You Said It: First-Year Church Planting Takeaways

We asked, and you responded: What was the biggest takeaway from your first year of church planting?

“Pastoring a church plant IS NOT the same as leading an established church.”
Sean Rheaume, senior pastor of Live Oak Church in Johns Island, South Carolina

“I have everything I need right now to do exactly what God’s calling me to do. Plan ahead and do the lattice work for where we’re going, but I have everything, right now, to do what God’s called me to do, today!”
Chris Phillips, lead pastor of Journey Point Church in Denver, Colorado

“I’m responsible for all of my failures, but none of my successes!”
Michael T. Byrd Sr., lead pastor of Faith Community Bible Church in St. Louis, Missouri

“You will lose people and you will gain people. The Lord decides how long they stay. Be faithful to train the people you have.”
Dale Huntington, lead pastor of City Life Church, San Diego, California

“Loving people in tangible ways leads to cultivated ground ready for Gospel Seeds.”
Darryl Brunson, church planter in Livingston, Montana

“It’s really hard, but keep going.”
Billy Lowe, lead pastor of City Church in Alpharetta, Georgia

“I was amazed at how many smaller churches came alongside us as a Send Network plant, because of NAMB’s networking power — and how much happened because of their prayers.”
Keith Pierce, director of missions for Clinton Baptist Association in Tennessee

“[Church planting] is a lot harder than starting a business. You are dealing with spiritual opposition. Read Ephesians 6.”
@tikunkel, a church planter in South America with the IMB for 30-plus years

“Prioritize the Word of God — not ideas, programs, or how another church planter ‘did it.’
Read the Word!
Discuss the Word among leadership!
Teach the Word in large group and small groups!
Create and establish everything based on principles of the Word!
Live out the Word!”
Russell Davis, pastor of Etowah Church in Dawsonville, Georgia

“Our expectations for the first year and the realities of the first year will look very different from one another.”
Keith Radke, pastor of River Community Church in West Jordan, Utah

“Church planting is far more challenging than anticipated. Spiritual warfare is far more serious than expected. BUT God is far more real than imagined.”
Ben Hurt, pastor of Gospel Community Church in Goshen, Indiana

“Christians, together, plant churches — not just pastors. The need for a healthy team of Christians to own and share the work of ministry is essential.”
Morgan Proudfoot, lead pastor of Grace Harbor Church in New Bedford, Massachusetts

“God is faithful!”
Dustin Haile, church planter at Gateway Church in Mount Vernon, Illinois

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Wayne Campbell, pastor of The Potter’s House Community Church in Westbank, British Columbia


Published May 17, 2021