When I push my kids out the door they always have three questions: Where are we going? What’s the route we’re taking? Which car are we taking? These are the same questions potential core team members will ask when they are considering joining a church plant. They might not ask it just like that, but they all want to know: where they’re going, how they’re getting there, and what’s the strategy we’re using to get there.
These are three questions that church planters have to be able to answer as they prepare to plant a church. Potential partner churches want to know, potential core team members are interested, and other church planting agencies require these three things to be in place before they will financially support the planter.
1) Vision – Where are we going?
The vision has to be clear. I like the metaphor of the destination because when I share with my kids that we are going to Grandma’s house they know exactly what that means. The destination is clear. Is your vision clear? So clear that when you say it people understand it? If you can’t share your vision and explain it in less than 3 minutes then you have some work to do. If you’ve never thought about vision to this level of clarity I HIGHLY recommend Church Unique by Will Mancini.
2) Values – What route are we taking?
If the vision is the destination then the values are the route you’re taking. This is the way you’re getting there. Your values are things that matter deeply to you and your church. This isn’t your statement of beliefs or doctrinal statement. They should be derived from belief, but this is specific as to how you want to function. For instance, one of our core values at CityView Church is to love people far from God. Obviously, this is rooted in the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, but this is how we are choosing to think about it.
I recommend no more than 6 values. The best number is probably 3 or 4 values. A good resource on this subject, although it isn’t strictly a Christian book, is The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni.
3) Strategy – What vehicle are we taking?
If vision is the destination and values are the route, then strategy is the vehicle that you’re taking to get there. Strategy is the simple way you are planning to accomplish the vision. Many times these are the core programs you will use to accomplish the vision. For us it is our weekend worship service, life groups, and dna groups. These programs make up our discipleship process. Our strategy operates within the confines of our values and moves us towards our vision. Church Unique is helpful on this strategy development process as well.
Sundays are work days for pastors. They are busy from early mornings until late at night. CityView Church where I lead is a portable church, we meet in an elementary school. Setup starts at 6:30am and tear down is over at 12:30pm. Then there are lunches, counseling appointments, and meetings in the afternoon. Finally, we’ve got Life Group at 5pm.
All of these things are GREAT and necessary and… exhausting…
In the past I’ve made the mistake of taking Mondays off. That’s right, I said mistake. I’ve got a friend. Here are 4 reasons why I think it’s important that pastors shake off their case of the Mondays and go into the office.
4 Motivations for Pastors to work on Monday
Sunday is fresh in your mind. You need to debrief. What went right? What went wrong? Who was there? Who wasn’t? On Monday, it’s still on your mind. If Sunday was a particularly good day (or bad one) you likely haven’t stopped thinking about it. Consequently, I always prefer to deal with it early so that it doesn’t shade the rest of my week.
Monday is a great day to deal with numbers. I look at attendance for our services, life groups, and giving. I look at trending data and try to assess how we are doing. Emails are returned and notes are written. I take out my plans for the coming week’s message. I look at meetings that are coming up that week and prepare. It’s a good day to plan, pray, and think. My friend Jeremy Roberts has written on this as well.
Recharging is really important. Sunday has been draining and it is sometimes hard to worship on Sunday mornings when you are about to preach. I take some time on Monday to write personal notes to volunteers and visitors and listen to some podcasts of preachers I follow. I need to hear the Word from others. It brings deep encouragement and good renewal.
I spend my weekly day off, usually Friday, with my family. I take my boys to school, have a breakfast or lunch date with my wife, take a nap in the afternoon, and plan some low impact family time for the evening. Frankly, I’m not in the mood for any of that on Monday. I can barely form sentences. I want to have energy for my family. That’s not me on Monday.
I recently heard Steve Gaines, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, speak at a conference. He said in no uncertain terms that pastors shouldn’t work on Mondays because “you shouldn’t feel that bad on your day off”.
What do you think? Do you take Mondays off? Another day? Why?
My name is Jason Crandall. I am a nobody. I’m the proud owner of a lot of “nevers.”
I’ve never been on staff at a megachurch.
I’ve never led a college Bible study of thousands…or hundreds…or dozens, for that matter.
I’ve never been on TBN (not on a segment I’d admit to, anyway).
I’m just an Everyday Pastor. I love Jesus and His church. I believe it is the hope of the world. And because of that, I believe nobodies can make a difference.
I believe that any size church can be involved in the most effective means of disciple-making in our world today — church planting. We can saturate our areas with the gospel, no matter what the attendance numbers on the roll sheet say through multiplying churches.
Our Story of Church Planting
My launch team and I planted a church near Houston almost 3 years ago. Our church has grown both numerically and spiritually. In these early years, we’ve sent three church plants that are growing today. Additionally, we have another resident who we are sending in a few short months. Averaging 160 people every Sunday, we’re a small church by anyone’s standards. We may be small, but we love equipping and sending others out to accomplish the Great Commission. We love thinking about the effect we can have over the long haul, and how we are trying to make going to Hell hard in Houston, Texas.
There are a few simple steps that any church can take to make a big impact for church planting.
It is critical that the Senior or Lead Pastor is convinced that the church is God’s plan for gospel advance in this world, and that church planting is the most effective way to make that happen. This core conviction shaped our direction as we planted. We decided we didn’t want to build a megachurch, but instead wanted to create a collective of churches (the CityView Collective) that would blanket the megacity of Houston, rather than only a single church in a single suburb.
Concentrate on Collaboration
There are two areas of collaboration that need your attention: Internal Collaboration and External Collaboration. Internal collaboration is about getting leaders of your church on board with the conviction. External collaboration is about aligning with and working together with other like-minded churches, denominations, and networks.
Capture a Vision
Pray. Think. Dream. Strategize. I believe every church should be involved very directly in church multiplication. I don’t believe every church should be involved in the same way. How is God calling you to be involved in Church Multiplication.
Communicate the Vision
As people, it is true that what we care about, we talk about. Talking about the things we love is easy and comes naturally to us. That said, if church planting is a core conviction of your church, then talk about it constantly. Share the vision and the plan. Talk about it all everyday in every way.
Follow Through on Your Calling
Too frequently churches start a program and then quit. That’s not how church multiplication happens. It also isn’t God’s will for you to start something and then quit quickly. CityView Church is committed to planting 100 churches in the Houston area in 25 years. We are in it for the long haul. We know what we’ve been called to and we are going to do everything in our power to complete it.
These ideas are delved into in greater detail in my book, Proliferate, A Church Planting Strategy for Everyday Churches. Pick it up from Amazon (Paperback or Kindle) or Barnes & Noble (Paperback or Nook).
Does anyone like complaining? Does anyone like hearing grumbling? Do you like hanging out with chronic complainer?
The answer is, obviously, no. Complaints discourage, frustrate and slow the growth of you and others. That’s why Paul tells the Philippians believers, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing,” (Philippians 2:14). Leaders especially need to keep themselves free from complaining in order to point the direction forward. People don’t follow laments, they follow leaders. So what can you do to keep yourself from becoming a chronically complaining leader? So glad you asked.
3 Ways a leader can keep from complaining.
- Pray. It isn’t trite and small, it is the biggest and best thing we can do in the middle of frustrating circumstances. When we take the problem, person, or problem person to the Lord, more often than not our hearts change. We see things differently. Our frustrations settle and we see things better.
- Think. Rather than complain spend some time thinking about how you can fix the situation. What is ONE thing you can do right now to fix the situation? What are steps you can take to deal with the issue? Sometimes, it is totally out of your hands, but there is typically something you can come up with to help immediately.
- Act. You can’t just make a plan as to how to deal with a situation. YOU. MUST. ACT. You have to follow through on the thing that would help. You’ve got to deal with it. This is one of the hardest aspects of leadership. You don’t want to hurt someone, you don’t want to stir the pot more, or you’re afraid of some other outcome. Leadership requires prayerful, thoughtful action.
Do you find yourself complaining frequently? Do you have any strategies for overcoming chronic complaints? What are they? Feel free to share in the comments section.
I just got done listening to an interview with Charles Barkley about Kevin Durant leaving Oklahoma City for the Golden State Warriors. To be clear… Charles Barkley is not a fan. Neither is Stephen A. Smith of ESPN who did a Live Facebook feed of his rant about Durant’s departure and had 4million viewers.
As I listen to these two well known basketball personalities I think that the issue is that there is a generational divide. Older generations are struggling to figure out the Millennial Generation. I’m one of the oldest members of the Millennial Generation and as a result I have my foot in this generation and the one following it.
Here are some observations about Kevin Durant and millennials that help bring clarity to this generation. These are just some observations and comparisons. I’m not a researcher, but these are characteristics I’ve noticed over years of ministering to millennials:
- Kevin Durant wanted a great team. Millennials like joining something great with a great vision rather than striving for individual greatness. They find their identity in the collective. They want to be recognized for great individual contribution on the team, but they want to be part of something great.
- Kevin Durant didn’t want to play with a selfish Russell Westbrook. Millennials don’t like working with selfish people. Frequently called a selfish generation, millennials are more likely to reject those who are always craving the limelight. They care about themselves, but they like the idea of sharing.
- Kevin Durant took less money to play for the Warriors. Millennials like money, but it isn’t everything. Millennials prefer security. Once they have a perceived sense of security they’ll do almost anything.
- Durant valued relationships. Millennials care about the people around them. They want to work with people they love. Leaders need to strive for this type of loving environment.
Durant is a millennial like many of those within our churches and ministries. We need to understand them, not complain about them. They want strong vision, selfless teammates, personal sense of security, and meaningful relationships. That sounds like the basis of a great team, organization or ministry.