Core Beliefs About Church Planting

One of my goals over the next five years is to see our church send out 20 church planters a year. I am quickly realizing that we will never reach this goal if we don’t settle on some foundational beliefs about how we will plant new churches. With that said, I have been drafting some of our core beliefs about church planting. Take a look over the first three and give some feedback.. Good, bad or ugly… I can take it.

Theology Trumps Methodology

We believe that too much training in methodology and not enough training in theology is detrimental to the church planter.  We operate with a fundamental belief that the more theologically grounded we are the better planters we are. This is not to say that methodology does not play a role in church planting but that the best church planting methodology flows from Biblical theology.

Churches Plant Churches

We think that the local church is the means by which God will expand His kingdom. Parachurch organizations are tremendous resources for the church planter and should be utilized to the extent that they are helpful. These organizations should never replace the local church as central authority in the church planting process.

Overgrowth is Undergrowth

Fidelity to Christ is the Goal of the church, not growth. We seek to plant churches that view the luring work of the Holy Spirit as the only hope for church growth. Additionally, it is best that a steady stream of equipped saints are dispersing from every local church to spread the gospel to places where Christ is not yet known.


  1. Reply
    Colby Garman says

    I think you are off to great start. I am glad you are working on these things. It seems that many church planting organizations capitalize on the work that other churches are doing in discipling and raising up believers and leaders by luring their planters with resources and money. Unfortunately it leaves any group that wants to reproduce multiplicatively in a position of always looking outside itself for the new leaders. When this happens there is a failure to develop vision for the members that would help them imagine that one day that might substantially lead in a planting situation. The challenge we face is figuring out how to develop and equip these leaders from the context of our actual ministry. I hope this makes some sense.

  2. Reply
    Kevin D. says

    The first one is key – our theology should drive us in all of our endeavors, individually and corporately. When numbers, method, or any other issue take precedence over the primary authority of Scripture, we are doomed to failure – and that failure might look like substantial numerical growth.

  3. Reply
    Trúmál.is says

    Hi Clint,

    I think this is great! I believe that it is very important to establish a common ground, mission and vision when a group wants to accomplish something BIG.

    I often look to Jesus and his last words in Matthew when thinking about this. He left his disciples with a really clear purpose, a really clear vision and a huge mission and He had, through his time with them, given them the “correct” foundation. So when they were “all alone” 😉 they knew what they were supposed to accomplish!

    And what you have listed up there looks good. I especially like the first part on the theology and methodology. I believe that if you know the Bible and study it, you will be “discovering” a lot of excellent methods to accomplish what God wants you to accomplish.

    That’s it for now…looking forward to seeing how things will be going 🙂

  4. Reply
    Trúmál.is says

    P.s. this is David from Iceland 😉

  5. Reply
    clintclifton says

    Thanks for the encouragement guys… If you can think of other areas that would be foundational to our work I would love to hear your thoughts… David… did you see your made it in the state of the church video a few posts back?

    I cant wait to see you and fjola when you come up this way… Are you going to stay with us?

  6. Reply
    David Orn Sveinbjornsson says

    Hi, yes I was just looking at the video 🙂 thanks for including me 😉

    We are also so excited about our trip!!! And we would love to stay a few days with you guys, if that is ok, and if it isn’t of any inconveniance to you! (p.s. Fjóla says a big HI to everyone and asks if you wouldn’t want to meet up with our lovable doggy which will be joining us on our way north (the same dog as we had in Iceland, don’t remember if you got the chance to meet him there))

    Regarding the state of the church video, it is so funny when I though about it, because a couple of weeks ago I was writing a small article (in Icelandic and on http://www.trumal.is) which Title was “reminding us of our past”. The article was partly based on my personal experience. When I look back and I see all the obstacles I have managed to overcome, and when I remember that often, I wasn’t so sure I would ever overcome them, or at least that it would be soooooo hard. But to day I can look back when I am faced with today’s obstacles and I can be encouraged by the fact that I have been in a similar situation and that went ok in the past so I can overcome this obstacle today. And I often think that God throughout the Bible was reminding us and his people that He IS the God who brought them out of Egypt, He IS the God who saved Daniel from the Lions, He is a God who is able and He is and always will be there for you. (This is a very short and maybe confusing version of what the article was about, but I just now, when I looked at the video connected those two together)

    So I just though it was really fun to see a video of a church, reminding it’s members what it has done in the past year…because that truly can be so inspiring and important…!


  7. Reply
    clintclifton says

    I didn’t know you guys had a blog… I added you to my blogroll. We would love to have you stay (and your dog) let us know the exact dates you can be here and we will try to clear our schedules some. If you can be here on a Sunday I know the church would love to see you again.

  8. Reply
    Becky Porter says

    Clint….I checked out David’s blog and it’s in Icelandic. Is there some unknown way for us computerly stunted people to get it in English? I would love to keep up with his blog. Anything Iceland.

  9. Reply
    clintclifton says

    Mrs Becky,
    their blog is in english..it is http://davidorn.blogspot.com/

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