Key point in the bk chp1-8

By Rev. John Kao

Key Points in the book:

Church Planting for a Greater Harvest, by C. Peter Wagner, Ventura, California: Regal Books,

A Divison of Gospel Light, 1990.

Chapter 1.  Church Growth and Church Planting

The single most effective evangelistic methodology under heaven is planting new churches.

The more harvest God gives us, the more barns and silos and grain elevators are needed (i.e., we need more churches to hold the harvest).

The growing denominations have been those that stress church planting.

Students right out of seminary are among those who have the highest potential for being successful church planters.

Why Plant New Churches?

a. Church planting is biblical.

b. Church planting means denominational survival.

c. Church planting develops new leadership.

d. Church planting stimulates existing churches.

e. Church planting is efficient.

It is easier to have babies than to raise the dead!

Chapter 2.  Removing the Barriers

The greatest barriers to church planting are in the mind.

Theological reason for new churches:

a. Each new generation must be evangelized on its own terms-God has no grandchildren. New wine needs new wineskins.

b. Even where there are many sheepfolds, there are still many lost of wandering sheep.

Six empirical reasons for new churches:

1. New churches are a key to outreach.

2. New churches grow better than old churches.

3. New churches provide more options for the unchurched.

4. New churches are usually needed.

5. New churches help denominations survive.

6. New churches help meet the needs to existing Christians.

- transfer growth, people move into your community

- some do not fit into their present church situation


A. Pragmatic Objections to Church Planting:

1.  It may harm the parent church.

In reality, with proper planning, it usually helps the parent church. Spin-off members are usually replaced in 6 months. The success depends to a significant degree on the attitude of the parent church, particularly the pastor.

2. The start-up cost is high.

If buy land and build, it can cost $500,000; but it can be as low as $2,500. The money can be used to pay for staff, while land and building should come from the people subsequently won into the new church rather than up front.

3. Start a new church will break longstanding Christian fellowship. It is one of the prices that must be paid for new churches. Winning the lost to Jesus might be a higher value than preserving fellowship.

B. Ethical Objections

1.  Love and unity will get hurt.

But the whole religious consciousness of the community can rise.

Two churches even in close proximity to each other will reach many more unchurched than either one could hope to do alone.

Chapter 3.  Essentials for Planning

An appropriate amount of previous planning multiplies efficiency when the actual work begins. How do you plan for starting a new church? 2 highly important aspects:

1. The spiritual aspect - Prayer:

i. The leaders themselves should improve their own prayer life.

ii. Develop the habit of group or corporate prayer.

iii. Enlist personal intercessors for the church planter and other leaders.

iv. Be aware of spiritual warfare.

2. The technical aspect – 4 very important elements:

i. Church Planter – the characteristics of an ideal church planter will differ according to two important variables:

a. whether the church planter intends to be the founding pastor

b. whether the projected size of the church is over 200 or under 200

Profile of the church planter: if the church planter is a founding pastor and the projected size of the new church is over 200:

1.  A committed Christian worker;

2.  A self-starter: self-discipline, time management skill;

3.  Willing to endure loneliness: not easily discouraged, a possibility thinker;

4   Adaptable: flexibility is very important;

5.  A high level of faith: believe in God, believe in themselves, healthy self-esteem, humble willingness to be a servant of God,

6.  Supportive spouse and family:

i.  commitment to Christ

ii  commitment to the Body of Christ (including church and own family)

iii.  commitment to the work of Christ in the world

7. Willing and able to lead: every rises or falls on leadership;

8. A friendly personality;

9. Clearly called by God to plant a church

ii. Some church people – plan to have some church people in the nucleus.

Source of the nucleus group:

1. a nucleus that breaks off from an existing church;

2. those who were once church members but are not currently attending a church;

3. those who are dissatisfied with their present church affiliation-this group is more risky. However, they can be good-hearted Christians who fell that God is opening up new avenues for Christian growth and service.

iii. A Philosophy of Ministry

The Philosophy of Ministry addresses the following two areas:

1. Who is God calling us and equipping us to reach?

2. How are we going to do it?

iv. Research

Appropriate research will help you to know your target audience well and select a site for the new church.

Chapter 4.  12 Good Ways to Plant a Church

1. Modality (generally refers to congregational structures) Models: It all involves one local church giving birth to another.

a. Hiving off (i.e., leaving an organization): the most common way of planting a daughter church. The members of a local congregation are challenged to form a nucleus and at a predetermined time, these people will move out under the leadership of a church planter and become the charter members of a new congregation. This assumes that the new church will be in the same general geographical area.

b. Colonization: the new church is planted in a different geographical area, i.e., the nucleus members will make a move and find new homes, new jobs, and new schools in the target community.

c. Adoption: someone else gave birth to a church but it becomes part of your church group. One way is for a church group to adopt the practice of another church. Another way is for a church to train up interns, when they graduate, they find placement in stagnant churches and adopt the mother church’s practice.

d. Accidental parenthood: sometimes over a theological shootout, personality conflict, leadership struggle, or disagreement on priorities, a congregation will split.

e. The satellite model: by design the new congregations are only semi-autonomous. They continue to have an organic relationship with the parent church. Sometimes they are called annexes or branch churches. In most cases the senior pastor of the mother or central church functions as the senior pastor of each of the satellites.

f. Multi-congregational churches: they minister to several different ethnic groups. Some simply share facilities with ethnic congregations that maintain their own autonomy, while others go so far as to share the entire church administration equitably.

g. The multiple campus model: one local congregation, led by the same staff, with one membership roll and one budget owns and occupies two or more church properties, holding weekly worship services at more than one.

2. Sodality (generally refers to other structures, such as denominational or parachurch agencies) Models:

a. The mission team: a church planting agency to recruit, finance, and sponsor a team of workers to plant a new church.

b. The catalytic church planter: the church planter goes into a new area, develops a nucleus for a new church, and then moves on and does it again.

c. The founder pastor: the founder pastor is sent out by the agency not only to build the nucleus but also to pastor the new church for an indefinite period of time. Certain lead pastors feel that their principal gift is evangelism, and that in the early years of a new church, their ministry can be quite effective. But as the church matures it will need a leader with gifts of pastoring rather than evangelism, so a change is in order. Others may have pastoral gifts, but they frankly recognize that God has equipped them to pastor a small church. If it becomes apparent that the growth potential is there for the church to become a large church, they will voluntarily step aside for another pastor who is better equipped for large church ministry. Frequently the founding pastor is bi-vocational or a tent-maker.

d. The independent church planter: they go out on their own to start new churches. They do not serve either a denominational or a pararchurch agency.

e. The apostolic church planter: usually the church planters emerge from the congregation itself. The apostle confirms their call to full-time ministry, trains them, ordains them, and sends them out to plant a church. The apostle’s authority is not a legal authority but a spiritual authority. Only the Holy Spirit produces and sustains the relationship. As the number of churches under one apostle increases they relate to each other much as they would in a denomination. They typically reject the idea of denominationalism, however, because bureaucratic denominations are seen as legal (not spiritual) organizations. Terms such as “apostolic network” or “fellowship” or “movement” are preferred to “denomination” although their sociological function is similar.

Chapter 5.  The Location: A Crucial Decision

Nothing will be more influential on the success or failure of your church planting project than proper site selection.

Two legitimate starting points:

1. You start with the geographical location. You go to the area and do a feasibility study in order to find out your options for target audiences.

2. You start with the target audience, e.g. Filipinos. You find out where the target audience is located and what your options are for geographical areas.


Why we need to do a demographic study?

1. Identify target audiences.

2. Determine receptivity.

3. Building confidence:

a. to impress those who are sponsoring you for church planting;

b. to impress those who are considering becoming members of the planted church;

c. to build your own self-confidence.

Where is the information? Digging out demographics is like mining gold.

1. U.S. census data

2. City or country planning commissions.

3. School boards

4. Public utilities

5. Local universities

6. Lending institutions

7. Chambers of commerce

8. Radio stations

9. Public libraries

10. Real estate firms

11. Newspapers

12. Commercial geo-demographics

What to ask for?

1. The socio-cultural composition of the area and the locations and sizes of the different socio-cultural groups.

2. Population growth projections for the area in general and for specific census tracts within the area.

3. Internal migration patterns.

4. Traffic patterns. People’s Sunday driving patterns follow their weekday patterns.

5. Land use projections.

Religious Data

The most recommendable source for this information is the Yellow Pages. Council of churches and chambers of commerce at times have church listings, but in most cases they may be less complete. You will also want to know who and how many people go to these churches.

Choosing the Real Estate

Three considerations:

1. Visibility-be sure the unchurched people can see your church.

2. Accessibility-be sure people can get to your church easily.

3. Size-the rule of thumb is to look for 3/4 to 1 acre per 100 adults who will be part of your church of the future.

Chapter 6.  Building the Nucleus

Robert E. Logan likens church planting to human reproduction:

Planning  → conception

Organizing the nucleus → prenatal development

First public worship service  → birth

If a church rushes into its first public worship service without having developed properly, it can suffer the same fate of a miscarried or aborted child.

Attracting Nucleus Members

The first objective for a new church needs to be centered on people. 9 ways to attract them:

1. Hiving off – to recruit the nucleus and remain in the parent church during the four to six months of the nucleus building phase. Others prefer to move out and begin meeting separately as a nucleus in homes or other temporary facilities.

2. Home Bible studies

3. Door-to-door soliciting

“Farming”-concentrate in a more restricted area of the city where you can knock on the same door time after time through repeated contact and little gifts left at each visit, the pastor becomes an acquaintance and then a friend to many. Small gifts include: scratch pads, plastic coasters, pencils, pens, kites, shoe horns, pot holders, back scratchers, all imprinted with the name, address and telephone number of the church.

4. Door-to-door prayer

Instruct your people to go door-to-door throughout the neighbourhood 30 minutes before the prayer meeting, asking the families for requests that they could pray about later in the evening at So-and-So’s house down the street. The next week they would visit the families to see how God had answered and collect more prayer requests.

5. Children’s events

These ministries not only minister to the children, the closing exercises draw in the parents and they are usually open to subsequent visits and ministry.

6. Adult events

You must first have a good idea as to what the felt needs of adults in your target audience might be. The secret of success is to find a need and fill it.

7. Church planting crusades

The central thrust of a citywide evangelistic effort can be planting churches. The bulk of the pre-crusade training and preparation is to develop nuclei for new churches throughout the city. Then when the new converts come, they are funneled into the nuclei, which in turn become new churches. You may also put up a tent near the future site of the church and have nightly evangelistic meetings for weeks or months at a time.

8. Advertising. Three general forms.

a. Space advertising

b. Direct-mail

c. Telemarketing

9. Telemarketing

“The law of large numbers” is working with telemarketing. It is highly predictable that 20,000 dial ups will produce 2,000 names for the mailing list, and 200 of them will come to the first service.

Typically, the second Sunday will be about half of the first in attendance. This then becomes the nucleus from which you build your church.

Chapter 7.  Going Public

Presumably you have a nucleus that is prepared to take the leap and become a church. Before it does, be as confident as possible that the three items below have been adequately cared for:

A. The Spiritual Dynamic

1. Love: Love is the supreme fruit of the Holy Spirit.

- loving God is the starting point

- loving members of the nucleus

- loving the lost must be a high value

2. Faith: faith is another fruit of the Spirit. Volunteering to be part of a new church start is in itself an act of faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. It is putting substance on that vision.

3. Prayer: Prayer, along with the Word of God, is our chief spiritual weapon.

B. The Philosophy of Ministry

4. Whom God has called us and equipped us to reach?

5. How are we going to reach them?

Settling down to effective methods requires much trial and error.

Five characteristics of a good philosophy of ministry:

1. The philosophy of ministry is explicit.

a. List out for yourself the following items:

- your leadership style

- your expectation from the church members

- your charismatic position

- your ethical stands

- your worship style

- your musical program

- your statement of faith

- your fellowship groups

- your budget process

- etc. etc.

b. Condense in the form of a brief, readable brochure for visitors

c. Reduce it to a catchy slogan that everybody in the church can memorize easily and communicate with others.

2. The philosophy of ministry is mutual.

A wise church planter will consult widely with the opinion makers in the nucleus before writing the philosophy of ministry.

3. The philosophy of ministry needs to be a conviction. This is not usually an expression of spiritual pride, but of deep commitment to Jesus Christ.

4. The philosophy of ministry needs to be stable.

5. The philosophy of ministry needs to be open to modification.

C. The Lay Leadership

In the healthiest of churches, the pastor is doing the leading while the lay people are doing the ministry.

The best way to introduce lay people to ministry is to help them discover, develop and use their spiritual gifts. This takes teaching, modeling and practice. Peter Wagner has seven ministry teams to assist him in his church group.

1. administration

2. pastoral care

3. healing prayer

4. worship

5. intercession

6. outreach

7. widows indeed

The Name

Think twice before using the name of your denomination or the city in which you plant the church. Ask what this name means to the unchurched public.

Americans in general are attracted, not repelled, by the name “church”.

The Critical Mass

Critical Mass, in nuclear physics, is the minimum amount of fissionable material necessary to produce a chain reaction. In church planting it indicates the size a viable nucleus needs to be at the time of going public, if the church is to grow well. If the long-range plan for the church is to be under 200, the critical mass can be as small as 25 or 30 adults. However, if the plan is for over 200, we need 50 to 100 adults.

The Meeting Place

Wagner recommends that the first meeting place for the new church be leased or rented property, not in a church building that has been constructed for the purpose. The one place Wagner would not advise that you use for going public is a residence.

Announcing the Event

- space advertising

- direct mail

- radio spots

- notices and flyers in public areas, e.g., shopping centres

Plan your birth date carefully

Times to avoid: - Super Bowl Sunday

- The two Sundays of changing to and from daylight saving time

- December through early January

- Summer months

- The months of extreme cold and snow

Best time suggested: Easter Sunday

The First Worship Service:

Be sure that the worship service and all other activities that day are focused on the visitors. Three crucial things that will impress visitors:

1. Is the sermon interesting and does it apply to my life?

2. Is the childcare up to par?

3. Does the church want my money?


If the new church is dependent, it is well to agree from the start how long this dependence will last. A survey made by Leadership magazine found that are average time was 12 months, after which the new church should be on its own with finances, personnel and program.

When is a new church no longer a “new church”?

Wagner believe that a new church can and will sustain the vigor of youth so long as it has unmet growth goals and it is moving toward them.

Most churches lose it when they plateau in their growth for a period of time or when the first permanent pastor leaves and a new one comes in.

Wagner’s recommendation is:

- keep setting goals

- keep your growth momentum

- stay new as long as possible

Chapter 8.  Will Your New Church Grow?

The time to begin planning for the growth of the new church is at the very beginning. Setting specific goals for a church releases growth dynamics.

Ed. Dayton says, “Every goal is a statement of faith.”

Six ways to break the 200 barrier:

1. Staffing – begin the new church with two program staff members, not backup staff such as secretaries, accountants and custodians.

Plan to add the second before you get to 100 active adults, the third before you get to 200, and so on until you have 500 and are safely past the 200 barrier.

The three primary factors in selecting a new staff member are:

a. Prior agreement with the philosophy of ministry.

b. Bringing spiritual gifts to the staff that are not already there and that will contribute to the implementation of the philosophy of ministry. To the greatest extent possible build your staff gift so you can cover the broadest spectrum of ministry with the maximum competence;

c. Loyalty. Total loyalty of every staff member to the senior pastor is a must for a healthy growth dynamic.

Sources of staff:

a. seminary graduates

b. staff of other churches

c. member of the congregation

challenge believers to make a mid-career change from secular work to full-time ministry. To accommodate this, nontraditional methodologies of training workers are being developed, bypassing residential seminary and Bible school programs.

2. Fellowship groups: If a new church is to through the 200 barrier it should never be allowed to become a single cell church.

3. Leadership mode: Equipper. The church planting pastor begins the new church as an equipper, not an enabler.

Two things that a pastor who intends to lead the church through the 200 barrier cannot delegate: leadership and vision.

Elmer Towns says that “Committee-run churches (those controlled by the deacons) rarely experience the growth of pastor-led churches”.

Wagner here does not mean that he is advocating autocratic leadership or a dictatorial style. He is talking about God-anointed, spiritually gifted, servant leadership.

According to the Bible, that is the only kind of leadership God blesses in the Church.

Servanthood does not imply weakness as a leader. Leaders whom God uses for church growth are both humble and powerful. They are both servants and strong leaders.

The best possible combination for growth occurs when the pastor concentrates on leading and equipping and the people concentrate on ministering.

4. Pastoral Function: Rancher. The pastor trains others to take care of the sheep.

5. Facilities. Start your new church in rented or leased facilities. Postpone buying land, and especially building as long as you possibly can – until you are well past the 200 barrier.

6. Bylaws. Try to resist drawing up a full-fledged constitution and bylaws for your church until you have at least 500 members.

Thinking like a large church –

a. Conservative theology

b. Strong pastoral leadership

c. Participatory worship

d. Powerful prayer

e. Centrality of the Holy Spirit

f. Abundant finances

g. Lay ministry-each church member is expected to be using his or her spiritual gifts.

h. Life-centered Bible teaching-apply biblical teaching to the everyday lives of the church members.

Last modified on Monday, 01 April 2019 08:50


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