Building a united and effective church planting team is challenging, but the success of the church plant hinges on it. You must be careful and look for signs that potential team members do not appear to be a root to potential problems. But, before you look at team members look at your own leadership.
Be aware of red flags… and if you see them, address them. (seriously, address them)
Red Flag #1: If one person begins to talk bad of the church, it will spread like a virus. Their distrust of the team/church will leak into relationships, friendships and even into the lives of those that you are trying to reach. These people are divisive and need to be cut out of leadership as soon as they are found out.
Red Flag #2: If you notice marriage problems growing within a family, address it! Do not feel as though you will encroach on their personal problems if you address it. Ask them to begin marital counseling as soon as possible. Make sure you minister to your team.
Red Flag #3: Most of the church planter’s extended families are supportive. But there are those that will not be. Some will come to visit with the intention of encouragement, but leave you only with criticism and doubt that can creep into your heart. Remind your team only to trust in the God who brought you to plant this church. Reflect on the criticisms, but don’t dwell on it or own it. If the criticism continues to grow and there is no positive encouragement, relationships within the team will begin to fray. Ask families for positive encouragement and prayers.
Red Flag #4: Watch for signs of apathy. People in church planting, at times, do not feel an urgency to accomplish tasks or apply excellence to the tasks that they do accomplish. Be aware of this: soon this apathy will creep into everyone’s philosophy of ministry and the church will fail. Stay on your team to remember the reason the church was planted (to bring the lost to Christ) and appeal to them to go all-out in all aspects of their ministry.
In order for an apple to remain fresh and good to eat, you must cut out any bruises/rotten areas before you consume it. The same is true for any church. Fight against these red flags and keep moving forward.