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1. Is the Holy Spirit out ahead of you planting the church? You don’t plant a church for God; you plant a church with God. If money, people, and a place start showing up as you’re preparing to plant, that is potential evidence that the Holy Spirit is out ahead of you (Acts 1).

2. Is your church planting call obvious to other godly leaders?

3. Has God confirmed your church plant by showing up in miraculous (big, supernatural, no-other-way-to-explain-it) ways? In Acts 3 and 4, Peter heals a man, preaches, and then thousands of people get saved.

4. Are you reaching lost people? The goal of church plants is the salvation of lost people. If you’re not doing this, don’t plant a church. If you want to be a shepherd, there are plenty of existing flocks in need. (Acts 8:5–9)

5. Has Jesus shown up and told you to plant? (Acts 9)

6. Has God told you to plant through a vision? In Acts 10 and 11, Cornelius and Peter both have a vision: Peter is called and Cornelius welcomes him.

7. Has God providentially relocated you to plant? In Acts 11:19–21, believers scatter due to persecution and plant a church where they resettle.

8. Is God calling you to plant because you’re not totally necessary at your current church? If you’re in a church with good leaders that will be fine without you on their team, God may be calling you to relocate to a place where you can use your gifts and resources to their full capacity. (Acts 13)

9. Is God calling you to plant because you’re currently wasting your time in a toxic place? (Acts 14)

10. Are you called to be a catalytic church planter or to plant a church-planting center? In Acts 14, Paul goes from one city to the next planting churches and then sends in other men to establish elders, whereas James (Jesus’ brother) plants a church in Jerusalem and stays there, sending other men out.

11. Has God called you to plant by giving you a deep burden for a city or people? (Acts 17:16)

12. Has God called you to plant by giving you a core group? (Acts 18:7-8)

Pastor Mark Driscoll is the Preaching and Speaking pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. He is one of the world’s most downloaded and quoted pastors. His audience—fans and critics alike—spans the theological and cultural left and right. Follow his updates at twitter.com/pastorMark.

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