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Anyone who plants churches know that there are inherent dangers in a new congregation, and they can tear apart your ability to pass the gospel on effectively.

Watch out for these things:

Inward Focus

Don't ignore showing #Christ 's love to those outside the #church. Click To Tweet

snow churchWhen you plant a church, you get really close with one another.  It’s a temptation to make that closeness more important than reaching out and taking care of neighbors and the surrounding community.

Don’t ignore showing Christ’s love to those outside the church.

Lack of Leadership

In a small group, the need to assert authority is lessened because everybody knows everybody else really well.  A church planter can gain relational authority (as opposed to positional authority) very quickly.

The danger, then, is that you can form habits that are lax toward sin, inconsistency, failure, ignorance.  Stand guard against this, and be sure to embrace your responsibility shepherd the flock.

Lack of Structured Learning

So much happens very quickly in a church plant.  There are real-life problems that surface, such as the majority of your people coming up out of very unhealthy life situations.  And you deal with it as things come up.

It's easy to feel alone in #churchplanting. Click To Tweet

But don’t let it stop you from making sure everyone is established in the first principles of Christ.  There needs to be the foundation of these things:  an understanding of the gospel, a change in values and lifestyle, proper relationships within the family and within the church, functioning appropriately within the church community, proper relationships with those outside the church – the government, non-believers, and other social structures, and finally, a healthy defense against Satan.

Each person needs to learn all these principles so that they can begin to make decisions in every area of their lives based on that foundation.  The Apostles emphasized these subjects more than any other, and so should we.

Complete Autonomy

white dressIt’s easy to feel alone in church planting.  And that loneliness can also breed a sense of pride in the fact that you did it on your own without any other person’s help.

But we have to be careful to remember that we will fail and maybe not even realize it in some aspects of planting an established church, if we do not have accountability.  I’m sure you’ve seen it – the isolated, small church in a rural community, that just went off the deep end in theology or in strange practices.

Be a part of a city-wide network, as explained in this article.  This will provide you with support, encouragement, partnership, and resources.  It’s the unity of the churches that will cause it to be effective for Christ.

Dependence

But we should also learn to stand on our own in some respects.  This problem is the opposite of the last one listed.

We can’t completely depend on other churches to provide for our needs.

For example, a pastor from one church cannot be responsible to shepherd everyone in your church plant, so he should not be responsible to do the main teaching (like in a satellite campus or something).

Another example – an established church is also able to support itself financially through cheerful giving.  Otherwise, we aren’t sustaining our own efforts and eventually, the church will fail.

Be Careful

As church planters, we have to be careful to avoid these problematic situations.  They will make us ineffective, and we will not be able to function as they church prescribed in the New Testament.

So stand firm!  Do your duty!  Pray!

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