DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" ""> 10 Reasons Why Church Planting Sucks
Tribal Splash

10 Reasons Why Church Planting Sucks

Planting a church is anything but easy. In fact, it is quite difficult. I’m sure the only reason people actually do it is because the intersection of God’s call and personal passion/gifting creates missional unction that can not be ignored. Why else would someone choose the personal and vocational insecurities that accompany church planting over a comfortably secure and salaried position at an established church? If you have ever planted a church, or are planting a church, then you know what I mean. There are great joys to be had in church planting, but there are also great trials and tribulations. It’s the nature of the mission; it’s a direct result of being on the bleeding edge of Christ’s expanding kingdom. The bleeding edge comes with all sorts of challenges, spiritual and otherwise. Overall, I have to say, that church planting is an exciting, joy-laden, and incredibly rewarding ministry, but it is not for the faint of heart.

I recently discovered a post by Dan Taylor, a church planter in Edmonton, Canada (h/t Mike Clawson), called “Why Church Planting Sucks.” It was a great read, and completely accurate! I’ve experienced everything on the list in five months time. The following are quick hit and miss excerpts of the most resonate and sometime humorous points raised by Dan in this fun and encouraging list.

1. It’s harder than you think - but not in that ways you expect. I expected it to be a lot of work and I expected there to be discouraging times and I expected there would be times I would want to quit, but I didn’t expect that I would spend most of my time doing stuff that I don’t love and doesn’t excite me …

2. It’s more fun than you think it’s going to be. Strap on your helmet, but it is fun. You’re building something from scratch and fighting and winning and failing …

3. There are people who don’t want you to succeed … Identify these people and ignore them …

4. There are people who desperately want to you to succeed … Identify these people and seek them out …

5. It is not easy to figure out who are #3 people and who are #4 people.

6. Weather will kick your ass … There’s not much you can do but be ready for it …

7. You will also schedule something no one will show up for …

8. This is not the church you built in your head … Trying to be the church in your head will kill your joy for the church you have, so kill the church in your head …

9. Don’t take anything personally. People will come to your church and go, and friends will choose to be a part or not … If your confidence and self image depend on the “success” of your church, you are screwed as a pastor and will be a terrible person to live with …

10. Settle the failure question before you start …

Note: Why Church Planting Sucks is an encouraging list because it really does let other planters know they aren’t the only ones experiencing such things! It’s good to know that other planters are experiencing the very same things! Let’s pray for one another, and keep working for Christ’s glory and fame.


  1. Jonathan Greene
    Posted February 7, 2008 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Keep up the faith, bro. We’re nine years into our little church planting venture and we still have struggles. Still, God is the author and finisher of our faith, and the daily blessings we receive are almost too much to handle.

  2. Shawn Anthony
    Posted February 7, 2008 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Jonathan! Encouragement and prayers to you and your plant as well!

  3. joey
    Posted April 12, 2008 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    This is a great reminder to keep it real and stay focused. Thank you!

  4. Shawn Anthony
    Posted April 12, 2008 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Right on, Joey! Thanks for stopping by. Your blog is great, BTW. I’ve never seen it before, but will be back regularly.

  5. joey
    Posted April 12, 2008 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks bro! I’ll be back. Good stuff.

  6. mike
    Posted July 16, 2008 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    We are busy preparing to plant a church in RSA ! Please pray . Thanks and God bless.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields marked *