What's the difference?

Here's a list of the 21 differences between church plants that grow fast and those that struggle.

  1. Assessment: Using the Ridley Assessment is a must! The higher the score the better.
  2. Finances: Adequate financial support is a necessity. There is a delicate balance between too much and too little support.
  3. Full-time Planters: A majority of fast-growing church plants were led by full-time planters.
  4. Shorter Support Period: An extended period of support is not good for a new church — recommend less than two years.
  5. Give Additional Funding: A higher percentage of fast-growing churches received additional funding beyond the initial salary given.
  6. Limit Additional Funding: Most growing church plants received less than $50,000 additional funding within a one-year time frame.
  7. Planters Add Funding: Planters need to be responsible for raising a portion of their support.
  8. Vision Ownership: The vision for the church plant should be birthed in the heart of the individual planting the church.
  9. Audience Determination: The church planter should have the freedom to choose the target audience they want to reach.
  10. Financial Decisions: Planters of fast-growing churches were given freedom to spend their funding as they saw fit.
  11. Release Control: Sponsoring agencies need to give freedom to the church planter.
  12. Support Emotionally: Adequate emotional support for the planter is vital.
  13. Adequate Training: Church planters should receive more than one week of specialized training.
  14. Staff at Start-up: Planting a church with a team is a must! Don't send a lone ranger to plant a church.
  15. Launch Team Size: A minimum of 40 people should be involved on the start-up team prior to launch—or wait!
  16. Ministry Opportunities: Fast-growing churches had at least three ministries in place at time of public launch: worship, children, and youth.
  17. Gathering Activities: Preview services and small groups should be utilized to build the start-up team prior to launch.
  18. Preview Services: Preview or “practice” services should be on a bi-weekly basis for at least three months prior to a public opening.
  19. Large Birth Weight: Do everything within your power to get at least 100 people to your public opening.
  20. Stewardship Training: Start teaching stewardship within the first six months. Don't be overbearing, don't whine, and don't be secretive about your finances; instead, be transparent.
  21. External Focus: Fight like mad to keep your ministry focus outward.

HT: Dave DeVries

“Planting Fast-Growing Churches” (Stephen Gray)