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?


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 You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.




This is the night you gather up all the peeps that you think might be interested in your “crazy idea”. You invite them to your house, a Denny’s, where ever. It doesn’t matter on the first night. The point is that you’re gathering the people that you think might be interested in church planting. If it resonates, they’ll be back the following week.

Initially it’s best to tell them to come that night, and explain that there’s no strings attached, and you’re not going to make them sign in blood on the dotted line. At the end of the night, you let them go away without any talk of commitment. Instead you simply say:

“If you liked what I said, then I’ll see you next week.”

Some will, some won’t, but from there on, you continue to meet weekly, for about 9 – 12 months.

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How will you recruit a team?  I wish I could give you a formula, but I suck at chemistry. I also know that God invented Algebra to illustrate that sometimes there is an unknown factor in every equation. In church planting, He’s called the Holy Spirit. Mark him with a letter x, p, q, or whatever, but like the wind in your parachute, there are just some things that you can’t plan. Building your team is one of those things. I can remember God moving in the Starbucks that I planted my first church out of. It was obvious that the Spirit was moving, and that the lost were hungry for the gospel, but I had no team. I had already quit the ministry, telling God that church people weren’t for me and that I was tired of their games. Ministry, however, isn’t something that you can flick on and off like a light switch and before I knew it, the Holy Spirit was moving. At the time Pillar was just taking off in a Starbucks and lost people were enthusiastic. My wife and I stood out on the edge of a field on one of our hikes through Wales, and she said, “I don’t feel safe without a team”. Standing there in that clearing, we prayed. She for a team, and me for anybody else who could come along and be more suited to take this thing than me.

Within a month, we had a team.

I make no bones about telling people that if you’re going to church plant, then you’d better start expecting God to turn up. No more of this playing in the whitewash of human effort when he’s given us the powerful currents of the vast ocean in the Spirit. He’s like the wind, and He turns up and blows

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To catch the blog post about Missional VS. Attractional CLICK HERE!

Each church planter is seemingly faced with a choice as to what path they will take, deeming one path as the way of the Jedi, and the other as the dark path that must never be ventured down, lest it forever dominate their destiny. However, those that watched the prequels know that only Sith deal in absolutes. The difficulty with glorifying one model at the expense of demonizing the other is that the Spirit may be working through both.

From the 1st  Century onwards, Church history is packed with examples both missional and attractional. Those that have gone before us seemingly utilized both approaches as they followed their call to proclaim the gospel and expand the borders of the Kingdom of God.

Charles Spurgeon, a favorite among many missional community leaders was so attractional that he had to ask his congregation to limit their attendance to the Metropolitan tabernacle to 3 out of 4 Sundays so that the massive crowds in London could be accommodated. There was even a

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There is a debate raging in the church planting community; Attractional or Missional? Both sides are firmly convinced, and go at each other like the British and Americans alternatively championing tea and coffee.

In mentoring church planters, I’m often asked which approach I favor. Before I answer that question, allow some brief summaries for those not familiar with the terminology.


The generation who had their heyday in the 80s and 90s favored the attractional model. The plan was simple; rent an industrial building, renovate the sanctuary, plan a bunch of programs, hire a dynamic youth pastor, cater to families and watch the people pile in. Place the emphasis of church upon meeting needs, running programs, and excellent teaching, and the church becomes a “one-stop shop” for everything people need to enhance their

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