Thursday, May 28, 2009

Strengths Performance Coaching

I just returned from training with the Gallup Organization to become certified as a Strengths Performance Coach. Every pastor and ministry leader needs to know their talents, gifts, and strengths. Unfortunately, many do not. They end up spending a lot of time and energy working in their areas of weakness or mediocrity rather than in their strengths. I highly recommend that you and your team use StrengthsFinder. Three books that make this available to you are Now Discover Your Strengths, StrengthsFinder 2.0, and Strengths Leadership. If you truly want to leverage your strengths in ministry, take the inventory and then contact me or another Strengths Performance Coach.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Spiritual Formation

Today I preached on Gal 4:19, "...I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you." My questions were:
1. What does it look like when Christ is formed in us?
2. What does it take for Christ to be formed in us?

The message went well and the two congregations seemed engaged with me. The bottomline is this: Behavioral conformity is NOT spiritual formation. Spiritual formation is not:
1. legalism,
2. rule-keeping,
3. pressure,
4. exhaustion,
5. behavioral conformity.

Spiritual formation is a heart issue. See Pr. 4:23. When Christ is formed in us, Jesus behavior flows from the heart. To hear the podcast go to

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Missional Renaissance

Reggie McNeal's latest book Missional Renaissance is a must read for every pastor, church planter, and church leader. Reggie always offers the church rich and practical insight. For a church to become missional it has to make three shifts in its thinking and behavior:

  1. From internal to external in terms of ministry focus

  2. From program development to poeple development in terms of core activity

  3. From church-based to kingdom-based in terms of leadership agenda

What is most powerful about Reggie's book is that he gives us "scorecards" that help us measure the things that missional churches need to be measuring. Home run Reggie! Thanks.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Build Men

Every church planter needs a team like the Road Crew at Crossbridge. The Road Crew was a group of men who made a huge commitment week after week to set up and tear down for our Sunday service. Last night we had an appreciation dinner to honor these dedicated servants. It was incredible.

While Road Crew was very hard work and while it required a tremendous amount of commitment, there were lasting friendships and memories made. Also, many of these young men grew tremendously in their faith. As I listened to them tell stories of our 6 years as a portable church it was both hilarious and humbling. I felt honored to be in their presence.

The Road Crew started out as a few highly dedicated men who started at 6:30am on Sunday morning and didn't finish until nearly 2:00pm. Eventually more men were recruited and it grew to two groups, a set up group (that worked from 6:30-8:30) and a tear down group (that worked from the end of the service until about 2:00pm). Then more men were recruited and there were 4 groups - two for the even months and two for the odd months. What made it successful was the leadership exhibited by the original team and the expanding group leaders.

Now that we are in a permanent facility my big concern is that these men will not find a new challenge that will stretch them even further. Men need to be challenged to do things that only men can do. They need big challenges, masculine challenges, tough challenges. Every man needs a big vision. I pray that we can step up now and take them to a new level. Build men!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Never Stop Meeting New People

Some church planters have a difficult time meeting new people. This creates a problem in the pre-launch phase because their goal has to be to gather enough of a following to form a “critical mass.” The best church planters are often “people magnets.” They draw many others around them. Usually this means that they must be aggressive in meeting new people.

If a planter hopes to launch large I encourage them to build a solid prospect base of at least 200 people. They also need a missional core team who will build a solid prospect base of at least 200 people (400 total). Many church planters have never operated this way before, so this is a stretch. However, with some basic people skills and a high degree of intentionality, this is very doable.

The danger comes when the church is launched and the church planter becomes very busy with weekly services, preaching, programming, counseling, etc. The danger is to stop meeting new people. Don’t let this happen to you!

Even after you launch your new church, make it a habit to get out, network, and meet new people every week. Keep building your personal prospect list. Keep encouraging your core to be investing in people and inviting people who are far from God. Don’t lose the missional focus and discipline that you started with. Set the example. Never stop meeting new people.