Top Ten Mistakes Church Planters/Pastors Make

May 22, 2007

#10 - Refusing To Dream Big  

I hear TONS of excuses from pastors who say, “But I can’t do this and I can’t do that because I am not in Chicago or Atlanta.”  NEITHER ARE WE!!!  God is NOT limited by geography!  Come on, when He sent His Son into the world—He sent Him to Bethlehem, NOT Rome!!!  DREAM BIG…and take small steps to get there.

#9 - Trying To Be Someone Else

I’ve fallen into this trap before—pastors, understand that there is a unique calling on your life to be YOU!  We should ALL learn from other leaders and other ministries…but at the end of the day we MUST be ourselves.  I will never be as smart as Bill Hybels, as creative as Ed Young or as happy as Joel Osteen, but I will be the best Perry Noble I can be.

#8 - Not Growing As A Leader

If you are not growing then you’re dying…and so is your leadership.

#7 - Refusing To Take Risks

Too many churches grow to a certain size and then fall into “safe mode.”  There is a safe place for all Christians…it is called HEAVEN…and until we get there we need to do all we can to continually kick the devil in the mid-section!!!  We are called to do a lot of things—but we are never called to play it safe.

#6 - Letting People With Money Dictate The Vision

I have a theory…and so far it has been true with every church planter that I know.  Within the first year a “big money” person will threaten to leave the church over an issue related to the vision…and you will either beg them to stay or let them walk.  I have seen first hand that if you don’t allow them to leave then God will leave!!!  We are told in Scripture to FEAR GOD…and that’s it.  If you allow people with money to dictate your decisions then you are nothing more than an ordained prostitute.

#5 - Not Teaching About Money

Too many church planters were told somewhere along the way that you can’t teach on money—that it is offensive and will run people away.  I believed that for a long time; in fact, I believed that until we did our FIRST money series last year here at NewSpring…and OUR ATTENDANCE INCREASED throughout the series.  People want practical help with their lives…and the Bible has a TON to say about money; therefore, the church should as well.  AND STOP APOLOGIZING for it…we don’t apologize for preaching on adultery…why should we apologize for speaking on money—especially when Jesus said what He said in Matthew 6:21 and Matthew 6:24!

#4 - Listening To The Wrong People

Christians are the ONLY people in the world who will buy a book and read it…and the author has never done what he has written about…all he has is theories.  NO ONE in the secular world would do that crap!  Seriously, if I wrote a book on surgery and then tried to say, “Buy my book…my wife is a doctor,” there isn’t a doctor in this country that would think my book was necessary for success…but many church planters are victims of that exact scenario.  That is equal to asking your bankrupt brother-in-law for financial advice…it just doesn’t make sense.

#3 - Too Much Prayer and Not Enough Planning

I know church planters who are in constant prayer mode, asking God to “do it all.”  And five years later they are in the same place…it takes a PLAN!!!

#2 - Too Much Planning And Not Enough Prayer

AND…I have seen the opposite!  I will say this—EVERY leadership mistake that I have ever made was because I was not listening to the Lord.

#1 - Forming A Leadership Team Too Quickly

I have discovered that when you plant a church that you will attract every freak within a 50 mile radius.  SO…delegate slowly!  Allow people to serve…but do not appoint people to leadership positions until you are confident that the person is a leader, loves Jesus, gets the vision AND loves the church.