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What is an entrepreneurial church planter?

No, I’m not talking about mixing business and the church (Although, a case could be made for that…).  I’m talking about a church planter who has similar skills and mindsets as an entrepreneur.

It’s a different way of thinking because our ministry training to date generally focuses on very different skills and mindsets.

We’re usually taught that if you preach good sermons, people will come.  But if people only come because they’re entertained, then you’re not really establishing the church in the faith.

We’re usually taught that if you can debate at a scholarly level in the historic theological controversies, then people will believe (due to your amazing ability to explain away their doubts).  But most of the time we learn answers to questions that people today aren’t asking, and then no one listens.

We’re usually taught that our current model of church is the only (or at least the best) model.  But our worship-then-sermon meeting format, for all the good that it does, actually fights against us in important areas.  Areas such as authentic relationships, true shepherding of the people, leadership development.

But an entrepreneurial church planter thinks of things very differently.  And they can help bring the church into the 21st century in a way which truly impacts our cities.

The Entrepreneurial Church Planter Starts Something from Nothing

church planter entrepreneur crowdThis idea might seem obvious.  Even for a non-entrepreneurial church planter.

But what I mean is that being entrepreneurial will allow you to start from absolute scratch.  Not bringing a group of 50 people from the mother church.  Not planting a campus of the mother church.

The benefit of doing things like this is that you would be forced to actually meet new people.  And most importantly, non-believers.

Our church plants should be made up of mostly new believers that came to faith through the efforts of your small team.  That way you end up focusing on the needs of new believers, and not forced to “feed” Christians who are with you for the excitement of it.

Having this extra burden actually ends up slowing down progress because politics drag you down before you even begin.  Before you even realize it.

The Entrepreneurial Church Planter Networks

A normal church planter might network with his/her denomination, mother church or national network.  Those are all good things.

But an entrepreneurial church planter also networks when it’s not obvious how it will directly impact the church.

Like an entrepreneur in business, they will build relationships with city officials, artists, other businessmen/women, other church planters, neighbors, people they meet at the community building, people they meet walking down the street, people they… Should I keep going?

These kinds of church planters recognize that a church has all kinds of needs.  Not just quote-unquote “spiritual” needs.  Healthy networks allow you to bring in all kinds of resources to serve the community.

A healthy #network allows you to bring in all kinds of resources to serve the community. Click To Tweet

The Entrepreneurial Church Planter Puts Effective Teams in Place

A normal church planter goes in and often times wants to be The Pastor.  They want to do everything.  What happens next can sometimes be power struggles, unnecessarily putting people in their place, stubbornness, and mistrust.

But an entrepreneurial church planter recognizes that he/she cannot do everything alone.

They form teams to accomplish certain objectives.  They understand the strengths and the giftings that others have.  The planter make sure they understand the goals and the mission, and then he/she unleashes those people be all they can be for God.

The Entrepreneurial Church Planter Adapts

church planter entrepreneur adaptThings almost never go according plan in a church plant.  A normal church planter says, “we gotta stick to our training and just keep persevering”.  Sometimes, they don’t even consciously say it.

An entrepreneurial church planter asks, “what strategies or techniques can we compromise on, which do not compromise the overall mission?”

The goal is not to be purists in form.  Our goal is to be purists in the gospel.

Yes, there are functions of the church which must never be changed, but an entrepreneurial leader recognizes where that line is.  And lets the church meet people where they’re at.

Example:  a church is not growing because their people are mostly blue collar, and the sermons are taught at a seminary level.

Normal church planter:  “The people will learn as we continue to teach at this high level.  They will adapt to us if they Holy Spirit moves them to do so.”

Entrepreneurial church planter:  “I’m going to stop using difficult words.  I’m also going to start relating faith to our occupations, workplace relationships, and finances/poverty.”

The goal is not to be purists in form. Our goal is to be purists in the #gospel. Click To Tweet

The Entrepreneurial Church Planter Thinks Outside the Box

church planter paintingIf you have a really good ministry philosphy, normal church planters think that other churches will soon “fall in line”.

Entrepreneurial church planters recognize that networks and relationships are complex.  You can agree on something important, and completely disagree on non-essential issues.

Yes, you can work alongside someone who disagrees with you about dispensationalism.

This also carries over to trying new things as a church if it will help your community.  Maybe start an art community.  Maybe put together a few businessmen and create an LLC to help raise funds for the work of the church.  Maybe create a comprehensive life-rebuilding program to combat poverty and drug abuse.

Be an innovative church planter.

The Entrepreneurial Church Planter Sometimes Actually Starts a Business

If the skills are there, why not do it?

A normal church planter relies on the contemporary methods for making a living – raising support, receiving support from the mother church, receiving support from the new church.

But there are all kinds of ways to fund yourself.  Paul himself made tents when he needed to.  Sometimes, starting a business is really the best thing for you and your church.

Start a coffee shop, design company or furniture building business.  There are all kinds of niche-markets to fit into, which are specific to your community.


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Also published on Medium.