August 25, 2017 By Bryson Isom Should I plant a church? I still remember asking myself that very question years ago. Being a part of five church plants over the years, ten characteristics constantly rose to the top that indicated whether or not it was for me. I have been weak in many and over time have strengthened in some. These ten characteristics will give you a good place to start strengthening as you navigate your desire to one day plant a church. 1. Not Dependable Do others call you dependable? Are you forgetful? Do you show up late? If you can’t take ownership of your current roles, jobs, and area of ministry, you can’t plant a church. If you can’t lead yourself, you can’t lead others. Start here: lead yourself, lead your family, and lead your ministry well. If you are in charge of a ministry or volunteer in a specific role, make it the best ministry in the church. 2. Not Trustworthy People follow people before they follow a vision. People will not follow someone they cannot trust. They will smell it out and leave. Do you easily admit your sins and mistakes? Do you readily take the blame? Are you transparent? Are you vulnerable? Do you shoot straight or add some spin to the story? Do you tell the truth? 3. Inability to Multiply Plain and simple: have you ever multiplied a group or a ministry or built anything from the ground up that involved a team? If not, start a group and see it multiply. Lead a team, build it up, and hand it off. 4. Lack of Evangelism When was the last time you led someone to Christ outside of a church function? When was the last time you had a nonbeliever in your home for dinner? If you can’t answer these questions without spinning the story, start here. People love the idea of evangelism, but they want other people to be the ones to do it. As a planter this your life. It doesn’t matter how good of a communicator you are on stage; what matters is Monday—living rooms, neighbors, gyms, bars, and little league. 5. Lack of Focus Church planting is long obedience in one direction around one primary objective—plant the church. If you’re trying to write a blog, get a book deal, work a job, coach little league, go to school and plant a church, it won’t work well. Every move you make as a planter should be to move the church forward and push the ball down the field. None of those are bad things, but they can be distractions. They can be mission clutter. Clutter always hinders the mission. A church planter cannot have divided desires; you have one mission and that is to plant the church. 6. Fear of Asking for Money You will have to ask people to fund your vision, both outside the church and inside the church. What is the most amount of money that you have ever raised? Do you have strong relationships with others that will give to your vision? Your ability to fund your vision constitutes a large part of your church’s success. For it to fly, it first has to get off the ground. 7. No Plan You cannot plant a church on desire alone. Pipe dreams don’t plant churches, plans, people, and processes do. As a planter, you have to have a desire to plant, an opportunity to plant, people to plant with, and a plan to execute the vision. Get it out of your head and put it on paper. 8. No Grit If you have a low pain tolerance, you cannot plant a church. It’s hard. It’s painful. You need to imagine that if you were to write out all of the pros and cons on a whiteboard, church planting is worse than the greatest cons on the board. Pain is the plan, and you have to embrace it as a church planter. 9. No Confirmation If everyone in your circle is telling you it’s a bad idea, it probably is. If there are no less than five men in your life saying “go get ’em, tiger,” you should probably reconsider. Start asking men around you to give you real, honest feedback about your calling to plant and your leadership in ministry and your home. 10. Inability to Say “No” Every yes is a no to something else, sometimes to something more important. Especially when it comes to vision. Your vision needs to be a sword. It will cut through good ideas and bad ideas. If you cannot say “no,” your vision will be high-jacked by distraction and so will your church. Now, if you’re still wondering whether church planting is for you and even if three or four of these have hit you between the eyes, let me encourage you by saying the greatest thing you can do is get into a church planting internship or residency of some kind. There you will be equipped for the task and strengthened in the areas where you are weak. But more than that, you will be able to truly discern if you are called to church planting. Start here. If you want to know more about the internships and residencies available at Valley Life, email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will help you any way we can to plant a strong and healthy church. Share Tweet Share PinBryson IsomBryson Isom is the pastor of Valley Life | Camelback, located adjacent to the campus of Grand Canyon University.