What is a Ninja Church Planter?

nin·ja \’ninjƏ\ church \’chƏrch\ plant·er \’plan-tƏr\

Definition: A serial church planter who:

  • is on the move like a Ronin, and travels where the need is
  • cares not for personal honor or glory, but shuns it, seeking obscurity
  • is willing to sacrifice all in the name of, and glory to, his Master
  • strikes hard for the kingdom, then steals back into the shadows to strike elsewhere
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In the film “Jerry Maguire”, Jerry has an epiphany about how things should be and writes a memo called “the things we think and do not say”. His radical manifesto costs him everything, and in his passion for what he believes, he commits himself to a vision. As a church planter, I relate to that movie more than most people will ever realize.

Church planters have been given enough faith to see something that doesn’t exist yet, and that faith produces bravery to follow the vision. Jerry had one person and a goldfish after his stand at the office, but I had a room of people ready to trust God and see where it leads.

In the end, your core team will be looking to follow you, wondering like Cuba Gooding Jr. saying “Show me the Church Plant”.

Cuba’s reason for staying with Jerry is summed up in just five words. “I believe in you, Jerry”. Your core team is ready to leave good churches, stable programs, and follow you out into the unknown. You will never forget the faces of the first brave souls ready to jump with you, and you’ll be humbled by their faith. Not faith in you, but faith in God, and their willingness to follow somebody out of the open hatch of the airplane as they free-fall into the hands of God.

“Who’s coming with me?”

You’ll be grateful that it’s not just you and the goldfish…but you’ll still want to take the goldfish!

So How do you make sure that you’re not falsely expecting people to follow you while you’re raving and waving a bag containing a goldfish?

THE CORE TEAM COMMITMENT CUT-OFF PHASE

Preferably, you’re not meeting on a Sunday morning. Sundays mean that they’d have to ditch their own churches and it’s too early for that. They’re just getting a feel for what you’re about to do. Don’t worry if they don’t fully understand where you’re going overnight. Look to Jesus and his patience with the twelve during their three years traveling daily with Jesus, gathering up the fragments of his vision, readjusting when they understood it, and questioning it when they didn’t.

Months into the game, however, you’re gonna need to know who on your team is with you. Are they really on your team, or just along for the ride until something better turns up? You need to know if they’re in or out. You’re on a need to know basis now, and you need to know because there is work to do, people to reach, and enemy strongholds to demolish.

This is like the time Gideon crossed the stream to conquer Jericho. At this time, you’ll need to take note of who is drinking from their hands, or lapping like a dog. It’s cut off time. Some decide not to come back; some don’t make the grade. They vote with their feet, or you cut their feet out from under them.

The rest stay because they don’t mind that you told them Davidic dancing was too weird and was gonna freak out the lost, or that you actually do believe what the bible says.

Either way, they’ve worked out what you’re up to now, and it’s time to decide. You’ve finished nailing your colors to the mast, and you need to know who is ready to take to the high seas before you leave port. Losing people is tough at this stage but necessary.

Don’t mess around if they aren’t meant to be there…like Gideon, send ’em home if God tells you to.

For those who are crazy enough to throw their lot in with you, they’ll need to tell their pastors immediately. I’m not suggesting that you have to go read Kissinger’s tome on diplomacy, but you’re going to have to pray for wisdom as you chat with their pastors in order to gain their support. This is a sticky wicket, and you’ll need to approach them carefully


Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on Amazon.com. You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.

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