Church Planting Lesson #6: Fast Come Fast Go


When your first starting church and you want to determine “how big” you are, you count every adult, child, and dog that is nearby.  No matter what a pastor tells you, numbers do matter in their mind.  They say they don’t think about them, but it is incredibly hard not to.  I am not suggesting that numbers mean everything only that they meaning something–not all good somethings either.  With few exceptions, the church grows and the church shrinks.  I never get used to it. 

I see new faces every week then never see them again.  I want to ask why?  What did I say to tick them off?  Did they not like our building?  Was my sermon too long?  Was our music cheesy, too loud, or just all around lame?  Then there are those few people who, after you scream at them for 45 minutes, run up to you in tears and say something to the affect, “I’ve been looking for a church like this for years!”  After a brief conversation full of flattery and compliments, they’ll fill out a newcomer card and transcribe it all over again.  They’ll return the “welcome” email with another compliment and maybe even show up for one more Sunday.  Then they’ll be gone–never to be seen again.  Who knows why, most likely it is because they are consumers for whom you were a spiritual high like a hit on a bong.  They’ve built of a tolerance to you and are no looking for their next hit. It never fails.  Those who get the most excited the most quickly are the first and quickest to leave.


Author: Sam Ford

Sam Ford is a preacher, planter, and pastor from the Pacific Northwest. He is currently pastoring Restoration Road Church in Snohomish, WA.

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