in a variety of ways and at any time in the development of a new church. The church planter and his family are vulnerable. Jesus said that when the shepherd is struck, the sheep scatter. When an influential leader within a new church falls into sin, the core of the plant is usually shaken. Satan often uses this approach to weaken or destroy a new church plant.

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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