Where does a church planter go to church?

I have a dilemma. I don’t know where to go to church!

Here’s the deal… I don’t want to go to a church and make friends only to turn around and go start a new church. I don’t want to take people from another church. And yet I’d like to go to a church… to belong, for a while, to a community!

For the last year all we’ve done is galavant around the country observing and learning from other churches in preparation for starting Walls Down Church. We’ve seen more churches in the last year than many people see in a lifetime and we’re a bit tired of it. I’d like my family to be grounded for a while!

I don’t want other pastors to think I’m moving in trying to “steal” their people (shame on them if they think that anyhow)…

I don’t want to build friendships only to leave again in a few months…

I’d like to get some stability in our lives for the time being!

Any ideas?

How about you pastors? How would you feel about a planter coming to your church?

13 thoughts on “Where does a church planter go to church?

  1. Paul,

    Btw, I wanted to say how moved I was when you shared in a previous post about your day from “hell”. I believe brother that there is a good measure of spiritual battle that you are facing because you are setting up a church right in the middle of the enemy’s territory – and he ain’t going to let that happen without a fight. So I am reminded to pray for you and your family, especially Eph 6 as you prepare to wage war spiritually. Hey look, I am a Presbyterian, and I am sounding like a Pentecostal 🙂 (but that is because the battle is real!)

    With all that said, then YES it is important for you to find a church, a place to plant yourself for a while. After visiting some churches, and you feel that you need to settle somewhere for a couple of months, I would have a candid straightfoward conversation with the pastor. “Hey we need a place to grow and be planted for a season. We are not in the business of stealing sheep. We need the love of a community and a place to worship Jesus.” If the church has a Kingdom mentality (and I trust you’ll be attracted to one that does) then what you say shouldn’t bother them. In fact they should be excited. Because the issue isn’t about stealing sheep for you, it is about people who don’t already go to church or are disconnected from church – coming to new found faith in Jesus, or coming back to their relationship with Christ again.

    And believe me, there isn’t a town or city around that has saturated their community. There is always room for more of Christ’s Kingdom presence and ministry everywhere. Therefore, no pastor, in their spirit-filled right mind, should ever resent a new church in their community. If they do, they need to repent or God is going to move them aside.

    Go for it brother!!!


  2. That’s a good question. If I were in your situation (and I soon will be) I’d hope to find a church nearby whose pastor would welcome me both as a guest for a few months and as a brother/partner/ally in ministry as Walls Down becomes a reality.

    If that weren’t an option, I’d probably go about 20-30 mins across town and look for a church to plug into for awhile…the thought being that its pastor would have less reason to see me as a threat (as unfortunate as that is).

    I hope God leads you to the best answer for you and for your family.,

  3. We are in that mode right now too. We are still traveling.

    There is another church plant here in Florence that we will attend when not traveling and not gathering ourselves. The Pastor told us to let them be our church family until we can stand on our own.

    Greatest advice… Find a Kingdom Minded pastor…

  4. Are there any churches you found from your planting residency that have a missional mindset in the area? Who knows? There may be a person or small group that shares the passion for church planting in the church you attend. And if the leadership is kingdom minded, they will be excited to “spread the wealth” and give that person(or people) a place to really serve without having to create their own church planting ministry. And I think you can definitely be part of a church community as would a missionary who will eventually leave for his task.

  5. The very first thing that popped into my mind was this… Does Walls Down need walls before it can get started? Can you just be a home church for now? Can you invite some of your neighbors over on Sunday morning?

  6. Hey…can I flip this one for you right quick from my situation.

    We started going to Bay Area Fellowship here in Corpus in Oct of last year. We wanted to make sure that our children had a strong place of ministry while we were gearing up to launch our church. Low and behold…what happened is Bay Area ended up “stealing” them a brand new campus pastor. (I mean that in a good way. Our core team all thought it was a great idea.) I kept building a relationship with them and they asked me to take the church I was launching and make it a BAF campus…i was stoked and honored and the rest is history…this weekend we are launching….honestly it is more than I dreamed of and I can also see that our DNA matches. I also feel that my passion/strengths/gifts will be utilized to take this from here to way beyond.

  7. Interesting dilemma. I think if you explain your situation for the pastor like you just did for us, he should be delighted to have you and your family as a guest for a few months. If he is threatened by having you there, then he may need to take a hard look in the mirror.

    As for building friendships and then having to leave, thats always tough. But at least you’ll be in the same vicinity and not jumping to a new state.

    I continue to pray for you, Sherri, and the Ladies. I pray you find the right spot to plant yourselves until Walls Down is up and running.

    God Bless,

  8. Paul,

    You are welcome with open arms at Center Pointe. My wife loved having your “Ladies” in her class. We are excited for you and the start of Walls Down Church. We will continue to pray for you. I know God will lead you on this adventure. Hope to see you soon. Btw, this Saturday at Center Pointe we are having a Block Party! Free games and food. ( Skyline is just up the road) Come on out and have some fun.

  9. I would welcome a planter, a weeder, a waterer, and a reaper!

    Whose church is it anyways? Last time I checked it belonged to Jesus Christ. not you or me!

    As far as stability goes……ahhhh……the life of a planter.

  10. Paul, Man we loved having you guys at Center Pointe and we would love to have you back, We would also love if you guys wanted to come be a part of our Small Group on Sunday Nights! Let us know what you think, If you are having questions, concerns about Insurance give me a call I can help you out, it’s what I do!

  11. Welcome to the neighborhood! Maybe you could alternate between a couple of places? Even if for just a temporary amount of time, it would be wonderful to have you and your family in service with us at Center Pointe. Building relationships is what its all about…

  12. Paul,

    We love you all and consider you all a part of CP! Bring your team and let’s see what God does with a bunch of people that just want to get RADICAL and DANGEROUS for Jesus!


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