Developing a realistic time line is essential for the new planter. It should include all the set-up steps and preparatory spiritual work. You must have a time line. I have found it a good idea to make three plans and debate the three plans with your core leaders.
I have found that most church planters are excessively optimistic. And think that is a good think. But the down side is your planning can be unachievable. I think it is a good idea to decide on a plan and then add 20% more of a span of time to what you think you can pull off.
I recommend moving from just a checklist to answering the following questions:
- Who will do each task?
- How much time will each task take?
- How much money will each step require?
- Where are you going to find the time and money?
- What’s the back up plan for each step?
These are often questions left unanswered by planters. I find the more specific a plan is greater the likelihood it will be executed. I have failed at three church plants and succeeded at a couple as well. And I have guided dozens of plants. I attribute my failures to not answering the above questions in enough detail. And I have found the more detailed a planter can make their time line the more likely they will succeed.
I have a time line right now in my backpack from a church in the southwest. It is very good in outlining the sequence of needed tasks to accomplish. But I can predict the planter will struggle. Mainly because he is overly optimistic as to how much of the plan he can achieve on his own. There are three major resources a planter team has that need to be budgeted in the plan as well. These are:
The planter needs to remember they have limited supplies of all these three. I recommend assessing what each task will take to achieve in terms of time, money and energy. If you run out of the resources above you will need to go and find more.