by Peyton Jones:

  1. To understand the difference between Church Starting and Church Planting.
  2. To understand the difference between what Paul did versus what we do.

In Saving Private Ryan, Tom Hanks’s character receives an apology that his squad is getting deployed to another dangerous mission.  In Saving Private Ryan, Lt. Col. Anderson tells Tom Hanks’s character “It was a tough assignment. That’s why you got it.” God sends his best out…every time.  Paul, Peter, John, Timothy…Only the toughest assignments were reserved for soldiers of their caliber.

Do you know what the difference is between starting a church and planting one?

Church starting is pretty much what you see people doing today in the name of church planting. Here are the six crucial steps to church starting:

  1. Raise funds (usually hundreds of thousands of dollars).
  2. Recruit enough people to ensure critical mass.
  3. Brainstorm a catchy church name (branding is crucial).
  4. Design a sexy logo (branding is everything).
  5. Rent a building.
  6. Advertise, blast on social media and hope it’s enough to fill the building on launch day.

By contrast, here’s what church planting looks like. It’s a one step process.

  1. Reach the lost with the gospel.

Paul didn’t roll up with his sexy logo, rental agreement, and flashy website and call it church planting, nor could you even remotely conceive of him doing anything like that. You can stick a feather in it and call it macaroni, but the American way of church planting was completely foreign to Paul. Yet we advance our churches as an end to themselves as if Jesus commanded us to church plant to the ends of the earth.  But he didn’t. Jesus commanded us to preach the gospel to all creatures, discipling, and baptizing them. Churches are what happen after you’ve been doing those other things.

Church planting starts with the lost. The seed of the plant is the gospel itself.  When those seeds are sown, and watered, the fruit of that will be a church plant. When you start with the lost, you start where God starts. That was Jesus’s mission after all, to seek and save the lost. Therefore, it should also be ours.

Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.reaching-the-unreached-book