In Church Planting, More Money Means More People

“…the smaller the launch, the slower or less likely a church is to be financially self-sustaining.” - CToday


I just finished listening to the audio version of the book The Honest Guide to Church Planting. The author points out that you can spend money and get a crowd, but then you have to keep spending the money to keep the crowd or else they will go on to the next place that offers them a better deal. The other option is to minister regardless of your crowd size and actually disciple people who are committed to Christ more than to seeking the best freebee or service that the church can buy for them. The idea that our churches need to be over commericialized and be all about money and bigger and better is a big reason why so many churches are closing and why so many people are staying home from church. It also explains why so few men are being called into the ministry. God calls pastors to shepherd people, not CEO’s and entertainers to draw in the masses.

I wish more people and Christian publications would promote the idea that it is okay to pastor a church of just a few dozen people or less and still be faithful to God. Instead too many are promoting the idea that pastoring a small church means you are a failure. That is wrong! Too many are promoting the idea of go big or go home and many potential pastors have decided that unless they pastor a big church they should just go home. Thus there are a lot of missed opportunities to faithfully minister in a world that needs the truth of God’s word and the love of God’s people.

If God has given you the desire to be a pastor, then be a pastor and serve without worrying if your ministry is as big as your peer’s ministry is. If you are pastoring a large ministry and are convinced it is because you did all the right things, then transition that ministry to someone else and repeat your foolproof method somewhere else. Perhaps God will humble you and when he does serve faithfully as a better man in that small new ministry.

I was involved in a failed church plant and it was depressing!

  • Money struggles until the end …. email appeals like “we need this much this week or we can’t pay our bills”
  • Odd ducks that fled other churches came our way to “try us out” and they were weird and did not help and caused disruptions before leaving
  • The church had some in psuedo-leadership positions (would lead in prayer / read scriptures / et cetera) that referred to Trump as a “Cyrus-type”. I’m a republican but this was over-the-top Trumpism that made us uncomfortable
  • The pastor, a generally good man, tended towards authoratian rule and would not follow the constitution when it was convenient
  • Ultimately, the missionary-pastor burned out and “flamed - out” in shaming / blaming people (the last 2 months post - resignation but before he left were terrible. He’s now in secular work and happy there
  • We called a bi-vocational pastor who was laid off from his secular job and now is struggling financially
  • The church / pastor was covid-denier generally and thought the mask mandates were silly
  • It was exhausting

We left

Is what percentage of these “successful launches” includes new believers? and how many churches in the area have shut their doors or dwindled because they can’t “compete” with the shiny new church in town?

Maybe some of those church plants are actually contributing to kingdom growth, but the overall impact on society seems to be about the same as always, it seems to me.

Who is succeeding here?

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

In my 30+ years as a believer I’ve never been part of a church that planted another or even wanted to. Sad. With one notable exception (shout out to David Byford…) every other pastor I’ve had (I mean that…every one except David) cared about one thing only… the growth of his own church. They weren’t interested in training up new leaders. They didn’t want skilled people to train and grow with them. They wanted yes men to make them look good. They wanted guys with shiny white teeth that look good in an UnderArmor polo, not a man of God who knows the Bible. I grieve for the church in my city. It is sick. Very sick. And I can’t find anyone else who gives a heaven.

I can’t find anyone else who gives a heaven.

So you are the only one in your whole city that believes and tries to practice right things about the church?


I can’t find anyone else who gives a heaven.

So you are the only one in your whole city that believes and tries to practice right things about the church?

Not in the churches I’ve visited or attended.

BTW, the main point of my post was that no church I had attended desired to train men into leadership, not whether they agreed with my theology or church doctrine.