Anyone who has read this blog for a bit or who knows me, knows I am all for church-planting (in the right circumstances). In fact, when I first began seminary I thought I was going to be a planter, and have not completely ruled it out of our future. However, I want to encourage potential pastors to make it the last option, or at least think really hard first. If you are wanting to plant a church so you can remove the pulpit, wear jeans while you preach, or crank up the music, you probably shouldn't plant a church. Secondly, if you haven't shared the gospel with someone in the last month, don't plant a church. It's probably not your calling. Church planters must be actively involved in personal evangelism. That's what biblical church planting is after all. If you're not doing it now, chances are you won't do it then.
I am thinking of those staying in America of course, and obviously, there are many places in America where there are very few if any evangelical churches and planting is vital (hence Keller in NYC, Driscoll in Seattle, NETS, etc). However, many people plan on planting churches in the south where there are plenty of churches. Every one of those churches is making a statement about Christ. I think its fair to say that the majority of those churches are sending a distorted message about Christianity to their communities. So why not go into a church, be patient, pray, work hard, shed tears, love and feed Christ's sheep, reform and reclaim for God's glory? Is it because you lack the patience, or the courage to go deal with hard people? No matter how confused, old, or generally un-hip they may be, Christ has sheep that are impoverished all over the country. Sure it may take 10 years to get to elder leadership, or longer expositional sermons, or updating the externals, or doing biblical discipline, but what better way to spend your life? Consider others, namely Christ's church, better than yourself and your personal preferences that will probably be out-dated in 5 years anyway. So make sure you are being selfless before you plant. Make sure you are being humble. Make sure you are being faithful in evangelism. Make sure reformation & reclamation is not a better option. If those things are in place, by all means, plant.