Fireworks or Church Planting? 12 Questions for the Missional Church Planter

July 4, 2013


Happy 237 to America. As we celebrate our nation’s birthday, we can’t deny the integral nature that faith in God has played in our nation’s history. It is a history that is being revitalized every day in the resurgence of church planting.

I am, however, troubled by the nature of some of the church planting happening in America today. As we remember 237 years of history, I’m pondering these twelve questions about church planting.

  1. Have you studied what the church is? Do you know biblically, historically and sociologically what defines the church?
  2. How much are you incorporating your own church experience into your church plant? Too much? In other words, are you planting what you want to plant or what God wants to plant? And how do you know the difference?
  3. Is it YOUR church, the church that Joe is starting, or God’s church?
  4. Is Jesus at the top of your leadership pyramid? And at the foundational bottom? And holding up the sides? Or is he a token player?
  5. Are you starting church with $50,000 and 300 people? Really? How is that working out for you? Is that transforming the community or sheep stealing? What does God think?
  6. Is your focus bucks, bricks and butts or the kingdom of God?
  7. Have you defined your target area – neighborhood, town, etc.? Or is your goal to build the biggest, baddest church in the city, encouraging people to drive past 50 churches to get to yours?
  8. Have you talked with existing churches in the area to see what God is doing with them and what their needs are? Or are you doing your own thing? Uh, huh, I thought so.
  9. What is your discipleship quotient? Meaning, how many of the people you started the church with would you consider true disciples? 2/10 or 9/10? Does it matter?
  10. How important is money to the success of your church? If you could make more disciples without a big budget, would you want that?
  11. Are you nurturing your own soul as you try to nurture the souls of others?
  12. What do you want people to say about this church 50 years from now?
Are you looking to make a big bang or establish the kingdom of God?

Are you looking to make a big bang or establish the kingdom of God?

I had the privilege of enjoying fireworks last year in the historical Manassas area of Virginia. In the picture above, northern Virginians and I enjoyed a lot of temporary bang that disappeared within moments. If you don’t answer these twelve questions correctly, your exercise in church planting will have the same outcome.

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3 Comments on “Fireworks or Church Planting? 12 Questions for the Missional Church Planter”

  1. Dave Lewis Says:

    Wow – my kind of questions! I particularly like #11. Do I hear the voice of a prophet?


  2. jbjorgen Says:

    Good challenging questions Brian! Thanks for this.


  3. Brian Stankich Says:

    The initiative, passion, fundraising success and ability to bring people together is impressive. But to what avail? A lack of biblical and holistic strategy just moves existing Christians around. Are communities being impacted? Are disciples being made?

    Perhaps a few tweaks will bring more success. The Lord bless you as you seek to spread his fame!


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