In church planting, it seems, there are continuous talks around what qualities are needed for a church planter. It seems that, for a lot of groups, what these qualities come down to are the difference between extroversion and introversion. There are other qualities that are discussed such as spiritual life, personal\family health, etc. While those are always deemed most important in the qualities needed, they seem to go away quickly as if they are simply the barrier to entry in consideration. The thing that I’ve found takes up the majority of the conversation is related to personality.
Things are stated like “We need someone who is dynamic and can attract people.” “They need to be a gatherer.” “They need to…” The reality for you reading this is that you may not see in these phrases what I’m talking about. The reality for me is that, having been in several of these, and many other, conversations what most people are talking about when these ideas are tossed out is an extroverted business leader. I’ve heard others doubt that non-Type A driven leaders would be able to plant a church. Never-mind the reality that when you look at the largest\fastest growing churches in the nations, the %ratio of extroverted pastors to introverted pastors is right around the 50%.
I watched a video from Susan Cain the other day that got me thinking about this a bit more.
While I do agree that a church planter needs to be able to gather a group and attract those who don’t know Jesus, I don’t believe this necessarily means that they need to always be Type-A or even that they need to gather a large group. When we think through these things, we are more than likely thinking of someone going out with the intention of planting a church intended to grow into the 1000’s. That’s an assumption we make that we shouldn’t. I believe that God has an intention in your church’s size and that you should always pray about how big your church needs to be. You can read part of why here. J.D. Payne (pastor of multiplication with The Church at Brook Hills) stated something very similar here.
With that said, if you do a quick search on qualities of church planting you’ll be very encouraged with what you find. All of the assessment materials I’ve found don’t push for personality as much as I thought they would. I do believe there is one major thing that becomes increasingly important after you get through the door with the out-of-box biblical requirements. Resilience. You’ll need this anytime you start something new. Do you have the ability to experience setbacks without feeling defeated or feeling as if you’re failing.
Now to the bigger key to this, which is also why the spiritual qualities are the most important. The way you develop resilience is by not relying on others for your security or value. Are you OK being who you are? In church planting, you need to be comfortable in your own skin. [Tweet That]