Archives For Church Planting

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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MoneySince the turn of the century, many denominations have made a strong effort to funnel resources toward church planting. This support helps to secure facilities, execute marketing campaigns, provide equipment for ministry, and even underwrite pastoral support.

That’s a good thing.

More denominations are prioritizing church planting—and that’s a good thing.

Not only have denominations created departments that financially support church planting, the church planters have the blessings of the denomination’s leadership, which often helps them gain access to established local churches to seek financial sponsorship.

In the new millennium, networks have followed a similar pattern, though to a lesser degree due to their smaller resource base.

The Landscape Is Changing

Fast forward to today.

I am often asked, “How do you see the funding options available to church planters changing in the future?”

My view is that there will be less funding readily available to church planters from the current sources. But before we get discouraged about the future prospects, we need to realize that we can’t—and shouldn’t attempt to—buy our way into a church multiplication movement in the West (North America, Australia, England, etc.).

The truth is: most denominations and church-planting networks run out of money for church…

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This past Sunday, Grace Hills had our big Premiere Sunday at the Malco Pinnacle Hills Cinema. We had less than three weeks to prepare for the big move after making the decision to switch locations, so the last week or two have been fairly stressful, but when the big day arrived, our minds were a little blown away by the response. God showed up in a powerful way!

Here are eight factors that have been on my mind since we left the theater…

God

I have to point out up front something I repeat often when people are expressing gratitude for how well things went: “We blame the good stuff on Jesus.” He guided our planning and preparation, energized our team for the task, and His Spirit filled the theater with His powerful presence and blessed His truth.

Prayer CircleA lot of prayer

Not only had our staff been praying hard during the days leading up to Sunday but the whole church was praying that God would use the day in a powerful way. When our…

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Igniting Movements: Multiplying Churches in Dark PlacesIgniting Movements Book

By Ajai Lall and Josh Howard

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.

Founded by Ajai Lall and his wife Indu more than 30 years ago, CICM is igniting movements throughout this populous region. In this FREE eBook, Igniting Movements, Lall and CICM leader Josh Howard chronicle the journey toward church multiplication through riveting stories of facing religious persecution, practical leadership insights and multiplication principles that continue to reproduce churches in some of the world’s darkest places. The authors conclude the book by sharing five “big things” we must not forget if we truly want to ignite church multiplication movements where we are. Igniting Movements—the ninth eBook in Exponential’s church multiplication series—offers encouragement, wisdom and inspiration to planters regardless of your context or culture. Download your copy of Igniting Movements.

Key takeaways

REACH: A Story of Multiplication in the City

In an amazing journey, church planter Brian Bolt shares the joy of serving a God of second chances. Story after story in Bolt’s life and ministry demonstrates the depth and power of redeeming grace as God moves to do amazing things through unlikely people. In this FREE eBook in Exponential’s series focusing on church multiplication, Bolt shares his experience at CityReach (the church-planting network he founded) and lessons learned from the process, while highlighting the encouraging stories of men and women emerging from recovery to become inspired church planters and leaders. Download your FREE copy of REACH.

Key Takeaways:
  • God has a way of redeeming difficult circumstances
  • How recovery is an amazing resource for leadership development
  • Inspiring stories demonstrating that God doesn’t call the equipped, but equips the called
  • How service can open doors for the gospel in our communities
  • Practical advice for leading a church-planting network well
  • How clarity in our context propels the mission forward
About the Author

Brian Bolt gave his life to Christ in the back of an ambulance after being shot in the head. His life was radically transformed when he became a part of a men’s recovery home. There,…

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You Can Multiply Your Church: One Journey to Radical Multiplication

North America has larger churches than ever before. Yet the church at large seems to be losing the cultural wars and falling behind the population growth. Church planter Ralph Moore believes that the solution to the problem lies in rapid church multiplication. By steadily multiplying the number of churches, we can expand the kingdom of God much faster than by adding members to existing congregations. In this FREE eBook in Exponential’s series focusing on multiplication, Moore draws on four decades of experience to share Hope Chapel’s journey to radical multiplication, including 18 tensions in the multiplication process and lessons learned about the process, as well as the benefits of a more relational approach to equipping pastors and leaders. Download your FREE copy of You Can Multiply Your Church

Key Takeaways:
  • Why multiplication is easier than addition
  • A new approach to disciple making within your church
  • How you can multiply and add at the same time.
  • Why our current models are broken and what to do about it
  • Some of the tensions you’ll face if you intend to multiply your church.
  • Why victory is assured to pastors who…

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