How to Know Your Calling As A Church Planter

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If you have been called to start a church, not only will the calling be undeniable, but you will also be able to trust that God will equip and empower you to do the work that He sets before you.  

When He is the one who has chosen you, it is because He knows that you can fulfill the calling, standing on His strength.  The feelings of inadequacy with which you may struggle have no place in God’s call.

Let’s look at some ways to recognize a proper calling:

  • Prayer and Bible study.  God calls, and confirms His call, through prayer and Bible study.  People who are called often feel that God confirms His calling every time they pray or read the Bible.
  • Surprise.  A surprise calling happens more often than you may think.  Ministry may have never entered into your own plans for you life, when (surprise!) God intercepts your plans.  It has been said, “When God is stirring in my life, everything familiar gets uncomfortable.”  This surprise calling leads to a 180-degree turn in career and life focus.
  • Holy discontent.  While anger, resentment, or discontent toward an existing church or pastor can be a source of improper calling, a proper calling will often carry with it a sense of holy discontent.  This type of discontentment is not focused on problems within a ministry but has a heart to improve the situation in a particular community.  Holy discontent also come when you have ignored God’s calling in your life and you realize you will not find fulfillment until you surrender to His will to start a church.
  • Burden for the unchurched.  A proper call is always accompanied by the desire to reach the unchurched.  If your goal is to change the Christians in your community, you are most assuredly not called to start a new church.  However, if you have a strong passion to reach the unchurhed, you may be hearing a call from God.
  • Godly counsel.  A proper call will be accompanied by confirmation from those around you.  Seek out the other leaders and (prayerfully) gauge their responses to your call.

You must decide to walk into the adventure for which you feel God is calling you.

” ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations… For you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.  Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,’ says the LORD” (Jer. 1:5,7-8, NKJV).


Church planters, my goal is to help you start a church from scratch that will reach as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

In other words, I want to provide you with EVERYTHING you need to Launch Large.

So, in honor of Church Planters Week, I’m offering 3 Days of Free Gifts for Church Planters and Multi-Site Pastors – starting TODAY!

Consider this your launch pad for starting a church from scratch.

Gift # 1 – Launching Large

Download my Church Planting audio resource, “Launching Large” – absolutely FREE ($39.95 value).

Visit to download now!


You can also join me for my  One Day Church Planting Launch Conference coming soon at a location near you. This conference is perfect if you are just beginning to plan a Church Launch as well as for those who have already started their services.

Let me help you avoid the pitfalls of a starting a new church!

To learn more, visit: The One Day Launch Conference For Pastors, Church Planters and Teams!

Hurry – there are limited seats available and last time this conference sold out!


I hope to see you in person at the Launch Conference, back here to tomorrow for part 3.  Know that I’m committed to doing everything possible to help you launch your new church for God’s glory.


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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 85 church growth resources and 17+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

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