“Everything rises and falls on leadership.”
— John Maxwell
Everything. Especially church planting. Leadership is knowing the difference between a good idea and a great idea and the difference between staying busy and being productive. As a church planter, you should have a supervisor, a coach, and a band of brothers to help you think these through. You should not trust yourself enough to lead alone.
Trust Your Leaders
Your supervisor should be the pastor of your sending church. Until you raise up elders, you should trust the care and governance of your sending church. But your supervisor may not have any experience in planting a church himself. While you are accountable to him, you will also need a coach.
Your coach should be a church planter who can point to ministry success. Someone who has been around and can give you sound advice on entrepreneurship, church size dynamics, vision casting, and leadership. Your coach should be a solid resource to get feedback from, but he’s not necessarily the guy to pick you up when you are down. That is your band of brothers.
As a planter, you’ll need to insulate yourself with a band of brothers. These are the guys you laugh and cry with. The guys who see through you and can help you find blind spots. Blind spots aren’t the areas of your life you know need to change, but you lack the courage to do so. Blind spots are areas of your life that you are oblivious to. It takes a band of brothers to expose them so you can grow.
Trust Your Leadership
But here’s the temptation. You’ll want to ask all of these guys, “What do you think I should do?” And you know what? They’ll all have an answer. They may even each have different answers pulling you in different directions.
While you have a supervisor, you need to own the mission as a self-employed, start-up businessman.
While you have a coach, you need to be possessed with your own vision for your church and city. You are the expert missionary that Jesus called to that city.
Most church planters I know aren’t lazy. But they aren’t necessarily productive either. The goal for the day cannot be to stay busy. The goal must be to move the mission forward. And it’s the responsibility of the church planter/leader to know what it is that will get that done.