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5 Essential Steps in Planting a Church or Launching a Ministry

Through the years I have been asked hundreds of times about what I would say are the critical steps in planting or launching a church or ministry. Having planted two churches and after helping numerous non-profit ministries see their start, I’ve learned a few things, many of which I write about here. I know are a few common steps in a successful launch.

It doesn’t really matter what the ministry is the launching process is relatively the same. I’m a simple-minded guy. I like quick reads and steps and then let me go to work. Time and time again I’ve seen simple work. Sometimes we over complicate things.

I’m not saying simple is easy. Any time you start something new (or revitalize something old) there will be difficulties. Achieving your best never comes without a struggle.

I’m saying we should not make the steps more convoluted than they actually are and that the more we can simplify the steps into an easy to understand format the easier it will be to complete them.

Here are 5 steps to a successful ministry launch:

Vision – Get a clear, easy to understand, worthy vision that honors God and brings good to other people and for which people can get excited. Puts words around it people can understand. Where are you trying to help people go?

People – Recruit people who love the vision as much as you do. Do they want to go where you do – almost as much as you do. (I say almost, because many times you’ll have owned the vision longer than they have.) If you can’t find like-minded people, it will be very difficult to be successful in the new ministry.

I always believe, and have witnessed it repeatedly, that if God is in this He has already been shaping the vision in other people’s minds. We just need to find those He has been drawing to Himself and His vision.

Equip and assign – Determine the tasks needed to accomplish the vision and then line up people to accomplish the tasks. Help people understand their unique role in accomplishing the vision and assign them to specific tasks. Give them the resources they need and make sure they are clear on their assigned role.

Keep in mind that in the early days we don’t get to specialize. We usually have to generalize. In a church plant, someone will have to help with babies even if it isn’t their passion now. (They do need to love children and seeing children grow to love Christ.) As you grow people can specialize more, but everyone needs to do what needs doing in the early days.

Energize – Keep people motivated towards the vision by continually reminding them of the overall purpose and their significant place in accomplishing it. This is one of your key jobs as a leader.

Release – Let people do their part to accomplish the vision. Give real ownership to people. Delegate. Don’t control.

Simple enough? What would you add?

Any of these you’d especially like me to expand upon on a future post?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 16 Comments

  • Pastor Samson ogamba says:

    My church planted under tree and still we are im requesting as a pastor to pray for at least to have even a shade

  • Thanks for these tips, Ron. If I could add one tip, perhaps another tip is to ensure you have the support and backing of a pastor at your church or the senior pastor (depending on the church size). Be sure that the pastor overseeing you believes that the ministry is needed and will be beneficial to the church. Just my thoughts. You are the expert, brother.

  • Aklilu says:

    Its really wonderful ,May the lord of the harvest bless you more aboundently! Stay blessed””!


    very helpful material indeed, i’m on my way of starting a new ministry bcoz of the burden God has put on me, were to start from seems to be a chalenge please help.

  • Rao says:

    Dear Pastor
    Greetings to you in the name of our Loving and Living God, Thank you so much for sparing your time and reading this letter. We have been working based on Matthew 5:15; Mark 16:16; we are empowering indigenous and transforming the Community through Good News.
    We are followers of Christ who are excited about what God is doing in our lives and how He will touch this area through the Holy Spirit. God calls us through His word and with the Holy Spirit. FACT is faith-based gross root Missionary Organization. We have been reaching un-reached people. Church Planting, Outreaches, Crusades, Pastors Training, Youth Camps, Helping abused & Neglected Children and Prostitutes.
    We believe without taking care of their physical needs it is not complete Gospel. And without perching the Gospel, the Social work is also not fulfills their spiritual needs. We have been doing this Ministry from 2004. We are committed to preaching the word of God and helping poor and depressed people of this area. OUR PASSION IS TO HARVEST THE SOULS AND SHARE THE LOVE WITH ACTION. At present we have been working in 4 Revenue Mandals in 25 Villages in Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh, INDIA.
    Evangelism through its Church Planting Ministry has enabled several Non-christen to know the Lord and be part of a Bible Believing Fellowship especially in the Villages and Rural areas where there are not any Church and Missionary work. FACT had burden and concern to reach the un-reached Villages and planting the Churches in remote area.
    We started this work in 25 Villages, no Church no Gospel and they were not hears the good news, no one reached these Villages. They are idol worshipers, worshiping the stones. and women, we have started this work among these people. The Children are not entered the school, these people are living in poorest of the poor and pathetic conditions. We are taking the good news for these people.
    We are asking your prayers and fellowship. And we are inviting you to visit our Ministry to see the real God’s work with the help of Holy Spirit. Kindly visit our Ministry share the word of God and strengthen their faith through your participation. We are inviting you in the name of our Loving and Living God. Our natural tendency to love people with more than words, causes we are practicing inaction. FACT Ministries is Evangelical Organization committed to prayer, preaching and the teaching of the Gospel of the Jesus Christ.
    By the guidance of the Holy Spirit we are submitting this letter. The Lord is going to uses you in a big way to glorify His name on this earth and He is going to bless you in Mighty way. We are looking forward and hearing your and participation in our work. May God bless you.
    Yours in His Service,
    E-mails:[email protected],

  • thanks for sharing this great article. I am always searching for informative information like this.

  • Thanks for the post I will surely share these tips with the everyone. One more important thing to consider while planting a church is to have proper planning and budget and organizing special events regularly that will make learning more fun and collaborative.

  • I think the steps you have outlined are so important, whether you're planting a church or launching a new business. You need to know where you want to go (vision) and have enough help to get there. You can't do it all alone, so you will need to find like-minded people who want to reach the goal as much as you do.

  • Kmac4him

    Very good! Thanks! Have you noticed lately that the Lord is shifting people all around in this season of the Bride of Christ. A lot of people being called out to plant new ministries, so this is a great and timely word. I know of three couples who God asked to leave everything and go to Colorado to plant a church. So Amazing how God does that and equally amazing to see people just daring to obey and being called to God 1st. I specifically would like to hear your wisdom on the RELEASE, the “giving of ownership”, kind of like Moses Father in law did for him. How does that look practically, the “giving of ownership” because that is so necessary in every church plant. Thanks!