Priorities for Church Planters: 10 Things Church Planters Should Do More

What should be the top priorities for church planters?

Priorities for Church Planters: 10 Things Church Planters Should Do More

Priorities for Church Planters: 10 Things Church Planters Should Do More

Because of my love for the local church and for pastoring, I think often about that role. I reflect on joys and blessings of my 14 years of pastoring, but I also remember mistakes I made. If I were pastoring again, I would do these things more often:

  1. Call out the called to the pastorate and missionary service. I know we’re all called to do the Great Commission, but I also recognize a unique calling to these positions. As a pastor, though, I waited for folks to come to me if they were thinking about these roles; I did not proactively challenge them to consider God’s calling.
  1. Share the Lord’s Supper. In the church of my upbringing, we shared the Lord’s Supper once per quarter. Today, I would do it at least monthly, always clearly emphasizing its purpose and its value.
  1. Preach on giving. My church typically had an annual stewardship emphasis, but I didn’t keep regular giving in front of them. Perhaps if I had, we would not have needed an annual emphasis.
  1. Fill the baptistry, and explain its purpose. Even if we were not baptizing on a Sunday, I’d use the baptistry to discuss the gospel and challenge Christ followers to follow Him in obedience—all the while explaining that baptism does not save.
  1. Wash feet. I don’t see this act as an ordinance of the church, but I do see it as an act of public service and humility. Sometimes, a leader simply needs to show his love by serving others.
  1. Personally evangelize. I did evangelism regularly when I first started pastoring, but I allowed other busyness to get in the way in my latter years of pastoral ministry.
  1. Invest my time in raising up male leaders. My churches had male leaders, but I wonder how many more we would have had if I had intentionally invested more in the young men of each congregation.
  1. Invite missionaries to speak. I’m sure I missed opportunities to challenge my members because I failed to connect often with missionaries on stateside assignment. My churches didn’t know enough about God’s global work.
  1. Take time off. I know now that I would have been a better pastor if I had taken time off regularly to relax and recover. Burnout was always just around the corner for me.
  1. Teach doctrine. I assumed people would develop a clear biblical theology if they simply attended our small groups and worship services. I was wrong.
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Pastors, what would you do more if you were starting again? Tomorrow, I will share some things I would do less often.

This article originally appeared here.

Chuck Lawless
Chuck Lawless is professor and senior associate dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served as a pastor for almost twenty years, and is the author of Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Truth for Victory, Discipled Warriors: Healthy Churches Winning Spiritual Warfare, Making Disciples through Mentoring, Serving in Your Church's Prayer Ministry, and Eating the Elephant. Dr. Lawless speaks extensively around the countryYou can read articles from Dr. Chuck Lawless on his personal blog (ChuckLawless.com) ( or connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook. .