In Planting Missional Churches from Ed Stetzer & Daniel Im, there’s a helpful outline of Paul the Church Planter in chapter 3. As you plant a church yourself or help to equip planters, this should be helpful.
Paul was personally prepared for his church planting ministry
- His world-class formal education training gave him a broad understanding of divine history
- He was vitally connected with God (2 Cor 12.7-9)
- He became prepared by stepping out in ministry from the start (Acts 9:20-22)
- He was teachable. He apprenticed under Barnabas. He was willing to be under authority before God and put him before others. (Acts 11.25-26)
- He lived an exemplary life (1 Thess 2)
Paul was an evangelist
- He began preaching the gospel right after conversion (Acts 9:19-22).
- He was a net fisherman in two ways: he led whole families to Christ (Acts 16:25-33) and he conducted large-group evangelistic meetings (Acts 13:44, 14:1, 19:9-10).
- He looked for those who would be most receptive (Acts 18:6).
Paul was an entrepreneurial leader
- He had a vision and call from God (Acts 9:15, Rom 15:20-23)
- His vision was to be the apostle to the Gentiles by leading missionary teams into new territories to plant churches. He combined quick-strike evangelism with church planting. The wedding of these two powerful methodologies sparked movements that made an impact for generations.
- He selected the workers and apprentices he wanted on his team. He was not afraid to ask others to make sacrifices for the cause of Christ (Acts 16:2-3). Sometimes he would not let people on his team (Acts 15:38). Paul also appointed long-term leaders for the churches he started (Acts 14:23). He even gave direction to his teammates as to where they should minister (Acts 18:19, 19:22).
- He received direction from God as to where his team should plant, and his teammates had confidence in his decisions (Acts 16:6-10).
- He was a proactive strategist (Acts 13:14, 44-49). He produced a reproducible pattern for his church planting (Acts 14:1, 17:2).
- He deliberately did advanced planning (Acts 19:21).
Paul was a team player.
- He was willing to be on a team (Acts 13:1-5).
- He always planted with a team (Act 15:40, 16:6, 20:4).
- He had a sending base church to which he reported back (Acts 14:26-28).
Paul was a flexible, risk-taking pioneer. (1 Cor 9:19-21)
- He constantly penetrated new territory (Rom 15:20).
- He targeted a new group (Romans 11:1).
- He pioneered new methods of ministry (Acts 13).
Paul cared for people (shepherd role)
- He invested personally in the lives of people (Acts 20:31).
- He was like a nursing mother and an encouraging father (1 Thess 2:7-11).
- He was vitally concerned with the growth and development of converts (Acts 14:22).
- He drew close to coworkers (2 Tim 1:2).
Paul empowered others (equipper role)
- In order to lead this rapidly growing movement, he risked delegation to young Christians (Acts 16:1-3).
- His team planted churches on their first missionary journey and then a few months later came back to these new churches and appointed elders (Acts 13:13, 21; 14:21-23).
- He recognized his own strengths and weaknesses and delegated to others according to their strengths (Titus 1:5)
Paul stayed committed to fulfilling God’s calling and vision even at a cost of extreme personal sacrifice (Acts 14:19-20, 2 Cor 11:23-28)
- He never backed down, and he never gave up.
- He maintained a thankful attitude in the face of cruel and unfair treatment (Acts 16:25).
Paul was willing to let go of his church plants and move on to plant more (Acts 16:40)
- It seems that Paul needed special encouragement to stay in a city for very long (Acts 18:9-11).
- The longest he stayed in any one place was three years (Acts 20:31).
- Ephesus was possibly his strongest plant and our best model (Acts 19:10).
- He had faith in God’s ability to keep the churches he started strong (Acts 20:32).
- He was willing to let his best teammates leave his team in order to benefit best the Kingdom of God (Acts 17:14).
- He followed the example of Barnabas, who was willing to let go of the top position on the church planting team (Acts 13:6-12).
- He modeled the church at Antioch that was willing to let go of its top leaders (Acts 13:1-4).