The recent hurricane that swept through the islands and the coast of the southern States brought back memories of the second church I planted with my family. In 1989, three weeks after moving to Charleston, SC, the largest and most destructive natural disaster to hit the USA in 100 years arrived: Hurricane Hugo. Not only did it wipe away thousands of homes, destroy hundreds of businesses, and disrupt the lives of a few million people, it re-wrote our well thought out five-year plan…or so I thought.
Now would be a good point to give you an important church planting principle: Whatever plan you make to launch a new church, write it in pencil!
For the four months following Hurricane Hugo we were involved in Disaster Relief work. It was not a time to think about launching a new church. People were in “recovery mode”— for homes, lives, and work. Resources (financial, services, and goods) were pouring in from our sister churches across the country.
The coming of the New Year allowed me the opportunity to regroup and set a course to plant a new church. Since the launch window for us was in April, there were plenty of jobs to do.
When we launched on Palm Sunday our teams were ready. Our musician was exceptional. We met in a large hotel with outstanding facilities, including an indoor pool! The morning went without a hitch. We had 160 people; the majority of which were people that had been unchurched for at least the past 10 years. The following Sunday, Easter, we had 168 attend.
The days of a large “Attractional” church launch have pretty much come to an end. Our post-everything culture isn’t “attracted” to a new church that way. So, as we explore new ways to introduce the Gospel to this generation and the next, find the paths. Don’t make the same old mistakes we made. Make bold, new mistakes!
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. A Gospel Coach will help encourage and equip you every step along the way. Learn more about C.R.O.S.S. Coaching today!
Not sure if being Coached is right for you? Visit our FREE resources page where you can download eBooks about setting up leadership, planning worship, and learning to center your life on the Gospel.
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!