Sunday, October 26, 2008

How Is My Church Really Doing?

We should periodically take time to assess how our church is really doing, but what do we assess? As I've studied the New Testament I've come to the conclusion that a NT church is simple a community of Christ-followers continuing the mission of Jesus. That's what a church is (and should be) in its simplest form.

With that in mind, here are the three components that we should assess. First, we should assess how we're doing as a community:
  • Are there strong relational connections between the members/attenders of our church?
  • Is there a high degree of fun and fellowship among our people?
  • Are new people being assimilated into our community?

The second component that we should assess is mission:

  • Do we have a sense of momentum?
  • Are individuals joyfully engaged in missional activity?
  • Do we as a Body have a clear, focused missional vision that is shared by all?

The third component that we should assess is disciple-making (Christ-followers):

  • Do we have weekly/monthly stories of life-change?
  • Do we have an effective system for spiritual formation that produces disciples and leaders?
  • Are our people engaged in disciple-making relationships?

Let's not beat ourselves up for the areas where we see deficiencies, but lets work toward continually improving our life together as the Body of Christ. Let's always be working toward being the church that Jesus desires.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Leverage: The Focus of Strategic Leaders

As I work with post-launch planters the concept I try to help them understand is leverage! Leverage is getting more accomplished with less effort. Leverage is working smarter not harder. Leverage is about exceptional impact!

Most church planters do way too much of the work themselves. They all think they delegate well, but very few do. (This is true about pastors in general.) There are four major ways we achieve leverage:
  1. We can leverage communication. Think strategically about how you will use your pulpit, your Sunday service, your weekly communication vehicles, etc. Think strategically about how you will communicate to the community (often referred to as marketing - but it is much more than our traditional mindset about marketing.) Think about other strategic opportunities you have to communicate.
  2. We can leverage the gifts of our people. Think about everyone (not just your favorites) in your congregation. Who is not engaging their gifts or talents in significant ways? Brainstorm on ways to engage the talents of newcomers & prospects too.
  3. We can leverage systems. Think systems. Learn to develop systems. Implement systems. Measure the effectiveness of your systems.
  4. We can leverage technology. How are you using your website? E-marketing? Blogs? Facebook? Linked In? etc.

Don't miss the opportunity to multiply your impact and effectiveness through leverage. Need help? Get a coach!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Don't Stop Doing Evangelism!

One of the major mistakes I see church planters making in their first and second year is that they stop engaging aggressively in outreach and evangelism. This is a mistake!

In our Essentials Training we talk about "How to do the work of an Evangelist." Let me remind us all of a few key points:
  • We must continue to build intentional relationships with people who are far from God and the church. We must continue to encourage our Core Team to do this as well. We must never stop initiating this!
  • We must continue to pray for open doors. Opportunities don't just happen. As we pray, God opens doors for conversations, outreach, and assimilation.
  • We must continue to gather non-believers around us. They may not be ready to come to church, but they will come to your house for dinner, go to a movie with you, or do something fun. Every leader on your team (and especially you as the planter) must be doing this.
  • We must look for the best ways to leverage our time to build more relationships. This is the biggest problem of all. Once our new church is launched, we get busy. Our busy-ness is what robs us of time and energy for evangelism.

Remember, as the church planter, it is your responsibility to keep the evangelism temperature high. No one else can or will! You must set the example. You must be telling fresh stories every week. You must be challenging others and holding them accountable to this. It is the life blood of a new church.

Are you needing help with outreach and evangelism? Get a coach!!! To know more about our coaching services email me at

Saturday, October 04, 2008

God's Favor in Church Planting

"But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as a shield." Psalm 5:11-12

Church planting can be very discouraging at times. Many planters describe their experience as providing them with their "highest highs and lowest lows." These words can bring comfort, encouragement, and hope. I pray that every church planter will feel God's favor; that you will feel His favor surrounding you!