Over the years I’ve had a lot of interaction with other church planters, including a group I meet with. Church planters are unique because they really understand risk and faith. I’ve seen some church plants do very well, and some fall apart. Here are ten signs your church plant is in serious trouble:
1. Your friends and family are with you, but you struggle to get others to join.
2. You focus more on the core group rather than reaching those who are far from God.
3. You intentionally and regularly solicit Christians from other churches to keep your enterprise afloat.
4. You can’t motivate people to show up early for set up. This is a leadership issue and if you have a problem with this, you will have more serious problems later on.
5. Your core team and other key leaders do not tithe to the church.
6. You think your church is the hope for your city because you believe you are doing something that nobody else is doing.
7. You spend too much time in sermon preparation. As a church planter you better learn how to put together your sermon in one day or less, and then spend the rest of your week making phone calls and inviting people to come to church; that way somebody will actually be there to listen to what you've got to say. BTW, if your church ever grows and becomes solidly established, then and only then, will you be able to devote 2-3 days to sermon preparation.
8. You are not willing to work your fingers to the bone. Being a church planter is not a 40-hour-a-week job. It’s all consuming. If you are not willing to meet with people after they get off work, put out some road signs, meet with community leaders, unload a trailer, write vision statements, evangelize, disciple, develop other leaders, stay up later and get up early, you are not going to make it.
9. You are willing to accept failure. If failure is an option for you, it will be your fallback plan when the going gets tough.
10. You stop growing as a leader.