Guest / Limited Access /
The Arrogance and Impatience of Church Planters
AllStarsYouth / Flickr

I met with a pastor of a large and influential church with the hopes of engaging him in a church planting movement for our city. Over lunch, his observation about church planters surprised me, "I find that most church planters are characterized by two things: arrogance and impatience."

He quickly added, "And I guess I should not be surprised at that. Who else believes that he can gather disinterested people, lead them to a new life in Christ and help them embrace a mission to change the world with little or no physical resources?"

I think the second comment was his way of trying to diffuse some of the tension in the room. After all, I am a church planter—you know, arrogant and impatient. But he was right about church planters, and that is deadly.

The future of church planting requires a commitment to weed out arrogance and impatience in the men who plant churches. A church might get started with an arrogant and impatient leader, but it will not grow healthy with such a leader.

In the church planting movement, we must address arrogance and impatience with thorough assessment, training, and coaching. It's a slower process, but it's better.

Finding the Right Candidates

When considering potential church planters, we have to take time to connect and relate with them, beyond a couple of phone calls and check-in meetings. Assessing pastors must invest enough in potential church planters to see strengths and flaws. After all, they are the gatekeepers.

Even moderately discerning people can feel it instantly, but it's one thing to detect arrogance and another thing to call it out. It's a bit like telling someone they have bad breath and then presuming to know the cure. That's ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedIncredible Indian Christianity: A Special Report on the World’s Most Vibrant Christward Movement
Subscriber Access Only Incredible Indian Christianity: A Special Report on the World’s Most Vibrant Christward Movement
Why it’s the best and worst of times for India’s burgeoning churches.
TrendingWhy Do We Have Christmas Trees?
Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.
Editor's PickThe Grace of Church Discipline
The Grace of Church Discipline
We do no one any favors if we ignore or downplay core beliefs.
Christianity Today
The Arrogance and Impatience of Church Planters
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

December 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.