Essential characteristics of a Replanter

By Replant

What does it take to be a Replanter? Recently, men engaged in the work of Replanting Churches gathered to talk Replanting and understand the qualities that make a man well suited for the work. 

Replanting is not Church Planting nor is it solely Pastoring, though elements of both are found in qualified and capable Replanters. With its unique challenges these qualities emerged as essentials in a person called to Replant a local Church. Visionary Shepherd—the ability to sense and see God’s next steps for a congregation and the capacity to lead the church forward as a loving Shepherd. He is patient, wise, strategic and relational. Capacity for Suffering–the ups and downs of replanting take a toll on the Replanter, spiritually, physically, emotionally, relationally and financially. The pain of replanting necessitates an ability to persevere and endure the high cost of turning a nearly dead or significantly declined church around. Affinity for Legacy/History–most churches have bright spots in their history, a time when they were impacting their communities for Christ. A Replanter understands and acknowledges and even values a Church’s history, he seeks to remind the church of it, honor it when and where possible and build upon the legacy of those who were there before him. Multi-Generational Capacity–the Replanter operates with ease among the young and old in his congregation. Each group knows they are loved, valued and heard and that they will be Pastored well. Resourceful Generalist–scant resources, limited budgets, small or non-existent staff and absent or out of date technology are standard features in a dying and declined church. Replanters wear many hats, they know how to get things done, gather resources and do the best with what they have in front of them. The lack of available resources doesn’t reduce their efforts, energy or impact. Tactical Patience–progress and pace are different in a replant. Some things can be addressed immediately; others have to wait—either for the congregation to be ready to move or for the resources to be present. A Replanter is continually looking toward progress and is seeking to help the congregation move forward, yet they know that timing and patience are key in bringing the church along. Tactical patience understands that waiting is not wasted time. Emotional Intelligence–a Replanter is able to read people while being self-aware. He understands the emotional climate of those in the congregation, committee room, deacon board or living room during a pastoral call. He senses when he needs to back off, press in or listen and reflect. He is in touch with his own emotions and understand how he is being received. Spousal Support–a Replanter isn’t alone in his calling. He understands that his spouse will serve an important role in supporting him as well as the family while he is leading the Church. The Replanter’s wife possesses a love for Jesus and the Church, she is committed for the long haul and understands that the road will be full with ups and downs.Is God calling you to the important work of Replanting? We’d love to hear from you.   

Tell me more about Replanting and the Replanter’s Assessment.

Published September 1, 2015

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The Replant team of the North American Mission Board works to reverse the death and decline rate of Churches. For more information and resources on Replanting go to and follow @churchreplanter.