If you are blessed to pastor an established church with many years of successful ministry in a community it may seem odd to think that you could learn from church planters. However, effective church planters do have special insight to offer to established churches. After all, the goal of any church is to see the kingdom of God grow as people come to know and trust in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here are 3 traits pastors can learn from church planters:
A church plant may meet in a school one month and the next month have to pivot to meet out of a community center or even a movie theatre. The needs of a church plant are constantly in flux. While there is something to be said for the continuity that established churches experience, established churches can all learn to be more adaptable. This can look like where you have your small groups to what kinds of events you plan to get out into your community. By adding adaptability to the security they already experience, established churches and their pastors can position themselves to better reach the lost in their communities.
Most church plants, by nature, are small. And because of their size, a greater percentage of their membership is engaged in doing the work of the church. The opposite is often true of established churches where the old maxim says that 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work. While it’s not always easy to engage your members in the work of the church, established churches can learn to lean more on their membership to accomplish the work of the church. Even if it is something as simple as helping with setting up and tearing down each Sunday. There’s always work for members to be involved in.
A church plant doesn’t grow from meeting in a house to have a building with thousands gathering overnight. Church planting requires patience to trust that God will provide what is needed in God’s time. Pastors of established churches can also learn to exercise this patience as well. Needed change doesn’t happen as quickly in established churches as it does in church plants. Exercising patience while trusting God that God will bring about change in due time is a trait all pastors need. No matter if their church has been around for 5 months or 50 years.