I heard a story about a church planter a couple of days ago that disturbed me. Basically this guy got a great sponsoring church that was supporting him with the whole package. The sponsoring pastor gave him free reign to recruit from within, a big check every month, resources, prayer… the whole 9 yards. The church planter recruited hard and took as many as he could without consideration for who shared his vision or values, who he could get along with etc. He set out with his team of more than 100 from the sponsoring church and never looked back. His church plant took off and grew rapidly. Most of the people he took with him didn’t last more than a few months. The sponsor church struggled to recover from the loss of finances, resources and members. A few years later another man in the sponsoring church felt God’s call to plant a church. This time the church put the breaks on the whole deal. They wanted nothing to do with sending out another planter and risking another bad experience.
This would be like me pillaging from my parents house with no consideration for their needs or desires to the point that they decide never to have another kid because it was such a bad experience.
I think most planters never think about the impact that they could have on the sponsoring church. Are we thinking about how our relationship with other churches is making them more or less likely to plant churches in the future? I was the first church plant my sponsoring church ever planted in but they have planted several times since then. I hope that means that they had a good experience the first time.