Starting Over When You Have Over Started in Revitalization Part VII

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

Pitfall #10 – Inadequate, deficient, and lacking outreach by the planter and the core group members.

One way to cause a new church to need to restart is to allow outreach to be placed as a lesser priority for the new church. Your churches first five years ought to be exemplified by outreach of all types and in all areas around your target area. When God is in a church plant, He desires to give it a spirited and brisk birth. In scripture we see that at Pentecost, the Lord used an incredible outreach effort to draw people in the city together to hear about Jesus and become a community of Christ followers. It is amazing how quickly the church can lose focus on outreach, evangelism and disciple making. In the early months, the people will be praying for their friends, talking with them about Christ and the church, and bringing them to services. How sad it is when a church is birthed and just a handful of people are aware. It is the Lord who draws individuals and families to His church. This should be the goal of the church planter and his core group members that: everyone within their target area will be aware that this new church is being born on the launch Sunday. Many plants slide on launch day because they ignored outreach.

Pitfall #11 – A church planter that refuses accountability or supervision.

Most church planters admittedly are inclined toward independence. However, even experienced church planters need accountability and supervision. Planters who are starting their first church are especially vulnerable to failure without supervision. Your local association may have a Director of Church Planting on staff. He can be a real help.

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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