Starting New Churches On Purpose (9)

I’m gonna share some ideas from Ron Sylvia’s book, Starting New Churches On Purpose, and process them out loud and see what you think. Here’s one:

Ron talks about the “revolving door at the core.” It’s the idea that some people will only be with you for a season. There will be people you’re sure will stay forever, and then they’ll leave (perhaps quickly), so you need to be prepared to say goodbye. Hold people loosely, and trust that God is the one that builds His church.

Good advice. A lot of church planters make this assumption that someday we’re all going to have a funeral together and people will talk about how we stuck together through everything and built the church over all those years. But you probably won’t have a funeral together. (You may kill each other in the process of starting the church, but that’s a different post.)

A couple thoughts: First, I think saying goodbye tends to be way more difficult on the church planting wife. My wife hears from lots of wives on her blog about how devastated they feel because someone just left their church. I’m not sure if you can prepare your wife for this, but try. And make sure she has someone to turn to when it happens and she needs a shoulder to cry on.

Second, if you start with a launch team of people who were already committed to you or a launch team of non-Christians, I think you’ll see less turnover. The greatest exodus is from people who were already Christians and join because they like the idea of starting a new church (and, secretly, may believe that they can kidnap the vision and make this the church of their dreams).

Have you experienced this?