As I’m coaching and assisting planters, one of the common questions is, “Jon, why do church plants fail”? I have a sense of where this question comes from because let’s admit it, no one wants to fail. Every leader that has ever led has this fear (to some degree) within them. They don’t want to see failure take place on their watch. Before I share with you the 5 reasons church plant’s fail, let me first emphasize one thing: Tweet this! in God’s kingdom, often times failure precedes fruit. God might use a perceived failure as some of his best pruning to bring about some of his best fruit in your life. With that in mind, I have compiled a top 5 list of why church plants struggle to get off the ground. Drumroll please 🙂
#5 You Might Not Be A Planter
One of the best and worst trends I see is the rise of church planting. It’s the best because we MUST do this to fulfill the Great Commission. It’s the worst because it can teeter on the brink of idolatry.
read the full post of “You might not be a planter”
#4 The Resistance to Raising Money
If you are afraid of inviting someone into a life of greater generosity, you are in the wrong vocation. I’m not sure why but we feel as though asking people to give is like asking people to jump off a bridge…a really tall bridge. As Anne Frank once said; “No one has ever become poor by giving.” You are not doing your friends a disservice, quite the opposite. You, “making the ask”, is you inviting your friends and potential ministry partners into a life of greater generosity and spiritual growth.
This is how Saddleback Church talks and views fundraising and I think it’s safe to say that it’s work out pretty well for them 🙂 When we raise funds, we partner with God in raising the level of faith in those we lead and serve. Fundraising is a service to embrace not a disservice to resist.
Read the full post of “resistance to raising money”
#3 The Inability to Create OwnershipTweet this! “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” -African Proverb
This quote might be one of the most helpful quotes that I’ve come across. The power of WE and the strength of TOGETHER cannot be overstated. There is nothing like seeing teams and leaders unleashed toward a clear vision. Share with clarity the WHERE but allow your leaders to determine the HOW. Church plants that are soaring long after their grand opening have created WAY more than followers, they have created owners. We need church plants that are full of men and women and people of all ages and back grounds who feel deeply connected to the mission and vision of the church. My favorite Leadership Podcast is by a fellow planter, Pastor Craig Groeschel. Recently he did a two part training on Creating an Empowering Culture.
He said: “We empower people through clarity and trust. We must be clear on the what and the why, but not the how. Trust those you empower with the how.”
Read the full post of the Inability to Create Ownership
#2 Vision Has Left The Building
Proverbs 29:18 says that “where there is no vision, the people perish” and this certainly applies to your church plant. If there is no vision, your plant will perish!
When you study churches, movements or organization that have taken flight, you will find a white hot vision. I like to refer to this as a “compelling why”. In the fantastic book, Start With Why, author Simon Sinek writes: “every person on the planet knows what they do. Most people know how they do it. Very few people know why they do what they do.”
If you are going to plant, you must be part of the “very few”.
One of my favorite examples of this is from Martin Luther King Jr. If you remember he did not approach the podium that day and say I have a plan, instead he said “I have a dream”!
Read the full post of “Vision Has Left The Building”
#1 The Lead Planter’s Inner World Unravels
There are a lot of things that could threaten your church plant. Threats are a real thing:
- Key funding falling through
- Key staff bailing or not being the right fit
- Divisive people on the launch team
- The vision going stale
- Lack of execution
- Venue falling through the week of launch
These are all threats but THE threat that tops them all is what you stare at in the mirror each morning. YOU. Read the full post of “The Lead Planters’s Inner World Unravels”
Take some time now to go through this list. Of these 5 reasons, where are you struggling and where are you soaring?