123: Church Planting Mistakes – “I Know What I’m Doing” (with Tim & Matt Simmonds)

Tim and Matt Simmonds are church planting brothers who are pioneering churches in Manchester and Amsterdam. In this series of podcast episodes they discuss mistakes they have made along the way. Today they talk about starting out thinking that "I Know What I am Doing."


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"I Know What I Am Doing"

  • Starting out, we can know what we want to create and so do it in isolation.
  • We can have vision and be confident.
  • But in reality, having a vision is sometimes not far off being a day-dreamer and confidence is sometimes not far off arrogance.
  • Sometimes there isn't really another way to get started – without this feeling of knowing what we’re doing we will never start.
  • The early years of a church plant are more of a developmental time for the planter themselves than they are about helping the church and serving the city.
  • To plant a church there is a sense of stupidity about it – if you were to do market research, you would find there is no market for it – you are launching something that goes against what people are wanting at the moment!
  • You often don’t think whether it is confidence or arrogance, you just get on with it – and over time God reveals things in your heart.
  • When you are starting out you need wisdom, support and advice but there is a tendency to drive off in your own direction.
  • Church planting can be the greatest thing for working out character and maturity.
  • Church planting can expose the ‘good ideas’ that we think we have as ridiculous.
  • It can be very sobering when you spend a lot of time working on a sermon and there are not many people there.
  • In the early years how you process what is happening is important. This comes through in many missionary books.
  • Having coaching relationships is very important.
  • Often people plant churches because they have dissatisfaction with what they have seen before. You need to kill this off before you start planting.
  • Many others have been through the same challenges you have before, so you are not bringing something unique. This means we can lean on others for help.
  • There is a distinction between a consultant who gives you advice and others who can come in with a bit more authority and are known by others in the church.
  • The authority of this kind of person is to help you shape what you do, not just dictate the answers.
  • You give them the authority to speak in – they don’t take it.
  • When working with other leaders coming through you need to give enough space to make the mistakes.
  • Let them carry it because the only way they will learn is to have ago, make mistakes and realise they need help.
  • The same grace and mercy we want ourselves we need to extend to others.