10 Signs It’s Time to Stop Calling Yourself a Church Plant

On the last My Ministry Breakthrough Podcast, Northwoods Community Church Senior Pastor, Cal Rychener, and I talked about leading a church plant 30 years later. Off mic, he and I shared a laugh about at what point a church planter can, and maybe should, stop calling themselves a church planter. This, of course, led me to think: “When is it time to stop using a term like church planter?” After all, I made the mistake of once calling someone a “former Marine.” I was quickly informed that there exists no such thing. Once a Marine, always a Marine. So maybe it’s the same with church planters.

However, I do believe that there are some indicators that a shift in the language you use for your church might be required. Here are ten signs it’s time to stop calling yourself a church plant:

  1. You just launched the fourth campus.
  2. Your middle school girl’s associate pastor is asking for a cost of living raise.
  3. You are considering running two Christmas services in the local NBA arena this year instead of one.
  4. Your time speaking at conferences on church planting is really cutting into your time running a coaching network of young church planters.
  5. Your publisher is really turning the screws on getting this latest manuscript wrapped up.
  6. Your school principal wants part of the south parking lot repaved and striped before summer band practice.
  7. You find it harder and harder to raise enough financial support to replace the blades on your helicopter. (this is a real thing)
  8. You aren’t holding your breath anymore when you turn around after worship to start the sermon and see how many showed up.
  9. You are giving serious thought to upgrading your LED wall for Easter.
  10. You look forward to a good old-fashioned Saturday night snowstorm that shuts down the city without worrying about missing a week of offerings.

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