Friday, August 31, 2012

Does the label "church planter" help or hurt a pastor?

I've been deeply immersed in the church planting world for years now.  I've been wrestling with the term "church-planter".  Does it really help a person who is going to start a new church?  In some ways, it probably does.  It identifies a certain direction in ministry that God's given that person.

But in my own journey down that road, I began to find it limiting in a number of ways.  I'd love your thoughts on these points . . .
  • "Church-planter" draws entrepreneurial spirits, which we need to get new ventures off the ground.  But we need pastors to lead churches - even brand new ones.  Is it possible that this attracts some of the wrong people to take the lead in starting a new church and subtly excludes some people who could lead churches very strongly?
  • We have created large organizations to partner with church planters.  Is it possible that we're creating a "welfare mentality" for these pastors of new churches?  Would it not be healthier for their support (relationally, coaching and mentoring, financial) to come from a tribe of local pastors who believe in them?
Ok, that's enough for now.  What do you think?  I'd love to have your help honing some of this new vision God is birthing in my spirit for the next season of my life.  


Unknown said...

To anyone outside of the church world I do not think the term "church planter" means much. Inside the church we probably look to much "planters" as heros.

As to the organizations and how they operate I think a both, and approach is necessary. A person needs the relational aspect of coaching etc, from a local tribe of pastors. That tribe is usually limited in the amount of resources that are available. That is where partnering with a larger organization with more fundraising power is beneficial. I personally have benefitted from both.

Jason Fitch said...

Good thoughts. Why the anonymous comment? Love to talk some more.

Unknown said...

For some reason I could not get logged. It's Jeff Miller

Jason Fitch said...

Thanks Jeff - aka "unknown"