7 Reasons Your Church Plant Might Fail – Perry Noble

Originally from here.

Church planters are a RARE breed…no one in their right mind would EVER choose to do it…it MUST be a calling.  AND…no one WANTS their church plant to fail…yet here are seven reasons I’ve seen that some have…

#1 – The Church Is Planted Out Of Bitterness Rather Than A Divine Calling From God!

What some people call a church plant…God actually calls a church split.  When a group of bitter, angry, self serving people with a lot of money find a hirling who will do all that they want him to do…that isn’t necessarily a church plant.  AND…usually within two or three years it goes REALLY bad.  Let me be VERY CLEAR here…when bitterness and anger are the root of the plant…then the church is in deep trouble right at the beginning.

#2 – The Leadership Has A Desire For Imitation Rather Than Seeking Revelation!

We’ve seen it before…a group of guys go to a conference and see a church…and then come back to their community and try to be just like the church they saw at the conference.  There is NOTHING wrong with receiving inspiration and ideas at a conference…but when one church tries to be just like another one in every area…then I believe the leaders are spending way too much time studying methods rather than the Scriptures.  God calls every church to be unique in some sort of way…and that will never be found if the leadership isn’t desperately seeking God for His direction.

#3 – The Pastor Has A Desire To Be Known Way More Than He Desires To Fulfill The Great Commission!

When a leader is more obsessed with how many hits he is getting on his blog…or how many people follow him on twitter…and because of those things loses sight of reaching people for Christ–it’s over.

#4 – When The Leadership Allows The Vision To Get Hijacked In Order To Keep Everyone Happy!

EVERY church planter WILL experience SOMEONE trying to hijack the vision of the church…MOST of the time before the church ever officially launches.  Pastor..BEG God for HIS vision, let Him BURN it in your heart…and then go for it and don’t let anyone talk you out of what God has clearly spoken into you.

#5 – The Pastor Isn’t Willing To Call People To Commit.

The last thing we need in the body of Christ is a room full of people who are more commited to watching their favorite TV shows every week than they are to following Christ.  Pastors…you can’t be afraid to ask people to commit to Christ, to volunteer, to give and to read their Bibles.  If you back down from this then you will do nothing more than raise a co-dependent group of people who learn to depend on you rather than Jesus.

#6 – The Pastor Lacks Courage!

This sort of goes along with #5.  I believe that every church planter will be tested early in the process…usually within the first six months…and also usually it will relate to finances.  A big giver will begin to list out his or her demands…and then the leader must decide whether or not he is a prositiute (paid for a service) or a prophet (someone who belongs to God.)  Pastor…leadership requires courage.  People WILL take shots at you.  People WILL take what you say out of context.  People WILL lie about you.  You are NOT going to be loved by everyone…and to face that reality takes courage.  If you lack it then you won’t make it.

#7 – The Pastor Tries To Do It All By Himself!

Dear pastor…you are NOT that good!  You can’t do it all (even though some will expect you to.)  You’ve GOT to delegate ministry to others.  You’ve GOT to listen to the people God intentionally places around you.  You’ve GOT to admit when the load is too heavy so those who care about you can take things off your plate.  You’ve GOT to understand that Jesus cares WAY more about the church than you do…and He will send the right people along side of you to make sure HIS vision becomes reality.  We are NOT called to do it alone!!!



Successful church planters are rare. Here are seven marks of a pastor who will definitely fail at planting a church…

1. The Pastor is a Hireling. In 2-3 years, a church plant will fail–if it is planted by a group of bitter, holding-things-against-others kinds of elders, with a lot of money, and a selfish agenda–and they employ a hireling for a pastor. John 10:12: “A hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.”

2. The Pastor is Not Prophetically Led, But Just Copycats Megachurches. The pastor and elders don’t plant their church based on prophetic words from the Holy Spirit; are not willing to hold to their convictions; and instead just choose to copycat the methods and forms of some megachurch.

3. The Pastor Does Not Preach the Gospel! The pastor is more concerned with fame and how many people attend his church than actually fulfilling the Great Commission and preaching the Gospel. See Iain Murray’s John MacArthur: Servant of the Word and Flock and John MacArthur’s Ashamed of the Gospel.

4. The Pastor, If At a Point Prophetically Guided to Plant the Church with a Specific Vision–Over Time, He Allows Other People to Compromise His Vision–and instead goes for ideas and fads which he deems will be more popular and bring more people to his church.

5. The Pastor Doesn’t Encourage Evangelistic Outreach! The pastor does not preach holiness and does not encourage his church members to be active in evangelistic outreaches.

6. The Pastor Is Not Financially Independent; and Compromises with Big Givers. The pastor lacks the courage to prophetically preach on holiness or Hell; and he succumbs to worldly-minded elders who are big givers. (Therefore, the pastor should be economically self-sufficient to pay the church rent–regardless if people give or not.)

7. The Pastor Is a Do-It-Yourselfer. The pastor tries to do all ministry activities by himself; and he does not ask other God-directed people in the church to help out or take responsibility for ministry duties.

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