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Seven Things I Would do Differently as a Planter - Part One

Seven Things I Would do Differently if I was Planting a Church Today - Part One


By Pastor Scott Thomas
Former Acts 29 Director


I have served as a replanting pastor, church planter and church-planting director. It has given me insight from three different perspectives. It has been less than three years since I was the lead pastor of a church plant, but I have gained some valuable insight through extensive study, interaction with church planters, network directors, assessors, and by coaching church planters.

I reflected the other day on what I would do differently if I were to plant again. I came up with seven ideas that may help other church planters to avoid some mistakes.


1. I would expose the gospel to the fullest extent as possible in every context, relationship, conflict and teaching.

I think very few people in the church truly understand the gospel, especially those who are religious. I think that few pastors truly understand the gospel. Galatians 2:14 suggest that there is a way of living that is contrary to the gospel.  The centrality of the gospel drives all ministry and mission of the church.

Tim Keller’s resource on Gospel Christianity is a good curriculum to teach this to your elders, your wife and perhaps yourself.

Steve Timmis mentioned that he “gospels” his people when they are out of step or in sin. I love this way of communicating. Even as we confront others, it must be done in a grace-filled way to image the gospel.

Every action step of the church is filtered through the gospel—it must bear image to the gospel or it is eliminated.


2. I would connect with God as I connected with culture.

In our quest to be missionally engaged, hip and cool, I think we have lost the “edge” for a radical, passionate engagement with God. Connecting with culture is overrated; connecting with God is underrated.

My son asked me if I thought John Piper would be effective as a pastor in Seattle. I told him that I thought he would because his passionate connection with God overshadowed his lack of cultural connectivity. He does not have a TV in his home and he still wears tweed jackets bought at the penny saver store.

James 4:6-10 calls us to draw near to God. We have to make this the primary point of our church plant and then we connect to culture in a way that is understood by them. We don’t want to be too hip and too cool that we overshadow the person and work of Jesus.

Part Two Here


Three upcoming boot camps:

Raleigh - February 2009

Seattle - March 2009

San Diego - May 2009



Charlie Hughes

on Jan 27, 2009 :: 8:53 am

I just want to say thanks for the insight and resources that Acts29 gives to the Church.


on Jan 27, 2009 :: 2:16 pm


Thanks for sharing "Seven Things" at LifePoint yesterday. Lane, thanks for sponsoring the event. The equipping resources Acts 29 provides are incredible. Soli Deo Gloria!

Dayton Loven