The introduction was one of the most insightful sections of the book. Thirteen church planting behaviors that are found in successful church planters are described. Of these six are considered “knockout factors”: visioning capacity, intrinsic motivation, ownership of ministry, ability to relate to lost and unchurched people, and spousal cooperation.
The seven steps are:
- Receive a Vision from God. This is “God’s revelation of what he wants to accomplish in the reaching of a certain people group at a particular point in the future as a result of His church being faithfully planted.”
- Define Church Planting Focus Group. This is identifying the specific group within a population and developing ministry activity for the group: ethnolinguistic group, population segment, or environment (e.g. multi housing units, colleges, or workplaces).
- Develop a Church Planting Team. This includes more than a lead pastor, usually a worship leader or pastor of spiritual development is needed. Other needs include: ministry teams to handle child care, a technical director, small group leaders, and a team to handle set-up/break down of equipment for the service.
- Identify Resources. People resources such as a sending church, a church planting mentor, and ministry teams are needed. Financial resources are needed for initial staff salaries, facility, and other ministry costs until the new church can handle these on its own.
- Evangelize Unreached People. New churches should have a specific developed outreach strategy to proclaim the gospel and draw people to the kingdom of God.
- Launch Public Ministry. Either on a specific time table (e.g. Easter, Labor Day) or after certain milestones are reached (e.g. after acquiring the right meeting place, worship team, small group leaders, etc.) the church publicly and regularly begins to function.
- Mobilize and Multiply Ministry. A healthy church includes “come and see” activities to invite people who are not part of the church into, “follow me” activities that ask visitors for a commitment to Christ, and “go and make disciples” activities that call for greater service and investment in other people.