You have to be willing to get dirty.
Church planting is literally dirty. You may find yourself with paint, grease, dirt, urine and any number of disgusting things on your clothes, hands and under your nails. Church planting is not for the faint of heart. If you hate dirt… this is not for you. There will be times when you are on your own… and there won’t be anyone to help you. You will need to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. Toilets will need to be scrubbed. A/Cs will need to be turned on the night before. Floors will need to be swept and that gap of unpainted wall at the top by the ceiling will need to be painted. And its up to you. It’s either your job or up to you to call someone… or the troops…
You need to be uncomfortable in established churches.
This is a hard one to understand, until you find yourself there. I have no problems with established churches… our world needs them. But this world also needs churches that reach those who don’t feel comfortable or feel like outsiders in established churches. If you are comfortable in an established church, then you should probably stay. God will use you there. But if something doesn’t sit right, and your heart goes out to those who feel like outsiders within an established church… then God can use you in church plants.
You need to be flexible (and have an imagination)!
I do not how much more to lay this out, then to repeat myself. You need to be flexible or in leadership terms: adaptable.
Church planting does not go by the book of established churches. An early church plant will not have an unlimited children’s resource closet, more than likely no kitchen, and probably not even an office. If you can’t imagine running a church without these things… then… well… maybe you should ask yourself some tough questions.
You must be willing to change your worship set last minute, call up a volunteer an hour before service to ask them to help cover the nursery, and most importantly… you must have an imagination to make the most of something that seems dire. You must have an endurance that doesn’t make sense to the normal Christian. When things seem disastrous… you must have a “pick-up-and-continue” kind of attitude.
You need to love people. Like really love people! Not just say you do.
You must have a heart for those who are dirty. And when I say dirty– I mean all kinds of dirt. Literal dirt. Dirty mouths. Dirty jokes. Dirty hearts. If you cannot imagine giving a hug to a child who hasn’t bathed in awhile, walking up to someone who simply terrifies you and carrying on a conversation, or listening to an adulterer’s story… then examine your heart for planting.
Your heart must ache for those that need to know of Christ’s love, no matter who or where they’ve come from.