Insight - August 2017

By Bill Agee, executive director, California Southern Baptist Convention on July 27, 2017

One of the key aspects of the vision for California Southern Baptist Convention is centered in how CSBC will assist churches in planting strong, healthy, reproducing congregations.

Church planting is a very exciting and challenging endeavor. Several things come into play before and as the church plant begins that add greatly to the success of the new church. By success, I am referring to the fact that the church fulfills the vision for which it was started.

The first key component is leadership. In the study conducted during my doctoral work of church plants that were successful, leadership was the number one component. In fact, if the church was started with the wrong leader, nothing else mattered. The reason given by church plants started at the same time, in the same region, with the same opportunity to succeed but that did not succeed was the lack of leadership.

Closely associated with leadership is the church planter’s sense of God’s call to plant a church.

Church planting is not a career choice. When times are difficult, when loneliness wants to take over, the only thing the church planter has to hang onto is God’s call. His call is always sufficient.

The ability to share a vision people can understand and embrace also proves to be essential to the success of the new church. People attending the church must be able to see what the church planter sees and feel what he feels or they will not engage.

Luke 14:28 states that if a person desires to build a tower (plant a church) they must first sit down and count the cost. This does not just refer to finances — it refers to the overall cost of doing a ministry. It will cost the family time with each other, it will cost emotionally when the church planter and his wife are away from family and friends, and it does cost financially. A plan is vital to the success of the church plant.

Finally, partnership is an essential ingredient to successful church plants. It takes partnership in prayer, people, finances and ministry for a church plant to make a Kingdom impact. The ability to answer a potential partner’s questions can make or break the relationship. A potential partner wants to know how much, for how long, and what results he can expect.

The person, place, plan and partnership are key components in successful church planting. Church planting is exciting and very rewarding, and we look forward to seeing churches planted in strength.

See archives of Dr. Agee's previous Insights.

This Convention serves our culturally diverse congregations as we fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.