Archives For Church Planting

Old Church

Right now there are over 300,000 Protestant churches in America. Just do the division (300,000 divided by 50 states) and that equals 6,000 churches per state. Wow! That’s a lot of churches!

Think about it this way: there are just over 10,000 Starbucks and well over 300,000 churches! So Starbucks can saturate the United States with caffeinated drinks but almost 30x’s more churches can’t saturate the United States with the Living Water. Seriously???

According to church growth and discipleship multiplication expert Bill Hull, “It still takes 100 church attendees, a pastor and 100,000.00 a year to win a convert. Among evangelicals it is a bit better, 1.7, this is an ugly fact that should grieve us all.”

So our solution is planting more and more churches so that we can reach America for Jesus? Is that really the best solution or is a revitalization of the current churches a the best solution?

My answer is a resounding “YES!”

YES we need more churches planted and YES we need to revitalize the current ones.

When I was a twenty three year old part-time youth leader at a church in Arvada, Colorado I wanted to revitalize the congregation when…

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Scaffolding

I had a dream of having friends I started the church with go the distance with me serving as ministry partners for forty years and then riding together off into the sunset much like Billy Graham has done with Cliff Barrows and George Beverly Shea. It didn’t happen.

Here’s what I know: Those who start the journey with you seldom finish with you. In the church planting world I call this principle THE LAW OF SCAFFOLDING. The people you start the church with are not the people you grow the church with. This is one of the hardest lessons I had to learn as a church planter. I am a highly relational person – a people person. I enjoy people and working together as a team to see changed lives. It was emotionally painful for me anytime somebody left the church. However, part of the process of growth was learning the law of scaffolding.

In the late 1800’s Missiologist John Nevius once referred to missionaries to China as “scaffolds” to be removed when the building was established. Scaffolding is a temporary structure used to support people and material in the construction or repair…

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illusion

Growing up there were many superstitions, wives’ tales, and myths that as you got older you realized, as much as you believed it then, they were not true.  Some were harmless and innocent but others caused fear because if you broke a mirror you believed you would have seven years bad luck.  Even intelligent people will knock on wood, wish on a falling star, and become visibly upset if a black cat crosses their path.  As a child, I remember carefully walking down a sidewalk and avoiding every crack because, “step on a crack break your mother’s back.”

There are many church “myths” today that are spoken as if they are factual.  A myth is defined as, “an idea or story that is believed by many people but that is not true.”  Remember, a myth is called a myth because it has not been proven true.  The problem is that we hear myths, believe them, and then allow them to control our thinking and our behavior.  When churches believe myths rather than the truth it causes fear and can paralyze their ministries.  Things like, “If we build it they will come!” or…

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Nuts and BoltsThis is practical, how-to training designed to provide you the tools needed to successfully launch and lead a healthy church that reaches this generation. And all for only $59 per person!

Crowd to Core growth is what distinguishes our church planting model and conference training from others. Many models follow a core to crowd approach when starting a church. They begin, for example, with a small group of people meeting for Bible studies, and slowly grow the church from the inside out to reach the community. Though it is one way to build the church, as Rick Warren teaches, it is easier to build a church from a crowd than to build a crowd from a church.

Your weekend service should be designed to draw a crowd of people and create an air of excitement. The church of the living Christ should be exciting, never boring or irrelevant. We should be capturing people’s attention with the amazing truth of God’s love for them. So join us at Lake Pointe Church near Dallas, TX for two days of fast-paced training with church planters Ron Sylvia, Steve Stroope, Dave Page, Mark Lee…

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MegachurchAs the saying goes, “The world is going to hell in a hand basket.”There’s never been a greater challenge for world evangelism, there are plenty of social problems like hunger and homelessness we face here in the United States, Christians are being marginalized more than ever, religious persecution is rampant on a global basis, and that’s just the beginning. But what are we still debating in the Church today?

Megachurches.

Hard to believe but I sometimes think we Christians spend more time criticizing large churches than anything else. Are there problems in 2,000+ member churches? Of course. But I work with churches of all sizes for a living, and I can tell you that for every case of shallow teaching, bad theology, leadership failures, financial improprieties, or whatever the criticism du jour happens to be, I can point to a long list of 50+ member churches guilty of the same things.

From the perspective of a person passionately interested in how Christians engage today’s culture, here’s some reasons I think it’s time for a moratorium on megachurch criticism:

1. You had a bad experience at a megachurch? Grow up. There are plenty of bad experiences to…

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Jump Into Church PlantingLeadership guru Ken Blanchard once shared with me that you could tell if a person was an entrepreneur by the fourth grade. Church planters are spiritual entrepreneurs. Merriam-Webster defines an entrepreneur as “one who organizes, manages and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” I remember starting my first lemonade stand when I was ten years old and recruiting other friends to help me. My first love was baseball and I was the guy that would call up his friends and ask one to bring the bats, another to bring the balls and invite everyone to meet at the elementary school at 2 pm to play baseball. In the same way, a church planter asks one friend to bring the sound system, another friend to bring the children’s ministry equipment and invites everyone to gather at the elementary school for a worship service.

Church planters are spiritual entrepreneurs who know that the odds are stacked against them in starting a successful church but they’re willing to assume the risk anyway. Unlike a business entrepreneur whose primary goal is to make money, a spiritual entrepreneur’s goal is to make…

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What if every church had a vision to plant ten churches in ten years?  If two couples were to move to a city with the goal of reproducing themselves and multiplying every three years, it could happen.  Four couples could plant 32 churches in ten years.  As you study the multiplication of the early church you notice that when it was illegal church planting was exponential, when it became acceptable church multiplication slowed down, and when it became advantageous to be a Christian church multiplication came to a screeching halt.

A church multiplication strategy is committed to developing not a church plant but a network of churches in a city or area.  In Luke 10:6 Jesus sent seventy of His followers out in groups of twos with their mission being to find a person of peace.  When they left that city, who was left in charge of the Lord’s work?  Paul, in his church planting journeys, used this same strategy of finding a potential leader, training them, empowering them, and leaving them in charge.  If 10% of our churches were planting churches, we would double…

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There is a formula for launching a church in America. Collect lots of money. Spend lots of money getting the word out. Turn the big crowd of strangers into a church. It’s easy… if you have lots of money. But c’mon, church planters are hackers by nature right? It’s possible to get the word out in a better way, especially today.

When we began planting Grace Hills, we didn’t want to drop a ton of money on massive but impersonal means of announcing our arrival – and we didn’t have a ton of money anyway. So we used Facebook. We’re still using Facebook. And it’s working.

  • We started with two couples (including the Cox’s). We spent $0 on traditional advertising but had 35 at our first gathering in July of 2011.
  • We grew to approximately 80 within six months by word-of-mouth and while spending $0 on traditional advertising.
  • We launched with 176 on our first Sunday, mostly gathered through Facebook, word-of-mouth, and search engines.
  • Today, we’re the most “liked” church in northwest Arkansas and an estimated 75-80% of our first time guests found us on the web.

Why Social Media…

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Birthing a Church 101

By Kyle Searcy

When my wife and I decided to start a family, we thought we were “ready” to become parents. We had read the best books, asked for advice from our most auspicious relatives and mustered our prayer life around what God had in store. And He didn’t disappoint us!

Last weekend, I spearheaded a new church in a different state. It reminded me of the exhilaration I experienced while waiting for our first child to be born. And the process to create a successful beginning to this baby church paralleled some of what we had to do to prepare for our own progeny. Conception begins the baby’s life; vision for the new church had to be conceived and defined. Babies take nine months to grow through strategic and intricate design modules in order to have the necessary parts to support life; a new church must work through a strategic plan so that the outcome matches the original concept. The DNA of both babies and churches integrates the function of the body in a cohesive manner. The anticipation is exciting but once the new one (baby or…

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Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 9.42.09 AMIn the historic Filipino city of Caloocan, a team of six will watching 10 hours of almost continuous programming on discipleship. In Poland’s fourth-largest city, Wroclaw, a group of five will be listening to Rick Warren, hearing the music of the Reunion Worship Band and watching the same videos aa a group of 12 on the Southern Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago, a group of 14 in Western Australia and a team of 25 people in Wadsworth, Ohio.

The free high-quality webcast from Exponential West affords leaders the opportunity to join hearts and minds with disciples worldwide and bring these speakers and programming for you staff, small groups, whole church and community. The free webcast will be streamed live over three days from Tuesday, Oct. 8, to Thursday, Oct. 10. Anyone with an Internet connection can watch it on their computer or mobile device.

To register for the FREE Exponential West webcast, click here

The webcast is fueled by Exponential’s goal to see as many as possible church leaders, small groups, church planting launch teams, individuals and even full churches participating in the discipleship conversation,

“This webcast…

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