Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

7 Takeaways from Successful Church Plants

Story by Michele Joseph

The single most effective evangelistic methodology under heaven is planting churches,” says Rubén Ramos, the Columbia Union’s vice president for Multilingual Ministries, quoting from C. Peter Wagner’s book Church Planting for a Greater Harvest: A Comprehensive Guide. Here are some tips Ramos and Peter Casillas, who most recently served as associate director for pastoral ministries in evangelism and church planting and volunteer lay pastors in Potomac Conference, say any leader can use in their ministries:

  • Committed leadership is imperative—The leader may not be experienced, but he or she must be 100 percent focused on growing the church plant. Leadership is 90 percent of the success.—Ramos
  • Location is key—If the church plant is not visible or suitable for the commu- nity you want to reach, it will be very dif cult to grow.—Ramos
  • Prayer is the main ingredient—Prayer allows church planters to fall in love with their target audience. Prayer allows us to have the heart of God for the city or group of people. That heart of God fuels a passion that moves us to action.—Casillas
  • Have the right “why”—If a church plant begins because someone is angry with their current church and leaves to start a new one, this will be cemented into the DNA of the new church and create havoc.—Casillas
  • Don’t be afraid to fail—Failure allows learning, which can lead to success.—Casillas

  • Take risks—Try something new, even if you are uncomfortable with it. Your audience may be a different generation, culture, etc. Those who relate to your target audience may have ideas that challenge your thinking, and that’s OK.—Casillas
  • Anyone can do it—You don’t have to be a pastor, but you do have to nd a way to connect with the community in which you are planting seeds.—Casillas


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