Paying for School

My ongoing adventures in life and the pursuit of more...

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Church Planting Magic 100% Guaranteed to Work Every Time

You know how magicians supposedly get really mad at magicians who share the secrets behind magic tricks?

I’m going to tell you a secret, as a pastor, that is behind every successful church plant.

This is THE secret behind every successful church plant. And I’m not going to charge you anything for it.

This is a freebie.

I’ve been in vocational ministry for over 30 years now. I’ve been involved in church plants, established churches, para-church, the whole deal. I’ve been able to hang out with some pretty well known people in vocational ministry – people who cover the gamut from apostle to teachers.

I’ve spent time with people who have planted and led mega-churches and others who have planted and led churches of less than 100 people.

And everything in between.

Today I want to reveal the secret of successful church planting.

This secret is the only 100% foolproof tip that exists for planting new churches. It always works. ALWAYS. 

And it’s the only one that works without fail. Others will sell you a course, give you tips, offer you a package of messages or produce yet another book that promises to take you from zero to mega (or at least a respectable number for your particular denomination).

None of these are as accurate, reliable or as honest as the secret I am about to reveal to you.

Now, I need to be clear, I’m not talking about someone like Rob Bell who leads the Sunday night service at one church that grows to 1000 people and then moves across town to start a new church with that 1000 people. That’s something different. It’s not bad but it’s not a church plant the way most people who plant churches have lived it.

I’m talking about moving to a place you’ve never been, gathering people and becoming a self-sustaining congregation of Jesus followers.

There’s a danger in giving away this secret. Some of my fellow pastors will get mad at me. Like the magician’s lore, they won’t take kindly to me giving away this secret. And there’s another group, that curious group of experts with no real track record who sell secrets and the magic that reportedly goes with them to eager, hopeful pastors looking to plant and grow their own mini-mega. They will take exception with me just giving this info away to you.

It’s a risk I’m willing to take.

Are you ready? Have I teased this out long enough? Are you anxious to discover this secret that can lead to you too becoming the planting pastor of a soon to be mega-church?

If you’ve ever watched one of those shows where the magician gives away the secrets of magic tricks you will know this to be true – once you know the trick you will be very disappointed.

The thing is this, we want to believe in magic. Even when it comes to planting churches, we desperately want to believe that it’s magic.

A magic spell. A magic formula. A magic system.

We want assurances and certainties that some people – like David Copperfield – really can make that plane disappear. We want assurances and certainties that some people – purpose driven people – really can make a church appear and grow because they aren’t just doing a trick. They ARE magic.

And we can be magic too.

We tried this once in the denomination I am a part of. We went to people who had planted churches and whose church had grown to a great size and we said, “Obviously you have the magic. Please resign your position and turn over what you’ve built and go do this again. Because you’re magic.”

The buy in was, well, pretty much what you would expect. It wasn’t overwhelming.

But some pioneers, some real craftsmen (and women) stepped up and stepped out and went to plant again.

And WA-LAA! PRESTO! They did it again.

And sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes the magic didn’t go with them. Sometimes the same magic words that worked the magic in their old location just – well – didn’t.

Of course, this didn’t stop people from selling the magic tricks to new people starting out who felt their own inner call to the world of magic and church planting.

And conferences and consultants and books and recordings have been, are being and will be sold that offer the secrets of lightning in a bottle.

And because 1 out of many many planters actually come up with the bottle of lightning and their plant makes it – and sometimes even goes mega – this fuels the imagination of all of us that the only difference between one persons success and my own is that they learned the magic correctly and I can too.

Hopefully we never stop to think about the kingdom ethics of charging people to tell them how to plant and grow a church. Planters are generally too busy for casual contemplation.

O.K., I’ve stalled you long enough and I feel badly about that. After all, there’s a church, probably another mega-church, just waiting to be birthed once this secret falls into your hands – because I GUARANTEE this will work. It ALWAYS works, every single time – and it’s the ONLY ONE THAT DOES.

There are three ingredients to this trick and you HAVE to have all 3 in place or it won’t work.


The right person, in the right place at the right time.

Guaranteed. Foolproof. 100% certain to produce every single time.

Once in a great while the right place and the right time will make something happen but sustainability of the trick requires all 3 eventually come together.

And that’s a freebie, you can thank me in the comment section. Everybody else, well, they’re selling dreams and that’s not bad, everybody needs a dream. But what I just told you, it’s the only thing that actually works.

So enjoy, my friends, and let me know how it’s going for you. 

To all my fellow magicians, I apologize but some secrets should not be taken to the grave.