Church Planting Questions From a Science Nerd

Wow! It’s hard to believe, but a few months ago we planted our 500th church! For an organization that is celebrating our 15th anniversary this year, this was a HUGE milestone.


As you can imagine, after planting 500 churches in 15 years we’ve learned a few things along the way. We’ve learned a lot about what to do (and even more about what not to do). One thing that people often ask is what we are looking for in a potential church planter. What is the right profile or the “special sauce” for a great future planter? Our response is often simple… “We are looking for a catalytic leader.”

Now, some of you know this about me, but in case you don’t, I am a bit of a science nerd. When I hear words like “catalytic” my ears actually perk up. I also recognize that for some of you, terms like that can cause a spontaneous and/or uncontrollable eye roll – especially if used in the same sentence as “synergy.”

Let’s take a look at the actual definition of a catalyst and see what we can learn. (Ok, so this is where I begin to geek out.)

CATALYST: /kad(ə)ləst/ (noun)

A substance, relative to its reactants that modifies or increases the rate of reaction without being consumed in the process.

Let me “unpack” that a bit… (See what I did there?)

relative to its reactants: Great church planters relate well to those around them and are great communicators – on the stage and across the table. They have an innate ability to connect with people at a heart level and leverage it in order to share the good news about Jesus. They tell great stories and are fun to be around.

that modifies or increases the rate of reaction: Great church planters get things done and lead others to get things done for the Kingdom. Church planting is hard work and it requires the kind of discipline, leadership and drive that inspires and challenges all those around them to jump into the vision and join in the mission of the church.

without being consumed in the process: Great church planters are in love with Jesus and although they are in the world, they are not of it. They are passionate about seeing those far from Christ drawing near to Him and being transformed by His grace, love and mercy. Their relationship with God impacts their lifestyle and rubs off on those around them.

Those are the kinds of “catalytic leaders” we are trying to identify, equip, and connect with multiplying churches around the country. We help these “catalytic leaders” plant healthy, vibrant, multiplying churches. And we won’t stop doing so … until every child has a church!

Did I just describe you? Click HERE and hit us up. We would love to connect and talk about your next steps in church planting and help you through our Discovery process.

Did I just describe someone you know? Click HERE and refer a friend. We would love to reach out to them and see if we can help them on their journey of church planting.

TLA - BOB CARLTON BIOBob Carlton is the Director of Recruitment at Stadia. After becoming a fearless follower of Jesus in his 20’s at a church plant, Bob knew he was called to help catalyze a church planting movement. Since then he has been recruiting, assessing, training, and coaching planters and pastors around the world. He has helped develop and lead numerous church planting networks, operating systems, and pipelines for planter cultivation. Bob is now leveraging his experience and relationships to identify emerging leaders around the nation that are considering a call to plant healthy multiplying churches. When not out helping others connect with Stadia, he and his wife Kristina can be found working hard to be the hands and feet of Jesus in their neighborhood.



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