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5 Reasons I Didn't Build A Leadership Team Before Planting A Church

I know it's common for people planting a church to build a team beforehand. This makes a ton of sense, for a lot of reasons.  I have plenty of friends that have walked this path and are thankful they did so.

However, I didn't follow this strategy.  There were some people that ended up moving with me and I am SO THANKFUL for all of their service to the Lord.  They came committed, willing to do anything at any time it was needed and there is no way our church would be where we are today without their continued service!!!  But, none of them came having a leadership position.  This had nothing to do with them as individuals, but it was intentional on my part.

Here are 5 reasons I chose not to "build a leadership team" before coming:

1.  Longevity Reason. Every planter I know that has moved to a new city with a group of people have had some of that group leave and go back "home."  This happens for a variety of reasons, so I wanted to see who would stick for the long haul, first.

2.  Indigenous Reason. I moved a thousand miles away from an upper-middle class Republican community to Portland, Oregon. Portland is obviously still the United States, but there is no doubt this is also a different culture from Simi Valley, CA.  Very different, in fact.  I guess you could say I didn't want to plant a Simi Valley church in Portland.  For us to be healthy we needed people from the area to come alongside in leadership and there needed to be room for that.


3. Trust Reason.   I felt I needed to trust God to bring along leaders over time and, at least for me, building a team ahead of time would've just been me striving for a sense of comfort.

4. Structure Reason.  Putting people in leadership meant we would have a structure in place prior to moving.  This would've caused me to try and force a culture into our structure - without even knowing the culture here.  Instead, we wanted to develop culture over time and then structure around it and in a way that supported that culture.  I didn't plant a church in my head and then move here.  I moved here to plant a church in a community. This approach required me to develop leadership structure as we went along.

5. Relational Reason.  If I had approached people to ask them if they would come with me, there was far too much room for awkward expectations that could damage relationships.  The reality is if I asked someone to come and they agreed, picking up everything and moving, they would have expectations to be involved in just about everything.  This could be a wonderful thing and I certainly wouldn't blame them if they had this expectation, but it could have also been relationally disastrous.

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