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I assume the best of motives for pastors and lay-people who desire to plant a new campus or church without hurting other local churches. There are some inevitable mistakes every church planter or planting church will make, but some mis-steps have further reaching implications.
I have planted a church as well as helped others plant churches, and hope to encourage well-intentioned missionaries to learn from both my touchdowns and turnovers.
Questions - Church - Planter - Church - Pirate
Here are three questions to ask yourself to help discern whether you are personally being a church planter or a church pirate.
Am I recruiting other church members privately?
Pirate - Planter - Church - Members - Pastor
You can assume that you will be seen as a pirate instead of a planter if you are meeting with prospective church members without their pastor’s knowledge. Half-heartedly telling members from other churches that you do not want them to leave their church to help you plant is manipulative. Ask the Lord to make clear your motives.
The people who leave their church to help you plant your church should be called by God, not recruited by you.
Be - Members - Church - Families - Church
Be cautious about labeling members from other church families as “unchurched” just because they have been thinking about leaving their church. It is not unusual for members to consider leaving their church at some time or another, for one reason or another. Pirates bait moderately committed members away from their churches whether they intend to or not.
Am I intentionally avoiding other pastors?
Mistake - Church - Planters - Pastors - Area
A common mistake church planters make is avoiding other pastors in the area. Some of those pastors will have members who will visit and join your church—even if you have discouraged them....
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