Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Power Point Help for Graphically Challenged People Like Me

Seth Godin has done it again. He has given us a great resource for free. Do you need help creating better looking power points and presentations? This is for you, check it out:

Click here: Become a Really Good Graphic Designer.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chick Fil A

This is the funniest video I've seen in a while - maybe because it is so true!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

You Must See This!

Wow! This is the most moving video I've seen in a long time. Take a look.

A Heck of a Day

One of my favorite stories is that of Jim Valvano, the legendary basketball coach at North Carolina State University. Nicknamed "Jimmy V", Valvano was diagnosed with bone cancer in June 1992 and then died in April 1993. The month prior to his death he spoke at the inaugural ESPY Awards, presented by ESPN, where he was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award. In his speech, which drew a lengthy standing ovation, he made these comments:

To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.

I like this quote because it sounds like a day in the life of a church planter, and that's a heck of a day! Ask God to help you enjoy every day of your church planting experience.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Train Your Core Group in Stewardship

My friend Ed Stetzer has conducted research on the health and survivability of church plants in the U.S. today. His research is available through the Leadership Network (www.leadnet.org). His research has revealed this:

Survivability increases by 178% when there is a proactive stewardship development plan within the church plant.

I've seen this to be true in my experience as well. I encourage every church planter to have an intentional stewardship training plan for their missional core prior to launch, and to have a plan for ongoing stewardship training after the new church is launched. Don't be afraid to teach on this topic!

One of my favorite examples of this is found at Hill Country Bible Church in Austin, TX. All of their planters (and they plant 3-5 churches each year) take their core groups through 3-4 weeks of stewardship training, they ask all their core to commit to tithe faithfully to the new church plant, and they ask for a one-time "first fruits" gift on top of that to cover start up costs. All of this happens prior to the launch of the new church. As a result, their plants are almost financially self sufficient from day one!

Train your core in stewardship. Ask for a strong financial commitment. Raise the bar higher than you've ever raised it, and see what God does!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Give The Challenge

Don't be afraid to give the challenge!

Sometimes we are afraid to raise the bar high. We ask ourselves "What if they say no? What if they bail out? What if we get criticized? If they turn away, am I a bad leader?" These are all common questions that church planters wrestle with in their minds. As a result, we're afraid to give a strong challenge to our core teams.

My encouragement to you is don't be afraid. Just do it! You must raise the bar high with the core team that is going to help you plant this new church. You'll never succeed if you don't have a team of highly committed missionaries in your core group.

What's holding you back? What fears are controlling you? What limiting beliefs are going through your head? Be bold and courageous. Call people to a high level of commitment and don't be ashamed. Jesus calls us to a high level of commitment - we should call our leaders to a high level of commitment as well. For resources to help train and equip your core click here. If you need more help, get a coach! We're here to help.