Sunday, July 26, 2009

The 4 Essentials for Starting a Missional Church

As we train church planting leaders we talk about the 4 essentials for starting a missional church. Here are those 4 essentials:
  1. Church Planters Must Have a Story. There should be a clear and compelling reason for what you are doing. This reason can be seen in how God has led you and worked in your life and circumstances up to this point. That's your story! You should be able to capture it and share it in a way that not only makes sense to others, but gives them confidence that this is truly what God has called you to do! By writing and refining your story you gain clarity of calling, clarity of mission, and clarity of values.
  2. Church Planters Must Have a Vision. There is so much confusion surrounding this concept of vision. Let me encourage you to "de-mystify" this. Yes there is certainly a divine component to vision, but really it is not that difficult. You simply want to get a clear picture of a preferred future in your mind. You want to clarify a picture of a specific church, in a specific community, impacting that community in a specific way. Gaining clarity does take some work, but you must do it in order to inspire others with a dream and direction that they will give their lives to.
  3. Church Planters Must Have a Plan. Unfortunately many planters are very undisciplined. They do not take the time and discipline to think, to write, to refine, and to schedule. We train planters in a simple form of project planning that requires them to be detailed and specific. This is just good stewardship. Yes, plans always change some in the process of implementation. But wise planters are always refining and managing their plan. Good plans include mobilizing intercessory prayer, evangelism & people gathering strategies, and resource gathering strategies, just to name a few.
  4. Church Planters Must Have Milestones. How do you know that you're on track? How do you know that you're really making progress? How do you know when to celebrate? Every big venture requires small wins. These are the milestones. They also serve as the metrics for measuring your success. Ed Stetzer's research suggests that many (if not most) planters have unrealistic expectations when beginning. This leads to discouragement for themselves and their teams. Milestones enable you to measure your progress and stay on track.

We are currently re-designing our entire training system for church planters. We hope to have this available soon. For more information on future "Essentials" seminars or church planter coaching email us at

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

Find Your Strengths

The effective executive builds on strengths - their own strengths, the strengths of superiors, colleagues, subordinates; and on the strengths of the situation. Peter Drucker

In order to be all that God created us to be, and to do all that God created us to do, we must discover, know, and leverage our strengths! As a strengths coach, my aim is to help church planters and church leaders learn to use their strengths 80% or more of the time.

Conventional wisdom tells us that we must learn from our mistakes. However, all we learn from mistakes is the characteristics of mistakes. Instead, we should focus on learning from our successes. That's where we will discover our strengths.

Peter Drucker wrote that the best leaders "get their strengths together and make their weaknesses irrelevant." As a missional leader, that's what you must do. This also describes how we must lead our people. Help them discover their strengths. Then help them leverage those strengths on mission!