Church planting is an enormous task that simply requires more effort than a lot of people think going in.
If you’re not careful as a church planter, you will burnout, and if you have a family, you will neglect them. By being “careful,” I mean creating a smart, realistic schedule and sticking to it. It requires being able to think strategically and being able to set healthy boundaries.
You will work 60-70 hours per week to plant a church for at least a couple of years. Even with delegation, I don’t know how you could work less than that and plant a church in North America. There’s just too much to do.
My schedule looks something like this:
- I’m a night owl, so my schedule starts later and goes later into the evening. Your’s may be different from mine depending on whether you work best in the morning, at night, etc.
- The daytime for me looks like a typical 9-5 except that I do most of my work at Starbucks, so I can be in public and build relationships with people.
- I make it a point to have dinner with my family every night at 5:00pm. This is a family routine that is important to me, and I believe that it is important to my 18 month old son. I spend dinnertime and the next hour or two playing with him.
- Then I work more from 8:00pm on, stopping occasionally to watch something on TV or whatever helps to take a break. My night usually ends around midnight.
I take Fridays off as a sabbath. Fridays just work best for me. Taking a day off requires discipline, and sabbath means no work. There is always too much to do for you to take a day off. You have to do it anyway. Welcome to setting boundaries. It’s hard work.
These are simple concepts, but the blunt truth is they can save you from burnout and save your family from hating the church.
I’m currently in the process of planting One Church in Chandler, AZ (onechurch.com). There are plenty of how-to church planting books, online resources and conferences. I wanted to share specific tips from my experience that church planters need to know that are often not included in other resources. Hope this helps.