We go through detailed and strategic interviewing, testing and discernment to ensure that those who are interested in planting churches have the gifts to do so. I’ve learned through experience that in our narrow focus on finding the right individuals to plant churches, we never look beyond that to youth pastors for the plants. I’m thinking that’s not such a good idea.
I realize that church plants start with virtually no money and a very, very small staff. (Often just the planter and his/her spouse.) That makes sense from a financial strategy. I wonder though, if it makes sense from a community outreach strategy. If we want to draw interest and attention from a neighborhood, including the youth has to be a priority.
I’m on the mission and multiplication team at my church. With our most current church plant, we will most likely begin with a church planter and a youth leader. God led us to this decision by bringing this youth leader to us. He had been working with youth in the very neighborhood where the church plant will be birthed. He had relationships with students from all the local schools and had focused on assistance programs for poor in the community and in the schools.
When that plant begins to hold services, we will already have credibility in the neighborhood and in the schools. We will have a large group of students who are interested, and I suspect their parents might be interested as well.
This all sounds great, though it also increases the financial risk of a church plant. I’m anxious to see how God uses this tag-team of planter and youth leader to birth a church in a community that holds plenty of hurting and lonely people.
What do you think? Is this a good idea? Is it financially possible to plant a church with a larger staff? Share some thoughts on this.