Enjoy our latest on church planting...
We have a new padlock on the gate to our church building in downtown Birmingham. The old one was somehow misplaced, and that, in large part, was what led to our 24’ trailer getting stolen just two days before we were set to launch services in our new facility. That may not seem like such a big deal (that’s what insurance is for, right?), but the problem was that all of our sound and kids equipment had yet to be moved into the building from said trailer, meaning that we had less than 48 hours to come up with a lot of stuff or launch Sunday was a no-go!
How do you know if it is time to plant or multiply? This question plagues and paralyzes many churches and church planters. In this brief video excerpt, Dave Harvey answers the question.
There are two dangers to avoid before planting a church: the danger of planting too fast, and the danger of planting too slow. There is a tension to be honored in our quest to plant churches. We must not be guilty of the sin of commission by planting too fast and we must not be guilty of the sin of omission by planting too slow. Perhaps, it is the temptation of the younger generation to plant too quickly while the temptation of the older generation is to plant too slowly. In our zeal for growth, we must be careful about replicating an immature or unhealthy church. In our zeal for health, we must be careful about not replicating a mature and healthy church.
So, how can we best navigate this tension so that we stay out of the ditches of “planting to fail” on the one hand and “failing to plant” on the other?
Even with a solid biblical and theological basis for mission, aspiring church planters find that building mission into the fabric of their new church can be a challenge. Here are a few practical suggestions in developing a missional emphasis in a church plant.
I was told recently that the majority of people on the planet now live in cities. Urbanization has been increasing for decades, if not the last two centuries, and this means a pivot point has been reached. If cities are where people live then this is where the Gospel must follow, and so cities are the places we need to be planting churches.
Knowing that change for the sake of advancing the gospel and living on mission can be downright hard and painful, there are some ways we can help our people prepare and process the pain points of multiplication and growth.
If there is any truth to the contemporary notion that the church somehow mirrors the Trinity, then the eternal generation of the Son has something to say about how a new church is to come into existence: a church is generated, not created.
A proper church planting prospectus will serve you on multiple fronts over the first three to five years of your church plant. It will serve as a primer for those interested in becoming a part of your core-team, for possible financial supporters, or for those who simply want to know how they can pray for you. It will serve as an atlas as your forming your small groups, launching gatherings, and putting together documents like by-laws and articles of incorporation. In the midst of chaos, confusion, and difficulty, it can serve as a well needed reminder of why you’re planting and help you remember the long-term vision and goals of your church plant. While a prospectus in no way guarantees the success of a plant, it’s an important part of, as Tim Keller puts it, “building an altar that God would honor with his fire.” Putting convictions, vision, and structures down on paper has a way of unifying and building a shared vision amongst your core team.
For these reasons, it's important that you put your prospectus together with care and diligence. But if you’re anything like I was a couple of short years ago, you’re not exactly sure where to start. I hope these 10 steps help you get the ball rolling in creating a prospectus that will serve you in your church planting endeavors.
If you’re reading this, chances are, you’ve already had “the conversation”. You know, the one where he casually attempts to bring up the mind-numbing news of his nudge from God. Or, maybe he just cooly threw out an “idea-in passing” that he’s been praying about, and asked if you think he might be called to be a pastor. I don’t care how prepared you are, but that question tends to make a wife feel like she’s suddenly stuck in a flight simulator, unable to find a place to land her brain.
The state of our soul involves many things. One of the most critical factors seems to be burnout. Many good people who know and believe good theology find themselves in tall weeds because of physical, emotional, and spiritual exhausted. Deep fatigue has left them vulnerable so that their souls are at risk.
Steve Childers, the President and CEO of Global Church Advancement, laments the way church planters wear themselves out. Church planters tend to be hard workers and overachievers, which often leads to unhealthy habits. They sacrifice their health for ministry. Although they seek to advance God’s kingdom through their hard work, they inevitably hurt the work by not being mentally and physically at their best.
Most church planters have had visions of their new church running through their mind for years. When the moment finally arrives and they are standing in front of their initial band of people, their core group, the planter often thinks this is the time to give birth to five years of thinking and planning…all in 45 minutes – let me suggest you don’t do that!
Your first few core group meetings are essential because they set the tone for the first few years of your church’s life. Your job in these meetings is not to teach your people everything you’ve learned or planned in the last five years. You should have three simple goals in mind: inform their minds, stir their hearts, and engage their hands.