CityView Church, the church I get to lead, just celebrated 3 years from public launch. We’ve been unbelievably blessed to get off to a great start. In 3 short years God has done some amazing things.
- Numerical growth. We aren’t giant, but we are growing steadily every year.
- We’ve purchased land. Not a lot, 5 acres is all, but it’s all we need.
- We’ve sent three other churches. We’ve trained three planters and sent them out to start new churches.
- We are financially self-sufficient. Our budget isn’t multi-million… or even a million, but we aren’t dependent on outside giving.
We’ve come a long way by God’s grace. Recently, I was asked to outline the process that we followed before we launched. Over the next few weeks I’ll address each of these stages in more depth, but here are the 5 Stages of Development.
1) Meditation on the Gospel and Prayer
One of the biggest problems that I’ve seen in church planting is that guys get frustrated with their church and go out and plant the opposite of their church. The problem is that this is the wrong motivation.
Can God use wrong motivations? Yes!
Is that the most God glorifying way to do it? No!
Frustration can be an indicator that it might be time to move on or seek a healthier church environment, but it isn’t a reason to start a new church. The desire to start a new church has to be founded in the gospel. It has to be firmly founded in the desire to make and multiply disciples. Meditate on the gospel. Read through Acts. Pray. For more check out this post.
2) Vision and Plan Development
Spend some time praying about a vision. Think about where God might lead you. If you are looking for a book to help with this, I suggest Church Unique by Will Mancini. This is the best book on vision development for a church that I have ever seen. It is hard work, but it is worth it.
There is no getting around it. Fundraising is important for church planting. God’s mission happens through the generosity of God’s people. Don’t be afraid to ask. I will be writing extensively on this area. If you have any specific questions please put them in the comments below. I’ll work to help answer all of those questions.
4) Core Group Gathering
You’ve got to gather a group to follow and be part of what God is doing. Seek out people who want to see God do something, people who love the gospel.
5) Core Group Development
Take this ever growing group and develop them. Teach them the vision and values of the church. Tie everything to the gospel. Develop and disciple people.
What questions do you have about church plant development before launch? Are you a planter? What questions do you have about the development of a church plant?