planterOne of the most important tasks of a church planter is making sure the wrong people don’t get into the right places. Many years ago when I planted my first church people would come to me and, immediately upon meeting me, they’d share all of their past church experience like a résumé: “I’ve done this and that, blah, blah, blah…”

That was always a huge yellow flag, because trying to wow me with a verbal résumé is not normal behavior. So I’d usually respond like this: “Sounds like you’ve had a lot of experience in churches and ministry. I just want to let you know that that experience means nothing here. The way we work here is that we all start at the same place. You’d come to the newcomers’ class, get involved, and start serving. If you’re supposed to become a leader, it’ll become apparent and you will be.” Over half of those people would never come back. But of the percentage that did, they’d humbly dive in, get to know people, and 90% of the time they were great leaders.

Planters shouldn’t be afraid to drive away people who are inconsistent with their values. In my example above, that was the value of humility. I didn’t want leaders that were proud. Those that came back and started serving had the right heart. Those who were offended weren’t right for the church I was planting.