3 Church Planting Questions to Clarify Your Calling

Before you plant a church, ask the hard church planting questions to clarify your calling.


The work of planting a new church will probably kill you. On my first day in Greek grammar class in Bible college, Dr. Jesse Thomas walked in and stood at the podium to offer a brief welcome: “Welcome to boot camp.” Serious students survived, some even thrived, but some fell by the wayside because of their unwillingness to do the hard work. Part of the hard work is to ask yourself church planting questions to clarify your calling.

I’ve often thought back to that day as a church planter. Planting a church is hard. In fact, it will destroy your family, your ministry and strip you of your vitality and enthusiasm, IF you can’t lean on your sense of calling from God.

In other words, if your heart is false, if your motives are selfish or if your calling to the ministry of planting the Gospel is uncertain, then your soul will suffer in the thick of the battle. When tough times come, when money runs short, when criticism abounds, when the launch team leaves you, when your spouse is feeling burned out and when the emotion of the big launch subsides, you’re a sitting duck for the enemy.

Before you plant a church, ask church planting questions to clarify your calling.

When I first moved back to northwest Arkansas to begin the work of church planting, there was a question I was faced with quite regularly: “Why another church?” It’s a good, honest question. It isn’t always asked with the best motives, but the result of facing it is the introspection necessary for the deepening of our own confidence. In fact, it is in the face of such tough questions that our calling really comes to be tested.

If you’re considering planting a church, ask yourself the tough questions before others have the chance. Good church planting questions will clarify your calling.

3 Church Planting Questions

1. Why Am I Doing This?

Some may assume you’re interested in church planting because it’s easier to start from scratch with your own ideas than to fight the brick wall of established tradition. Others will quietly murmur about how much of a trend or fad “this church planting thing” is. A few may even go so far as to question your character, assuming you’re planting for your ego’s sake. How dare they?!

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Brandon Cox is Lead Pastor of Grace Hills Church, a new church plant in northwest Arkansas. He also serves as Editor and Community Facilitator for Pastors.com and Rick Warren's Pastor's Toolbox and was formerly a Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. In his spare time, he offers consultation to church leaders about communication, branding, and social media. He and his wife, Angie, live with their two awesome kids in Bentonville, Arkansas.