Archives For Church Planting

Outside TemperatureIsn’t it easier to point out the wrongdoings of others and tell people what to do, rather than be a part of the solution?

My wife and I have noticed this in our children—they love playing the victim. So whenever there’s conflict, instead of figuring it out themselves, they come to us crying out “injustice!”

I wonder where they learned that from? I knew I never should’ve let them watch Sesame Street…

In order to fix this attitude, a few days ago, my wife began teaching them the difference between being bossy and being a leader. Here’s the difference:

  • Bossy people point out the wrongdoings of others, expect others to fix their issues, and are never wrong.
  • Leaders take responsibility for situations, don’t dwell on problems, focus on solutions, and make change happen.

As I was reflecting on this new paradigm of parenting (my wife is amazing by the way), I couldn’t help but notice the similarities that it had with thermometers and thermostats. Let me explain:

  • Thermometers point out what currently is, expect others to do something with that information, and they provide us with the standard—they are never wrong. Thermometers are indicators.
  • Thermostats, on the other…

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In a recent Fast Company article, The Startup Revolution Is About To Surge Again, Coca-Cola VP of Innovation David Butler discussed his ideas about what is needed for the “next wave entrepreneurial growth.”

I see some parallels with church planting and church growth movements.

Butler talks about three waves, two of which have already occurred and one which is forming.

The First Wave

The first wave was, “moving from dotcom to startup”

Startups are now mainstream. It’s never been easier to start a business. There are new tools available that make the process easier than ever before.

Church planting has become more mainstream as well. Church planting became cool. Churches wanted to become church planting churches and seminary graduates began thinking more and more about planting their own churches rather than going on staff at existing churches.

In the startup world,

…new tools, communities, and access to capital have all contributed to today’s global startup ecosystem. That’s the second wave—the wave we’ve been riding for the past decade.

Church planting organizations, congregational church planting arms, multisite, church planting conferences, books, etc. all grew up to create a church planting ecosystem. This was the second wave.

The Second Wave

Church planting organizations and…

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Sending CapacityIn their new FREE Exponential eBook, Sending Capacity, Not Seating Capacity, J.D. Greear and Mike McDaniel, leaders of The Summit Church, share some of the lessons they’ve learned over the last 10 years of planting 23 churches domestically and 90 internationally, and sending out 555 people from the congregation to be part of new church plants. Below, they focus in on what it takes to make a risky move and commit to share your best leaders–the people you least want to send–with new church plants. 

Missiologists say that to begin advancing on lostness in North America, we need to increase the rate at which we’re planting churches fivefold. As you can imagine, planting that many churches will take a lot of resources. However, it may surprise you that the greatest obstacle to planting more churches is not a lack of funds; it’s a lack of qualified planters. Our own denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, has an aggressive strategy to plant 15,000 churches over the next 10 years in North America, and while financial resources are always tight, the greater limiting factor, according to leaders like Kevin Ezell of the North…

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More Than BBQIn their new eBook, More Than BBQ: How God Is Creating a Citywide Church Planting Movement in Kansas City, Dan Southerland and Troy McMahon reflect back on their experience of starting the network and share 10 specific steps they took to bring churches and planters together throughout the Kansas City area. Below, Southerland writes about the importance of praying for and then identifying like-minded leaders to come alongside you to walk out the vision. Download your copy of the FREE eBook to read all 10 steps.

I’m amazed at how often we make the fatal mistake in church planting of trying to do it alone. Going solo. Giving into rugged individualism is a huge error.

Scripture warns us about trying to live the Christian life alone:

Two are better than one, for if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Eph. 4:9-12, ESV)

I believe this also to be true about planting a church. I know it to be true about starting a church-planting network. And it is ridiculously true about…

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What happens when churches from diverse denominations come together with a vision to join forces to reach the seventh-largest U.S. city? In the article below, Bruce Wesley, founder of the Houston Church Planting Movement, shares how 12 churches have come together to create the HCPN Church Planting Residency, which funds, trains and supports church planters they believe will become movement leaders in Houston. Here in this article, Wesley offers three of the five proven dynamics for collaborating with churches shared in his FREE eBook, Multiplication for Collaboration: The Story of the Houston Church Planting Movement

One of my favorite fly-fishing spots is about 10 miles west of Kremmling, Colorado, near the confluence of the Williams Fork and the Colorado River. The giant trees that line the river fill the air with an aroma as sweet as a candy shop. It’s shady, and the parking lot is close enough to the water that fishermen are not exhausted by walking to the river in full gear. Best of all, the fishing is great.

The fish obviously love this spot too. For the fish, the confluence of two rivers makes the flow powerful. The water…

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Extreme SportWhere do you find enough money to start a church during a global recession? Starting a church in good economic times is daunting enough, but starting one now borders on insanity. Insanity or not, church planting has never been a sport for the faint-hearted. In fact, I have always called it the extreme sport of ministry.

But raising money for a church plant may be THE most extreme part of this extreme sport because it takes vision – plain and simple – and a clear way to communicate that vision. Josh Husmann, Lead Pastor of a new church plant called Mercy Road in Indianapolis, raised more money in one day than the average church planter does in a year. How? He clearly communicated his vision at the recent Next Nuts & Bolts Church Planting conference in Ocala, Florida. And left with a $20,000 check.

All conference attendees had the opportunity to enter their Church Master Plans and compete through a series of interviews with church planting experts. In difficult financial times, Josh brought the key elements that unlock finances for a successful church plant.

This equation determines a church plant’s funding capacity:

(Vision +…

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In his new eBook, Sending Church: Stories of Momentum and Multiplication, Dan Smith shares the journey his church plant, Momentum Christian Church, has taken to be a church-planting church that sends both people and money. In the epilogue of the eBook, Smith shines a spotlight on a pastor and church that mastered the art of multiplication tk years ago. Listen in to Greenleaf’s story and ask yourself, What are we doing to forcefully advance the Kingdom?

Recently, I visited my alma mater, Kentucky Christian University, and popped in to see my old prof and friend, Dr. Robert Ford. As we chatted, he told me that Momentum’s story and vision of multiplication reminded him of the late Clarence Greenleaf, a preacher from the mid-20th century.

Dr. Ford explained, “Greenleaf was a minister in Grundy, Virginia. When his church grew to 550 people, he would send out 50 of them to start a new church. When they grew back to 550, he’d do it again.”

Momentum has never come close to an attendance of 550 people, but the story fascinated me. Very few people ever tell me, “Hey! Momentum’s vision for sending reminds me…

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Together for the City: What Can Happen When the Mission Is Bigger Than 1 Congregation? by Tom Hughes and Kevin Haah

What happens when 31 churches from 18 different denominations come together with a vision to reach the second-largest U.S. city? In this inspiring new eBook from Exponential, leaders of the Los Angeles Church Planting Movement (LA CPM) share how this unexpected Movement came to be and the challenges to birthing and developing such a huge vision to plant a neighborhood church in each of LA’s 119 neighborhoods , especially across multiple denominations. Co-authors Tom Hughes and Kevin Haah also flesh out the lessons they’re learning about reaching a city and planting gospel-centered neighborhood churches. In the first two years, LA churches have come together to contribute close to $2 million to the LA CPM mission and plant churches together, offering a beautiful illustration of Jesus’ words in John 17:23: “I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” Download your FREE copy of Together for City.

Key takeaways:

If you’ve been wrestling with addition vs. multiplication in your church–adding people to your church vs. multiplying it–Exponential’s eBook, Spark: Igniting a Culture of Multiplication by Todd Wilson offers an insightful discussion that’s very helpful in providing orientation and encouragement toward multiplication. For our Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) staff, it is familiar territory, as we deal literally every day with why churches don’t multiply and how we can try to equip them to do so.

Almost all of our planters go into the field committed to launching a church-planting movement rather than just planting a single church. However, the truth is that very few ever get to the most minimal stages of multiplication, and it’s even more rare that a church truly achieves a multiplying lifestyle. Spark offers the best summary I’ve ever encountered as to why church planters who have the best of intentions never get a multiplying movement launched.

For our denomination, one pervading reason is the negative experience churches have had as they released members to daughter church plants. We’ve had instances in which a relatively new church sends out a major group of members to start a new church, and the sense…

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I’ve heard some church planters talk about planting being this magical process in which everything just came together. As my wife Melissa and I were planting Lakepoint Church, the preview services leading into launch Sunday were anything but magical for us.

In going from something to nothing, I (Brian) was caught in an undertow of problem solving. You can probably relate. Not all the sound equipment shows up, then you plug it in and realize school gyms echo like conch shells. Your trailer gets a flat. Two leaders quit. Some free bird willy-nilly on the setup team decides to arrange the chairs at a 30-degree angle, instead of the 20 degrees that you deliberately specified! Doesn’t everyone know that someone’s eternal destiny is at stake on whether or not we get this thing right? Let’s just say that going into launch Sunday, I was a tightly wound stress monster.

Melissa, who’s always better at listening to the Holy Spirit than me, practiced a lot of conflict avoidance for that launch season. Proverbs 15:1 became a familiar verse for her: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up…

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Nearly 65 percent of the world’s unreached people groups live in India (1.2 billion people) and the 11 countries surrounding it—comprising nearly 50 percent of the world’s population. This is where Central India Christian Mission (CICM) has planted more than 1,400 churches and where 400,000 people worship on a given Sunday. In the post below, CICM leaders Dr. Ajai Lall (founder) and Josh Howard share three of the five “big things”  they write about in their new eBook, Igniting Movements: Multiplying Churches in Dark Places. If we truly want to see a movement, regardless of our context, Lall and Howard say we must not forget these things.

1—Prayer is key.

We know this is fairly obvious, but too often it’s forgotten. Our leaders in India know firsthand how important prayer is to overcome the tensions we face. If we truly want to see a movement take place in our communities, we must be on the same page with the Spirit of God. Without oxygen, a fire can’t survive. In the same way, without the Holy Spirit, nothing we do will amount to anything. But if the Spirit of God moves, no one can stop it.

2—Children’s ministry…

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In this short video, Rick Warren speaks on the Exponential 2015 Conference and the impact of igniting a culture of multiplication.

“If you believe that in every believer lies the heart of a movement of God, then you can’t miss Exponential 2015!”

“It’s going to reshape your priorities. It’s going to reshape your decision-making. It’s going to reshape your processes, your systems, and how you do church.”

“I believe this is one of the most critical conversations for the church that we can have, certainly for church planters.”

Click HERE to register now!

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