I have been a part of 6 different church plants, two I was the founding pastor of, two I was a member of as a layperson, and two were daughter churches out of churches I was a pastor in. I’ve seen church planting from several angles, so here is my advice on six really pretty horrible reasons to join a church plant.
These are the motivations that DO NOT QUALIFY and in fact are big red lights for you to figure out before you consider joining a church plant.
1. You dislike your current pastor and like the new church planter’s ___________ better. (Insert things such as preaching, ideas, education, philosophy, spouse, haircut, etc.)
If you don’t like something about your current pastor–that isn’t enough motivation for the hard work of church planting. And chances are you’re gonna find something pretty soon that you don’t like about the next one.
2. The music at your current church isn’t to your taste and you think you can influence the new church’s music to be what you like.
In reality the church plant will likely have a pretty focused direction for the music and this might be a recipe for disaster for you and the church. Back away slowly, folks.
3. You aren’t allowed to lead anymore at your current church since that one incident happened, and you want to be a part of something you can have more control over.
We need to talk about “that one incident” you imply there. But joining a church plant team is not about control, and just finding a new place to try and lead isn’t a good way to develop. Perhaps you can be restored to leadership where you are now?
4. You aren’t feeling cared for at your current church and think the new smaller church will be a place that can care for your needs more effectively.
A new church plant will be spending more of its time caring for the needs of the unchurched–so this problem might get worse for you, not better, in a church plant. The church plant might also grow larger and you would feel out of place. Better to find ways to live in community to care for and be cared for by other lay people.
5. You have your own ideas for a ministry model that you are passionate about and you think you can convince the new church to adopt it for its own.
Start a blog instead.
6. Your church leaders are frustrated that you don’t volunteer your time, don’t give to the church, and don’t use your talents at all and you need a new church that will accept you for who you are.
The new church will need your time, your talents, and your treasure (your money) like never before. A new church is hard work, and you won’t be able to coast there. Stay put.
There are many reasons NOT to join a new church plant team, but those are just a few of them. Sorry I didn’t take much time to explain more about why these would be bad motivations for joining a church plant, as I’m just hoping you’ll “trust me on this one.”
Got other bad reasons to join a church plant?