Ever since we planted CityView Church in 2014 we’ve gotten multiple questions about what church planters need. Aside from a strong and growing relationship with Jesus, the support of their spouse, Kingdom dollars invested in their plant or team members to join their core team, I always tell them that every planter needs three people who speak into their lives that help them plant in a healthy manner. Every planter needs 3 specific people. This blog series will share the three people that every church planter needs in his life.
Every church planter needs a mentor. They need someone who has gone before them and done similar work to what they are attempting to do now. The mentor is so important because he lets the planter know that what they are attempting is possible. He brings encouragement on a regular basis.
The most valuable thing a mentor can share is their experiences, both good and bad. This authenticity helps the planter know that at the end of the day there is hope. The mentor shows the planter that no matter how difficult it gets you can come out on the other side. The mentor can provide a target for the planter to aim for over the course of their ministry.
There is definite value in having several mentors in the planter’s life that might be able to address different issues at different times in areas related to church life cycle, attendance trends, and family. In many ways, a mentor is a pastor to a church planter. I have been blessed to have a couple of these amazing men in my life as I planted, Greg Pickering of Brazos Pointe Fellowship in Lake Jackson, TX and Bruce Wesley of Clear Creek Community Church in League City, TX.
How Do I Find One?
You find a mentor by thinking about the people in your life who have started like you have and have a track record that you respect. Think beyond your peer group. Look to a generation older than you. You narrow down on one or two guys and then you take them to lunch or coffee and ask them to mentor you. You will find that quality men want to be asked to do this type of thing. They want to reproduce themselves in other young leaders.
How Do I Become One?
Greg Pickering became my mentor when he found me at a fellowship meeting for our county and said, “Hi Jason, I’m Greg, I’m you in 20 years”. Younger generations desperately want the tutelage of those who have gone before. You have a lot to share. Look around at young guys in your pastoral circles and make an investment.
This series is drawn from my book, Proliferate, A Church Planting Strategy for Everyday Churches. If you haven’t already you can pick it up from Amazon (Paperback or Kindle) or Barnes & Noble (Paperback or Nook).