What makes a church planter a church planter?

(Missed the first post in the series? click here)

It seems that most agree the gifts needed to plant a church are different to the ones needed to pastor one. Nonetheless, first you gotta check out 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1. Planters must qualify as elders.

Chandler reckons that a planter’s primary gifting should be in evangelism. A planter needs to be the kind of guy who asks himself: “Why do I work out at this gym?”, “Why do we walk in this park?”, “Why do my kids play this sport?”, all with evangelism in mind. Successful planters who are not primarily evangelists are rare.

In a recent conversation with Craig Tucker, who has planted in Blacktown and Drummoyne, he said you’ve got to be someone who can start something and it actually gets going. Seems obvious, but the temptation for young punks like me is simply to assume that when we actually get around to starting something, it will be awesome… Mikey has mentioned he’s worried for the idealists charging out to plant churches. I think the “Can you get something running? test” helps with that.

Got thoughts?

PS. Want to see Acts29’s giant list of qualifications? It’s here.


3 responses to “What makes a church planter a church planter?

  1. Dan
    Do you think it is a matter of degrees rather than totally different gifts? Keeping a church growing in post-Christian society has a lot of same challenge as starting a new work. It requires taking initiative in evangelism, sharing a vision, leading a team … The day that caring for the flock was all that was needed is gone in most parts of Australia. of course starting something new will take a more drive etc.

    The gift mix needed also depends on the goal of church size dosen’t it? I know guys who are good personal evangelists but would probably not grow a church beyond a 100 or so.

  2. Yeah I guess with any plant, there is going to be a huge element of evangelism as you need rapid growth to be sustainable.

    If the leader of the church is not that into evangelism then it is a big ask for others following to take it on.

    When I did mts, my first catch up with my trainer (rob) went like this: “Right let’s pray and go ask some people what they think about jesus”. Really tested the metal ….

  3. Daniel McClintock

    Good point, John.

    I think the case is overstated when people talk about the two jobs requiring completely different gifts. And that overstatement is reflected in my first sentence! Consider me corrected.

    Yep, I think that you’re right. The days of simply pastoring a flock in a town of people who all come to church anyway is all but gone. Keeping a church of any size moving, in most of Australia, requires the skills you’ve mentioned.

    Goal church size… you’re right again. But 100 or so is such an awkward number! A few more and you’ve probably got the budget to employ someone, at least part-time, to specialise in what the planter lacks, or isn’t part of his core business.

    Having said that, if that guy can also train a few more guys who can grow churches to 100, that is sweet.


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