Church Planting and Revitalization

Should pastors change anything in the first year?


The answer to that question depends on the kind of church a pastor is stepping into.

How do pastors know what hills are worth dying on?


No doubt questions like this must be answered on a case by case basis, but here are seven general areas in which pastors may be called upon to stake their job:

What tips do you have for dealing with bad leaders that you inherit in a new pastorate?

Pray.  Pray for wisdom. Pray for humility. Pray for unity between you and your church’s other leaders. Pray that God would work in their hearts. Preach the Bible. All genuine change in a church comes as God works through his Word. Pray that God would use your teaching of his Word to change the hearts of your leaders.

How should you deal with a bad statement of faith, church covenant, or church constitution that you inherit in a new pastorate?


It depends on your circumstances. But here are four different tactics that you might find helpful.

Book Review: Evaluating the Church Growth Movement: Five Views, ed. by Paul Engle and Gary McIntosh

Review by Andy Johnson | 9Marks Journal: The Church's Mission | 03.08.2010

This, I think, is the key takeaway from this book: If you start with man, you won’t rise above man-made theories.

Book Review: Leading Turnaround Teams, by Gene Wood and Daniel Harkavy

Review by Will Kynes | 03.05.2010

The church is not a business. Yet the fact that pastors and seminarians are routinely barraged with books that promise growth based on business principles testifies to the triumph of … keep reading…

Book Review: The Gospel According to Starbucks, by Leonard Sweet

Review by Byron Straughn | 9Marks Journal: The Gospel | 03.05.2010

Pastors, please don’t model your church after Starbucks, Disney, or Toyota. Teach your flock what God has to say to the church.

Book Review: Twelve Keys to an Effective Church, by Kennon Callahan

Review by Thabiti Anyabwile | 03.05.2010

A pastor would do well to invest his time in a more faithful work than this.

Book Review: Who Can Save the Incredible Shrinking Church?, by Frank Page

Review by Owen Strachan | 9Marks Journal: Counseling in the Church | 03.03.2010

Frank Page wants to do nothing less than save struggling, shrinking churches everywhere.

Book Review: Simple Church, by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger

Review by Graham Shearer | 9Marks Journal: Young Pastors | 03.03.2010

Simple Church is not a bad book. It just strikes me as an unnecessary book. It points church leaders in the wrong direction—statistical research.

Book Review: Natural Church Development, by Christian Shwarz

Review by Byron Straughn | 9Marks Journal: Corporate Prayer | 03.02.2010

Schwarz’s low view of Scripture is also seen in his desire to place natural observations and research along side of or verifying Scripture.

Book Review: The Market-Driven Church, by Udo Middleman

Review by Mike McKinley | 9Marks Journal: Living As a Church | 03.02.2010

Skip it and go read something by David Wells.

What in the World is the Missional Church?

By Jonathan Leeman | 9Marks Journal: The Church's Mission | 03.01.2010

The basic premise of the missional church is that “missions” is not simply one of the functions or programs of a church. It constitutes the very essence or nature of the church.

What I Can and Cannot Live With as a Pastor

By Mark Dever | 9Marks Journal: Young Pastors | 02.26.2010

Something can be true, yet we can decide as pastors that our congregations are not ready to act tomorrow in a way they might be ready to act in a year.

The Alternative: Why Don’t We Plant?

By Jonathan Leeman | 9Marks Journal: Multi-site Churches | 02.26.2010

Christianity, by which I mean church membership, is a participatory sport, not a spectator sport.