For years people have been throwing around a bogus statistic stating that "80% of church plants fail within the first 2 years"...that statistic is simply false.  The truth is that after 4 years 68% of church plants are alive and well (see Ed Stetzer's research on this).  While that's encouraging, it still means that 32% fail. While many more are not reaching their full redemptive potential.

So what causes a church plant to fail?  What keeps church plants from reaching their full potential?

Over the next few days I'll be sharing 8 reason why church plants fail.

1. An Under-Prepared Leader
John Maxwell says, "Everything rises and falls on leadership".  Many factors are suggested to contribute to the survivability of a church plant, but none has proven more significant than the preparation of the leader.

Church plants that fail, often have leaders who are unprepared spiritually, emotionally, or educationally for the task. The importance of daily spiritual development, and prayer time cannot be overstated.  Additionally, an emotionally unhealthy pastor will struggle to effectively connect new people to the church, and make unwise decisions - especially in managing conflict.  Finally, the role of "education" (by education I mean, a realistic expectation & understanding of the church planting experience) is essential.  Many plants fail simply because the planter has no idea of what to actually expect in their church plant.

So what what are some of the things a leader can do to be adequately prepared to plant a church?

1. Nurture Spiritual Vitality - Daily time in prayer & scripture...regular sabbath...and annual personal planning & spiritual retreats.
2. Seek Counseling - Prior to launching a church, I'd encourage every planter to meet with a professional counselor.  Explore potential relational and communication issues, and other experiences which may impact the health of the church plant.
3. Exercise - I wish someone had helped me understand the importance of physical health in church planting.  Church planting is stressful, and being physically healthy will help you maintain your energy and assist in managing your stress.
4. Get Assessed - Attend an Assessment Weekend (with your spouse if married).  Planters who pass assessment have demonstrated significantly higher success rates than  planters who were not assessed.
5. Attend New Church University - A great 2-3 day event designed to equip you with a clear understanding of what you're getting yourself into.  You'll leave with clarity, and a first draft plan for launching a new church.
6. Get a Coach - Planters who have a mentor/coach are far more successful than those without a coach. Feel free to contact me regarding coaching, or to contact New Church Specialties to help you find one.
7. Join a Local Church Planters Network - Some denominations and church planting organizations have great church planting networks.  If yours doesn't, consider forming one.

So what role have you seen preparation, or lack of preparation impact the success or failure of a church plant?
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2 Response to '8 Reasons Why Church Plants Fail (part 1 of 8)'

  1. Anonymous'> 15:03

    ok, I understand that a church plant is a new church, but when is it done being planted? Or am I thinking the wrong way?


  2. Dale'> 15:30

    Great question...the typical criteria are that it can support itself, govern itself, is leading people to faith in Christ, and can start other churches.


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