I just connected with Craig Whitney, executive director of ELI Church Planting. Here are a few highlights from what he’s been learning lately (shared by permission).

  1. Experience counts. To those who believe God is calling them to start a church, Whitney says, “The best advice we can give you is go start something. Start a group in your dorm. Start a Bible study at your local coffee shop or pub. Start a ministry to feed families, or tutor kids. Start something and start it today. The more experience you have at starting things the more ready you will be to start a church.”
  2. Habits create culture. “The habits of the founders will become the culture of the congregation.”
  3. Understand how God made you.
    • Over 80% of church planters are extraverted and intuitive, according to Myers-Briggs categories.
    • Leaders who excel in influence excel in church planting. Those with an “I” (inspire) on the DiSC profile are most likely to become successful church planters—particularly when they combine that with a “D” (direct).
    • The four most common StrengthsFinder results for church planters are strategists, communicators, futurists, and learners.
  4. Measure new disciples. In new church plants—regardless of the size the church grew to—only 20% of the people involved were formerly unchurched. Of this statistic, Whitney says, “On a personal level, I’m grateful for every person who finds new life in Jesus. As a church planting leader I can only conclude we still have a lot to learn.”

Check out ELI Church Planting to find out more about some of the great work they’re doing in this field.