Learning From Established Churches
By New Churches Team
If you are a church planter, you can learn a lot from established churches.
Moving Past Stereotypes
We all know there are stereotypical views of church planters and established churches. But, those should be put to rest. In both environments, there are successful and faithful people. When you look to learn from an established church, look for one that is approachable. These churches have clarity on strategy, structure, and systems. Over the course of time, those things can be detrimental. What you want to look for is an established church that has those things in place but doesn’t regard them as sacred cows. Look for a church that has continued to innovate and grow despite being established.
From Healthy Churches
An established church is established because it is self-sustainable. If you are established, you have reserves. You aren’t surviving on debt. You have a rainy-day fund. You have policies and procedures for staff health, staff performance, and church governance. These things are best practices that are developed over time. Healthy systems are written into the church calendar so that they occur year after year. You take care of your church staff with health insurance and human resources available.
From Unhealthy Churches
You don’t have to read books and listen to a radio show to have a celebrity pastor culture in your church. Any larger church or regional church faces it. This is an unhealthy culture that is hurting the church right now and something that church planters should be cautious about. These celebrity pastors aren’t just hurting their local church but also the Church. As humans, we want a king. Inside and outside the church we see that. It’s not just the narcissistic ego that creates that celebrity pastor culture but also the church members that can drive it. They feed into each other.
Adapted from the New Churches Q&A Podcast Episode 566: What Church Plants Can Learn From Established Churches. Click here to listen to more to church planting, multisite, and multiplication tips.