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Lessons for church plants from the startup business world.

Mashable recently posted an article about common mistakes that young startups make.

As I read through it, I noticed that most of the points about small businesses also apply to church plants. I’ve taken the liberty of editing a few of the items to make them more relevant to what young churches might experience.

1. Forgoing Simplicity.

It can be easy to get lost in the details and forget the reasons you’re planting a church in the first place. When things get busy or too complicated, remember the calling and Gospel truths behind what you’ve started.

On a lighter note, have you noticed the trend of new church names resembling superheroes? I am choosing to not list examples here, but I’ll bet that I’m not alone in this observation. Whatever happened to basic (simple!) church names?

2. Waiting Too Long to Launch.

To quote the article, “The biggest mistake I see is companies waiting too long to release the product. It’s easy to let the scope of what you’re building get out of hand. But equally importantly, most startups build much more than they truly need to, but this is often only realized in hindsight.”

Is pushing back the launch date month after month really worth it? Under some circumstances, it might be necessary. But a new church won’t launch perfectly, so don’t delay your launch due to small details that won’t matter in the long run. So what if you don’t have your full worship band yet? Acoustic can be cool too.

3. Hiring Poorly.

After interviewing some church planters, I’ve learned that the core team you surround yourself with is of utmost importance. There will be a lot of people out there who have a good heart and want to help, but be wise in hiring your staff. With a church plant, most pastors and staff members will have to play more than one role, so pay careful attention as you hire.

4. Losing Focus.

So you’re the pastor, communications director, worship leader and outreach coordinator? Hmm, I’ll bet trying to do 100 things at once can be pretty distracting. Do a few things a week, and do them well. Share your workload with other staff or volunteers so that more tasks can be completed with better quality. Don’t lose your focus.

5. Assuming Virality (“Going Viral”).

You build it and they will come? Yeah, probably not the best mentality. If you expect 1,000 Facebook likes or hundreds of new members in the first month, you may be let down. Church planting takes work. The community has to trust you first. So be patient, and keep sharing the Gospel. It will pay off in time.

I’ve chosen not to list all 16 points that Mashable went over in their article. I’d rather have other church planters and pastors weigh in.

What are some common mistakes you’ve seen in church planting? 

Sarah Weber I try to live my life pleasing to the Lord. Marketing strategist for d2design. Excited that retirement isn't an option for Christians.

More from Sarah Weber or visit Sarah at http://churchmarketing.com

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  • Brit Windel

    We are just starting in this journey of planting. Loved this and its super helpful… minus the superhero names :-) I thought “The incredible super better than any other church house of God” would work!