“In churches with 100 people or less, 31% have an assignment at church corresponding to their gifts. In a church with 100-200 worshippers, it is also about a third. But in churches with over 300 it drops to only 24%.” --Christian Schwarz, Natural Church Development
You have been called to lead a strategic mission: the visible advancement of the invisible Kingdom of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a runaway world. As you consider the seemingly overwhelming task, we hope that your plans include the development of other leaders: training them, deploying them, and supporting them in the Grand Cause.
Often a busy Church Planter packs his life with important activities: pastoral activities, administrative activities, worship design, sermon preparation, and on and on.
Yet reason would show that if you would invest in developing other leaders, you would multiply your mission effectiveness, broaden the involvement of other disciples to utilize their gifts and abilities to the Grand Cause of Gospel influence, and encourage more dependent prayer.
Several years ago, I was interviewed as part of a research study on church plants. The researcher was interested in my experiences with churches that did not survive and what were the contributing factors. I had been part of closing down seven works by that time. Six of the seven closed down because of leadership failure.
Over the years, one of the common complaints I have heard from Planters is the lack of leaders in their mission. Many will bemoan that after three or four years God still hasn’t sent them any leaders to help.
Listen very closely: If you have been on the field for more than a year, do not complain that your mission church lacks leaders. When you complain, it’s an indictment on your lack of leadership. You are responsible to make leaders out of the men and women God has brought to you. Your primary leadership role as a missionary Church Planter (apostle or evangelist) is “to prepare God people for works of service.”
Great leaders build great leaders, not gather more followers.
Many pastors today do not see themselves as leaders. George Barna reports only 4% of pastors call themselves a leader. Most seminaries or Bible colleges do not see themselves as making leaders. Rather, they are in the job of making pastor/teachers. I want you to accept the challenge that you, by virtue of the calling God has given you as a missionary Church Planter, are a leader. He has given you a vision and passionate mission to renew your city or community by the power of the Gospel. That alone is the cloak of leadership. To excel in your leadership role, make great leaders. Don’t settle for gathering hundreds of followers.
At CMM, we believe every pastor, church planter, ministry leader, and missionary is created to thrive in ministry. We suggest getting a Gospel Coach to help walk with you through the challenges you’ve never faced before. Remember: You don’t have to plant a church alone. A Gospel Coach will help encourage and equip you every step along the way.
CMM's C.R.O.S.S. Coaching is an intentional Gospel conversation with focused discussions on one's relational, personal, missional, and spiritual life. Our coaches are experienced and certified to equip leaders for sustainable gospel ministry.
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Dr. Tom Wood
I've been in the Church Planting business my entire career. I want you to know, you don't have to plant a church alone!