The first thing a church planter should do (before he even unpacks his boxes if possible) is identify and honor the spiritual fathers in the city he’s occupying. I did a decent job of this when I moved to Charlotte. I could have done a lot better.
(If the term spiritual fathers doesn’t work for you, how about something like most influential Christian leaders? The important thing isn’t what you call it. What matters is that you do it.)
You may want to make a list of ten churches in your community/surrounding area that are really making a difference for Jesus. I don’t think it necessarily needs to be the largest churches. In fact, the more diverse the list is, the better.
Reach out to the pastors of those churches. But don’t ask for anything – not a meeting or even a return call. Just reach out and express gratitude and support. Send them a hand written note thanking them for their work in the city. Deliver a gift card to a nice restaurant. Pray for them once a week.
In my experience, God will honor those who honor those who have gone before.