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How (not) to Choose where to Plant

June 20, 2012

Last post was about how to choose where to plant, but there’s a big caveat to that.

I am always skeptical when someone wants to plant in the same city as the church where they’re already working.  I’m not talking about when the church itself initiates the plant, because there are a bunch of success stories like that.  However, I’m skeptical when a staff member tells the church, “I’m leaving to start a new church, whether you support it or not.  And yes, God just happened to ‘call’ me to a place where I have dozens of people who are disgruntled with how you’re doing things so they’re following me down the street where I can do it better.”  I know that’s not what they’re saying…but that’s what they’re saying, right? I’m not saying God never calls someone to plant a church in the same city, but it just sounds too easy.

One pastor calls these people “church pirates”.  They swoop into a church, work there or get involved, and then feel “called” to start a church next door.  the new church isn’t really a church plant; it’s a church transplant! It reminds me of Absalom stealing the kingdom from David more than it reminds me of Paul planting a new church in Lystra.  I like when Paul said in Romans 15:20, “My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else.”

If God has gifted you to plant a church, then plant a church; don’t transplant a church.  And use wisdom to figure out where to plant.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 20, 2012 10:03 am


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