I’m really encouraged that church planting has become more of a priority for churches. With this emphasis, some ministries may be tempted to launch a new church before carefully having all the pieces of a healthy church start in place. The element that can have no compromise in church planting is leadership. It is surprising to me that with clear instruction and examples from letters like 1 Timothy and Titus, ministries would rush to compromise on leadership.
Here are some strategies (excuses) for church planting without qualified leadership that I’ve heard:
- Let’s just get started and see what God will do.
- This is a priority because this is the most populous city in the state without a Southern Baptist church.
- Let’s start with this leader, he’s: a) down on his luck, b) close to retirement, c) his wife has health issues and he really needs something now).
- He happens to be my friend, and I’m can’t talk about whether he is qualified or not.
- Well, it’s only NAMB money anyway, so let’s just give it a try and see what happens.
- He’s qualified because he’s been through a church planter training program.
- We have some money raised, volunteer teams in place, and a place to meet; let’s start with these and see if we can find a leader later.
- He has a real passion for his strategy, and maybe it will work this time. What will it hurt for him to give it another try?
- A leader’s spiritual maturity needs to be only one step ahead of others in the group. Maybe he’ll grow into the position.
Advice: don’t launch until there is a qualified leader who has agreed to start. Once he is identified, he will see that the other elements will fall into place.