In the mistakes section, I am also putting things I learned along the way that I did not know, realize, or practice from the start of the church plant.
I think it is important to have the main thrust of your church in place when you start. You will have slight course changes, but the overall thrust of your church will be set from the start.
One of the things I learned is that you are not really there to start a church, you are there to love a people. You must love the city where you are planting, the culture that dominates the area, and the people in that culture and in your church.
I think found expression for me in the question, "Would you plant in that area if you were not paid in anyway to do it?" Another way to put it is, "If you had to be bivocational the rest of your life, would you be willing to pastor a church plant in that area?"
I don't think a planter should have to remain bivocational the entire time, but this question goes back to passion for planting and committment to an area. You must be in it for the long haul. You must be willing to stick it out for a while. I stayed in the church plant in Missouri for 6 years, and it did not grow. I sensed that God was leading me elsewhere.
But the pastor at my current church was in the church plant for 6 years, and knew that it was now or never for this particular church. He stuck it out, and God blessed the church. From year 5 to year 6 they went from about 75 to over 650!
That won't happen everywhere, but the committment to stay somewhere must be present. You must love them. You must love the culture in which you are planting.