January 26, 2007

8 Characteristics of Church Planters

Pastors.com has an article outlining the 8 characteristics of church planters. (Go here to read the whole article.)

Here are some excerpts:

1. "Catalytic innovator"
There are five characteristics:

Charismatic leader – "It is perhaps not surprising, therefore, that effective NCD pastors freely describe themselves as ‘entrepreneurs.'"

Tenacious perseverer – "Like workers in every field, these developers go through times of ease and times of difficulty; despite the times, though, they persist in growing and building the church."

Risk-taker – "An effective NCD pastor takes risks with exceptional energy and when the stakes are exceptionally high."

Flexible adapter – "A skilled change agent who is agile and flexible with people and their agendas."

Self-starter – "They are not afraid to initiate a difficult plan of action or to take risks to see it through."

2. Vibrant faith in God
"Vibrant faith in God is a trait to be nurtured, one that is cultivated and nourished by making prayer and reflection on Scripture a disciplined priority in life."

3. Visionary/vision caster
"These developers dreamed big dreams and moved forward to fulfill them."

The most effective, he observed, were more likely to present their vision statements as "goals and objectives" rather than traditional statements with "ideals and hopes."

4. Empowering leadership
"This brand of leadership is not simply energetic leading; it is also the ‘ability to spot' and nurture other leaders."

"They lead to give their leadership away."

5. Passion for people
"These leaders love, they care, and they show it – and they identify relational skills as a key ingredient of leadership in the success of any new church."

6. Personal and relational health
"Most importantly, this trait underscores the importance of attending to and nurturing healthy families."

7. Passion for faith-sharing
"The most effective…pastors are likely, within any 90-day period, to have assisted a person making a first-time affirmation of faith."

8. Inspiring preaching or worship
"The goal of inspiring worship is an encounter that can be described as a celebration in which both the seeker and mature disciple ‘meet God' and understand Scripture."

Sometimes, when I read a list like this, I just pray, "God, why me?" I feel absolutely called to start a new church, but completely unqualified.

hattip: ChurchCommunicationsPro


  1. "Feeling of unqualified is exactly what makes you qualified."

    Quote from a pastor we both know and love... ;)

    Something tells me he knows.

    If you felt qualified, then you'd run it out of your own strength (or at least attempt to) and make a nice big mess...

    ...but you knew that. :D

    Your going to make it Eric. You know that right?

  2. God doesn't call the qualified... he qualifies the called.

    Keep going. God will give you the strength.

  3. I think lists like this are good in that they are DESCRIPTIVE of the characteristics of church planters. But they can also be PRESCRIPTIVE for those who don't feel like they fit all the categories. This list is a composite of the BEST qualities and the most common from a wide sampling of church planters. But not all planters have all of these characteristics.

    I recognize that my weakness is where God has the ability to show His power. But don't lists like this always make you feel inadequate? Very few people can live up to any list like this.

  4. I know it makes me feel inadequate in a few things there... and it does... it challenges you...

    It makes me say "God you placed this in me, and you called me, so it is up to you to change me to what is needed." So I stand here in a period of moulding. Painful but I need to live up to the list that God has for my call.

    I don't know if I'm a church planter as much as a ministry planter. I think many of the things on that list though, are needed for both.

    I guess I also have to give myself some slack, and realize that I can't be everything needed, so I'm going to have to rely on God so much. The times when I'm reeling from stuff I have to remind myself of that.