Starting Over When You Have Over Started in Revitalization Part VIII

The Potholes From Running Too Far Too Fast in a Church Start Without Assimilation

Potholes are hard for church planters to see. They can do a great deal of damage to the young and emerging church plant. Here are a few common potholes that come from running too far too fast in a church start without proper assimilation:

1. Imitation of other successful planters over allowing God to create a unique you!

Plant the church that God called you to plant not someone else’s church plant. Stop copying and start calling on God’s sufficiency in your planting effort.

2. Remember your strength, as an entrepreneur can also be your weakness.

This mentality bodes well in starting a church, but it also can hinder you willingness to hear from God. Remember what Jesus said, “Without Me, you can do nothing.”

3. Remind yourself just whose Kingdom you are building.

It is critical to understand that even while you are out front leading you are to follow the example of the John the Baptist when he declared, “He must become greater; I must become less” John 3:30 NIV. If you are not careful your individual goals will point out to others that your objectives are more important than God’s Interruptions.

4. If you confuse passion with planning you are daydreaming.

Your passion as a church planter will motivate people, but your planning, as a church planter will mobilize them. You need both. When you have motivation but lack the ability to mobilize others you are left with a daydream. When you have mobilization but lack the ability to motivate others you are left with a nightmare. But if you have the ability to motivate and to mobilize others you will see your passion become a reality and your dream fulfilled.

5. When you lead alone without bringing others aboard.

The ability to build a team as a church planter is crucial. Planters must learn to think team over leading alone. Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. Church Planters need to have within themselves, a vision for their community and a picture of their team.

6. Becoming desperate due to lack of people development.

This pothole can be devastating! You so desire to rally people to your cause that you lessen the requirements for your leaders. Never get so desperate for leaders that you neglect the developmental process. Watch out for those who come along side of you but show signs of drifting from the start. They will leave you at first light often when the going get tough. Watch out for people who always want to be out front. Be careful with those who seek to lead but repel from accountability. Those who are insecure will never be able to be complemented enough. Those who are insensitive will cause you to always be cleaning up after them. Seek those who are servants not the celebrities.

7. Choosing to be steady when it is transformation that is needed.

Steady is the hallmark of a stuck church. Transformation is an ingrained value of church planting. If you are not comfortable with fluctuation you may not have heard the call clearly to plant a church. But do not change just for the sake of change. Planters do this far too often because they are under-developed leaders. It is agreed that transformation is built into planting situations, so do not needlessly add to it with frivolous abrupt changes. Many church plants have failed because the church planter was erratic and changed just because he could call for change. Even those wanting to do something new are not sold on a regular diet of change.

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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