November 13, 2006
Church Planting For Dummies: Day 3 Pt. 2
I need to post this before it gets too far removed from my mind. I came back from the conference on Saturday, and went right to work on the three services at the Church. I didn't post yesterday because I finally got to see my family.
Greg Dostal spoke at Saturday morning's session. Greg is in the middle of planting his first church, Act1 Vineyard, and came to speak as "someone in the trenches right now." Often when attending one of these conferences, as I have said before, you get the vision, leadership, blah, blah, blah stuff. All of that is good, but they often use that stuff to hide the fact that church planting is hard and painful.
When planting a church there are times of great joy and there are times of great pain. There are two or three who seem to launch and never look back on their way to 1,000+. But then there is everyone else. And even if they do skyrocket, they have to deal with being nomadic, personnel issues, people leaving, people getting angry, etc. just the same as everyone else.
Here are some of the notes I took:
Greg referenced Jeremiah 20:7-18 as part of his call and how he has experienced church planting. There is a tension between pain and joy in this passage. (Personally, I would be a little worried if my call came from the book of Jeremiah. They don't call him the Weeping Prophet for nothing!).
1. You have to have a call. Don't plant because you are unhappy with your church experiences or because you can't plug in anywhere else. More than half of the time, the call is the only thing to hold on to.
2.You must have a vision. You must be flexible. Vision development takes time to see come to fruition. God has an eraser, and while you may have in mind what you want to do, God may change and tweak that along the way.
3. Your spouse and your family needs to be completely into it. Satan always attacks your priorities and your family.
4. Pray. This may seem basic, but with the busy-ness of planting this can become easy to forget. Find time to spend with God-Pre-schedule this time.
5. Don't settle and Be exceptional. Do your best to bring excellence to whatever you do: preaching, music, gatherings, outreaches, BUT don't pretend you are a big church if you are not. If you pretend you are something you are not, you will be compared (like it or not) to those churches and you won't measure up.
6. No one will be as committed as you to the mission. There are people who will come close. But you are the one on whom God has placed the call for that church.
7. The percentage of people who will show up for your outreaches (by outreaches I mean mostly Servant Evangelism) will be LOW!! Just expect to be the only ones sometimes.
8. Go after the unchurched. Pluck people from the fire. Get close enough to smell like smoke.
The two most powerful things you as a church planter has to share is:
1. The Blood of Jesus
2. Your own story
Find creative ways to tell His story and your story. No matter how much you are communicating, you are never communicating your story or the vision enough.