Does Church Planting ALWAYS Have To Be So Expensive?

By Jonathan Reitz

June 3, 2015

One of the main applications for coaching is to work with church planters.  But sometimes church planting is a complicated, expensive process.  

Every coach that works with church planters has a story about how the process is difficult, and time-consuming. These are difficult problems to solve and to coach.

Can't planting a church be easier?  And less expensive?

Tony Webb (author of Raising Rabbits, Not Elephants and Gathering to Movement: Gathering as Essential to our Culture) has developed a simple and easy-to-reproduce process for planting a church, called GSE.  You could do it.  

In fact, you could do it today.

Here's how GSE works.  There are three key roles:

GSE LogoThe Gatherer:  This person has one responsibility:  Gathering people.  Not teaching them Scripture, not preaching, not leading a team, just getting people together.  The Gatherer is the person who knows everyone.  This person starts the party.  Maybe they deliver some early sermons, but their main responsibility is to gather.  That's it.

Gatherers are not evangelists, they are differently gifted, focused person - they are men and/or women or teens; but they are used by Jesus to start churches.  It's a uniqe role, for unique people.

The Shepherd:  Once people are getting together, another person takes the lead on guiding the gathering to Jesus.  This might be done individually or in the group.  The Shepherd is just that, the person who connects people Jesus.  Again, that's their only responsibility.

As the Gatherer and the Shepherd work together, a church is born.  It probably doesn't look like the way you picture, but it's centered around Jesus.  And it grows, because the Gatherer keeps gathering and the Shepherd keeps shepherding.

Eventually a third role needs to be added to the mix:  the Elder. This is the person who helps structure the church and set it up for multiplication.   

That's it.  GSE:  Gatherer, Shepherd, Elder.  It's simple, and it works.  It also takes NO MONEY to start a church.  Anywhere a Gatherer and a Shepherd can work together, a church can be born.  Learn more at

So now that I've piqued your interest, do you want to know more?

Gathering AssessmentWell, over the last year, I've worked with Tony Webb to develop a Gatherer Assessment, online. It is now live and I would love for you to go online and take it. It is free.

Check it out and let me know your thoughts.   The online gatherer assessment is at:

What do you think?  I'd love to see your comments below.

Comments (1) - Post a Comment
Excellent encouragement and resource! Simple and easy to communicate!
Robin Dugall at 1:06pm EDT - June 4, 2015

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