Top 10 Fallacies Inhibiting Church Starting

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I have worked with more than a dozen church starts over the years. Some have thrived; some have not; some failed. I learned more from the failures than the successes. Along the way, I have watched and identified with the yearning of some to get more happening on the “church planting” front. For starters, I don’t think the term “church planting” communicates to the outside world it is insider talk. Another common piece of insider talk is the term “vision casting” which is seldom used outside church circles. If we want to get this right we have to get the language right. But I digress from the point of this post. Here are the fallacies I see inhibiting those who might raise their hand and along with Isaiah of old say, “Here am I; send me!”

Looking for Super Stars

Super start candidates to lead churches are not just hard to find. They don’t exist in sufficient numbers to meet the demand. The primary quality needed is faithfulness expressing itself in wise, thoughtful, systematic, proactive initiative. Paul said that there weren’t many Super Stars available. (I Corinthians 1:31)

Drafting Super Stars

It is impossible to know at the time of the draft whether or not a particular leadership candidate is going to turn out well. The only form of assessment that can guarantee results is the one completed at the end of the day, not the beginning. (Acts 1:37-39, 2 Timothy 4:11)

There Is a Way to Beat the Norm

Well, maybe. But not by much. When you shake it out in a few years and observe the commitments and behaviors of the church participants you will always have a much less than perfect church. Get used to that idea and do what you can.

There Is a Particular Demographic to Reach

An unresponsive part of the society is just that. You cannot start a church with the unresponsive people. Just because you are new doesn’t guarantee they will become interested. The people to reach are the ones where you are located. All of them. Some will respond. After the fact, you may be able to identify the characteristics they have in common. (1 Corinthians 9:22)

There Is a New Silver Seed to Use

And there will be another one next week too. The only method that is guaranteed to work is to sow enough seed intentionally. Three out of four seeds will hit the wrong ground. Quit trying to improve your odds and just keep sowing more seed. Perhaps the harder you sow the more you will learn how to sow more effectively. (1 Corinthians 9:16)

They Will Love Your New Silver Seed

Some will. Most won’t. Generally, the ones who get excited about the new Silver Seed are those from the back benches of existing churches. Go ahead reach them. But any valid seed is good. Any valid seed is much better than one that is left in the seed bag.  (John 2:25)

There Is a Special Call

If a potential leader waits for some mystical experience it might be a long wait. There is no risk-free alternative. There is nothing to look for other than an unstoppable tempered heat in the gut that won’t go away. If the heat keeps forcing you to drift back to the dream then just get on with it. (1 Corinthians 16:9)

It Can Be Done Without Money

It always takes money. However, the fundamental truth is that the money ultimately comes from the people who are as yet unreached in the harvest field and not from those who are already harvested. There are many ways for the already harvested to invest so that the next generation of harvest actually covers the cost of the next new harvest. Money properly invested will multiply. (Philippians 4:17-18)

It Can Be Done With More of the Same

The work to develop a church is different than that required to maintain a church. In a new church, there must be an intentional activity shift from supplying services for those who come, to finding people who will respond to the services you are able to provide. Lower breadth of services provided is an inevitable dimension of starting from scratch. (John 10:16)

It Is Needed Over There But Not Over Here

Christians in Community A can often identify the need for new churches in Community B. And those in Community B see the need in Community A. However, the need is often for Christians in Community A to start another church in Community A and Christians in Community B to start another church in Community B. This won’t hurt their church as they fear any more than a physical birth will suck the life out of a mother. There is often more life to give. Often, sooner is better than later. (John 4:35)

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