7 C’s of Church Planting

Chilly —  March 19, 2014 — 14 Comments

This post was revised from previous blog post in 2012
(some comments reflect time of previous post)

Church Planting is awesome! I love it!

downtown-detroitIs it tough? Oh yes! But, is it worth it? Always! Over the last 10 years, I’ve planted three church campuses in the inner city communities of Detroit. My family (incredible wife & 5 amazing kids) live right in the heart of the city. We do not have any full-time paid staff and we continually are in need of funds and resources just to get by … THIS IS FAITH! I’ve been chosen by God to share His love & truth in the most dangerous city in America. This isn’t punishment, it’s an honor! In addition to leading Courage Church, I am also Church Planting and Network minister for Mount Hope Church.

I think church planters are a rare breed. We’re thrill-seeking pioneers with apostolic anointing. We eat impossible for breakfast! We hear God’s heartbeat in HD surround sound every where we go! We smile through trials and accept pain as confirmation for pleasing God. We get dissed & deserted by those we love. We get to share in the most WONDERFUL moments in the life of a person or community. Big time spiritual stuff! Yes, it’s worth it!

We don’t just believe in miracles, we depend on them.

I was recently asked, “what’s it take to be a church planter?” … I took some time to pray & think about this, then scribbled the following in my journal. Maybe it’s unique to me – that’s ok. But, maybe it’s for others too – even better! My prayer is that you would be encouraged, inspired and equipped to do WHATEVER God created you to do and that you would get BUSY doing it!

 7 C’s of Church Planting

  1. Calling
    Friends, IF God didn’t tell you to do it, please DON’T do it! There will be times that you have to go back to the moment when you KNEW God called you to this task. There can be no doubts. IF He has called you,  get going! “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 — don’t ever forget that you’re called to make disciples and that’s, exactly, what you want to build your church with!
  2. Courage
    The Bible is filled with “Be Brave – Be Strong – Be Fearless” challenges. But, my friends, even a Biblical pep talk is not enough. Your personal faith & trust in God is where Courage is born & grown. The bravest thing you can do is obey God. Learn His voice, know His Word and determine to never quit!
  3. Creativity
    This is an area where many feel lacking. But, I know two things: God is the creator and He has made some amazingly creative people. IF you’re not creative, there’s still no excuse, tap into the creative heart of God through the Holy Spirit. And, recruit some creative people!
  4. Colleagues
    God made us for relationship. We need other people in our life. I know that it’s an old cliche, but you’ve got to BE the friend you want to have. Serve others, praise others, bless others. He will send amazing people who share your heart & vision — be sure to be a good steward of this gift. Fight for their families, insist that they sabbath and compliment them privately & publicly. Lead them with your life!
  5. Commitment
    You must decide right up front: Quitting Isn’t an Option! This often involves removing & destroying “Plan B” — when God called Elisha( 1 Kings 19), he chopped up all his plows, killed all his Ox’s and had a going away BBQ for his friends & family. He couldn’t go back to his old life – it was nothing but ashes.
  6. Character
    This is who you are when no one else is looking! It’s known MOST by your family and close friends — and, it’s revealed in your long-term effectiveness. Tell the truth ALWAYS, never cheat in anything, be accountable in everything and live what you profess. Your disciples will become what you are not what you say.
  7. Compassion
    Love, love, love, love, LOVE!! Love God & Love others! Climb into the eyes of Jesus and see the GREAT in every person that you meet. DON’T just love those easy to love or who love you back. Love your critics & haters too! You’ll be surprised who responds to God’s love and who becomes your greatest allies ALL because you showed the unconditional love of Christ! When in doubt, LOVE more!

This list is NOT Comprehensive (hmmm, another “C” word) and I’d welcome your thoughts & feedback in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

 Planted in the D, Chilly


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Chilly is a follower of Christ, husband of a queen and father of avengers. Executive Director of RevolutionYouth.co Instagram: @thechillychilton Twitter: @iChilly "I LOVE: my wife Netta, our 5 amazing kids, Buckeyes, good coffee, U2, Nike shoes, anything Apple, sushi, my dog Jack, beach vacations, sports, books & YOU!"

14 responses to 7 C’s of Church Planting

  1. Great list! It may be easy to look at the list and disqualify oneself for fear of not having all of these qualities. Jesus is so awesome in that He strengthens us in these areas as we move forward. Thanks for sharing, later!!!

    • I think I lack in ALL of these “C’s” but, rather than complain, whine or quit; I simply keep fighting to win! So grateful or God’s patience, grace & enablement!
      — Felix, you’re already way ahead of so many! Much is required!

      • I’d agree. Felix is incredibly blessed to get the support and direction from all his resources. I am so excited for New Haven. They’ve just received a gift in Felix & Rachel.

  2. This is great, and very encouraging.

    Another “C” of Church Planting that popped into my head is Contentment.
    This is a tricky one, because I never want to be content with where I am spiritually, and always seeking more of the Holy Spirit’s activity in my life, and more relationships with others . But, at the some time, we also find ourselves comparing the work we are called to do against the work of others—my church compared to his church. We are faced with seasons of much work, and seemingly slow growth (I am only at the front end of this for the first time with my own church plant); and can start to look around. The “what am I doing wrong” or “what is he doing right” thoughts creep in. I must be content in the process in which God is taking me though, and not go looking for apparent shortcuts. There are no shortcuts… keep your hands on the plow and remain faithful. The harvest season is coming.

    Much love! Thanks for sharing.

    P.S. Love the site! Only one problem… the pages have lines on them. 😉

  3. Covering. By prayer and by oversight. I guess this may be an extension of ‘colleagues’ but is in most cases part of the support outside the periphery of one’s colleagues.

  4. Thanks Pastor Chilly for sharing these 7 C’s. Huge encouragement for me! Priceless stuff, you are a blessing!

  5. Loved this! Loved it so much – it’s one of those posts you print up and paste in your journal, ya know?

  6. “The bravest thing you can do is obey God.” -So good! Instead of doing things that I think are brave, I want to always obey God!
    Thanks for Courageously obeying God and bringing us here to Detroit! Love you (:

    • This is from my oldest daughter — who now serves as the worship director at our Detroit campus and discipleship director at our Hamtramck campus. She was 11 when we moved to the inner city — she’s PROOF that God’s will is BEST for your family!
      – a proud dad! 😉

  7. I love the simplicity of this list. I think many of us feel called to build Gods church and advance His Kingdom, but maybe back out because of the list of requirements and qualifications we think it takes. But this is a great evaluation of the heart of it all-it isn’t about the systems, qualifications, abundance, but the actual root of what makes the church grow and last. Thanks Pastor for reposting this, it’s an exciting time to serve a church planter like you!

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