virtues needed in a church planter

What Are The Virtues Needed In A Church Planter?

Pause for a moment! What would you identify as the necessary virtues needed in a church planter? How did you go? We found it tough!

A Church planter is someone who starts a church, where there previously was no church. This is what we’ll be doing next year and as we go to do it, our effective will lie on two fundamentals:

1. Can we make disciples?

2. Can we develop church planters?

If our response to either of these two questions is unsatisfactory, we will squander the opportunities God has placed before us.

To achieve this second perogative means being really clear about the virtues needed in a church planter.

Oscar Muriu, of Nairobi Chapel in Kenya, has planted more than 40 church in the last 20 years, on at least four different continents. He started pastoring Nairobi Chapel, as a 21 year old, when the church had just 20 people. As you can imagine he has a lot of good things to say about leadership and church planting. I heard him speak recently about the five leadership convictions he has. The fourth conviction he spoke about was: Grow your leader’s by increasing the way they love God with their Heart, Soul, Mind, Strength and love for their neighbour. 

[Tweet “As a Christian, if your leadership is not growing in the love of God, it’s not growing.”]

His approach to developing leaders is born out of Mark 12:30-31 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” He explains these five categories as follows:

Love God with your HEART – Character: who you are before God
Love God with your SOUL – Conviction: being completely gripped by God
Love God with your MIND – Comprehension: understanding the things of God
Love God with your STRENGTH – Competence: knowing how to do the task ahead
Love God with your YOUR NEIGHBOUR – Compassion: a soft and open heart to all people

After hearing Oscar I sought to combine the list I was working on with his framework, and the results present a comprehensive list of the virtues needed in a church planter.

The 25 virtues needed in a church planter:

HEART – Character: who you are before God
Love God with your:

Integrity
Teachability
Emotional maturity
Respect of and from people
Flexibility and adaptability

SOUL – Conviction: being completely gripped by God
Love God with your:

Strong tested cal
Spiritual vitality
Resilience
Consistent personal motivation
Courage

MIND – Comprehension: understanding the things of God
Love God with your:

Contagious faith
Supportive spouse
Theologically astuteness
Humility
Understanding of money and ability to steward it well

STRENGTH – Competence: knowing how to do the task ahead
Love God with your:

Entrepreneurial aptitude
Ability to move people toward a theological cultural vision
Understanding of and ability to implement systems and strategy
Excellent communication skills
Ability to build a team

Love YOUR NEIGHBOUR – Compassion: a soft and open heart to all people

Developer of leaders
Maker of disciples
High valuer of community
Deeply concerned for people who don’t know Jesus
Ability to think like a missionary

What would you add to the list? What have I missed? I’m keen to chat about it in the comment section below.

In the months to follow I plan to develop this list into a workable course curriculum with which to train leaders to plant churches. From the reading, reflections, conversations and observations (see the page here) I’ve engaged with so far I think these 25 virtues would serve any church planter well.

I’d be interested in your thoughts.

As you would imagine there has been a lot written on this subject already and some resources I found particularly helpful were:

10 Qualifications of a Church Planter

http://multiplyvineyard.org/what-a-church-planter-looks-like/

http://cmm.gci.org/uploads/2/4/5/4/24543084/what_does_a_cp_look_like.pdf

http://www.graceandpeacemagazine.org/videos/mediaitem/321-what-does-a-church-planter-look-like

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