Church Planting & Church Health Boot Camp

bootcampThe first week of June (1-5), MCM is hosting a Church Planting & Church Health Boot Camp at Allison Park Church. I have personally been part of a boot camp like this and it was a huge blessing. It was a week that gave participants powerful tools and direction to be more effective in their ministry. There are two separate tracks for the week: church planting & church health. This has the potential to be incredibly beneficial to you as a church planter or as a senior pastor. This week-long experience is best for you…

  • If you have begun to take steps to church plant. This week will help you refine your process to plant and even clarify what and who it’s going to take.
  • If you are planting a church and have been bogged down in the details of what to do or even how to do it. The different activities throughout the week are geared toward helping people grasp the direction God has for their church plant and what are the actions steps needed to get them there.
  • If you are pastoring an established church that has seemed to hit a wall ineffectiveness. This week will really help you evaluate what your church is doing and how you can make changes to be more effective.
  • If you have become frustrated in your efforts to grow your church. Sometimes as pastors we are working hard to build the church with tools that aren’t effective in that specific environment. This week will help you identify the best tools to build the church in your community.

If you’re interested in being a part of this great week, the registration cost is only $85 and you can register online here.

I hope to see you there!!

Putting Together a Launch Team: How?

The final component to recruiting a launch team is making the ask.

Don’t be afraid or ashamed to make the ask:

  • Whether you’re going to be paying them or not, you are not asking them to make a sacrifice,  you are giving them an opportunity to join you in transforming a community.

  • If you begin a recruiting conversation with an apology, you’ve just lost them.

  • Your perspective must be to communicate your vision clearly and ask them to be a part of your team.
    • It’s not simply to serve in a role, but to be a part of something bigger.

A few recruiting tips:

  • Lead with vision, not ‘the ask. Help people grasp your vision before you ask them to join it.
    • One of the best ways to do this is through stories.  It helps put a face to your vision.  Share testimonies or hypothetical situations of residents in your target community.
    • You want people to relate and connect with the problems you are trying to solve.
  • Once you’ve communicated clear vision, communicate the team role you would like them to serve in.
    • Be clear in your expectations
    • Let them see how that role will help in accomplishing the vision.
  • Finish with a ‘Imagine If’ vision.
    • Give them a mental picture of what their efforts will do in changing a community/city.
    • “Imagine if you were in this role…”

Putting Together a Launch Team: Who?

Continuing my post from yesterday on assembling a launch team. Today, I’d like to move pass the question of ‘What?’ and move onto ‘Who?’

Now that you have identified the key roles, now comes the tough part – finding the right people to fill those roles.

  • John Maxwell, “Those closest to a leader will determine the success level of that leader.”

  • Write down each of the key roles you’re looking to fill & list names under each of them. As you might hear in a church planting boot camp, don’t role anyone out. List 3-4 for people you might consider for each role.

    • There are different areas you can look:

      • These can be people you’ve known in ministry
      • People you’re familiar with through your own network of relationships
      • People from sponsoring churches
      • Students at credible ministry schools, colleges or seminaries
  • Wherever you find them, make sure you get the right people not just the available people.

    • Having the wrong people in roles can cause double the work, and instead of being a catalyst in the launching of your church, they can become a barrier to your growth and effectiveness.
    • Your ability to have a clear vision for you church will help you identify who the right people are.
    • Jim Collins states in Good to Great: “…people are not your most important asset, the right people are.”
  • Be careful not to simply bring people onto your team that you know. You want to bring the right people onto your team.
    • Having the right people will save you frustration in the long run.

Putting Together a Launch Team: What?

Last week I taught a session at a church planting roundtable on how to put together a church planting launch team. The main premise of my talk was “Church Planting is best done in community (as a team), through community (relationships), to a community (a ministry focus).” Over the next few days I’ll be posting my notes that answer the questions of What, Who, & How? Here’s the first one: What?

The first step for any church planter should be to identify their community and target.

  • This is a combination of assessing your passions & giftings with God’s callings and promptings for your ministry.

In identifying the target community, decide what the problem your team is called to serve.

  • As Andy Stanley states, “What problem has God called your team to solve?”
    • Gives a team a reason to be
    • Creates the context for passion
        • Pat McMillan: “A clear, common, compelling task that is important to individual team members is the single best factor to a team’s success.
        • Teams are dissolved when the problem is solved.
      1. Don’t start with position, start with your goal.
        • Once you’ve identified the problem, establish what key roles are necessary to solve that problem.
        • Most church plants will begin with at least these three:
          • Lead Pastor/Teaching Pastor
          • Worship Leader
          • Children’s Ministry Leader
        • Other possibilities
          • Admin
          • Outreach
          • Assimilation
          • Tech/Design

        Once you’ve identified the key roles you need to fill…

        • Establish clear expectations for these roles. Your ability to establish clear expectations will determine your team’s ability to function effectively.
          • Pay (full-time, part-time, volunteer)
          • Titles (be careful not to throw around titles without purpose and the right timing)
          • Responsibilities (what will they be doing?)

        Tomorrow, I will post notes on Who to Recruit?

        Dan McNaughton – Coaching Church Planters

        I’m at a Church Planting Roundtable today in Carlisle, PA.  Here are notes from Dan McNaughton’s talk on ‘Coaching Church Planters’.

        What coaching is…
        Coming alongside someone and helping them succeed.

        What coaching is not…

        • Telling someone what to do.
        • Giving advice

        Biblical examples of coaching:

        • Barnabas
          • Name means “Son of Encouragement”
          • Acts 4:36-37 – “Giving Resources”
          • Acts 9:27 – He came alongside Paul in Jerusalem
          • Acts 11:25 – He helped Paul in Antioch
          • Acts 12:25 – He brought Mark from Jerusalem

        “If you’re looking for a nice neat, safe process, don’t coach people.”


        • Relate
          • Establish coaching relationship and agenda
          • How are you doing?
          • What do you want to address
        • Reflect
          • Discover & explore key issues
          • Where do you want to go?
          • What obstacles are you facing?
        • Refocus
          • Determine priorities and action steps
          • What are some possible ways to get there?
          • What will you do?
        • Resource
          • Provide support and encouragement
          • What resources do you have?
          • What resources are missing?
          • Would you like some accountability around that?
        • Review
          • Evaluate, celebrate & revise plan

        “Coaching is about action.”

        John Wooden, “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

        John Wooden, “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who can never repay you.”

        A Sermon Series to Launch a Church

        In the process to plant a church, lead church planters have numerous choices to make.  One of the biggest initial choices is what sermon series they will use to launch their church. This might sound like a minor issue, but it is quite important.

        I won’t get into the importance of preaching in a series, I’ll assume you’re already on that page.  With a church’s ‘Grand Opening Series’ they establish their first impression to the community. It’s not just another portion of the service, it is the very message your church proclaims and the first one at that.  So here are a few thoughts for you if you’re in the midst of creating your ‘Grand Opening Series’:

        • It may seem appropriate to launch your church by preaching on your church’s values or mission, but this is usually only appealing to ‘churched people’.  Rather then doing that, establish your mission in the community by showing them, not telling them.
        • Use your ‘Grand Opening Series’ to set the tone for your church:  go after the issues in your community.  Preach a series that is relevant to the needs of those that live in your area (i.e. relational strife, economic struggles, fear of the future).
        • Rather then asking: ‘What do I want people to hear about my church?’, ask ‘What are the needs my Jesus wants to meet in my community?
        • This may seem obvious, but just wanted to state it:  Bring every message back to Christ. Cast the net of salvation…do it every week.  If you’re not good at it, learn and keep doing it.
        • Finally, don’t make the series too serious. When addressing genuine needs, a message and series can take on a very serious tone.  Keep things upbeat and positive.   No one wants to come to a new church that is already depressing and lifeless.

        If you’ve planted a church before, anything you would add?

        Raising Money for Church Planting

        Every church planter (except for those millionaire planters) have to fundraise to some extent. Some more then others, but it’s still a necessary part of starting a church from scratch.  With that said, just wanted to share some fundraising tips for all you church planters or church planter-hopefuls out there:

        • This might sound very basic, but I can’t express how necessary this one component is.  Before you ever look to raise any kind of money, give your fundraising to God. Make sure your efforts are concentrated with prayer.  Understanding God’s role in raising funds and involving Him in that process is critical.
        • Make sure your vision and purpose for planting is clear. There’s nothing worse for a pastor then to have a guy sitting across the table asking for money and not having a clue what he’s going to do with it.  Know your vision and know how to communicate it with passion & conviction.
        • Once you’ve prayed and have clear vision for your church plant, begin to look for financial partners. This might be a healthy church in the area mothering your plant (ideal).  It might be a number of churches investing finances and people into the formation of this new church.  It could be a number of individual donors that believe in your vision.  One of the more popular fundraising routes today is planting through a church planting network (or denomination).  You can oftentimes receive more funds this way, but there are usually stipulations.  The best thing to do, though, in finding financial partners is to use various combinations of these sources.   Multiple sources will ensure more stability.
        • If you’re having trouble finding financial partners, try breaking your expenses down.  For example, rather then asking a pastor to give $50,000 toward planting your church, you ask him if his church could purchase a video projector for $3,000.  This not only makes things more manageable for a money-conscious pastor, it also is a more tangible investment for a church or investor.
        • One last thing…remember, if God has called you, He will provide!

        Anything you would add?

        Building Your Team Past a Church’s Launch

        Yesterday I posted about the ‘Ideal Church Planting Team‘.  Today I’d like to discuss what roles need to be added following the launch.  Yes, between these two lists there a lot of leaders – a lead pastor shouldn’t feel the pressure to fill every role in a short period of time.  They need to be filled over a period of time, but this does communicate something that is crucial to the growth of a church – leadership development.  With that said, here’s the ‘Post-Launch Team’ roles you want to keep on your radar in no specific order:

        • Outreach Coordinator – In our network, this role is by a church’s Network of Hope Coordinator, but regardless of what you call it, it’s important to have someone helping to organize outreaches and networking in your community.
        • Youth Pastor/Leader – Depending on your context and community, as a church growths the need for someone to organize age-specific ministry for teenagers will become increasingly important.
        • Media/Tech Coordinator – Having a person to focus on media needs (video, graphics, etc.) will help a church present a more professional image to the community.  It can also assist you in communicating the gospel in a more relevant and understandable way.

        The list can go on and on, but these are just a few key roles that you’ll want to keep in front of you as your church begins to move out of the ‘church plant’ stage.

        Are there additional roles you would add?

        The Ideal Church Planting Team

        In the church planting world, there is often a debate as to what are the most necessary roles to have filled when launching a church. These roles would include a lead church planter (obviously!), a teaching pastor, a kid’s ministry leader, a worship leader, an outreach coordinator, an administrator, a youth leader, an assimilation coordinator (guest services, greeting, etc.), a set-up/tear-down coordinator, and the list can go on and on. For those of you currently in the church planting world, I’d like to hear what your thoughts are on this list. Now I understand these can vary based on your context and target audience, but here’s my top 5 in order of priority:

        1. Lead Church Planter/Teaching Pastor – I know it’s kind of obvious, but there is sometimes question as to which comes first, the vision on the planter? I would say that can depend, but ultimately the vision is useless without the leader planter.
        2. Worship Leader – In a traditional church service model, having a worship leader is huge. It is difficult (not impossible) to invite people to a service and expect them to connect without somewhat descent worship and relevant, biblical teaching.
        3. Administrator – I’m becoming increasingly convinced that this is huge. Most planters have big vision and are incredibly passionate – their one weakness, though, is filling in the detail. An administrator helps execute and administrate the detail of the planter’s vision.
        4. Kid’s Ministry Leader – In our church planting context, we are striving to reach families of some sort. This means kids and therefore it’s important to have a ministry for those kids. Many of you have probably heard the statistics that state nearly half of all Christians in America did so before the age of 13. Kid’s are so impressionable and the impact you can make in their lives is incredible!
        5. Assimilation/Discipleship Coordinator – It’s great getting people through the doors, but that’s not really our ultimate goal (at least I hope not!). We ultimately are called to create disciples – this is the big ‘wow’ position, but it is the big ‘impact’ position. Without this, we’re just putting on a good show every week.

        What do you think? Would you add a different role to this list?  What order would you put them in?

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