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What would I do?  I get asked this all the time. So here goes nothing.

I would take a long time to make sure I plant in the exact location that I’m passionate for. This is NOT easy. But to me it’s vital. I’m called to love and serve all people, but God has also gave me a passion for a specific people-group. 

I would get a job: I’m not against those who choose to raise money and do CP full-time. But here is my issue. I used to say I needed to hang out with unchurched people. Therefore I raised money and hung out at cafes all day or a church office. Here is what I would do now. Full-time job that let’s me do a lot of networking with added flexibility. Why not let corporate America pay for us to be missionaries in our cities? I think this has been my biggest mistake in CP. Job equals money, stability and relationship. It gives me leverage to get to know people and minister to them. Had I worked a job for a year or two (I parachuted into a city) I would have had hundreds of contacts which equals countless opportunities. Plus a lot more money for year 2 or 3. (I think this is when you need money the most) 

Again, I’m not opposed to those who go full-time, I just see church planting in phases. And we are so quick to move through the phases…Usually because of money issues. I say we let corporate America pay us to love and serve people in our city!

Now after I built a core team of 20-30 people then I would consider the need to go full-time ministry and begin to ask for support. At this point, you have a group of people to love and serve, so you will need a lot of time to do that. 

Feel free to fire away…Just remember it’s an opinion. 

More thoughts tomorrow.



  1. I agree bro. Fortunately, we got the location right. But I wish I had entered into the community and started the plant differently. At this point we are over 20 and we are drawing closer to launch. We will consider planting guys like this in the future depending on where they come from and our planting strategy. Peace bro.

  2. Doing a plant as a bivocational pastor would take longer, but apart from the driver of numerical metrics that might be a good thing.

  3. bkingr,

    i would not consider it bi-vocational as in the traditional sense. once you have a legit core to care for then it become a bit to much. i see the job as a way to launch the church-then you have more money “after” you have a core.

    Of course a lot of this depends on circumstances. If a planter lived in the city already and has a ton of contacts and friendships…I should have clarified that in my post 🙂

  4. I really appreciate your blog a lot. I am a church planter in Houston, and I resonate with your list. We have been struggling with a plant for four years now, and it sounds like we did a lot of similar things.

    Where did you plant? I would love to hear a bit more about your experience, if you have healed enough from the experience.

    Either way, it is good to find another from “my tribe”.

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Part Two: If I Church Planted Again… Posted on July 30, 2008 by chrismarlow I’m continuing my “what if I church planted again series.” You can read the first post here. […]

  2. […] me continue my thoughts on “If I Church Planted Again…” You can read  Part One & Part Two to catch up if need […]

  3. […] I’m going to continue my thoughts on church planting. You can view the first three posts here, here, and […]

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