Crisis and resilience among church planters in Europe

Stefan Paas, Marry Schoemaker

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Church planting - the creation of new Christian communities for missionary reasons - is becoming increasingly accepted among the larger churches and denominations in Europe. As church plants in the secular parts of Europe are usually underresourced, and remain small, the normalization of this entrepreneurial approach of church and mission raises the question of its sustainability. Part of the answer to this question lies in the resilience of church planters; that is, those who lead these enterprises. In this paper we present the results of a qualitative study of European church planters, with a view to their coping with what often appears to be a mixture of high expectations, unclear structures, and a difficult "market." This research shows the particular nature of crises in the life of a church planter, while identifying sources of resilience. Its results are relevant both for the assessment of church planting projects, and for the training and coaching of church planters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-388
Number of pages23
JournalMission Studies: Journal of the International Association of Mission Studies
Issue number3
Early online date18 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Church planting
  • Crisis
  • Leadership
  • Resilience
  • Spirituality
  • Sustainability


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