Which pastors are more likely to have visions for planting new churches or new sites?
In an upcoming major research report from Leadership Network and Portable Church Industries, we found that pastors in their first 5 years at a church are 2.3 times more likely to have a vision to plant a new church or launch a new site than those who have been at the same church for more than 10 years.
First our caveats – Leadership Network’s research is not a sample of all churches. We focus on growing, thriving churches as opposed to a random-sample group of “typical” churches.
Still the differences between aspirations of pastors “new” to a church vs. longer-term pastors is dramatic. Why is this?
Here are my hunches:
- Newer pastors could be younger. Our first post here shows how younger generations think multiplication before growing to mega size.
- New pastors bring new vision to many churches even if they are not “younger.” Since church planting and multisite have been rising trends over the past 20 years, this vision is being implanted from God through these new pastors into these congregations.
- It’s possible that longer-tenured pastors have concluded that the congregation they serve is just not ready for this type of ministry. Perhaps they had a vision to plant or launch a site in the past but it was rebuffed and they moved the church in other directions.
We continue to believe that church starting – through either independent plants or new sites – is an effective way to extend God’s kingdom work. Each leader should be faithful to God’s call on their heart through the church as to whether this is effective for their context.
But longer-tenured church leaders should be encouraged to consider this direction in the future. Many long-tenured pastors would have much to contribute to training and mentoring new site pastors and planters.
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