What I look for in a Church Planter – Part 3 – Guest Blogger Steve Stroope, Author of Tribal Church

Guest blogger Steve Stroope here once again.  In my book Tribal Church I talk about what I look for in a church planter and I’ve been sharing some of these defining characteristics here on Nelson’s blog this week.

We have already evaluated the first two characteristics: The Church Planter must be a strong leader and have strong teaching skills.

Today we continue with the third characteristic:

The Church Planter should have some Prior Vocational Experience and Success in that field of endeavor.

Prior work success tells you a lot about the work ethic of the candidate and, depending on the nature of their previous job, gives tremendous insight into what they do well.

In all my years of life and ministry I’ve come to realize that people are not necessarily good at what they claim. If you don’t believe me, just watch some of the early season episodes of American Idol!

Instead, almost 100% of the time, people are good at what they have proven to do well.

A planter’s previous vocational experience doesn’t have to be in church-related work, although that is easier to evaluate.

In a perfect world, the planter would have prior experience in a successful existing church (or church plant) as a pastor or staff member.

Whatever their prior field or vocation, make sure that they’ve done it well!

By honestly evaluating yourself or any potential church planter through this lens will greatly benefit the Kingdom by setting up this new church plant for success.


Editor’s Note: If you are considering church planting or are involved in church planting, I would highly recommend you register for Nelson’s upcoming One Day Church Planting Launch Conference in Orlando. It’s taking place at Walt Disney World on Friday, July 13, and this event is the perfect venue for church planter, pastors and their teams.

For more details, visit: The One Day Launch Conference For Pastors, Church Planters and Teams
Hurry – space is limited to the first 99 registrants!

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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