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    Training center nov 2011 entire manual Training center nov 2011 entire manual Document Transcript

    • ChurchPlantTraining PARTICIPANT’S GUIDE TeamManual Team Manual November 2-5, 2011 March 9-12, 2011SPONSORED BY e Department of Church Growth & Evangelism e Evangelical Covenant Church
    • Church Plant Training Manual Chapter Purposes, Themes, and Objectives 9-08I. Connecting with the Biblical and Theological Foundations for Your New Church - Grasp the General Information and General Process of planting in the ECC: the first 4 chapters. o The Master who sends us to plant and the Gospel He wants us to proclaim in word and deed (The Message and Mission of Jesus) o That calls us to the Spiritual work of planting through prayer, brokenness, and spiritual warfare. o That sends us into the Mission Field – where the fields are truly ripe unto harvest. o Where we share the Gospel through proclamation and compassion. - Plus the transitional chapter 5 on finding the unique mission and vision for each specific plant.II. Connecting with the Fundamental Steps in Launching Your New Church – the Four-Stage Launch - The 4 stages of a healthy launchIII. Connecting with the Family – Developing local Leaders and a strong connection withthe Covenant – to foster on-gong Health and Growth in your New Church - The Leadership skills necessary - The connection with the Covenant Church planting movement.And through-out the training: - Team Building: build a better sense of team themselves and as they connect with other teams and leaders in the ECC - Spiritual/Technical Balance: develop a spiritual balance of call and humility. Seeking to implement best practices while being totally and spiritually dependent on God for a healthy, missional plant.
    • The Specific Sections and Chapters I. Connecting with the Biblical and Theological Foundations for Your New Church 1. Chapter 1: “The Master Planter – The Message and Mission of Jesus” Theme: The Message and Mission of Jesus should be the Message and Mission of every church we plant. Objective: To be captured by the Message and Mission of Jesus, so the life of each new church flows from that wellspring. Chapter Goals: 1. You will understand the 5 Messages and Missions of Jesus. 2. You will begin to talk about how your church plant will live out each of the 5 Messages and Missions of the Church. Graphic: Jesus the Sower 2. Chapter 2: “Connecting with the Heart of the Master Planter – Spiritual Principles of Brokenness, Prayer, Fasting and Spiritual Warfare” Theme: Church Planting places you in the spiritual battle for the hearts and lives of people. Objective: To focus on the Master Planter in prayer as we connect with His Spirit, gain His heart and rely on His power for the church He is calling us to plant. Chapter Goals: 1. You will learn the need for prayer. 2. You will learn to prioritize prayer. 3. You will learn how to recruit a prayer team. 4. You will learn how to involve the whole church in prayer. 5. You will learn how to seek God’s miracles for your new church. 6. You will learn how to develop good systems for prayer mobilization. 7. Your church will learn how to properly engage in this battle. Graphic: Prayer for a church planter + Jesus weeping over the world3. Chapter 3: “Soil Analysis – The American Mission Field, the Covenant ChurchPlanting Movement, and Why your New Church is Desperately Needed” Theme: Jesus calls you to plant a Covenant church at a specific place in the American landscape. Objective: To understand how to plant in the unique soil where Christ has called you to plant. Chapter Goals: 1. You will understand the desperate need for more churches in America 2. You will get acquainted with the reasons for the success of the Covenant Church Planting Movement 3. You will understand the unique needs of the mission field in the metro area Christ calls your team to plant in
    • You will articulate why God wants this new church in your community Graphic: The US map4. Chapter 4: “The Plow and the Seed Drill – Incarnational Plowing and Attractional Seeding Through CMJ and Evangelism” Theme: Jesus calls us to impact our mission field with the Gospel – with both evangelism and compassion ministries Objective: To establish the priority of evangelism in church planting. Chapter Goals: 1. You will understand both attractional and incarnational evangelism 2. You will begin to plan for at least one method of attractional and one method of incarnational evangelism for your plant Graphic: The Plow and the Seed Drill5. Chapter 5: “Planting the ZERA - Leading to the DNA, Mission and Vision For a New Church” Theme: Church plants need to be able to articulate the 4 components of a compelling mission/vision for their specific plant. Note: While the “Message and Mission of Jesus” and the 4 “Als” are foundational to the mission/vision for every new ECC church we plant, we are now planting in more varied soil than ever before – urban, rural, suburban, ethnic, multi-ethnic, emergent, and various sub-cultures in the US – therefore you must also know the unique Zera, DNA, and Mission and Vision so you can keep focused on growing the unique new church that God is calling you to plant. Objective: To clearly articulate the unique vision/mission for your new church. Note: Chapter 5 is the transition from the Theological, Spiritual and Missional to making this personal and practical in the Launch process for your new church. Chapter Goals: 1. You will find the Biblical seed-verse (Zera) or Biblical story for your new church. 2. You will know the DNA that your church be known for and will be able to replicate this in the hearts and lives of everyone in the new church. 3. You will know your church’s Mission – and will be able to share it in one compelling sentence. 4. You will be able to articulate a Vision of the fruitful impact your new church will have in the lives of individuals and on your mission field. 5. Your team will be able to test your mission. Graphic: The Seed/Zera
    • II. Connecting with the Fundamental Steps in Launching Your New Church – the Four-Stage Launch 6. Chapter 6: “Root Development – Finding and Growing your Launch Team” Theme: You need to build a strong launch team of 30+ people Objective: After the foundational theological, spiritual, demographic and personal material, we begin the practical stages with Stage One of a Church Plant. Chapter Goals: 1. You will know how to find and build a strong launch team. 2. You will develop 3-5 key strategies for gathering and building the launch team. 3. You will understand the ideal mix for the Launch Team. 4. You will schedule events for healthy Launch Team development Graphic: The roots of the seedling 7. Chapter 7: “Leaf Development – Impacting more Lives (more leaves) through Life-giving Growth” Theme: How your new church can gather more people on the launch team and impact more people with the Gospel in attractional and incarnational ways. Objective: To develop a Preview Service where the new church can double the size of the Launch Team and more fully express what it is becoming through public worship and outreach ministries. Chapter Goals: 1. You will be able to double your Launch Team in a way that keeps the excitement building and the life-giving growth expanding through adding a special monthly worship experience. 2. You will understand how to grow healthy ministries for your church plant through large group venues, through your small group venues, and by offering outreach opportunities. 3. You will schedule a healthy development balance for each month while you’re in this stage – using the W. 4. You will understand how to expand your ministry teams and leadership base. Graphic: the leaves of the sapling 8. Chapter 8: “Branch Development – Becoming a Healthly, Missional Church” Theme: How to grow strong ministry teams and get ready for a strong launch. Objective: To help your new church develop more strength and structure through vital ministry teams. This allows for more lives to be impacted and for the tree’s branches to prepare to bear fruit without breaking. Chapter Goals: 1. You will learn how to strengthen your 5 Key Ministries: a. Groups and Structures b. Worship c. Children’s Ministry
    • d. Outreach e. Connection/Assimilation 2. You will learn how to strengthen gathering and growing prior to Launch. 3. You will learn how to develop leadership and volunteers. Graphic: the branches of the sapling 9. Chapter 9: “Fruit Development – Launching the Church, Going Public and the Harvest” Theme: How to Launch as strong as possible. “To achieve high orbit, you need to have a good flight plan, a good crew, and good systems -- and plan on expending a lot of fuel.” Objective: To learn how to be as Fruitful as a New Church. Chapter Goals: 1. You will learn how to invite as many guests as possible. 2. You will learn how to make a lasting impression on them when they come. 3. You will be able to test fruitfulness in your new church. 4. You will learn how to follow-up on guests – assimilation and connection. 5. You will proclaim the Gospel through Great Teaching 6. You will plan and schedule a fruitful 3-4 month Launch. Graphic: the blossoms of the treeIII. Connecting with the Family – Developing local Leaders and a strong connection withthe Covenant – to foster on-gong Health and Growth in your New Church 10. Chapter 10: “Leadership Development – Understanding Spirituality, Chemistry, and Strategy” Theme: Great church planters grow in their own leadership and develop other leaders as they grow the church. Objective: To be able to lead the church toward fruitfulness in the harvest. Chapter Goals: 1. You will learn your Leadership Strength in 3 critical areas a. You will learn about Growing in Spirituality b. You will learn about Growing in Chemistry c. You will learn about Growing in Strategy 2. You will be able to evaluate Gathering, Building and Leadership Development for the first year of your new church. 3. You will learn about the Leadership Growth and developing a Transitional Leadership Team 4. You will learn how to avoid the 4 Pastoral Ministry Corrosion Factors Graphic: the fruit on the tree 11. Chapter 11: “Orchard Development – Connecting with the Covenant and Contributing to the Church Planting Movement”
    • Theme: For true fruitfulness, it’s more that one new tree or one new church, it’sabout more churches, a larger orchard, and a movement.Objective: To Connect with the Covenant and Contribute to the Church PlantingMovementChapter Goals: 1. You will understand why the Covenant has become a strong church planting movement. 2. You will review the Covenant Agreement and the mutual commitments that result in a strong plant and an increasing movement. 3. You will understand how to organize the Church for mission and ministry. 4. You will understand the process of officially joining the CovenantGraphic: The orchard
    • Chapter 1 – Gospel The Message and Mission of JesusGoal: The purpose of the Church is to know God the Father’s love for us in Christ Jesus and to live out of this love. The MessageRomans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the HolySpirit who was given to us. 6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 (For rarelywill anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.) 8 ButGod demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, becausewe have now been declared righteous by his blood, we will be saved through him from God’s wrath. 10 For if while wewere enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled,will we be saved by his life? 1. The missing ingredient in our lives and in our churches is not our love for God but his love for us. 1 John 4:10 In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 2. The Love of God Is Undeserved and Unconditional v8 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. » Not Christ demonstrates, not God died, but God’s love demonstrated thru Christ’s death » Key words: helpless (v6), ungodly (v6), sinners (v8), enemies (v10) » God’s love for us in Christ is unconditional and undeserved—Grace. 3. The Undeserved and Unconditional Love of God Is Alien to Us Ephesians 3:18 you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. v5 And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. » God’s love cannot be learned by us, only revealed to us. 4. The Undeserved, Unconditional, and Alien Love of God Is Foundational Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Galatians 2:17 But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! Galatians 3:24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. » Grace does not lead us away from the Law but to Christ (who fulfills the Law in our lives). » Increase in sin is a response, not to grace, but to sin. » God is wiser than us and cannot be manipulated. » God is stronger than us and does not need our protection. » Grace, by definition, is unfair to God and is a taking advantage of God. » Little grace = ineffectiveness; Just enough grace = legalism; Too much grace = brokenness » Grace is the environment that releases the image of God (Christ) in us. » Without safety/grace, there is no disclosure of sin but only defensiveness and self-preservation.
    • » Acceptance is the door through which transformation happens. » Kindness leads to repentance; forgiveness leads to love. » Grace is a powerful force that has taken into account the entire maturity process. » Grace is God’s strategy for salvation. » Self-justification is not taking sin seriously enough; grace is the ultimate way of salvation. 1 John 4:19 - We love because he first loved us. » Grace precedes obedience » Grace is foundational. Biblical obedience assumes grace. 5. The Message Luke 24:26 Wasn’t it necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things written about himself in all the scriptures. » Direct contact kill us. Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. » Do you want to plant a synagogue or a altruistic organization? Or a Christian church? The Mission1 John 3:23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, justas He commanded us.Isaiah 61:1 The spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has chosen me. He has commissioned me toencourage the poor, to help the brokenhearted, to decree the release of captives, and the freeing of prisoners, 2 toannounce the year when the Lord will show his favor, the day when our God will seek vengeance, to console all whomourn, 3 to strengthen those who mourn in Zion, by giving them a turban, instead of ashes, oil symbolizing joy, insteadof mourning, a garment symbolizing praise, instead of discouragement. They will be called oaks of righteousness, treesplanted by the Lord to reveal his splendor. 1. Who? v1 God has positioned and empowered (spirit, love, and position/opportunity) Jesus. 2. What? v1 To use his spirit, love, and power to help those without or less spirit, love, and power. 3. Why? v3 to reveal his splendor 4. Who are the poor, the brokenhearted, the captives, the prisoners, the mourners, the discouraged? » The broken + Grace = Oaks of righteousness » Victim is affirmed, and then empowered to affirm the victim and to empower… 5. v1 sovereign » The reality of Grace reveals the purpose of power in our world. » Leader = Power = Servant. A leader is one who leverages his/her power to serve those with less power. » Justice = The playing out of the reality and truth of Grace 6. James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?
    • CHAPTER 2 - PRAYER Connecting with the Heart of the Master Planter Spiritual Principles of Brokenness, Prayer, Fasting and Spiritual WarfareTheme: Church Planting places you in the spiritual battle for the hearts and lives ofpeople.Objective: To focus on the Master Planter in prayer as we connect with His Spirit, gainHis heart and rely on His power for the church He is calling us to plant.Chapter Goals: 1. You will learn the need for prayer. 2. You will learn to prioritize prayer. 3. You will learn how to recruit a prayer team. 4. You will learn how to involve the whole church in prayer. 5. You will learn how to seek God’s miracles for your new church. 6. You will learn how to develop good systems for prayer mobilization. 7. Your church will learn how to properly engage in this battle. My prayer is not that You take them out of the world, but that You protect them from the Evil One As You sent me into the world, I have sent them… John 17 Jesus the Master Planter – is also the Great Intercessor for the World He loves and for the missional people He deploys into the mission field. For God so loved the world that He gave His Son… John 3:16As (Jesus) approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it, and said, “If you had known on this day what would bring you peace…” Luke 19:41-42 1
    • 1. Learn the need for prayer. Read this silently and then discuss with your team. Testimony from an ECC plant Artisan Covenant Church, Rochester, NY August, 2007“During our training I remember hearing that ‘you will be broken.’ I always thought thatmeant we would reach a place of burn-out and that we would realize that we could not dothis "church thing" in our own power, but through the power of God. That is definitelytrue and we have experienced that variety of physical and/or mental brokenness bothindividually and corporately at Artisan. What I did not expect however is a brokennessof heart.Over the past month and a half our leaders and church family have been praying andfasting for Gods heart and vision for the future. We had a specific issue regarding a newconcept for worship that we were seeking God for. We expected direction, a firm "yes"or "no,” What we experienced, however, was more akin to the experience of Nehemiahas he heard the report of the state of Jerusalem. The people in Jerusalem were living indisgrace and shame (Neh 1:3), and up to this point, did not see a way out of theirpredicament. Nehemiah, much like our leaders "sat down and wept, and mourned fordays, fasting and praying before the God of heaven (Neh 1:4)." God broke Nehemiahsheart for the people of Jerusalem and he broke ours for the people of Rochester NY.God revealed our failings. We wept and mourned because of our own "functionalatheism." We acknowledged God exists with our minds, but our actions showed we hadlittle need of Him. We wept for the hundreds of lives that are in disgrace and shame,many of whom may not even recognize it. We wept because of our fear of the unknownand our lack of faith to move us forward. We wept because we realized that God wantsto do incredible things through frail people like us. And we prayed.Through our prayer we realized that brokenness and humility is exactly where God wantsleadership born from. Nehemiah started there, Jesus started there as He humbled Himselfin the incarnation. We humbled ourselves and we prayed. When Nehemiah facedSanballat and Tobiah he prayed. When there was murmuring within the ranks that wererebuilding the wall, he prayed. When he cast vision, he prayed. When the wall wascompleted, he prayed. After Jesus was baptized and before he began his public ministry,he spent 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness fasting and praying. It is in thiscontinued prayer that God moved us to the place of vision.God has inspired our church to choose the more risky path in worship. The reasons fordoing so are a bit different now than they were before we started this journey. Now weare propelled forward by the brokenness for the things and people that break Gods heart.We realize that our neighbors all around us are in disgrace and shame. We are moved topour the grace and love of God into these lives. We have a vision for raising up the next 2
    • generation of godly leaders and sending them out to new neighborhoods where they willshare the restoration that can only be found in God through His son, Jesus.A friend recently shared a prayer with us. This prayer both breaks and inspires the readerat the same time. The prayer is titled "Disturb Us." While uncomfortable and, at times,painful, we thank God for our brokenness. This experience has reaffirmed that it is thefoolish (weak/broken) things of this world that God uses to confound the wise (1 Cor1:27-28). We are nothing but cracked pots, but we carry an immeasurable treasure "toshow that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us (2 Cor 4:7)".Disturb us, Lord, I pray! We wept and mourned because ofBrian E. Haak our own "functional atheism."Artisan Covenant Church Pastoral Team www.artisanchurch.comDisturb us, Lord, when TEAM APPLICATION:We are too well pleased with ourselves,When our dreams have come true Reflect on this individually for a fewBecause we have dreamed too little, minutes, each one share an insight orWhen we arrived safely application and discuss:Because we sailed too close to the shore.Disturb us, Lord, whenWith the abundance of things we possessWe have lost our thirstFor the waters of life;Having fallen in love with life,We have ceased to dream of eternityAnd in our efforts to build a new earth,We have allowed our visionOf the new Heaven to dim.Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,To venture on wider seasWhere storms will show your mastery;Where losing sight of land,We shall find the stars.We ask You to push backThe horizons of our hopes;And to push into the futureIn strength, courage, hope, and love.Sir Francis Drake, 1577See end of chapter for another example. 3
    • 10 Church Planting Maxims10. You will be broken. “Like clay in the hands of the potter so are you in my hand, says theLord.” Jeremiah 18:69. Plant behind the plow. Prayer is the plow. Ask the Lord of the harvest…to send outworkers into His harvest field. Go! … Luke 10:2-38. People are polite - don’t believe them. While Jesus was at the Passover feast, manypeople saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in His name. But Jesus would not entrustHimself to them, for he knew…what was in them. John 2:23-247. 75 is the enemy – it’s not about having just enough to feel comfortable,it’s about momentum in the mission. The Lord added to their number daily those who werebeing saved. Acts 2:476. You can’t plant a church from behind a desk. Go and make disciples… Matthew28:205. There is no magic bullet – rather, consistently wise and hard work willproduce ministry fruit. We proclaim (Christ), admonishing and teaching everyone… so that wemay present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which sopowerfully works in me. Colossians 1:28-294. God’s in the vision – the devil’s in the details. Man does not live by bread alone butby every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. Matthew 4:43. Its the relational – not the technical. Love the Lord your God… and your neighbor asyourself… All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments. Matthew 22:37-40“The church looks for better methods; God looks for better people… that’s God’s method – people who aremighty in prayer. The Holy Spirit does not flow through better methods, but through people” E M Bounds2. Isolation kills – connection gives life. Jesus called his twelve disciples to Him… andgave them authority… Mt 10:11. It’s a God thing. Let these men go! For if their purpose is of human origin, it will fail. But if itis from God, you will not be able to stop them; you will only find yourselves fighting against God. Acts5:38fWHICH OF THE ABOVE MAXIMS ARE HARDEST FOR YOU TO EMBRACE? 4
    • A Church Planter PRAYS We will use the Acronymn P.R.A.Y.S. as an outline for Chapter Goals 2-6. “The way I was doing the work of God was destroying the work of God in me.” Bill Hybels.2. Prioritize prayer. P r a y sPrioritize Prayer in your life, in the team, and in the life of the church. Why you need to prioritize prayer:- Unfortunately, too many planters are more human DOINGS than human BEINGS They are too activistic & need to be rooted in Christ in their Inner Core. The more activistic you are, the more you need to intentionally FIND TIME to pray.- We should Plant AFTER the Plow, not BEFORE – Prayer is the Plow. Ask the Lord of the harvest…to send out workers into His harvest field. Go! … Luke 10:2-3 Notice that Pray ye… (comes before) Go ye…- In Acts, the Lord’s first instruction to His church was to wait for the gift my Father promised. Acts 1:4 And they all gathered together constantly in prayer. Acts 1:14 “In the early stages of church planting, I prayed like crazy and God showed up in amazing ways. Since we’ve become more successful, it’s easier to do the work ourselves and pray less. I’m trying to get back to praying like I did in the early days, so God will show up more.” Confession of a Covenant church planter.How will you Prioritize Prayer in your life and in the life of your plant? - When will you pray each day? Morning, Afternoon, Evening? - Where will you pray? - What devotional material or practice will be most helpful? - Who will pray with you? (If applicable – when will you pray with your spouse?) How can we get our Launch Team to pray and wait on God? - Who will keep you accountable? - Can you plan a half-day spiritual retreat each month?In Acts they prayed… - for new leaders: Acts 1:24, 6:6, 13:1-2, 14:23 - for healing: Acts 3:1, 9:40 - for power: Acts 4:24, 16:16 - for open doors: Acts 8:15, 8:26, 9:10, 10:9, 11:19, 13:1-2TEAM APPLICATION: What do you need to pray for? 5
    • 3. Recruit a prayer team. p R a y s 1. How Can I Recruit A Prayer Team? a. Find 7-12 Intercessors – who have the gift of holding you up consistently and who regularly see God’s answers to prayer. Intercessors are spiritual dynamite! i. Make a personal appointment to ask them to intercede for you. ii. Make a small group presentation to ask a group of intercessors. iii. Personal phone call. iv. Ask for intercessors when you preach. v. Send a personal email invitation – or use regular mail. Let them know the expectations of an intercessor: ! Pray daily for us ! Keep much of the information confidential ! Have the support of your spouse ! Make a one-year commitment. Ask again after Jan 1 if they want to renew their commitment. b. Find 50-150 Prayer Partners – who are willing to pray for you every 6-8 weeks and receive the “Prayer Update” by email. i. Ask friends and family who live in your area and out of your area if they’d like to receive a prayer update from you every 6-8 weeks via email. ii. Ask people at your parent church, or ask when you speak at other churches, if people would be willing to join your prayer team.Design a nice book-mark or general invite card, eg.On the back-side, list your specific prayer requests: see next page for examples - Pray that I would pray! And that Doreen and I would have God’s grace & power! - Pray for a Launch Team of 30 adults by April 1. - Pray for outside funds of $30,000 to help with Launch and Advertising. 6
    • - Pray for a great worship team and a great kids team. - Pray for each Launch Team member as they invite 3 friends. - Pray for many people to come to our Preview Services beginning April 6. - Pray for many to come to Christ through Catalyst this first year!___ I would like to join the Catalyst Prayer team. Email us and you’re on the team!How will you recruit your prayer team? Whom should you contact? Make your list. 2. How will you communicate with your Prayer Team? a. Call your intercessors regularly and/or send them special prayer requests. Also email them the “Prayer Update” that you send your Prayer Partners. b. Email all your Prayer Partners a “Prayer Update” every 6-8 weeks. i. Feed them something fresh from God’s Word ii. Thank them iii. Let them know what to pray for strategically for the church plant and for your familyHere’s how one church plant did this in the first year – a regular Prayer Letter to PrayerPartners: Life CHURCH – an Evangelical Covenant Church, Canton, MI Real People. Real God. Real Life. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness. John 10:10b, JesusDear Prayer Partners,Would you take a moment to pray for Gods work in and through Life Church in CantonMI. As a church we know that we are depending on God and His power for the work hedesires to do in the Detroit area. Much has happened in 7 months, but we are still adeveloping embryo. Our Launch date is March 16, 2003. We know that God responds tothe prayers of his people--would you please offer these prayers on our behalf.1. That we would have God’s heart for our community2. That the Holy Spirit to prepare peoples hearts to respond to the gospel.3. For continued growth in our key ministry areas as a church and continued outreach4. For God’s purposes to be fulfilled in & through our lives individually and this Churchcorporately5. For a great turnout at our Launch service next month and everyone to invite 3 others.6. For lives to be touched and changed.The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. James 5:16. Thanks for your part in making Life a place where Gods love can shine! 7
    • WHAT CAN GOD DO IN 7 MONTHS? Read below and see!A BRIEF LIFE CHURCH TIMELINEMonth Avg. AttendanceJune 20-25August 38September 63October 80November 84December 95January 131" In our 7th month God has blessed us with an average attendance of 131 people." 4 people have accepted Christ" 10 people have recommitted their lives to Him!" Over 50 people are in 7 small groups doing our 5 Core commitments" Over 50 people are serving on ministry teams" Many people are being ministered to each week." People continue to reach out with God!s love.Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, willproduce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5.Your Brother in Christ,Alex RahillLife Covenant Church234 PrincessCanton, MI 48188phone: 734.634.2697website: http://www.lifechurchcanton.orge-mail: alex@lifechurchcanton.orgTEAM APPLICATION:How will you recruit a prayer team and how will you communicate with them? 8
    • 4. All – Involve the whole church in prayer. p r A y sAll – Get everyone involved in prayer from the beginning. They all joined together in prayer. Acts 1:14After they prayed, the place was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Acts 4:31 How will you get EVERYONE on your team praying for friends, neighbors, acquaintances at work/school, and relatives – to come to Christ through the new church or for believers to come and connect with the new church?PIE: One way to do this is to: use the P.I.E. method (evangelism is “as easy as PIE) Many people have no idea how to pray and invite others to a new church. A goodway to do this is to gather your launch team and give them invite cards (business cardsthat have the name of the church and the event you want to invite them to). As they eachhold 3 cards have them. Pray that God would bring to mind 3 people, that you could authentically show God’s love for them in Jesus’ name, and that you could help them connect with Christ; then visualize how you’ll use the card to… Invite them to the next church event, or invite them to your home, or invite them to serve with you on the next micro-mission in your community. Then, in prayer… Expect God to work, to draw them to Himself, to bring them to your event, and to transform their lives by the power of the Gospel.Other ways to get Everyone Praying are: - When you’re looking for a place to meet. Example, one church that wanted to get a new space had members scheduled to drive to the site every morning before work (6 am) to pray that if it was God’s will for them to get this facility, God would make a way. - When you’re seeking to impact an area, schedule prayer walks: “praying on-site seeking spiritual in-sight.” - Offer Prayer during service: one church had a prayer room where intercessors prayed during the message for the pastor’s words to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to change lives and the intercessors would also pray for people who came to the prayer room. During communion, the intercessors were available at the sides to anoint with oil and pray with people. 9
    • And you can schedule all-church events for prayer, such as… - A Prayer Seminar (The ECC Dept of Christian Formation has prayer consultants who can come to your church) - A Day of Prayer. - A Week or Month of Prayer and Fasting for the whole church o e.g. Citadel of Faith Covenant Church schedules a month of prayer and fasting as they move into the next season of outreach and growth. o Other churches will have a 21-day fast twice a year. - Watch the Video “The Role of Prayer in Spiritual Awakening” with Dr. J. Edwin Orr, available for download of video or transcript at www.jedwinorr.comTEAM APPLICATION:What opportunities will you develop to get Everyone involved in prayer? 10
    • 5. Yes – Seek God’s miracles for your new church. p r a Y sYes – All of God’s Promises are YES and Amen In Christ Jesus so you may stand strongin Christ. II Corinthians 1:20fIn Acts, they prayed for miracles: - for healing – Acts 3:1-10, Acts 5:12f which opened up the opportunity to preach the Gospel - for courage and boldness – Acts 4 - to deal with discord in the church & to have discernment for new leaders – Acts 6 - to listen to whom God wants you to share the Gospel with – Acts 10 & 11 - for provision and protection in trial – Acts 12 - for church decisions – Acts 15 and in many other ways!Church plants regularly pray for God to: - Draw key leaders at the right time - Open up the right meeting space - Provide financial resources - Change lives! - And MANY more… Miracles happen when we walk in the Spirit; and, as we follow God’s leadership through prayer, listening and group affirmation.TEAM APPLICATION:List the miracles that you’re seeking God for in your plant:How will you celebrate when God does miracles for your church plant? 11
    • 6. Systems – Develop good Systems for prayer. prayS Systems – allow you to incorporate good spiritual practices in your personal devotional life and the life of your congregation so you don’t have to recreate it each time. SYSTEM = Saves You Stress Time Energy and Money! Personal Systems: Spiritual Disciplines Funnel J20,000RPMs Studying God’s Word – John 5:39 O Meditating on God’s Word – Psalm 1:2 U R Prayer – Philippians 4:4-7 N Fasting – Psalm 35:13 A Solitude – Luke 5:16 L I Stillness – Psalm 131:2 N Hearing God’s still small 500 voice – I Kg 19:11-13 RPMs G from First Steps for Planting a Missional Church, Gary Rohrmayer, p. 28 In order to dial down from a life-style of 20,000 rpms (“revolutions per minute”) and get to the place where you have slowed down enough to hear God’s still small voice clearly, there are steps you can take. Journaling is an over-all discipline that can help you ‘dial- down’ step-by-step. Testimony from Gary Rohrmayer: It was the summer of 1988, and my family and I had just moved to a small town… to a pioneer church plant… We had started a Bible study, started seeing individuals come to Christ and others coming back to Christ and then we hit December. We were too small a group to have weekly worship services and I soon realized that no one wants to talk to a church planter in December… After two weeks of rejection I decided that I was going to pray and fast for the rest of the month and get a fresh start in the New Year. 12
    • Towards the end of that time, as I was praying in the early hours of the morning, I was prostrate on thefloor. I was lying on a map of our city praying that God would show me how to build the church He calledus to start, when a deep sense of peace flooded my soul and I heard God’s gentle whisper in my spiritsaying, “Gary, I am going to do it! Just trust me. I am going to do it!”My heart starts to pound just remembering that moment! … In December 1988 we had 7 adults; byFebruary 1989 we had 25. On September 10, 1989 we had 110 at our first public worship service… Goddid it and I was glad to be a part of it. From First Steps, by Gary Rohrmayer, pp. 28-29TEAM APPLICATION: Each one write down your answers about the following,then share with someone else and pray for each other. 1. What are the spiritual disciplines that feed your spiritual life? 2. What are 3 things you can do this week to listen more closely to God?Corporate Systems for Prayer:FASTING - This is a time to: listen to God as a body, build group cohesion as everyonesacrifices and fasts together, build your witness to others as they become curious as towhy you are fasting.Good times to do this are: Lent, preparing your people for Launch, plowing up thespiritual soil as you seek to have a significant outreach or CMJ event in your community,before electing your first Leadership Team, before opening a new building, etc.You may want to pull the group together to “break the fast” together and talk about whatGod was saying to you.Fasting:http://www.billbright.com/howtofast/ Your Personal Guide to Prayer and Fastinghttp://www.godsquad.com/prayer/prayerandfast.htmSimplicity and Fasting by Jan Johnson, IVCFFasting by Lynne M. Baab, IVCF 13
    • 3 Examples of Fasting:1. Daniel Fast (used by Citadel of Faith Covenant Church. This helps bring down spiritual strongholds,builds spiritual strength in the body as they sacrifice together, and is a testimony to co-workers): Week 1 – fast from desserts and sugar Week 2 – fast from desserts + coffee/tea Week 3 – fast from desserts + coffee/tea + any sugar/salty/starchy foods Week 4 – fast from the above + meat (only vegetables, fruits and healthy breaks)2. TV Fast – fast for 1 week3. 23 hour fast – fast from everything but liquids from after dinner the first day untildinner the second day.PLUS – Review the ideas at the bottom of page 10 for strategies for corporate prayer.TEAM APPLICATION: Talk about the following.What corporate systems can you implement to help you build a solid spiritual base foryour plant? (For ideas, look at Chapter Goal 4 above on getting everyone praying.)When will you Fast as a group? 14
    • 7. Your church needs to learn to properly engage in this battle. Spiritual Warfare Adapted from Rick Warren at Pastors.comYou have an Enemy who wants to derail you and your plant. Church planting is a placeof Spiritual Warfare and a place where you need God’s Power.Ephesians 6:10-20: spiritual armor – ends with PRAYER (mentioning prayer five times) Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities and powers of this present world and against the forces of evil in the heavenly places, therefore put on the full armor of God… and PRAY…pray…pray…pray…pray There will be discouragements, disappointments and spiritual attack. You’ll need to be prepared to lean on God’s promises and understand spiritual warfare.Acknowledge the adversary. Realize Satan is real. Peter tells us, “Be alert, be onwatch. Your enemy the Devil roams around like a roaring lion looking for someone todevour Ephesians 6:11-17: Be firm in your faith and resist him because you know thatyour fellow believers in all the world are going through the same kind of suffering.” (1Peter 5:8-9) Church planting is a place of Spiritual Warfare and a place where you need to pray for God’s Power.Accept Jesus’ authority. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earthwill be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”Matthew 16:19 The Bible says if you are a believer, you are given the authority of Christin spiritual warfare.Armor Ephesians 6:11-17 “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take yourstand against the Devil’s schemes. Have the belt of truth buckled around your waist andthe breastplate of righteousness and have your feet fitted with the Gospel of peace. Takeup the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is theWord of God.” There are six pieces of armor in the passage.Aim Spiritual warfare takes place primarily in our thought life. When somebody isopposing you in your ministry, they’re not the real problem. The problem is the thoughtsthe Devil’s giving them to oppose you. The problem is not that person. The problem iswhat they’re acting on. You always act on what you think. They’re getting thoughts fromthe wrong source. There are only two sources for thoughts. When we get thoughts fromGod, we call it inspiration. When we get thoughts from the Devil, we call it temptation.There are four biblical weapons we can aim against evil thoughts. 15
    • 1. The Truth. The truth, God’s Word, is our sword. It cuts through all the mustard. It gets right to the point. When you are in a conflict, the question you want to ask yourself is this: What does God say about this? 2. Humility. The more you humble yourself before God, the more power you will have in your life (James 4:6-7). That’s just the way it works. As we minister to others, we need to continually acknowledge God’s hand in what we are doing. He’s the one who empowers our ministry. We’re simply his vessel. In humility, we find real and lasting power in ministry. 3. Faith. Without even talking with you in detail, I can tell you exactly what God is doing in your ministry. He’s doing what you expect him to do. Faith is a powerful, powerful tool. (1 John 5:4) I don’t know why, but when I preach and I expect people to respond, they do. 4. Praise. Revelation 12:11-12 says, “They overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony. Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you who inhabit them.” How did they overcome the Devil? Answer: by the blood of the lamb and the Word of their testimony. They were praising God. The Bible says when people praise God, “[he] inhabits the praises of his people.” Sometimes after a particular worship service, I honestly feel like Mickey Mouse could preach and people would come to know Christ. The praise has cleansed the air. There’s power in the praise of God.Ask the Holy Spirit. You need to say, “God, fill me with your Spirit as I’m about to dothis.” Whether you’re preparing a message, preaching, counseling someone, training yourleaders – whatever you’re doing – ask God to fill you with his Spirit.Avoid distractions. If you’re going to be effective in ministry – in battle – you’ve got tofocus yourself. You know what’s important in life. There are so many things that want apiece of your time. The good can be the enemy of the best.I have one person to please and only one – the Lord Jesus Christ. And if I’m pleasinghim, that’s what is going to count at the end of my life. Avoid the distractions. If you getdistracted, the enemy is going to catch up with you.What’s distracting you? 16
    • TEAM APPLICATION: 1. Each one share an insight about Spiritual Warfare as it applies to your church plant. 2. Talk about ways that prayer can be a stronger part of your church plant journey. There have been 7 Chapter Goals. Which ones do you need to develop more? ___ Church planting leads to brokenness – we must prioritize prayer ___ Church planters are activistic – they must prioritize prayer ___ Church planting can be lonely – they must recruit a prayer team ___ Church plants need to find a way to get everyone involved ___ Church plants need God’s miracles ___ Church plants need to develop systematic ways to help them pray well ___ Church plants will face spiritual warfare which require that you properly engage your people in this battle.Spend some time in prayer for your church plant. 17
    • OTHER RESOURCESDevotional Strategy for your people: Teach your people a simple devotional strategy (can also be a small group strategy, could work well for men who don’t have to talk for the 1st 40 minutes, could also be a methodology for leadership groups) SOAP = - Scripture – read for 20 minutes - Observation – journal about it for 20 minutes - Application – talk about it for 20 minutes with your group - Prayer – pray about how God will shape your lives according to His Word.Personal Strategies and Thoughts: • Take at least one day off from church work and focus on rest, health, personal life • If married, make quality time during the week with your spouse • If you have kids, seek to spend time with them in their activities and/or at home Example from a Church Planter: Posted: 23 Oct 2007 06:43 AM CDT When my first daughter, Catie, was very young, I was the classic overly-driven, ministry-obsessed, type-A personality workaholic. While working full-time as an associate pastor, I was also carrying fifteen hours of seminary classes. One day I called little Catie on the phone and said I had to stay late at the office to get some work done and would not see her before she went to bed. I promised her I would be home and wake her with a late good night kiss. Catie innocently said, “Daddy, this is not your home. You live at the office.” I changed my work habits at that moment and have never been the same. Thank you, Catie! Craig Groeschel, Life Covenant Church, Edmond, OK posted at lifechurch.tv/swerveThe Most Dangerous Prayer Posted: 10 Apr 2008 06:18 AM CDT fromLifechurch.tv/swerve blog by Craig GroeschelDo you truly want to make a difference in this world? Do you want generations to be differentbecause you knew Christ? Do you want to lead a church that will impact your city, state, and theworld? Do you want your preaching to awaken dormant spirits, stir complacent hearts, convictwayward sinners?Then pray this prayer: “God, please break me.”He will. 18
    • And when He does, you’ll be ruined—in the best sort of way. • Your heart will ache for those without Christ. • You’ll despise spiritual complacency. • You’ll see the darkness of your heart clearly. • You’ll be bothered deeply by things you used to easily overlook. • You’ll cry often and easily. • You’ll know Jesus more intimately.“Break us… Oh, Lord! Break us!”The Blessings of Brokenness Posted: 09 Apr 2008 05:18 AM CDTGod rarely (if ever) uses good things to break you. The “breaking” is painful.On the other side of brokenness, you’ll find many blessings: • The problems that used to seem big barely register as problems in your world. • People’s opinions of you don’t mean nearly as much. • You fully embrace that you “don’t have enough.” Then—and only then—can God become everything you need. • You discover an intimacy with God that sustains you moment by moment. • Scripture becomes the bread that nourishes you. • Heaven becomes closer. This world doesn’t hold you as tightly.If God is breaking you, I feel for you. I also know that on the other side, you’ll findstrength and comfort in the presence of God greater than you’ve ever known.Am I Broken Yet? Posted: 08 Apr 2008 06:16 AM CDTIn the early years of the church, we faced several challenges (that felt HUGE at the time): • 1/3 of our church left after I made a controversial decision. (I stand by this decision wholeheartedly today.) • We moved locations three times in five months. • One of my mentors and close friends committed suicide. (This one was huge.)Each time I’d face a challenge, I’d ask Gary (Walter – ECC Director of Church Growth) , “Am Ibroken yet?” Every time he’d respond, “Not yet.”Several years later, we endured more pain than I had anticipated. It came in waves. Just when wethought the worst was over, in came another round.God was undoubtedly breaking us. We knew it. There was NO question about it.The next time I met with Gary, I didn’t ask him if I was broken. I knew I was. And it was a “good”breaking.If you have to ask if you’re broken yet, I’d politely respond, “Not yet.” 19
    • Priorities of Prayer For Christ’s Coming Kingdom For your church plant From the Petitions of the Lord’s Prayer Adapted from Global Church Advancement Essentials p. 101 Petition PriorityOur Father in Heaven… This begins with God, the Father. We align ourselves with God as our priority. We pursue God the Father and as his children we are co-workers with Christ in the world.Hallowed by Your Name… And we align with God’s Priorities and “hallow” God’s Name by how we live out His character.Your kingdom come… This ties to the 4th Message and Mission of Jesus: the Ascension, where Jesus is raised to be king of heaven and earth – including your community.Your will be done on earth as it This ties to the 3rd Message and Mission of Jesus: theis in heaven… Resurrection, where Jesus calls us to continue His will and life-giving work through compassion, mercy and justice to a hurting world.Give us this day our daily This ties to the 5th Message and Mission of Jesus:bread… Pentecost, where Jesus builds the true community of Love, where we are content in His provision and are generous to others. For the true community of Christ’s family, we have all we need and we can give the rest away.Forgive us our debts as we This ties to the 1st Message and Mission of Jesus: theforgive our debtors… Cross, where Christ paid for our sin and amade us right with God. Because of this we live as forgiven people and offer that forgiveness to others.Lead us not into temptation but This ties to the 2nd Message and Mission of Jesus: thedeliver us from evil. Grave, where Jesus breaks the power of Satan and our bondage to sin. In prayer we tie into Jesus’ victory. 1. Spend time in Personal Prayer – connecting with God as Father. a. Spend time in private prayer. b. Someone lead in a song of praise to God the loving Father c. A few lead publically in prayer praising God 2. Partner with one other person – and spend time together praising God for his characteristics and seeking Him for how you can honor Him by living out those characteristics. 3. Share with your team (or as a group of 4) how ou want to see Jesus kingdom come in a greater way in your community (the mission field where God is calling you to plant). Then pray together about these… 20
    • 4. As God leads you, stand and pray for a. Ways that you and your plant can be as responsive to God’s will as it is done in heaven. b. Ways that God’s compassion, mercy and justice needs to impact your community c. Ways that God wants to transform your community so it be becomes more like heaven.5. On slips of paper, write out a. the needs that you have that you need God to provide for. b. the sins that you need forgiven and the relationships where you need God’s forgiveness to restore. c. The names or grops of people that you want to see receive Christ and His forgiveness. Take these slips of paper and nail them to the cross and a way of giving them to God.6. Pray together in teams (or groups of 4) for the ways that Satan has strongholds in your community and over people in your area. Seek for God’s power to deliver.7. “For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen” End in corporate praise in prayer and song. 21
    • DRAFT Strategic Ministry Plan For Our New Church1. Theological Basis >> 2. Spiritual Foundation in Prayer >> 3. Mission Field - Need of our Area >> 4. Evangelistic Strategies >> 5. Our Specific Vision >> 6. The Strategy of the 4-Stage Launch >> Stage 1 - Roots: Launch Team Gathering Stage 2 - Leaves: Preview Services Stage 3 - Branches: Preparatory Worship Stage 4 - Fruit: Launch 7. Leadership >> 8. Covenant >> 9. Finances>>2. Spiritual Foundations in Prayer Worksheet for how our new church will build a Spiritual Foundation - Personal Prayer Practices - Corporate Prayer Practices - including engaging in the spiritual battle - Recruiting a Prayer Team 22
    • CHAPTER 3 – MISSION FIELD Soil Analysis The State of the American Church, The Covenant Church Planting Movement, and Why your New Church is Desperately NeededTheme: Jesus calls you to plant a Covenant church at a specific place in the Americanlandscape.Objective: To understand how to plant in the unique soil where Christ has called you.Chapter Goals:1. You will understand the desperate need for more churches in America.2. You will get acquainted with the reasons for the success of the Covenant ChurchPlanting movement.3. You will understand the unique needs of the mission field in the metro area Christ callsyour team to plant in. You will articulate why God wants this new church in your community You will look at how to prepare to plant a new church that will impact your community with the Gospel. Go make disciples of all nations (pante ta ethne – of all ethnic groups). Matthew 28:19 1
    • 1. You will understand the desperate need for more churches inAmerica. 1. The Percentage of People that Attend a Christian Church on any Given Weekend is Far Below what Pollsters Report. United States Percentage of the Population Attending a Christian Church on any Given Weekend in 2006 17.3% 18.0% 16.0% 14.0% 12.0% 9.0% Evangelical 10.0% Mainline Catholic 8.0% Total 5.3% 6.0% 2.9% 4.0% 2.0% 0.0% Evangelical Mainline Catholic Total The American Church © 2007 by David T. Olson Research Project 2 www.TheAmericanChurch.orgReflect on 52,000,000… Meanwhile, 52 million more people were living in the United States. Church Attendance in 1990 & 2006 Compared to Population Growth 1990 - 2006 60,000,000 51,110,171 51,668,200 51,773,556 50,000,000 40,000,000 30,000,000 20,000,000 10,000,000 - Church Attendance 1990 Church Attendance 2006 Population Growth 1990 - 2006 The American Church © 2007 by David T. Olson Research Project 5 www.TheAmericanChurch.org 2
    • The Percentage of People at Worship has gone down. The Percentage of People Attending a Christian Church each Weekend Decreased Significantly from 1990 - 2006. United States Percentage of the Population Attending a Christian Church on any Given Weekend 25.0% 20.6% 20.0% 18.7% 17.3% 15.0% 1990 2000 2006 9.4% 9.1% 9.0% 10.0% 7.2% 6.2% 5.3% 5.0% 3.9% 3.3% 2.9% 0.0% Evangelical Mainline Catholic Total The American Church © 2007 by David T. Olson Research Project 7 www.TheAmericanChurch.org Evangelical attendance has been decreasing The Rate of Evangelical Church Attendance Growth has been Declining over the last 16 Years. United States Evangelical Church Attendance Growth 1990 - 2006 1.0% 1.0% 0.9% 0.8% 0.8% 0.7% 0.5% 0.6% 1990 - 2000 2000 - 2006 0.5% 2005 - 2006 0.4% 0.3% 0.2% 0.1% 0.0% 1990 - 2000 2000 - 2006 2005 - 2006 The American Church © 2007 by David T. Olson Research Project 10 www.TheAmericanChurch.org 3
    • We are not planting enough new churches to keep up with population growth Slightly more Churches Start each Year than Close, but not Enough to Keep up with Population Growth. Churches Closed and Started and Net Gain each Year from 2000 to 2005 4,500 4,009 4,000 3,707 3,500 3,205 3,000 2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000 303 500 - Closed Each Year Started Each Year Net Gain each Year Gain Needed to Keep Up with Population Growth The American Church © 2007 by David T. Olson Research Project 13 www.TheAmericanChurch.orgThe future projection of worship attendance if trends continue This is the Future Trajectory of the American Church. Percentage of Population Attending a Christian Church each Weekend 25.0% 20.4% 19.5% 20.0% 18.7% 17.5% 16.5% 15.5% 14.7% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0% 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 The American Church © 2007 by David T. Olson Research Project 14 www.TheAmericanChurch.org 4
    • 2. You will get acquainted with the reasons for the success of theCovenant Church Planting Movement. Covenant Church Distribution by Decade the church Started Distribution By Age Of Church 45,000 40,000 35,000 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0 1850s- 1870s 1880s 1890s 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 1860s The American Church © 2007 by David T. Olson Research Project 16 www.TheAmericanChurch.org Growth in Covenant Church New Church Impact 70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 The American Church © 2007 by David T. Olson Research Project 20 www.TheAmericanChurch.org 5
    • The Covenant Church Planting System: - We plant because people come to Christ. We plant because people need Jesus: Conversions per 100 attenders per year! The average Evangelical Church 3 The average Covenant Church 7 The new Covenant Plant 12 Lyle Schaller “Church Planting is the closest thing to a guaranteed method of evangelism known to man.” Council of Superintendents Meeting, September 2005 - Our church plants start strong: This is often a product of support by a parent church and a solid launch process. First Year Average Size of New Churches 120 102 101 100 92 82 80 72 60 58 60 53 47 44 44 40 20 0 BGC ECC UMC PCUSA ELCA LCMS SBC DC C&MA COGTN COTN Council of Superintendents Meeting, September 2005Note the ECC in the second column.TEAM APPLICATION: Based on the presentation, what were the most compellingreasons to plant new Covenant churches in America? How will you share these withthe people you seek to attract to the Launch Team? 6
    • Our church plants grow strong. Growth in years 2-7 reflects the quality of thechurch planter and launch team + the strength of the training and coaching theyreceive. Average Yearly Growth Rate of New Churches from Years 2 to 7 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0% ECC UMC BGC LCMS ELCA C&MA DC COGTN COTN PCUSA COTB Council of Superintendents Meeting, September 2005Our plants are a contributing presence in the ECC New Church Attendance as a Percentage of Total Attendance 35.0% 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0% COGTN BGC COTN COTB ECC CRC DC SBC ELCA PCUSA UMC LCMS C&MA Council of Superintendents Meeting, September 2005Note ECC in the first column. 7
    • How we plant 4 Ways of Planting in ECC • Parent – ave size after 5 years = 345 • Partners – ave size after 5 yrs = 148 • Pioneer – ave size after 5 yrs = 45 • Community-based – ave size! = 220 • Experience of Parent Churches after 5 yrs (ncd) – All chs who parent gain 28 new members per 100 – Churches who don’t help plant gain only 16! – Healthy Churches who plant gain 64! Council of Superintendents Meeting, September 2005How the ECC Plants New Churches – A.C.T.S. – the Right Ingredients• Asessment = Right planter• Continuous Coaching = Right Encouragement/Mentoring• Training = to help develop the Right Strategic Ministry Plan• Support = Right Resources The right planter – called, competent, character… Affirmed by Assessment + The right Launch Team – good chemistry between planter & team. o Strongest start with a parent church or strong partners + The right Training + A well-conceived project (a solid ministry plan) o Flowing from the right mission/vision o With the right steps – the 4-stage launch o Contextualized for your specific mission field + Good Coaching = A healthy, missional, fruitful church plant o batting average .830 (survival rate after 10 years) o thrival rate: average size of 238 after 10 years.TEAM APPLICATION:Reflect on these 5 ingredients. Where are you strongest? What can be stronger? 8
    • The Top Ten List for Starting New Churches1. New churches are needed because the large majority of Americans do not attenda local church. About 17% of Americans attend a local church on any given Sunday. Many ofthose attend a church where they do not clearly hear the message of salvation in Jesus.2. New churches are more effective than established churches at conversion growth.Studies show that new churches have 3-4 times the conversion rate per member as establishedchurches.3. New churches are the only truly effective way to reach the growing ethnicpopulations in America.For example, California is over 50% non-Anglo and that percentage is growing. Every people groupneeds to hear the Gospel in a way that makes sense to their culture.4. New churches are needed to stem the tide of ideological moral erosion in America.The ideological opposition to Biblical Christianity will not primarily come from mainline liberals,nor from scientific modernism (as it did for the last generation), but from New Age non-rationalthinking and from politically-correct valueless morals.5. New churches have historically been the best method for reaching each emergingnew generation.Every new generation needs a new breed of churches that speak the Gospel in their cultural dressand communication styles.6. New churches give a group of connected churches market share and influence intheir community.Starting new healthy churches in the same general vicinity increases the influence of all. Churchesare best started where a group has strength, not in distant areas.7. New churches grow exponentially faster than established churches.In a typical evangelical denomination, new churches (in the first 10 years) were found to grow at arate 23 times faster than established churches (over 10 years old).8. New churches are a test laboratory for church leadership development.New churches give a whole new group of emerging leaders the chance to grow and develop asprimary leaders.9. New churches are the research and development unit of Gods Kingdom.Most of the models and visions for healthy churches are developed in new churches. “New churchesinnovate; existing churches imitate.” The best way to reinvigorate existing churches is by plantingnew churches.10. New churches provide excellent on-the-job training for energetic young pastors.New churches provide a channel to express the energy and ideas of young, entrepreneurial pastors.Plus 1: New churches can start with a focus on kingdom values – contextualized for a specific culture.Thoughts and comments on this list: 9
    • 3. You will understand the unique needs of the mission field in themetro area Christ calls your team to plant in. You need to be able to articulate why God wants this new church in your community. Look at the demographics for your specific Metro area from www.theamericanchurch.org - Over a decade, here’s the attendance % in the following churches: o Evangelical ________ o Mainline ________ o Catholic ________ o Overall ________ - This means that on any given Sunday _________ % are not in any church in our area. - Other observations: - What are the needs of people in your area that you could meet? - In 10 years, if there are fewer churches and fewer people attending church in your area, then what would be the: o Impact on your community o Impact of families o Impact on individuals - What are the opportunities for your new church to impact your area with the Gospel? (for more information on your mission field, go to http://www.perceptgroup.com/Percept-Home.aspx)TEAM APPLICATION: If someone in your community were to ask you why thereis a need for another new church, what would you tell them?- Why are new churches needed in the US, in your metro, in your area?- How will your church meet the needs of people in your community and impact the community with the Gospel? 10
    • Preparing To Plant A ChurchUsing the following questions as a guide, prepare a document (not more than two pages)that describes the church God is calling you to plant. If you plant with the Covenant, youwill be trained in the Four Stage Launch model for church planting. Keep in mind this isa “work in progress” and that some things will change and/or need refinement as youmove toward actually launching the church.Why plant a new church? • Your calling. • Your vision. • Your sense of the need.Who will you reach? • Where do you want to plant and why? • Describe your ministry focus. • Describe the needs of the community. • Desired meeting location. • Include demographic studies of the region.What kind of church will you plant? • Core values – your DNA (succinctly). • Mission statement and Vision Statement (concisely) • Ministry style (how you will work as a church).How will you plant this church? • Describe the “ideal” launch team. • Describe how you will lead as the church planter. • List the kinds of team member you will need. • List the names of anyone currently committed to helping you plant this church.Incidentals. • Timeline: Desired launch date. • Finances: What financial resources do you have at your disposal? • Partner churches: What church(es) may be willing to partner with you and us, including non-Covenant churches? (Adapted by Wayne Carlson, from Robert Logan and Steve Ogne, 1991)TEAM APPLICATION: Look at the shaded area and write down your responses tothese topics on “Who will you reach?” 11
    • Additional Church Planting Questions1. What kind of people does God want us to produce in this body of believers?2. What kinds of experiences do people need to have in order to become those kinds ofpeople?3. What kinds of leaders are needed to provide those kinds of experiences?4. What kind of pastor is needed to train those kinds of leaders?5. What kinds of experiences does the pastor need to have in order to be that kind of pastor? (Taken from Lloyd Ogilvie)Additional Soil Analysis of your Mission Field 1. Scientific Soil Analysis – Part 1: Know the % of unchurched from www.theamericanchurch.org 2. Scientific Soil Analysis – Part 2: Know the demographics and other data from Percept www.perceptgroup.com or Mission Insite www.missioninsite.org a. Get Percept’s “First View” for $85 b. Or get a “Ministry Area Profile” for $315 (online price) These will help you get a user-friendly over view of the people and community God is calling you to reach. 3. Hands-on Soil Analysis: Do a Needs Assessment – In addition to the scientific soil analysis, the wise farmer also does “hands-on” analysis by getting their hands into the soil and by getting advice from those with local experience. One of the best sources for Needs Assessment is Compassion by Design: Understanding Community Needs by David Mills. $69 for manual and cd-rom. http://www.compassionbydesign.org/needs_assessement.html - This can help you add hundreds of contacts to your church planting effort. - This will help you identify the city leaders and “people of peace” who can give you invaluable advice on the needs of the community and the Influencers with whom you can partner. - This will give your church quicker “credibility” - This will help build your church’s missional DNA - This will help your Launch Team sense the compelling reasons to join you in this Mission to meet the needs of your area - This will help you unlock the cultural “code” of your Mission Field Or use the Method for “Community Assessment” on the next page: 12
    • Community Assessment – provided by Tomas Ivens 1. Develop from your core group a TEAM of three passionate people who understand the vision of your church ! Assign strategies to get information from your local community ! Get together to know better the history of your city and community ! Set up a time frame for this community assessment ! Four basic community areas where we need to analyzed: ! Associations ! Institutions ! Individuals ! Walking streets ! Associations: PTA, community agencies, churches, chamber of commerce, community clinics, neighborhood associations, etc ! Institutions: schools, local politicians, city commissioners, social services department, hospitals, parks and recreations ! Individuals: community leaders, pastors, others ! Walking streets: restaurants, coffee shops, stop buses, pastor association meetings, festivals, etc 2. Where do you live: Demographics, Census Bureau information by ZP (5 or 10 miles) ! How many males ! How many females ! How many teenagers ! What is the income average ! What is the unemployment average ! Is your community a young or old ? 3. Edit the information collected in a document of 2-5 pages available for everyone in your church ! Prepare a presentation of this assessment to your core group ! Keep up-dating this document at least every two years ! Share all changes with you TEAM, CORE GROUP or Leadership TEAM 13
    • ADDENDUMStrategic Ministry Plan from Esperanza Covenant Church in Grand Rapids,Michigan. Pastor Tomas Ivens.The church planter developed this plan, which was approved by the DCP.Then progress was evaluated annually based on this plan.NOTE: There is also a Ministry Plan for Renovate Covenant Church, Muskegon,MI under START “c” at www.churchesplantingchurches.org under “Resources Esperanza Covenant Church Hispanic Ministries Great Lakes Conference Church Planting Strategic Plan 2006-08 Luke 4:18 “Give an opportunity to make new friends in Jesus” 14
    • Esperanza Covenant Church Grand Rapids, Michigan Strategic Plan 2006-08 Vision Statement Transform individuals, families and communities in Grand Rapids by making them agents of change to the world and expanding God’s kingdom Mission Statement “Preach the Gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, preach deliverance to captives, recovering of sight to the blind and set liberty them that are bruised” Values God’s power to transform Prayer’s power to restore Friendship to connect Love’s power to forgive Discipleship to Empower Worship to rejoice SWOT AnalysisInternal Strengths External Opportunities! ECC has 4 months history ! Schools partnerships expansion/volunteers! Collocated with FCC, Union High School, ! Spectrum Health Clinic & Family Outreach Hispanic community ! FCC and Thronapple connections! Focused Christian core team ! Markets, rstaurants, factories! FCC and Thornapple support ! Spectrum Health Collaborative Task Force! Experienced and gifted leadership ! Outreach programs as Backpack distribution,! Equipped facilities, office, gym and classrooms TGP, “Navidad en el vecindario”, marriage! Bilingual core team/volunteers seminaries, parenting classes and family! Temporal worship band support groups.! Temporal communication material ! Open community/ audience to hear about Esperanza vision/missionInternal Weaknesses External Threats! In need of more core team members ! Anti-immigrant climate! In need of more worshipers members ! Economic crisis, no jobs! The final Esperanza LOGO design and print ! Building of trust on the! Website and CD promo for fundraising neighbors/neighborhoods purposes ! Family orientation programs needed ! Lack of resources/mentoring/tutoring for children 15
    • 1st Phase 2006Goal #1Contact and share the love of God with 150 Hispanic families in Grand Rapids betweenJuly 2006 and June 2007.ObjectiveTestify about the existence of Jesus, and share through personal experiences God’s powerto change and restore our lives.Strategies " Visit the neighborhoods and make contact with Hispanic families with the help of the members of the Anglo congregation, also through schools, referrals, and others. " Distribution of school supplies for elementary school students during the third week of September and reach to the first 100 families (each gift will have the donor’s name). Saturday September 9th from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. " Promote and organize a Thanksgiving lunch or dinner and distribute at least 50-60 grocery baskets and make contact with another 100 families. " Give away 150 toys for children within the Hispanic community. This would be families that have already participated in previous events and other new families referral by them. " Promote and organize a Christmas dinner for the community using the existing database. " Select a group of 10 couples (believers and non-believers) to participate in a “Couples Seminar” (February) using PAIRS/PREP. " Advertise and organize three more events to testify and to outreach (Mother’s Day, Father’ Day, and 4th of July).Activities • Visit families and individuals referred to this ministry. • Network and develop a survey system to gather information about the needs of the community. 16
    • • Each event will be planned beforehand and any changes will be adjusted only in case of need of the strategy. • The school supplies, toys, and grocery baskets will be collected and donated voluntarily. • Every week there will be contact with a new family from the community or with members from both churches that are interested in participating with Esperanza Covenant Church, also there will be contact with the outreaches from the first four months. • Brochures and flyers will be accessible at the first activity in September 9th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., snacks will be available, and a short (5-7 minutes) message to testify and bless will be shared. Each participant will fill out a registration form to be part of our database. Gym. • The Thanksgiving lunch and basket distribution will be on November 18th at 10 a.m. Only 60 baskets (depends on the donations) will be distributed. • Christmas Toys distribution will be Saturday 17th at 10 a.m., refreshments will be served. • Share message on December 31st, about God’s provisions and blessings (special New Year’s dinner). • Family support groups, marriage retreat and trainings • Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Independence Day BBQs will take place in parks or other facilities. • Preview services November 5th, December 10th, January 7th, February 11st.Goal #2Develop a support group of 40 people, 20 Anglos and 20 Hispanics.ObjectiveProvide organizational, logistical, and financial support, as well as planning, andleadership with the help of spiritual gifts/talents, to building the foundation of EsperanzaCovenant Church working jointly with the pastor in the expansion of God’s kingdom inGrand Rapids.Strategies " Make presentations to share the vision and mission of ECC and invite FCC members and non-members to become part of this challenge of faith. 17
    • " The group will get together at least every two weeks once the church planting begins, to plan, organize, and discuss how to improve each event. In each meeting there will be worship, prayer and a meditation on God’s word. " Maintain communication permanently with the pastor and within group members. " Responsibilities will be distributed accordingly to spiritual gifts, abilities, and talents. " Have once a month during the first moths a prayer and planning retreat, and work with the areas mentioned in this document. (October 28 or November 14) Activities • Make presentations to individuals, families or to group of friends about the development of Esperanza Covenant Church’s vision, mission, values and action plan.Goal #3Begin a discipleship process with at least 10-12 people during the first year.ObjectiveTeach the biblical foundation to edify and strengthen a new life in Jesus Christ,establishing a relationship with the Holy Spirit; also teach a life with prayer and a solidleadership to multiply the kingdom of God.Strategies " The first 10-12 people that give their lives to Christ will be referred to a discipleship class for 6-9 month, these classes include inner healing and devotional retreat (including baptism). " After this first stage, they will be directed to a 3 to 4-month leadership class and to begin working in any of the church’s ministries. " Identify and provide at least two home-based bible studies in the neighborhood. " Identify and define the methodology and resources that will be used in the discipleship process and in the home-based bible studies.Activities • The discipleship classes will be once a week for 60 minutes (an hour), and the curriculum consists on teaching the basic foundations of the bible, prayer, stewardship, and a close relationship with Jesus. 18
    • • The meeting place will be decided based on the need. • The core group members that are already believers would have a series of classes/sessions to strengthen their commitment with Jesus and to the church (this will include the church’s history and doctrine). There will be at least 5 meetings to consolidate.Goal #4Advertise Esperanza Covenant Church in the five main sectors of the Grand Rapidscommunity; at the Hispanic community, school districts, community-based organizations,corporations and businesses.ObjectiveCommunicate to the community and to the different social, public, and religious sectorsof the Esperanza’s vision, mission, values, goals and objectives.Strategies " Development of the communications tools; brochures, newsletters, flyers, letters of introduction, business cards, website, an official logo to make the church known. (Including activities, events, counseling services, bible studies) " Make presentations and participate jointly with other pastors, business people like the Chamber of Commerce, non-profit organizations, elected officials and members from the city council, school districts, and community centers. " Keep informed local Covenant congregations about our activities, as well as our needs.Activities • Contact Hispanic families on the streets, public places, like markets and restaurants, first established friendships and then recognize their needs. • Contact professional designers inside and out of the church to collaborate and donate their time in the logo’s design, proof, and print, as well as for the other communication tools. • Make an official introduction of myself to the community leaders of Grand Rapids, presenting them Esperanza Covenant Church’s vision and mission, and the expectation of the ministry’s complete (holistic) development in the community. 19
    • Goal #5Have a prayer group of at least 10 people from First Covenant Church, also the prayergroup from the core group.ObjectiveKeep prayer as a priority within the group, and at the same time develop intercession andwarfare. Increase group prayer periodically and experience God’s gracefulness andpower through the Holy Spirit.Strategies/Activities " Facilitate and train members of the core group on the prayer dynamics to be implemented. " Start prayer group according to the needs and petitions of the church. " Have prayer meetings everyone together at least once a week for an hour, worshiping and sharing the word of God. " Pray before starting each event, meeting, service, visitation or any other activity relating to the church.Goal #6Recruit at least two people responsible to lead the following ministries: children, worship,family counseling, prayer, family groups, communications, outreach and finances.ObjectiveTrain and develop spiritual gifts and talents within the support group to serve Jesus onthis primary stage of church planting.Strategies " Identify spiritual gifts and talents within the support group through the assignment of responsibilities according to their integral availability. " Each ministry will be implemented according to each month’s existent need. " Develop local strategies for the first stages of church planting along with child care provided during services.Activities • The development of each ministry will be planned accordingly to the needs. • Plan jointly with the pastor, and define the goals, objectives, and the desired outcomes of each activity. 20
    • • Each ministry will be able to meet in groups or individually with the pastor, and each activity or meeting will have a time of prayer.Goal #7Along with the core group ministry at least 3 worshipers will be included as part ofEsperanza Covenant Church’s worship team.ObjectiveRecruit worshipers that can be used by the Holy Spirit, and be instruments of praisewithin the faith community.Strategies " Make contacts of believers that have those spiritual gifts through First Covenant and Thornapple members. " Make contacts of believers through friends and other members of the ministry group, that wish to serve God within the worship ministry during the first two years, also that are willing to train others at the time of the planting. Activities • Conduct special prayer meetings and present Esperanza Covenant Church’s Plan. • Emphasized in each ministry group meeting to pray for the worshipers.Expectations/Outcomes a) In the first service have at least 150 people assisting b) Have a support group of at least 40 people c) Have accomplished all of the arranged events (80%) d) Have a database with at least 150 families e) Have the communication tools ready (business cards, brochures, flyers) f) Have connections with al least 40% of the mentioned sectors in Goal #4 g) Have at least one bible study established h) Have the prayer group meeting weekly i) Have the leaders of each ministry getting together weekly j) A fiscal/financial system of the church functioning on a regular basis k) Obtain the religious organization incorporation 501 (c) 3 l) Have at least three musicians serving in the Worship ministry 21
    • Evaluation • Revise with the support group every two months the methodology, strategies and outcomes (redefine strategies if necessary). • There will be evaluations completed by the pastor and his ministry coach, Larry Sherman. 2nd Phase 2007Goal #1Make contact and share God’s love with at least 200 families from July 2007 – June 2008in Grand Rapids.Goal #2Maintain the initial support group with 20 Anglos and increase to 35-40 Hispanics.Goal #3Continue and conclude the discipleship process of the first 10-12 people and then start asecond group.Goal #4Maintain and continue the development of the network with the four sectors reachedduring the first year; Hispanic Community, schools, community center, business, andpoliticians.Goal #5Maintain and increase from 5-10 Hispanics, the membership of the prayer group.Goal #6Each one of the ministries; children, worship, family counseling, prayer, family groups,communications, and finances, will have on going activities during the week, as well as,Sunday school and Leadership Development School.Goal #7Have at least 80-100 people in attendance for each service.Goal #8Increase the number of in-home bible studies from 1-3. 22
    • DRAFT Strategic Ministry Plan For Our New Church1. Theological Basis >> 2. Spiritual Foundation in Prayer >> 3. Mission Field - Need of our Area >> 4. Evangelistic Strategies >> 5. Our Specific Vision >> 6. The Strategy of the 4-Stage Launch >> Stage 1 - Roots: Launch Team Gathering Stage 2 - Leavers: Preview Services Stage 3 - Branches: Preparatory Worship Stage 4 - Fruit: Launch 7. Leadership >> 8. Covenant >> 9. Finances>>3. Mission Field - The Need of Our Area: Worksheet on the unique soil and opportunities for the Gospel in our area: - How will we communicate the Desperate Need for a New Church? - Talk about your community and your observations about the people groups, their values, and their needs (education, safety, etc.). What are the opportunities for the Gospel to impact people in our area? - What needs will you begin to meet in Jesus’ Name? 23
    • CHAPTER 4 - OUTREACH The Plow and the Seed Drill Incarnational Plowing thru CMJ (Compassion, Mercy & Justice) and Attractional Seeding thru EvangelismTheme: Jesus calls us to impact our mission field with the Gospel – with both evangelismand compassion ministries.Objective: To establish the priority of Evangelism for church planting.Chapter Goals: 1. You will understand both attractional and incarnational evangelism. 2. You will begin to plan for at least one method of attractional and one method of incarnational evangelism for your plant. Plow & Seed DrillAttractional = Evangelism In recent years the evangelical church has primarily used“attractional” methods of outreach, inviting people to “come and see.” This was howJesus called his first disciples (John 1:35–51).Incarnational = Compasson Mercy and Justice In the world today, missional churchesshould also utilize “incarnational” outreach, demonstrating the gospel by serving peoplein their community – “go and serve.” This was demonstrated by Jesus’ own incarnationand by His call for His disciples to be salt and light for the world. You are the salt of theearth… You are the light of the world… Let your light shine so that people can see yourgood deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16).New Covenant churches Live out the Gospel by equal amounts of Attractional andIncarnational Ministries. 1
    • Incarnational means:_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.This links with the Fourth Message & Mission of the Church (see chapter 1)Attractional means:_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.This links with the First Message & Mission of the Church (see chapter 1)Do you think one is more Difficult?Do you think one is more Important?How can both work Together?Evangelism“If evangelism isn’t our first priority, it soon becomes no priority.” Milton Engebretson, President of the CovenantI am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks… I am eager to preach the Gospel.Romans 1:14-15Compassion“Compassion ministries are the apologetic for our generation.” Steve Norman, church planter of Genesis, Royal Oak, MIAlways be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you about the hope that youhave. I Peter 2:15 2
    • The Message & Mission of Jesus – the Two Strands – The two vertical “rails” – In & Out; Back & Forth; & Both Directions at the same time. The Message of the The Mission of the Church: DNA Church: “Come and See” “Go and Serve” “Deeper in Christ” “Further in Mission” “Pursuing Christ” “Pursuing Christ’s John 2:39; 4:29; 12:21,32 Priorities in the World” Matthew 11:28; 22:37 Matt 9:38; 22:39; 28:19 John 20:21; Acts 1:8 Attractional Evangelism Missional Evangelism Proclamation of the Incarnation of the Gospel Gospel What will people see and What will people hear when they come to experience as you go out your church? and be the church in your community? - worship - serving - discipleship - loving - community - sharing Each church needs to find “Normal and Natural Pathways” for people to becomeIt’s NOT EITHER/OR: either Attractional or Incarnational; rather… Christ-followers in Attractional and Missional Settings.Churches that are moving forward today as healthy, missional churches doBOTH and MORE!It’s not a matter of either pursuing Numerical Growth or pursuing Spiritual Growth…It’s not a matter of either pursuing evangelism or pursuing compassion…It’s not a matter of either ministering to the believers on the inside or ministering to theunbelievers on the outsideThe reality on the inside: surveys show that many of those in attendance have not made acommitment to Christ.And, outside the church, there are hard-core lost and others who are de-churched, somewho made a commitment to Christ in the past…So, it’s a matter of Both and More… 3
    • Our most healthy churches do both… and more…They do not react to the excesses of either/or…They respond to opportunities that God gives for ministry & mission, evangelism &discipleship.In reality, attractional and incarnational are synergistic and provide increasedmomementum:- When you have more new believers, you have more opportunities to grow them deeper,and you have more Christ-followers to send into ministry and mission.- When you have more mission and ministry into the community, you have more peoplebeginning to seek Christ, which gives you the opportunity to present Christ as theirforgiver and leader, which leads to more new believers…- And this gives more momentum in a complementary, synergistic, life-giving cycle…Our most healthy, missional churches live out both the Message & Mission of Jesus:The Message of Jesus The Mission of Jesus Seeding Witness in Two Life-giving Ways1. Come and See 1. Go and Serve2. Deeper in Christ 2. Further in Mission3. God with Us 3. Relational Witness4. Public and Private 4. House to House / Temple CourtsTEAM APPLICATION:- Come up with (at least) One Attractional Strategy that fits your plant.- Come up with (at least) One Incarnational Strategy that fits your plant. 4
    • DEFINITION OF EVANGELISM: “To cooperate with the Holy Spirit and others to help a person take one step closer to Christ.” The ECC definition of EvangelismWe do this through Attractional and Incarnational means.We do this individually and corporately.We do this through:- Prayer: praying individually and corporately for individuals and for our communitythat God would impact them with the Gospel – knowing that God is working in them andwanting to discern in prayer how we can join Him in that work. (see “Praying forPeople” at the end of this chapter) o The Kingdom of God is already present, (Matthew 12:28) but still coming in its fullness (I Corinthians 15:50) o This is the Gospel – the Evangel: the Good News that is Demonstrated and Proclaimed by God’s Ambassadors. o Therefore we pray and live in this world as Ambassadors of God and Witnesses to His love. (II Corinthians 5:20)- Care: showing the love of God to individuals and communities in tangible ways – thusincarnating the Gospel. o Demonstration: We demonstrate His love (Matthew 5:14-16) and His power (Mark 6:19-20) o By building relationships: ! “The Gospel is passed on most effectively through established relationships.” Lon Allison ! More than 80% of all Christians trace their conversion to a friend, relative, associate, or neighbor. ! Strengthening and repairing relationships is a first order of business for every Christian. ! Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you. Mark 5:19- Share: using words that clarify why we’re caring for them and helping them understandthe “reason for the hope that is in you.” (I Peter 3:15) o Proclamation: “He has committed to us the message of reconciliation… as though God were making His appeal through us… We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” II Corinthians 6:19-20Prayer, Care, Share form the basis for the ECC “One Step Closer” Workshop.Some Post-Modern Approaches: • Evangelism in community – “Groups Investigating God” (GIG’s) – John Teter – http://www.intervarsity.org/evangelism/docs/GIG_guide.pdf – people want to see “how we love one another” (John 13:35) and how that love actually can touch and transform others. • Evangelism in WORD & DEED – Justice, Compassion, Mercy all contribute to the CARE of Evangelism 5
    • – These are corporate expressions of God’s love & care by the church. • GIVE a person a fish • Compassion, Mercy & Justice (see article end of chapter) • TEACH them how to fish • Education and Training • Fishing BUSINESS • Community Development • Get a PIECE of the LAKE • Advocacy and JusticeA more wholistic and comprehensive approach to evangelism - moving beyond simply the propositional, linear and individualisticPaying attention to the pathways of people in addition to numbers. Numbers count too,but the direction and connection are more important. Centered Set Success = Direction or Distance 6Encourage your people to Commit to building Spiritual Friendships.Use “Bringing My World to Christ” and “Prayer, Care, Share”Celebrate those who connect with Christ, Celebrate those who build friendships.We must find ways to move from a Battle of Messages to Learning Conversations.Battle of Messages Learning Conversations- I know all I need in order to know - There are important things neither of usto understand truth; therefore, I need know, therefore, let’s listen to each other’sto persuade them that I am right. stories and learn together.- Feelings are irrelevant and wouldn’t be - Feelings are real, complex, and may be athelpful to share therefore, avoid feelings. the heart of the issue; therefore share them.- I am bad/good, lovable/unlovable with - There is a lot at stake for both of us andno in-between; therefore, I must protect neither of us is perfect; therefore we willmy self-image “seek to understand before seeking to be understood.”4 Evangelism Myths and Facts 6
    • MYTH: Evangelism is only for those that have the spiritual gift of evangelism, or forthose will good communication skills and good Biblical knowledge (like pastors). " FACT: All of us are witnesses of what God has done in our lives. Some have the spiritual gift and see people come to Christ regularly; but Christ calls all of to “be my witnesses.” (Acts 1:8) " Each of us has a different way that we can be witnesses (ECC workshop): Style Definition Biblical Example Strength1. Intentional Philip Assertivenessto present Christ in anassertive manner to strangers Acts 8:26 ff Clarityor circles of nearness2. Proclamational Peter Speaking or art skillto present Christ through theavenue of public speaking or Acts 2:14-20 Persuasiveother performing art forms3. Testimonial Blind Man Empirical validityto experience the miraculousand be able to tell about it John 9:17-274. Relational Gerasene Demoniac Personal contactto share what the Lord hasdone for you in circles of Mark 5:18-20 Personal validitynearness5. Invitational Woman at the well Personalto bring others to places Andrewwhere verbal evangelism is John 4:28-30offered John 1:466. Incarnational Dorcas Impressive life-styleto love pre-Christians beyondthe expected and thus bring Acts 9:36-42glory to Christ in you7. Intellectual Paul Appeal to mindto persuade pre-Christiansemploying rational and Acts 17:16 ffempirically verifiable data8. Inspirational Ananias (also Philip) Sensitivity to Spiritto receive clear divinedirection to present Christ to Acts 9:10ff Good resultsa personMYTH: Evangelism is an individual effort that requires an intellectual agreement with aset of truths. 7
    • " FACT: Evangelism takes individuals and a community to live out and talk about the Gospel.MYTH: People are not open to the Gospel " FACT: People are very open to the Gospel.MYTH: “YOU (and you alone) are personally responsible for the salvation of souls. " FACT: God initiates, continues, and culminates the work of salvation. It is first and foremost God’s Work. It is the MISSEO DEO – the mission and work of God… (see Mission of God by Chris Wright) " …And, we are given the privilege of cooperating with the Holy Spirit in bringing others to faith " Therefore, even before we show up, God is already at work in the person / culture… " …And, we are called to be faithful witnesses to God’s work. How lovely are the feet of them that bring Good News… Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:15 " …And, it’s not just you alone, it’s the whole body of Christ, being witnesses to what God does...Additional Resources • One Step Closer -Lisa Orris • GIG Series-The Seven Signs of Jesus • Jesus & the Hip Hop Prophets - Gee & Teter • Get the Word Out -John TeterProcess Conversion – the 4 Doors 8
    • Door #1 – Sovereign Door #2 – Spiritual Foundations Awareness Door #3 – Seeker or Door #4 – Heaven’s Snacker HoundI stand by the door. and opens to the person’s own touch…I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out. People die outside that door,The door is the most important door in the world – as starving beggars die on cold nightsIt is the door through which people walk in cruel cities in the dead of winter – when they find God. Die for want of what is within their grasp.The most tremendous thing in the world They live, on the other side of it – is for people to find that door – the door to God. live because they have not found it.The most important thing any person can do Nothing else matters compared tois to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands, helping them find it,and put it to the latch – the latch that only clicks and open it, and walk in, and find Him… …So, I stand by the door. Sam ShoemakerPrayer and Evangelism 9
    • Praying for People:Since Evangelism is “Cooperating with the Holy Spirit...” this meansPrayer is a vital part of the process of evangelism. Through prayer, we invite God toempower us for evangelism. 1. Prayer provides courage. Ephesians 6:19 2. Prayer provides words. Ephesians 6:19 3. Prayer provides open doors. Colossians 4:3 4. Prayer provides verbal and non-verbal clarity. Colossians 4:4 5. Prayer provides love. Matthew 5:43f 6. Prayer has impact Mark 9:29Intercessory Prayer- “I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone… This is good and pleases God our Savior who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” I Timothy 2:1,3,4- “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for (them) is that they may be saved.” Romans 10:1Prayer Walk- Seeing your neighborhood and community through spiritual eyes- Praying in the spiritual realm as you move in the physical realmWhat to Pray 1. That God draws them to Christ. John 6:44 2. That they may seek to know God. Acts 17:27 3. That they be saved. Romans 10:1 4. That Satan will be bound from blinding them to the truth. 2 Corinthians 4:4 5. That God may send Christians to bring them to Christ. Matthew 9:37-38 6. That they will repent of their sin and turn to God. Acts 3:19 7. That the Holy Spirit will convict them and guide them into all truth. Jn 16:8, 13 8. That they admit their need and humbly seek Christ.Example of LifeChurch, Canton, MI – planted in 2003 10
    • Every Church Can Be Effective at EvangelismDevote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in theway you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:2-6Evangelism is God’s Work No one can come to Me, unless the Father draws them. John 6:44Mission of LifeChurch: Real People, Real God, Real Life “Helping Real people connect with the Real God to experience Real Life.”Culture of Evangelism at Life-ChurchBecause this is our mission, we hold ourselves accountable to intentional evangelism.This means, to the best of our ability, we put numbers to it – to hold ourselvesaccountable for our part. 3 PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE EVANGELISM AT LIFE CHURCH 1. We begin Prayerfully Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And PRAY for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ. Colossians 4:2-6 2. We equip Individually a. In our membership class. Teaching like Jesus did in His ‘membership class’ for the disciples in Matthew 9:35 -10:8 The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers into the field… Go…, I send you to preach… heal… raise… cleanse… Freely you have received, freely give. b. By teaching Friendship Evangelism to all “Evangelism is ANYTHING that helps a person take ONE STEP closer to Christ.” - Prayer Evangelism – who is the 1 person God wants me to pray for? - Care Evangelism – who is the 1 person God wants me to show God’s love to? - Share Evangelism – who is the 1 person God wants me to share with? Every member is not only a minister, every member is a MISSIONARY. c. We teach our members that Evangelism is as easy as PIE 11
    • i. P – Pray You do not have, because you do not ask God… When a believing person prays, great things happen. James 4:2; 5:16 ii. I – Invite iii. E – Expect God to work and answer your prayers.3. We program Intentionally Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders, make the most of every opportunity. Colossians 4:5 WE ARE Committed to building a bridge to those who don’t know Christ one step at a time. We don’t believe that effective evangelism is something we should be lax about. Rather, it’s a priority and it demands intentionality. There are 4 Strategies that we use: 1) We intentionally create EASY INVITE events, AND we then tie these to NEXT STEP follow-up opportunities. Examples: 1. Picnic in the park 2. Table 4 Eight 3. Narnia Movie 4. Harvest Party 5. Theatre/Dinner Plays, Concerts, Special Music 6. Date Your Mate – Friday night free baby-sitting for young couples in the community 7. Kids singing Sundays 8. Mega Sports Camp 9. SuperBowl Party 10. Drop in Hockey 11. Biking/Mountain Biking 12. Men’s Retreat-Shooting 13. Cleats-n-Eats – Football and Food! 14. Paintball 15. Dad Fest-Classic Cars 16. Women’s Retreat 17. Women’s Spa Day 18. Easter Egg Hunt 19. Seminars for Marriage or Finances 20. Partys After Church 21. Pancake Breakfast 22. Teen Events 23. Strawberry and Liberty Festivals – already existing community events that we come along-side and help at 24. Helping at a local community outreach, homeless outreach, helping with Boxes of Love, and Covenant Clinic We then design an appropriate follow-up events. On the next page is an example of how it can work. 12
    • EVENT #1--Harvest Party#Target is young families# Promote event with a video and a card—HIGH VALUE EVENT! NEXT STEP#family pictures available Sunday# NEXT STEP2#Prize winners—Narnia Tickets SERVICE/SERIES#That Sunday start a 4 week series on “Harvesting a Great Family” Next step EVENT--$5 tickets to “Narnia” 2) We design Easy-Invite Worship Experiences. We design weekend experiences that will not embarrass you if you take a risk and bring a friend. We do this through… 1. Friendly people 2. Relaxed Environment—Hospitality 3. Powerful Music—both worship and special performances 4. Relevant Message—topics that scratch an itch 5. Life Stories—real people 6. Drama, Video, Props 3) We create Easy-Invite Message Series 1. Self-Contained--easy to try for 4 weeks 2. 1st week always a Super Sunday with multiple creative elements 3. Always followed by a Connection event/assimilation— e.g. a PICNIC right after the service 4) We create Easy-Invite Tools 1. Invite Card/Postcard is our #1 Tool according to our people! 2. E-card to forward + Email bursts 3. lifechurch Website 4. Bulk Mailings to 10,000 homes 3 or 4 times a year 5. Our events are tools as wellWe always give an opportunity for people to connect with Christ and become Christ-followers at our worship experiences. And WE CREATE A FEEDBACK LOOP... Response Card — during Offering Follow up — Phone call from Connection Team Invite to visit a lifegroup Bible Study DiscipleshipWe Evaluate every Sunday Experience, Series, Event, and Tool – so that we can discernhow God worked and discipline ourselves to become better workers in His harvest field.Evaluate with encouragement. 13
    • TEAM APPLICATION – Develop your Evangelistic Strategies 1. What will be our Prayer, Care, Share Strategies a. For individuals b. And as a Church 2. How will we encourage our people to continue to have spiritual conversations? 3. We talked earlier about the balance between Attractional and Incarnational Evangelism. Do you have any further thoughts now? 4. Which Evangelism “Myths” do you most need to address? How will you do it? 5. How will you encourage prayer for evangelism in your church plant? 6. Much of the above material was developed by the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism for the newly revised School of Evangelism called “One Step Closer” workshop. We encourage church plants to schedule a School of Evangelism and a School of Prayer (Prayer School offered by Dept of Christian Formation) in the first 2 years. Talk about when you’d like to schedule these. 14
    • Church Planting and the Mission of Compassion, Mercy And Justice Why add one more dimension to the church planting task?The task of planting a church is incredibly difficult. At the outset of any discussion regardingbeginning a church with a strong ministry plan for compassion and justice, the question of “why”is understandable. Ministry to poor and at-risk people seems to be one of those “good” thingsthat can come later on after the new church is over the delicate, tenuous first years of formation.It would be an understandable position to put off compassion and justice ministries in favor of theimmediate tasks of creating a fellowship of people who are finding their needs met. Consider afew brief reasons that compassion and justice ministries are appropriate for earliest considerationin planning for a new church start.• How you start is how you’ll grow. If it is not part of the original, owned vision of thecore group, compassion and justice ministries are difficult to add later. The foundationdetermines the dimensions of any building. Experience has shown that the earliest vision castingis critical for the unfolding of future priorities for a church.• The Bible says we are to do it. Reaching out in compassion and addressing injustice areactions which are commanded and expected of the people of God. If we wish to glorify God inour work of evangelism, we must be faithfully holistic and balanced in evangelism andcompassion from the beginning.• It will mobilize our base. Sometimes we overlook the need in people, both Christiansand non-Christians, to do something of significance for others. Beginning with a bold vision toaffect others who are marginalized and hurting in their communities will attract bold peoplewilling to risk a little comfort for the possibility of pursing ministry.• It is a key evangelistic strategy. Compassion and justice as attributes of God’s newcommunity will be an attraction to seekers who are looking for a credible witness of thesupernatural in this world. Many in our world are as yet untouched by the gospel because thescope of our witness is often too small. By going beyond the comfort zone of serving our ownfellowship, we provide credible witness to seekers who on some level, value compassion andjustice and are waiting to see where they will be evidenced in our world. As we pursuetranscendent outreaches of compassion and justice, we fulfill our calling to be lighthouses andmission outposts of God’s kingdom.Compassion is a natural act of care and is found universally. People respond to compassion andto organized activities of compassion. But Christian compassion goes beyond the easycompassion of caring for our own kind (every religion has charities for its own member groups).Christian compassion and justice are distinguished by the action of God in Christ, who comes toseek and save that which is lost. Our compassion and justice reaches out to those different fromus, especially the poor. It is less concerned with affinity (people like us) than diversity (bringingtogether what the world cannot unite). It is a work of the Holy Spirit.The biblical witness is that God has a special heart for the poor, the widow, the orphan, thesojourner, the leper, the prisoner, and the hungry. We do well to seek God’s heart for thesegroups around us today. We can also seek to be God’s hands of love for their modern dayequivalents--to those who are physically handicapped, suffering from HIV/AIDS, the refugees,children and youth without adequate educational opportunities, the homeless, victims of domesticviolence, and those unable to procure work. 15
    • DRAFT Strategic Ministry Plan For Our New Church1. Theological Basis >> 2. Spiritual Foundation in Prayer >> 3. Mission Field - Need of our Area >> 4. Evangelistic Strategies >> 5. Our Specific Vision >> 6. The Strategy of the 4-Stage Launch >> Stage 1 - Roots: Launch Team Gathering Stage 2 - Leaves: Preview Services Stage 3 - Branches: Preparatory Worship Stage 4 - Fruit: Launch 7. Leadership >> 8. Covenant >> 9. Finances>>4. Evangelistic Strategies: Develop a wholistic, comprehensive evangelistic strategy for your new church. - What are Incarnational and Attractional Ideas for living and sharing the Gospel in your Area? - How will you train evangelists? 16
    • CHAPTER 5 – SEED & DNA The ZERA And the DNA For Your New ChurchTheme: Church plants need to be able to articulate the 4 components of a compelling mission/vision for theirspecific plant. Note: While the Gospel and the 4 “Als” are foundational to the mission/vision for every new ECC church we plant, we are now planting in more varied soil than ever before – urban, rural, suburban, ethnic, multi-ethnic, emergent, and various sub-cultures in the US – therefore you must also know the unique Zera, DNA, and Mission and Vision so you can keep focused on growing the unique new church that God is calling you to plant.Objective: To clearly articulate the unique vision/mission for your new church. Note: Chapter 5 is the transition from the Theological, Spiritual and Missional to making this personal and practical in the Launch process for your new church.Chapter Goals:1. You will find the Biblical Seed-verse (Zera) or Biblical story for your new church.2. You will find the unique DNA God has for your church and will be able to replicate this in the hearts andlives of everyone in the new church. DREAM: You will be able to articulate a Vision of God’s preferred future and the fruitful impact of your new church. NON-NEGOTIABLES: You will find the “Core Values” that you will live out in the new church. ACTION: This is the mission of the church, the action items that will move you from Non-negotiable core values into fruitfulness in your mission field.3. Your team will be able to evaluate your ZERA and DNA. Zera = Seed (in Hebrew)And God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees that produce fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. Genesis 1:11
    • 1. You will find the Biblical Seed-verse (Zera) or Biblical story for your new church Seed = Zera - God’s plan for reproducing life. God spoke the Word and creation sprang forth. God created seed (zera) which began reproduction of Life over and over! It starts with Zera/Seed in the Garden – God’s plan for reproduction – each according to its kind.Church Plants often start with Parent Churches and The Seed of the Gospel. The Zera must leave the safety of the fruit in order to give life… Rob Bell: the metaphor for the Christian life is to live as broken bread and poured out wine – to live as Christ – to be broken and poured out, to die to ourselves so others may live; and by participating in this, we too live. Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed; but if it dies… John 12:24
    • The seed is the Word of God… Luke 8:11- The Zera for your specific church is the specific text or Biblical story that God put in your heart. This isthe Biblical reason you feel called and compelled to plant this particular church.- This is a “life-verse” that guides what the church will develop into, like the life-force within the seed thatcauses it to grow. Here’s how Gods passion and God’s Word came to one church planter: When I questioned the Lord about Boulder Valley He took me to Exodus 3:7-10 and showed me the cries rising to God from those disenfranchised from the church and oppressed by sin. He told me Life House Covenant Church would be one of His answers to those cries. We see that nearly every week when someone walks into worship and says, "This feels like home". It’s not just our vision at Life House; it is participating with the Lord in His passion for the lost in our area. Pastor Win Houwen, LifeHouse Covenant Church, Longmont CO Inside the seed is the life-dynamic that contains the “heart” of an apple and an apple- tree. EXAMPLES of Zera – Biblical life-verses – for ECC plants: NOTE: these 3 churches will be used as examples for each of the 4 components.
    • At the end of this chapter, you will find examples of Zera and DNA.1. Journey Covenant Church, Norman OK – www.journeychurch.cc Pastor Clark Mitchell – an anglo plant initially targeting 20-somethings Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, accord to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Ephesians 3:20-21 (this verse is repeated each week at the church)2. Citadel of Faith Covenant Church, Detroit, MI – www.citadeloffaith.org Pastor Harvey Carey. This text given by God to Pastor Carey in a vision along with the name and place for the church 15 years before he moved to Detroit! a multi-ethnic plant in a mostly black city You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden… In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Mt5:13-163. New Song, Irvine, CA – www.newsong.net Pastor David Gibbons – a multi-ethnic plant with 2nd generation Asian-Ameicans as the majority Pastor Gibbons writes: It happened while I was in Irvine, California in the Fall of 1993 when I sensed God wanting me to start a church after reading Psalm 40:1-3. I read: "I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our god; Many will see and fear, and will trust in the Lord." These words resonated in my heart because God had transformed my life in so many amazing ways! In fact, the place where I finally said "yes" to God was in Telluride, Colorado, on a rock in the middle of a large field. That rock was symbolic of how God brought stability to my life after my parents struggled with a painful divorce. Later when my mother was killed in a hit-and-run accident, God would be that Rock once again. So when I read these verses in that hotel room, it was as if this psalmist words were my own. This idea of a new song started to align with a passage I had read earlier that year about new wineskins. I remember being broken by the fact that there werent too many churches reaching the next generation who were both post-modern and multi-ethnic in flavor. As a kid, my best friends were African-American or Caucasian. I had wondered why churches were so segregated. Furthermore, I saw how most of the churches I knew werent connecting with my friends. Church seemed so irrelevant and boring to them. Then I took a hard look at where I was serving. It was a great church yet because of its immigrant nature it was not reaching the new global village that was fast emerging. It became clear to me what the "new song" was. It was to begin a multi-ethnic movement that would reach the next generation. How? Through planting churches and focusing on the next generation of leadership. OTHER: In Church Revitalization, John Wenrich encourages churches to find their “Biblical story” which can provide a picture of the new story for the church. When he was pastor at First Covenant of Portland, Oregon, the story of the raising of Lazarus in John 11 became the inspirational metaphor for their turn-around as a congregation.
    • TEAM APPLICATION: What is the “Life-Verse” or Biblical Story that becomes the Zera for yournew church. Helps: - The text may focus on the People God is calling you to reach, build up, and send out. - The text may focus on the Plan God has for you to live out the Mission and Message of the church in this community. - The text may focus on the unique Purpose God has for this new church.Worksheet:2. You will be able to articulate the unique DNA God has for your church and will beable to replicate this in the hearts & lives of everyone in the new church. Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed; but if it dies… John 12:24 Planter - How is God breaking your heart to see people come to Christ through this new church? Planter and Team - How is your heart breaking in this soil, in this particular city, for the needs of this community, and for particular people to come to New Life in Christ and to be transformed by the Gospel?
    • The DNA must replicate itself – the Message and Mission of Jesus must take the passion and values for this new church and replicate this over-and-over again in the hearts of lives of others in the Launch-Team – so you share a deep, compelling, growing, unstoppable passion to participate in God’s new work through this new church in this particular community. Cell Replication: 1) DNA within the nucleus is “unzipped” by an enzyme which breaks the hydrogen bonds between the bases. 2) Two halves of the DNA in transition. 3) The free-floating nucleotides within the nucleus begin bonding to the bases of both strands. There are now two strands.Questions to Ponder:- How will the Zera be lived out through the DNA (Dream, Non-Negotiables, and Actions) of the church?- What are the qualities and behaviors of your church that will demonstrate that this verse is being lived out?- How well is this DNA already attracting others & how well has it been replicated in the hearts and lives ofpeople on the Launch Team? DNA – God’s unique code for the healthy growth of this new church. The WHOLE Tree is contained in the DNA. What the church will become is contained in the DNA that God has put there at the start! DNA God’s truth in Science: The Strands – the vertical “rails”… 2 Strands – with 2 parts: Where the core values sugar + phosphate are connected to 2 things: Bases with 4 elements: the Message of Jesus & A, G, T, C the Mission of Jesus. These can be arranged in many configurations allowing for the great The Bases – the diversity within a species. horizontal “rungs”… The unique DNA of your Church.
    • 2. Non-negotiables … 3. Action-items … 1. Dream (Core Values) (Mission) (Vision) All of this is part of your Strategic Ministry Plan ZERA = SEED Foundation for Life 1. Dream: The Vision for the New Church You will be able to articulate a Vision of God preferred future and the fruitful impact of your new church. - The Biblical story began with seeds and trees in Genesis 1 - It continues in the middle of Scripture with the Tree nurtured by the living water Psalm 1 Blessed is the one…like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he/she does prospers… - Its DREAM or Vision concludes with a Fruitful Tree: Revelation 22:1-2 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life… flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb… On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. DREAM or Vision from the perspective of the Tree – fruitfulness, another healthy tree, and many more trees in the orchard!Definition: DREAM or Vision - A picture of God’s preferred future for this church. - A picture of the future fruitfulness for this new church: - What will our disciples be known for? - What will our church be doing, and what will we be known for? - What impact will our church have in 5,10,15,20+ years on the lives of individuals and on this community?
    • How to think about the DREAM or Vision:- Think of it like a farmer who owns an orchard (Lk 13:6-9) – you want quantity and quality of fruit.Without both quantity and quality, you’ll soon be out of business!- Think of it from the perspective of the seed – your purpose is reproduction into a tree that produces moreseeds that produces more trees…- Think about it from God’s perspective of the fruit He anticipates from your church – More Believers,Better Disciples, and More Impact on our Mission Field. (or in the ECC: “more disciples among morepopulations in a more caring and just world.” Gary Walter)Jesus becomes the “holy fruit inspector” for the 7 Churches of Revelation 2-3. This is to my father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:8Examples:- Journey Covenant Church, Norman, OK Starts with a Dream/Vision verse: God can do anything… far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your WILDEST dreams! He does it not by pushing us but by working within us… Ephesians 3:20 (The Message) Our Dream is… - Of a place where the hurting, the depressed, the frustrated and the confused find love acceptance, help, hope forgiveness, guidance and encouragement. - Of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with hundreds of thousands of residents in the greater Oklahoma City area. - Of welcoming thousands into the community-life of our church by loving, learning, laughing, and being in unity together. - Of developing people to spiritual maturity through Bible studies, small groups, seminars, retreats, and a Leadership Development School. - Of preparing every believer for an effective ministry by helping people discover their God-given gifts and talents. - Of releasing hundreds of career missionaries and church workers all around the world and empowering every person for a personal life-mission in the world. - Of releasing our members by the hundreds on short-term mission projects all over the world. - Of at least 60 acres of land for a regional church with a building that will bring live and peace to all who come.- Citadel of Faith Covenant Church, Detroit, MIOur vision is to build a ministry where all of the hurting, distressed, confused, rich or poor of all races and cultures,will come to seek answers from the Word of God that are relevant to the issues of their lives. In order to attract thosewho are in need of God’s manifest power in their lives, we will reflect the light of God through sincere and consistentconnection and service to those in our community. As we develop genuine relationships, and serve one another, ourworks will connect those individuals to God. And as the life of God awakens in each individual blessed by ourministry, a community will begin to grow in which people can see the power of God change and bless their lives, theirfamilies, their communities and their world.- NewSong, Irvine, CA Whats Next? This Aint Your Mamas Church! (DREAM /VISION)Were looking at becoming a church that releases our community to impact the world through the arts, relevant andholistic ministry to the poor, technology, business, media, church planting and leadership development. We are hopingto catalyze a host of ministries to address local and global concerns in a holistic and strategic way. We are seriousabout being an advocate of the poor and promoting justice among all humankind. There are plans for inner citydevelopment, new churches and arts/technology centers here in our backyard and around the world. We just dont wantto play church. We desire to be the church! We like to say this "Aint Your Mamas Church?" Which means, while thetruth of God may not change, each generation must construct its own language and style to connect with God and withthe real world.
    • Your dream/vision for an apple may be a different variety than someone else’s. Some varieties ripen more quickly, some take a little longer. Some are sweeter, some are larger, some are good for pies, some for juice, and some are more resistant to disease… Your dream/vision is the result of the growing seed, first placed by God in your heart (the Zera). It reflects the unique non-negotiables or values for your church plant and is the product of the unique Action/Mission for your plant. These result in the Vision of a fruitful harvest! Note the variety of vision from the 3 church plants listed on the page above. Each church is a different variety!3 Questions to Talk About Regarding Your DREAM or Vision: 1. What quantity of fruit do you expect? - Seating capacity: services, attendance. Note: we determine that a church plant with a full-time pastor and some kind of leased space needs to get to 200 in average attendance by the end of 3-years in order to be self- sustaining AND have margin to expand ministry and mission to their community. - Sending capacity: redemptive potential, impact on your community. Note: Would your community miss your church if it failed? How are we going to Plant the Gospel in our community and impact our community for Christ in tangible ways? Notes: 2. How will you know if you’re producing quality fruit? - What will your disciples be known for? - What will your church be known for in your community? - Will you have ways of testing the quality of your fruit? Fruit of the Spirit, key behaviors of a disciple, living out your core values… Notes:
    • 3. How do you envision expanding the orchard so you will have more Missional Impact? - What impact will our church have in 5,10,15,20+ years on the lives of individuals and on this community? - How will you plant new churches? Notes:TEAM APPLICATION – Using the examples and the 3 questions, develop your DREAM or VisionStatement:Notes from Bill Easum and Bil Cornelius, church consultants and church planters in Go Big, p 13-14“God never gives us small dreams. If your dream doesn’t scare you a bit, it’s not from God.”“God prepares us for leadership by growing the church – and watching us catch up.”Don’t fear people and don’t let others cause you to scale back the vision. “Fearing people is a dangeroustrap, but to trust the Lord means safety.” Proverbs 29:25 So cast the vision as often as you can… But remember that “managing the vision is much harder than casting the vision!” - Does your vision include making disciples? If not, it’s not from God. - How often do you cast your vision? Remember how often Nehemiah reminded the people why they were building the wall. - How many other leaders are casting the vision with you? - What do you have in place to ensure that the vision is cast on a daily basis? - Do you spend the majority of your time on the issues surrounding managing the vision and ensuring that the vision manages you and the church? - Is every leader in the church focused on ensuring that the vision is being managed?“Don’t pray for small visions. They have no power to ignite the souls of people. And they have no need ofthe power of God to be accomplished.”Dream BIG!Have a God-sized vision that will take the power of God!
    • 2. Non-negotiables … 3. Action-items … 1. Dream (Core Values) (Mission) (Vision) All of this is part of your Strategic Ministry Plan ZERA = SEED Foundation for Life2. NON-NEGOTIABLES: You will find the “Core Values” that you will live out in the new church.Definition of Non-Negotiables or Core Values in church planting:- The Non-Negotiables hold the unique God-planned code at the heart of this specific church. - connected to your Zera as it lives out the Message & Mission of Jesus.- Your Non-Negotiables are expressed as passionate convictions replicated in the heart of each person in thenew church. - These are constant and motivational. They give the compelling reasons to belong! - These result in observable behaviors that turn your convictions into actions! - They are the guidance system that shapes future decisions, plans, and financial outlays. - They are the decision grid through which choices are evaluated & options eliminated.Non-negotiables or Core Values are Not: -Your statement of faith, belief, purpose -Your methods or programsWhy just 3-8 Non-Negotiables? - Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger, shows that the simpler a church is, the easier it is to focus on what really produces fruit. - The most fruitful plants focus on just a few Vital Things. See Influencer: The Power to Change Anything on vital behaviors, chapter 2.Note: Bob Logan and Steve Ogne, in their materials titled, The Church Planter’s Toolkit, have a tool that will help thenew church discover its core values (what we’re calling the Non-negotiables). The toolkit is available throughwww.churchsmart.com
    • Non-Negotiable Examples: 1. Journey: a. Honor God b. Build Healthy Relationships c. Live Life to the Fullest, i.e., Have a Blast 2. Citadel a. Reverence God b. Reach People c. Raise Disciples d. Release Leaders 3. NewSong a. Christ b. Community c. Cause OTHER: The ECC… The 4 “Al’s”: Biblical, Devotional, Missional, Connectional.TEAM APPLICATION – Develop your Non-negotiable statements. 1. From your Zera (Life-verse) brainstrom 3-8 statements that reflect your Core Values. TIP: Look at your Zera (Verse or Biblical Story) – what principles/DNA do you see there? E.g. for Willow Creek, their Zera is Acts 2:42-47 and from this text they derive several “core values” or non-negotiables. Our Non-negotiable statements: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. - After you come up with your initial list see if you can restate them even more clearly and compellingly. - If you already have your Core Values spelled out, then test them with the questions on the next page. Our goal is help you discern what God is saying to you about your values, so you can clearly articulate them to others and so your new church can become all that God intends.
    • 2. Evaluate your Non-negotiable statements - State the behavior(s) that will prove or demonstrate that these really are non-negotiable values. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. - Evaluate how easy they are to communicate: - Are they stated in simple, compelling language that will connect with real people you’re trying to reach? - When will you communicate them? Consistency of message helps people remember why they’re doing what they’re doing. - How will you celebrate when people in your church live out your Core Values? How will you celebrate what God has done and how will you honor the people who have faithfully lived out your values. You get what you celebrate!
    • 2. Non-negotiables … 3. Action-items … 1. Dream (Core Values) (Mission) (Vision) All of this is part of your Strategic Ministry Plan ZERA = SEED Foundation for Life 3. ACTION: This is the Mission of the church and the action items that will move you from Non-negotiable core values into fruitfulness in your mission field. This is HOW you’re going to live out your Non-negotiables and move toward your Dream.MISSION The Mission of the seedling expresses itself to become a particular kind of kind of tree. The Mission of a church plant expresses itself to a unique church that fulfills the God’s Dream or vision. Definition: Mission - The main way the church will grow. - The main things your church will be known for as you live out your Core Values. Many churches have: - A Mission Statement: A longer (and deeper) version for “in-house” teaching. This is usually summed up in A Mission Motto: A short-hand, easily repeatable summary of the mission. - This is something that even the first-time guest can “get” – something that’s short enough to fit on a T-Shirt. - This will help everyone quickly understand what this church is becoming - This helps the church keep the “main thing, the main thing” and not get distracted by other good things that new people will propose. Then, each year the church comes up with ACTION-ITEMS or Annual Goals that will move the church forward in living out the mission this year and moving the church toward the Dream.
    • Examples of Covenant Church Plant Mission Mottos: 1. Journey: Helping People Become Fully Devoted Followers of Christ 2. Citadel: His People – His Power Longer version: (this lives out their core values & repeats their mission motto) The Citadel of Faith Covenant Church is a ministry that aims to Reverence God through dynamic corporate worship and relevant preaching, Raise Christians using creative methods in equipping our members for the work of the ministry, Reach People through programs and outreaches which bring about spiritual and social change, and Release Leaders to plant their gifts in other churches. Our Motto Is: “His People, His Power.” 3. NewSong: Reconciliation Newer update: NewSong :: third culture community For a Longer Version and Graphic: see addendum at end of this chapter. Other Examples: - ECC: Deeper in Christ & Further in Mission & growing in both directions at the same time - C3: Whoever finds Christ, finds life. (C3 – Christ Covenant Church, Novi, MI) - McLane: We eliminate barriers to provide access to ChristTEAM APPLICATION – Develop a Mission Motto Note: you may have the longer version already. However, we’ve found that the shorter “Mission Motto” is very helpful in a church plant.Here are some helps: 1. Start with a Word that sums up what your church will be about. (New Song’s mission motto is one word). It may be a summary word or key concept from your Zera or Non-negotiables. 2. Or you can reflect on these 3 questions: a. The “People” Question: specifically who are the people God is calling you to? b. The “Plan” Question: specifically how is God calling you to reach them and to build them up in the faith? c. The “Purpose” Question: specifically what does God want to do with these people?Our Mission Motto:ACTIONS:Each year, the church will then look at it’s Mission Statement, Non-negotiables, and DREAM – anddetermine what are the most important actions to take this year.In the first year of a plant, the actions are summed up in the GROWTH-MARKS document (chapters 6-9).
    • 3. Your team will be able to evaluate your ZERA and DNA. - Test using the evaluation below. - Share your ZERA and DNA with another team and have them evaluate it. Takes notes on what they say so you can gain greater clarity as you re-write. - Commit to sharing this regularly using the suggestions on the last page. EVALUATION EVALUATION a good take-home exerciseClear and compelling ZERA and DNA are the beginning points for a church plant, and regularly has to be clearly articulated inyour church. Below is an evaluation tool that can help you assess how you are doing in this area. You may want to share withanother church plant team and see how they rate you.Excellent - Can communicate a clear, compelling ZERA and DNA for this church; can help othersvisualize what it will look like in the future; can share how it is biblically grounded; and can get othersexcited about it. Others increasingly are attracted to it and his/her followers are willing to sacrifice for it.Above Average - Can articulate it quite well, but others arent quite as excited as they are; knowhow most of the pieces will fit together in reality. Others will make some sacrifices for the mission.Average - Understands pieces necessary for church planting, and is beginning to put them all together;is personally inspired by the ZERA and DNA, but others dont seem to understand it very well.Below Average – ZERA and DNA are vague and non-specific. Unable to put pieces together toform a complete whole. Others are hesitant to commit to it. It lacks passion and immediacy.Unacceptable - Unable to articulate any clear ZERA and DNA for a new church; unable to integrate acredible strategic pan; others dont understand what the focus is; unable to convince anyone to sacrifice for it.
    • EVALUATION QUESTIONS & ACTIVITIES EVALUATION QUESTIONS & ACTIVITIESA. Where would you rate yourself on the Evaluation? Why?B. Every week, share the mission of your new church with 5 other people. Who will you share with this week?C. Every Sunday spend 3 minutes in your service communicating the ZERA and DNA of your church. Outline here what you would say this Sunday.D. Every week, find 5 different events/meetings where you can share it.E. Set the following goals: 1). Continue to sharpen your DNA so that they become even clearer and compelling. 2). Find ways to share these with your leaders until they can clearly enunciate these. 3). Regularly evaluate every program in your church based on how well it fulfills the DNA of your church. Have the courage to cancel programs that don’t help you fulfill it, to tweak those who could fulfill it better, or to create new ministries that can fulfill your mission in the most fruitful ways.It’s important to test your DNA – because God will test you and reshape you so you can be ready for thevision he gave you. Look at these thoughts from Oswald Chambers.We always have visions, before a thing is made real. When we realize that although the vision is real, it is not real inus, then is the time that Satan comes in with his temptations, and we are apt to say it is no use to go on. Instead of thevision becoming real, there has come the valley of humiliation. Life is not idle ore, But iron dug from central gloom, And batter’d by the shocks of doom, To Shape and use.God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in thevalley that so many of us faint and give way… Ever since we had the vision God has been at work, getting us into theshape of the ideal, and over and over again we escape from His hand… The vision is not a castle in the air, but avision of what God wants you to be. Let Him put you on His wheel and whirl you as He likes, and as sure as God isGod and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision. Don’t lose heart in the process.”Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, July 6On the Next Pages are Examples from:NewSong, Irvine CALife Covenant Church, Torrence CA
    • NewSong, Irvine, CASummary Values What it means • We celebrate our new life in Christ • Laughter as a sign of spirituality Experience • We worship him for all He is • The joy and pain of the journey • We affirm the transcendent God of mysteries • We’re a place where you can ask difficult Mystery Christ questions and live in the tension of paradox • People are in the process of becoming radical followers of Christ • We passionately participate in the Transformation rhythms of a spiritual life (head, heart, and hand) • A place where relationships are growing, authentic, diverse, interdependent, and at times uncomfortable Relationships • Conflict is normal – reconciliation intentional • An inviting sanctuary that provides aCommunity refuge of fellowship, rest and renewal. Sanctuary • Where the weak, the marginalized, the misfit, and the prodigal are embraced. • We passionately pursue becoming a church of all nations Mosaic • We celebrate our differences • We make friends with those who have not experienced Gods grace and those of Cause Compassion different cultures or socio-economic backgrounds
    • • Where our lives are a witness to the love of Christ. • We adapt to the language and culture of the communities we reach • We feel privileged to obey the Great Glocal Commission from God both globally and locally ("glocally") • A place where the arts are embraced • A catalytic center of dreams, imagination and creativity Creativity • Every person’s gifts are valued, developed, and deployed Example of Life Covenant Church, Torrence, CA Pastor Tim Morey!ZERA: And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed intohis likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Cor.3:18!DREAM/VISION:“To be and make disciples in authentic community for the good of the world, in thepresence and power of Jesus.”To be and make disciples – We envision men and women who live as deeply devoted students ofJesus. They are becoming real – transformed from the inside out. They live in this world, but belong toanother. They are learning to live their lives as Jesus would live them, and are free from legalistic rule-keeping, phony posturing, plastic spirituality, attempts to earn the favor of God and people, and frombashing themselves and others. Their lives result in others becoming followers of Jesus as well.In authentic community – We envision a loving, authentic community of people who want to comecloser to God. They do life deeply together. They have been immersed in the reality of the Trinity, and arepart of the great family of saints that transcends the bounds of race, gender, age, social status, culture,and time. They journey together, encouraging, challenging, carrying, and pushing one another. They aredeeply aware that they have received compassion from God, and they give it generously to everyone theyencounter.For the good of the world – We envision an outward-focused community, eagerly looking to sharewhat they have received. Their lives overflow in compassionate service and in the proclamation of thegood news of Jesus: that the Kingdom of God is available to all! They are ambassadors of God’s Kingdom,placed in society as students, teachers, laborers, and professionals. They carry Christ with them into everyarea of life. Their unique giftedness is used to carry out God’s mission in the local church, and in numerouschurches planted, from the South Bay to the farthest corners of the planet.
    • In the presence and power of Jesus – We envision people who live an authentic spirituality,intimately connected to Jesus. The real and present life of Christ alive in them is transforming them intothe people God always envisioned them to be. They move in the strength of the Spirit, carrying out God’spurposes for them and growing in love with God and with people. They live with grateful hearts, as thosewho have learned how to receive a gift. Their thankfulness spills out in awe-filled lives of passionateworship and an outflowing of God’s grace.!Non-Negotiable core values: ! biblical (up) - God has revealed himself through the Scriptures, which are our source of authority for life and worship ! devotional - (in) nothing is more important than a love relationship with Jesus ! missional – (out) mission is why the church exists ! connectional – (together) authentic, loving community is the context for mission ! bravehearts – courageous faith ! contextualization - cultural relevance is not optional ! grace-full – we will live in the abundant grace of God, freely receiving it and freely giving it away!ACTIONS: our MissionHow we see it lived out . . .We understand Jesus’ command to make disciples to include both the spiritual formation of those who arehis followers, as well as the announcing/demonstrating of the gospel to those outside the faith.Though our ministries are varied, we see several involvements as being particularly important as weapproach disciplemaking in a post-Christian culture: !"#$#%&()*#!+#"(#,-! !"#$%& $(#)&*+,-%(, 0"112*&-3 !"#./,Our worship gatherings, expressions of community (such as small groups, mentoring relationships, andhospitality), and serving the world represent our primary involvements as a church family. The crucialbackdrop for these collective involvements is our individual involvement in the spiritual disciplines (prayer,Scripture, solitude, fasting, Sabbath-keeping, giving, practicing God’s presence, etc).In living these out we lean into God’s graceful work of making us more and more like Jesus, and weembody our faith for the world around us.On the Next Page see the 3 examples that we used for each stage in this ChapterCitadel New Song JourneyUrban, Multi-ethnic Urban, Multi-ethnic, Suburban, college townPrimary ethnicity, African-American Primary ethnicity, Asian Primary ethnicity, Anglo
    • Citadel of Faith New Song JourneyDetroit, MI Irvine, CA Norman, OKPastor Harvey Carey Pastor Dave Gibbons Pastor Clark MitchellZera You are the salt of the Zera "I waited patiently for Zera Now to Him who is ableearth… You are the light of the the Lord, and He… heard my to do immeasurably more thanworld. A city set on a hill cry. He brought me up out of all we ask or imagine, accordcannot be hidden… In the the pit…, out of the miry clay; to His power that is at worksame way, let your light shine and He set my feet upon a rock within us, to Him be the glorybefore men, that they may see making my footsteps firm. And in the church and in Christyour good deeds and praise He put a new song in my Jesus throughout allyour Father in heaven. Matt mouth, a song of praise to our generations, for ever and ever.5:13-16 God; Many will see and fear, Ephesians 3:20-21 and will trust in the Lord."Non-Negotiables/Values Psalm 40:1-3 Non-Negotiables/Values- Reverence God - Honor God- Reach People Non-Negotiables/Values - Healthy Relationships - Have a Blast: Live Life to the- Raise Disciples - Christ Fullest- Release Leaders - Community - Cause ACTION/Mission MottoACTION/Mission Motto Helping People become fullyHis People – His Power ACTION/Mission Motto Devoted Followers of Christ. ReconciliationDREAM/Vision Newer update: NewSong :: DREAM/VisionOur vision is to build a third culture community Our Dream is…ministry where all of the - Of a place where the hurting, the depressed, the frustrated and thehurting, distressed, confused, DREAM/Vision confused find love acceptance, help,rich or poor of all races and Were looking at becoming a hope, forgiveness, encouragement.cultures, will come to seek church that releases our - Of sharing the Good News of Jesusanswers from the Word of God community to impact the world Christ with hundreds of thousands in through the arts, relevant and the greater Oklahoma City area.that are relevant to the issues holistic ministry to the poor, - Of welcoming thousands into theof their lives. In order to technology, business, media, community-life of our church byattract those who are in need of church planting and leadership loving, learning, laughing, and beingGod’s manifest power in their development. We are hoping to in unity together.lives, we will reflect the light catalyze a host of ministries to - Of developing people to spiritualof God through sincere and maturity through Bible studies, small address local and global concerns groups, seminars, retreats, and aconsistent connection and in a holistic and strategic way. Leadership Development School.service to those in our We are serious about being an - Of preparing every believer for ancommunity. As we develop advocate of the poor and effective ministry by helping peoplegenuine relationships, and promoting justice among all discover their God-given gifts.serve one another, our works humankind. There are plans for - Of releasing hundreds of inner city development, new missionaries all around the world andwill connect those individuals empowering every person for a churches and arts/technologyto God. And as the life of God centers here in our backyard and personal life-mission in the world.awakens in each individual around the world. We just dont - Of releasing our members by theblessed by our ministry, a want to play church. We desire to hundreds on short-term missioncommunity will begin to grow projects all over the world. be the church! We like to say this - Of at least 60 acres of land for ain which people can see the "Aint Your Mamas Church?" regional church with a building thatpower of God change and bless will bring life to all who come.their lives, their families, theircommunities and their world.
    • DRAFT Strategic Ministry Plan For Our New Church1. Theological Basis >> 2. Spiritual Foundation in Prayer >> 3. Mission Field - Need of our Area >> 4. Evangelistic Strategies >> 5. Our Specific ZERA and DNA >> 6. The Strategy of the 4-Stage Launch >> Stage 1 - Roots: Launch Team Gathering Stage 2 - Leaves: Preview Services Stage 3 - Branches: Preparatory Worship Stage 4 - Fruit: Launch 7. Leadership >> 8. Covenant >> 9. Finances>>5. Worksheet - The Specific DREAM for this New Church… - On the back, write a letter to your church from 5 years in the future. Describethe ministries you see, the impact you’re having, the kind of people you’re reaching, etc.Write it from the perspective that “if money were no object, here’s what could happen in5 years.”The Specific DNA for this church… …Is Biblically Based on our ZERA verse:D …With God’s guidance, will result in the specific DREAM:N …Is firmly embedded in these Non-Negotiable/Values statements:A …And is lived out in this compelling Mission and in these Actions: Our actions this year (year 1 general template for actions can be found in the Growth-Marks document) 22
    • Chapter 5 – DNA Dream, Non-Negotiables, and Action ItemsGoal: Perspective and Purpose which leads to Focus and Productivity Acts 13:32 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay. 1. Biblical Purpose Statement 2. Timeline » Values (Non-Negotiables) 3. BPS + Values = Vision (Dream) 4. Action Items 5. Dream + Non-Negotiable + Action Items = Mission Statement
    • CHAPTER 6 – ROOTS: GATHERING THE LAUNCH TEAM Root Development The First-Stage of the 4-Stage Launch “Launch-Team Development”Theme: You need to build a strong launch team of 30+ peopleObjective: After the foundational theological, spiritual, demographic and personalmaterial, we begin the practical stages with Stage One of a Church Plant.Chapter Goals:1. You will know how to find and build a strong launch team.2. You will develop 3-5 key strategies for gathering and building the launch team.3. You will understand the ideal mix for the Launch Team.4. You will be able to schedule events for healthy Launch Team development. NOTE: the Growth-Marks document following the Notes page will be something your coach will use to help you move through this important stage. The shaded area will be the section for you to concentrate on for this stage.“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 1
    • Growth-Marks Checking for Growth/Health in the 1st Year of a New Church First the seed, then the stalk, then the head, then the full-kernel of grain. Mark 4:28 Just as the wise farmer evaluates the growth of the crop, so too the wise church planter evaluates progress of their new church at each stage. Just as the farmer makes adjustments at each stage, evaluating the need for hydration, fertilization, pesticide, pruning… Or, to change the metaphor, just as the parent pays careful attention to how their child moves through the 1st 12 months of life to see not only growth in weight and height, and pays attention to how they’re developing mentally, emotionally, relationally, etc… and gets concerned if they don’t achieve certain growth-stages, so also… The wise church planter looks at the growth & health of the church at each stage ofdevelopment to determine what adjustments need to be made and to determine if they are ready to move to the next stage.Check off the growth-marks as they are achieved. When you have marked them all off,you are ready to move to the next stage. If you have not achieved them, this indicates thatyou are missing a key growth element. You should only move to the next stage with approvalof your coach. Consistently not meeting these marks is a real cause for concern and a timefor deep discussion with your coach and possible adjustments…Meet with your coach before moving to each new stage.Root Development: Finding & Developing the Launch Team Start date_________Check when achieved: (usually takes 3-4 months)___ minimum of 20-30 committed adults in the core___ 50% of core from new contacts___ clear, compelling Passion, Values, and Mission – with the timeline and strategic plan___ begin incorporation, financial system, enrollment in ECC pension, insurance, beginningECC credentialing, enrolled in CEOP (if needed)___ planter is seen as the ‘legitimate leader’ of the group___ increasing number of people contacted, coming and connecting with the group___ growing enthusiasm by the people___ visits to church plants in area by Launch Team___ vision deserts and/or gathering events___ incarnational mission beginning in the community___ begin taking an offering & sending 10 & 5 to ECC and conference mission Achieved by________ Each goal is important to accomplish before moving to the next stage!Leaf Development: Preview (accelerated launch team development) Start date_______Check when achieved: (usually takes 3-4 months) 2
    • ___ minimum attendance of 70-100 in monthly preview services___ 50 new people at each preview service (generally once-a-month)___ plan for marketing for 3rd and 4th preview if you can’t get 50 new people by personalinvitation___ strong word-of-mouth with over ! of new people coming from personal invitation___ 50 new people assimilated into Launch Team over the 3-4 month time-frame___ good facility, good financial record keeping, people beginning to tithe to new church___ increasing attendance at each preview service___ planning and recruiting people to serve in 5-key ministries of worship, kids, connection,small groups, outreach.___ PAT (Pastors Advisory Team) functioning___ people who are far from God coming to worship and/or being touched by the outreachof the church Achieved by________ Each goal is important to accomplish before moving to the next stage!Branch Development - Preparatory Worship 3-4 months Start date_________Check when achieved:___ minimum attendance of 80 in the weekly services___ quality of 5 key ministries (see previous stage for these 5) raised by one grade level(eg. C to B+) and increasing number of people serving in one of the ministry teams___ 50% of adults in small groups___ continuing outreach at this stage and planning for greater fruitfulness in next stage___ continuing gathering and increasing attendance at worship___ pray/plan for Grand Opening of Phase 4 with the G.O. (Grand Opening) Team Achieved by________ Each goal is important to accomplish before moving to the next stage!Fruit Bearing – Launch stage 3-4 months Start date_________Check when achieved:___ minimum attendance of 110 in services___ great facility that can accommodate growth to 200+___ have begun TLT: Transitional Leadership Team___ beginning to see increasing numbers of people coming to Christ___ keeping most of the launch team folks and transitioning into a G.O. team as youincorporate new people working toward the ideal mix after Launch phase of 1/3 newbelievers, 1/3 former de-churched Christians, 1/3 committed believers___ beginning to plan for membership, etc.At the end of each stage, the wise church planter does two things: 1) Evaluation with their coach and leaders of what went right, what needs to be improved, and what needs to be changed. 2) Celebration with the people of what God has done thus far! People will continue to support what they celebrate. Share the credit and help people to see what God has done in just a few months!NOTE: For more information, see ‘Launch Team Development’ Goals, Activities,Benchmarks and Warning Signs + The Timeline at end of this chapter. 3
    • The Metaphor – The Need for Strong Roots in Your Launch Team:It is not possible to have a healthy growing plant without developing a good root system.The root system will control whether or not leaves or stems grow, and will determinewhether there will be any fruit. It is not possible to have a healthy, growing churchwithout focusing on developing a strong launch team. New churches start by building abase that will include launch team development.God has provided a healthy environment with fertile soil (your mission field – chapter 4),and good seed (the Biblical foundation, the DNA, and God-given mission/vision –chapter 5) to plant a new church… so what’s next?It’s time to plant the seed in the soil. When a seed is planted and placed in good soil,after a season it bursts open and begins to grow. At this point you must place your God-given vision for this new church into the soil, which is the missional context, where thisnew church plant will begin to grow. The first thing a seed will do as it is placed in thesoil is begin to develop a strong root system. In church planting, growing a healthy rootsystem must include the development of a launch team.A healthy root system is the first thing that must happen for the future growth of ahealthy plant. First the roots develop and then the branches, leaves and eventually thefruit. In planting churches, you develop a launch team and then the rest of the piecesdevelop in the proper time frame. God is always a God of order. It is not only Biblical toplan and develop a strategy to reach people for Christ, it is smart. Planting churches in astrategic way will reduce the failure rate, cut-down on the church planter’s stress level,allow for a plan that others can come alongside and follow, and hopefully result in anabundance of fruit as lives are transformed and real community develops.A strong root system allows for: • Stability. The root system anchors the plant in the soil. Without a good root system a plant can be blown down with the first strong storm that comes along. A healthy root system may cover an area 1-2 times the height of the tree. Your launch team will provide stability and anchor this new church plant in the soil of your community by reaching out in all directions and contexts. • Absorption. Roots act as an absorption system that provides the trunk and leaves with water and dissolved minerals that nourish the plant. For this continual nourishment to happen the roots must constantly grow into new regions of the soil. The launch team must continue to grow if the plant is to grow. Each launch team member is encouraged to reach out to those God has placed in their life. As the church transitions past the launch team stage, these people will transition to new areas of service but will continue to provide a strong root system for the life of the plant. 4
    • • Movement. The roots act as a mechanism to transport nutrients to the rest of the plant. As each new person joins the launch team they are encouraged to get connected and use their resources in the areas they are best equipped by God to serve. Each individual that God brings needs to be connected with the rest of the launch team to provide the necessary gifts and abilities for the new church plant. Each person brings unique gifts that will help the new church thrive and grow. This helps create a healthy church plant by creating movement into the church and then out into the community as each one lives out their part of the mission of this new church. “If we cannot multiply churches, we will never see a movement. If we cannot multiply leaderswe will never multiply churches. If we cannot multiply disciples, we will never multiply leaders.The way to see a true church multiplication movement is to multiply healthy disciples, thenleaders, then churches, and finally movements—in that order.” Neil Cole, Organic Church Stories from on-the-field church planters Notes: 5
    • 1. You will know how to find and build a strong launch team. (Developing a Healthy Root System) What is a Launch Team? (What do the roots look like?)• Church planting is about building a mission team. It’s about serving, loving, giving, and doing it alongside one another. Church planting means making sacrifices together that will allow the message and mission of Jesus to permeate a community. “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given one Spirit to drink.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-13• A Launch team is a constantly growing group of individuals who begin to coalesce for the express purpose of launching your new church. In the beginning the church planter can’t offer key programs, great music, connectional programs, or even a place to meet. What the church planter can offer is an opportunity to join a growing team committed to living out the message and mission of Jesus in a new and fresh way in the community.• A growing launch team will assist in evangelism, planning, and preparation for the upcoming launch of the new church. This group will provide the ministry muscle to staff the key areas necessary for the launch of the church such as assimilation, evangelism, hospitality, children’s ministry, and worship.• The launch team is a group gathered for a specific period of time. The focus will be to grow the launch team up to the public launch of the new church. At that time the launch team is dissolved as these people move on to serve in other areas within the church.• We call this a “Launch Team” rather than a “core group.” The reason is that the goal is to grow a team that will provide the help needed to prepare the new church for their launch. The goal with the launch team is to grow it as large as possible throughout these early months to provide the necessary foundation for the new plant. As you prepare to Launch, we will re-form the Launch Team as a GO (Grand Opening) Team.• The launch team will be made up of all those who are willing to follow the lead of the church planter as the group moves towards the launch of the new church. The group may include mature Christians, new believers, and even those who are as yet un- believers but who want to join you in launching this new church. Studies have shown that many will embrace belonging before believing. You will be adding to this group weekly those with whom you’ve shared the vision for the new church and who desire to join you in this work. 6
    • • Building a launch team is hard work (just like preparing the soil for root growth is hard work), but it’s absolutely essential for the future health of the church. Grow the roots of this new church prayerfully, deliberately, patiently, deeply, and exercise Godly wisdom as this group expands.The Benefits of a Strong Launch Team.You’ve been recommended to plant by the assessment center, you’ve identified whereyou would like to plant, and you’ve been meeting with the Director of Church Plantingfor your conference to develop a well conceived plan. What do you do next?It might seem easier to skip the hard work of developing a launch team, but resist thetemptation. Asking people to join you is “mission critical” as you prepare to launch thisnew church that God has revealed a vision for. God’s intent is to begin to grow the bodyeven at this early stage.A launch team will provide a growing sense of anticipation, added ministry muscle, andwill build healthy systems in the new church. Asking people to join the launch team isabsolutely critical as preparation continues toward the launch of this new church.Building an effective team creates opportunities to raise up leaders and to begin preparingothers to do ministry. Growing a launch team will be a “faith- builder” for many, willcreate tremendous ownership in those who are new, and will prevent the church plantingpastor from burning out as preparation moves forward for the launch of this new church. Edward Everett Hale wrote, “I am only one, But still I am one. I cannot do everything But still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”Invite others to join you to do the something that only they can do as this new churchmoves toward launch.The Gifted Believers Who are Needed on the Launch TeamGod will bring people to the launch team that will bring gifts that are needed to allow thisnew church to be everything He intends it to be. In virtually every church plant that doeswell, it has been a formational experience in the life of everyone involved. This newchurch will be a defining spiritual adventure for those lay people who have beeninvolved. Years later, those who were involved in the launch of this new church, willstill talk about what a significant spiritual impact planting was and how formational it hasbeen in their lives. 7
    • A launch team will require individuals who are gifted relationally to provide care forthose who are hurting. This team will need organized, administratively gifted peoplewho can help design ministry systems. Those with the gift of evangelism will allow thisfledgling church to begin to reach the community. A group of people who love a goodparty will help to plan and organize gathering events. Those who love people willwelcome newcomers into the team. People who are good with numbers will help designsolid financial systems. Musically gifted individuals will help create God honoringworship. Those who love children are necessary so safe environments can be developedwhere children can meet Jesus and grow in faith. As the launch team members areempowered, God will open new doors and touch many more lives.Jesus expended substantial time and energy to build a team of people that would be usedto launch the New Testament church. And Paul talks about the team of gifted peopleneeded for building up the church. “It was he who gave some to apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare(equip) God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…” Ephesians 4:11-12 Jesus Calls the Launch Team to Do Evangelism from the Start. “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother, Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed Him.” Matthew 4:18-20You and the Launch Team will connect with people in the community. Many of thesemay be curious about what you’re doing; and, because they have a relationship with youor others on your launch team, they may be drawn to help. As they work alongside youand worship with you, the Holy Spirit will work to help them hear about Jesus Christ andbring them along on their journey so that they come to know Him and grow in their faith. “The first 100 may well determine the next 300… If your new church is going to have 10% conversion growth in the first 100, it will have 10% conversion growth at 300 and I would add that that number will drop more and more over the life of the church. If you have 70% conversion growth in the first 100, then you will have 70% conversion growth at 300.” Evangelism must be an integral part from the very beginning of the new church. Growing the launch team through evangelism will help produce healthy roots for the new plant and create a culture of conversion.” Gary Rohrmayer, First Steps for Planting a Missional Church The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10 8
    • Launch Team Development usually takes 3-4 Months to Do Well.Developing a launch team allows adequate time to share the vision, gather people,connect with them, and begin planning for the launch. You need to allow for adequatetime to grow the group to a sufficient size to provide the ministry muscle needed toprovide essential ministries like worship, hospitality, children’s ministry, fellowship, andevangelism, just to name a few. Churches that shorten the first part of the growth cycleoften find that their churches start small, struggle, stay small, and are unable to serve.You need to think-through the number committed people you will need to lead smallgroups, do children’s ministry, lead worship, to follow up with those who visit, etc. oncethe church is launched. Start with the end in mind. As you grow the launch team youwill ensure that you have a strong, healthy launch for your new church.Most church planters will affirm that when it comes to launch teams, bigger is better. Ifyou want to have a healthy beginning, develop an extensive root system. Historically, itwas understood that to start a Jewish synagogue in a city there needed to be at least 10family units. With the networks each family had, this means that a typical Synagoguewould have begun with 40-100 people when they met for worship. This is a good modelfor church planting as well. With a strong number on the launch team it is possible tostaff key ministries and prepare for launch. It is possible to launch too soon. Experience has shown that beginning too soon, andwith too few people on the launch team, may result in what has been described as a “lowbirth weight baby.” Most of these premature births have resulted in churches that startsmall, stay small and fail to thrive. The goal has always been to birth new churches thatare healthy, become self-supporting + have increasing margin for ministry and mission. “A healthy launch is the single greatest indicator of future church health.” Pastor Nelson Searcy, Launch, planting pastor of Journey Church in New York CityTEAM APPLICATION: (pick one or two questions and discuss)1. Why is it vital to form a strong launch team?2. What gifts do you have in the group that is already gathering, and what gifts willbe needed for the church to achieve its mission?3. How will our church equip new leaders?4. What are our potential challenges in growing a launch team?5. How might evangelism be incorporated in the early days of this new church?6. How you can best communicate the mission of this new church so that others willdesire to join the team. 9
    • 2. You will develop 3-5 key strategies for gathering and building thelaunch team. (Sending out Roots)Pray, Pray, and then Pray some more.“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 1. Pray that God would burden everyone’s hearts for the community. Saturate your community with prayer. 2. Pray that God would create “divine appointments” with new people. Allow God to begin to open doors to new relationships. 3. Pray specifically for what is needed on the launch team. God will begin to bring people with specific gifts and abilities that are just what the church needed, and He will bring them at just the right time. 4. Pray for eyes to be opened to see the people God is placing all around you. God, in his sovereignty, will bring people around the planter and growing launch team with just the right gifting and passion, but it all begins with prayer.Jesus said, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:13-14Where the Launch Team may come fromA PARENTING CHURCHThe preferred way to begin gathering a launch team is to have a strong PARENTINGCHURCH. Often a parenting church and pastor will allow the church planter to begin togather a launch team from within the parent church. As the vision for the new church ispresented God will begin to gather those who feel a call to this new work. It’s notunusual for a parent church to tithe from its regular attenders to help the new church plantget off to a good start. This will certainly allow for a faster start to the new church,provide committed believers to staff key ministry areas, and provide immediate supportfor the planting pastor. The assumption may be that the bigger the group that joins thelaunch team from the parent church the better, but too large a group (usually over 60adults) can actually hinder the future growth and may diminish the urgency to engage inevangelism right from the start. Often a large group coming from another church willalso have their own agenda that may not be in harmony with the vision for this newchurch. Agenda harmony issues will need to be addressed in the launch team meetings.Like Gideon, you may have to whittle the group down to only those who are indeedcalled to this new work, rather than the larger group consisting of the curious ordisgruntled who may also want to join the launch team of this new church. 10
    • PARTNERING CHURCHES and STRATEGIC NETWORKSIt may be possible to have a parent church send out a group to help in growing the launchteam of the new church, but in many contexts there may not be a strong parenting churchavailable. In cases where there is not a parent church it may be possible to developrelationships with a number of partnering churches who may choose to release people,give resources, provide meeting space, or provide some ministry muscle. Thedevelopment of partnering church networks allows even the smallest church to beinvolved in the start of a new church. Every congregation can be a church-plantingchurch. Example: The Covenant recently planted The Compass Covenant Church in EastSt. Paul, MN with Pastor Terrance Rollerson. This was in many ways a pioneering work.There wasn’t a strong parenting church that was sending out Pastor Terrance with thebeginnings of a launch team. He began his launch team development with just hisimmediate family. Terrance was very intentional about contacting many Covenant andnon-Covenant churches in the area. He met with the pastors, mission teams, andpreached at many of these churches. As he developed relationships, shared the vision ofThe Compass, and met with strategic ministry teams, some of these churches werecaptivated by this new work. Several of these churches gave permission to theirattendees to go with Terrance to plant if they felt God was calling them to be a part ofthis new work. Several of these churches also pledged financial support, interimleadership, worship support, and meeting space. This is in many ways a more timeconsuming and difficult way to begin a new church, but it also has many advantages.This form of root development brings people from many different backgrounds, oftenprovides a broader base of support, and may open up strategic ministry partnerships.GATHERING EVENTSMany church planters have utilized vision desserts, picnics, neighborhood events, andopen houses to begin to connect and grow a launch team. These can be very important inbringing people into the launch team who didn’t come from the parent or partneringchurches. (See below for examples for the Pastor and Launch Team.)EVANGELISMYou can also grow the launch team through reaching out to the un-churched. There is agrowing population of individuals who have disconnected from the church for one reasonor another or have never been a part of the church. You will be most effective inreaching them through intentional relationship building. The biggest potential place tofind launch team is by focusing on evangelism from the very first day. Studies show thatthe majority of the population across the country do not profess a faith in Jesus Christ, yetare open to discussions about spiritual things. If they are captivated by the mission andvision as they see your church in action in the community they decide to join you inserving, giving and loving. They may be willing to join the launch team even while theyare still exploring what it means to be a follower of Christ. 11
    • Use Both Attractional and Incarnational StrategiesThe conventional wisdom has been to utilize attractional activities to grow the church.The better focus in many new churches today is to focus on both incarnational andattractional means. Of course, both need a highly relational Pastor and Launch Team.Gathering Strategies for the Planting Pastor • If you are married, pastor, you and your spouse give you a launch team of 2. If you have children you’ve just grown your launch team accordingly. • You will want to exhaust every personal network you and your family have at the beginning. o Contact all your friends, co-workers, family, and neighbors and share the vision with them. o Make a list of 50 people that you know who you can share the vision for this new church with. o One pastor suggests utilizing the 3/5 rule. This means 5 contacts a day until you get 3 meetings or sit downs to share the vision of the church. o You can’t plant a church sitting behind a desk or working on the computer, you need to be out in the community. Ask people to join you as fellow missionaries to your community. “Pastors who network their communities, especially in the first year of a pastorate, may end up knowing that community better than any other person. This upfront investment of time should pay rich dividends and provide the opportunity to help people…” Ray Bakke (The Expanded Mission of City Center Churches, pp 53-54) • Who should you meet with next? o Local Influencers: After you’ve run out of personal contacts, a good next step is to begin to meet with city officials, school leadership, and business leaders in your community to share with them the vision for this new church and to ask for their help in identifying the critical needs in your community. David Hesselgrave writes, “Research in the areas of anthropology, sociology and communication underscores the importance of the roles of formal leaders, sponsors and mediators in society. Depending upon the particular societal arrangements that appertain, the newcomer may find it all but impossible to gain acceptance apart from proper approach to such persons. Even in western societies that emphasize egalitarianism, an initial contact with those who fill these roles will usually enhance the missionary cause.” (Planting Churches Cross-Culturally: A Guide for Home and Foreign Missions, pg 167) 12
    • o Get involved in community organizations: Serve on community boards, work with the Boy or Girl Scouts, serve on the PTA, coach youth sports, etc. Be a part of organizations that have the heart of the community. You’ll begin to understand the heart-beat and needs. Plus, you’ll have a lot of allies and friends and influencers who will help you. o New Residents: Another point of contact can be the new residents in your community. Intentionally contact those who are new to your community. They won’t be connected with another church so the risk is low that you will infringe on another church’s turf. For new resident info go to: www.newmovers.org Make sure you follow up with the information you receive in a timely fashion since others will no doubt be contacting them as well. You can occasionally purchase new resident contact info from local utility companies in your area. o Everywhere that people gather: Look for every opportunity to begin building new relationships at the coffee shop, the library, schools, day care, health clubs, sports leagues, etc. You might even choose to go door to door in your neighborhood and encourage those who are joining you to do the same in theirs. As pastor, you must begin to model personal witness to those who are coming to form your launch team. Build into the DNA of this young church from the very beginning a heart and passion for those who don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Go to www.churchesplantingchurches.org for ideas on Gathering.What are the gathering activities that will be most fruitful for you as the plantingpastor?Which areas will stretch you but be ones you want to try? 13
    • Gathering Strategies for the Launch Team • Tap into the new networks of those who are coming alongside you by asking them to share the vision with those they know. Ask each person on the growing launch team to make a list of 10 individuals that they will commit to share the vision of this new church with. • Provide the launch team with tools to use as they meet with people. Create invite cards that the growing launch team can give to those they meet. • Get On-Line. o A quality website is important since 77% of the people you talk to will check out the new church via the web before they commit to attend an event. o E-vites are another way that you can equip people in their efforts to reach others. Or design neat posters that can be placed on your website and easily emailed to contacts. o One new church encouraged their people to invite friends (and anyone else interested in a new spiritual community) via a social-networking site like “Face-book.” • Host gathering events that will provide an entry point for new people to meet the church planter and the growing launch team where they will hear a little about what God is calling this church to become. This also provides an initial connectional point for the new people that are gathering. These gathering events are social gatherings that allow you to begin to build relationships and begin to share about this new church. Those who gather will be invited by the current launch team members so they know that this is an event sponsored by the new church. TEAM APPLICATON: Make a list of the people you are going to initiate contact with. What tools would best help you communicate with them about the new church? What needs exist in your community that the launch team can begin to address? 14
    • Gathering Event Suggestions 1. Many Covenant church plants have used Vision Desserts very effectively. Plan for a 90 minute time frame with the event hosted at someone’s home. It may be that several members of the launch team will invite their neighbors to their homes as you host a number of these evening gatherings. Begin the evening with dessert and coffee. This allows for late arrivals to not miss the presentation. They begin the presentation 15 minutes after everyone has gathered. The church planter and their spouse present for 50-60 minutes. And then answer questions for the remainder of the time. Vision Dessert requirements: • Someone’s home • A Projector • Portable screen (although a blank wall works well) • Laptop computer • And of course, people to attend. Develop a Power-point that contains: • 30-40 slides which they moved through quickly • Utilize numerous slides from Dave Olson’s church attendance research. • Transition from the demographics to why you are planting this new church. • Present the vision, scriptural basis, and talk lots about the “preferred future” they were praying for. • Close the evening by asking people to prayerfully consider joining this vision. • Close in prayer. • Mention that the ECC is great at church planting. • Deflect doctrinal questions (there are usually very few) until after the meeting. Focus primarily on the Message and Mission of Jesus. • It doesn’t matter if there are 2 or 20 in attendance; this seems to be an effective way of sharing the vision for the new plant. 2. Open Houses are a way to allow people to hear more about this new church that God is growing. Open houses can be hosted at a restaurant or other public venue, or they can be hosted in a parent church, or in individual homes. The content and format will be similar to vision desserts. 3. Neighborhood picnics/barbeques. Have the launch team invite friends to a home or park where there will be good food and a straightforward presentation about this new plant. Make sure that people know what they’re being invited to attend. Avoid the bait and switch. 15
    • 4. Initiate a service project in the community like Habitat for Humanity, serving meals at a shelter in your area, providing labor for a local school project, or some other activity that allows people to get their hands dirty while connecting with the growing launch team. It should be communicated to the group that gathers that this is precisely the kind of thing this new church desires to continue to do in the community. Hand out contact information and follow up with any who express interest. Engage the growing launch team in serving the community. Serving must become a part of the DNA of this new church from the very beginning. People will want to know why you are loving, giving, and serving – so be prepared to answer them. Be a church that lives out the Gospel! For ideas on servant evangelism projects go to: www.servantevangelism.comTEAM APPLICATION:What are the 3-5 Key Gathering Activities you will use for your new church?1.2.3.4.5. 16
    • 3. You will understand the ideal mix for the Launch Team.Why Agenda Harmony is Important Jesus said, “Every Kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” Matthew 12:25 • As a planter you will have to turn away some who would like to join the growing launch team. Some will come with agendas that are not in harmony with the new church or the vision of the church planter. New churches will attract highly committed individuals who will help move the mission forward…unfortunately new churches also attract the highly controlling, or highly needy. While the church is called to reach out to the lost and hurting these folks are often Christians who move from church to church as they refuse to live in healthy ways. These disgruntled, hurt, or controlling individuals are often difficult to assimilate into the new church plant and the launch team. • It will be critical to have clearly defined DNA, mission and vision that are Biblically based. Each new church will need to have a set of non-negotiables in place to keep the ministry on track. If people don’t agree completely with those non-negotiables they will be happier at another church. A clear mission and vision will give direction to the new church and will help protect this new work from being co-opted by those with their own agenda. Be on the look-out for “vision collision.” • The planting pastor must be the custodian and defender of the mission and vision. You cannot give away or allow others to hijack the vision. It is the responsibility of the pastor to lead well. If the pastor does not lead and safeguard the vision the church will end up somewhere no one intended and the pastor often ends up leaving prematurely in those cases. • Out-counseling is necessary with individuals who can not seem to get on board with the vision and values of the new church. This must be done promptly before these people begin to cause others to choose sides. Most of the individuals who refuse to embrace the leader’s vision for the new church will be Christians coming from other churches with competing visions. New believers simply love Jesus and want to serve Him. It can be a greater challenge to build a church with believers than it is to build it with those who have recently come to faith. As anxious as most pastors and leaders are for more people to join the growing launch team, not everyone will be a good fit with your church. Praise God there are lots of churches for these people to attend. (see 3-Point Range on next page) • If you don’t focus on agenda harmony issues, if you assume that everyone is on the same page, you will eventually be blindsided by someone who isn’t pulling in the same direction as the rest of the team. 17
    • Jesus said, “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” Matthew 12:30What can your launch team do to assure that there is unity surrounding the visionof the new church?What are the non-negotiables for those who desire to be a part of the launch team –what behaviors or statements might someone make who demonstrates that they donot have “agenda harmony?”The Make-up of the Launch Team (The Structure of the Roots) The goal during this phase of development is to gather at least 30 committed adults. If your new church has a parenting, or a group of partnering churches, they may be willing to send out a group to be a part of the growing launch team. The goal during the months of launch team development will be to at least double the size of the group. “They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their numbers daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:46-47 3-Point Range (or 3 Needs for the Seed): Just like in the NBA, a 3 point shot can make the difference between winning and losing. There are several 3-pointers to consider regarding the make-up of a Launch Team. Or, to keep with our metaphor: the Seed Needs 3 things to GROW: Sunlight, Soil, and Water. 3-Point Mix of Believers & Unbelievers. An ideal balance at the end of launch team development has: • 1/3 committed Christians that you will find through your personal networks or those of others, or friends and family who already have a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, or a group of people sent out by a parenting or partnering churches. 18
    • • 1/3 will be people who have made commitments to Christ, but have never had an authentic relationship with Him. These people are found in the same places as those in the first 1/3. • The final 1/3 of your launch team should be made up of brand new believers or those on the journey to becoming new believers. You will find them as you give, love and serve in the community. They will join you out of a growing relationship with the planting pastor or someone else on the launch team. Once a month, evaluate and list everyone on the launch team to see how the church is beginning to move toward this healthy balance. How can the launch team connect with those who are outside of their normal networks? What will you do to creatively develop relationships with those who are un- churched?3-Point Mix on the Team - Discerning Agenda HarmonyChurch Plants attract 3 kinds of “HIGHLY” believers: • Highly Mission-minded. Build into these so you can build the church through these. These are the folks whom God is prompting to be a part of this new work of expanding the kingdom in your area. You can build on as leaders, assuming they have agenda harmony. • Highly Needy. These are people who come to a new church who have exhausted the resources and patience of other churches in the area. If they’re non-believers, you may want to help them. But, be careful, “the poor you will always have with you.” (Mark 14:7) Remember, Jesus shared this not to teach us to help the poor, but as part of His teaching as to what it means to follow Him. • Highly Controlling. These are believers who have tried to control other churches. In talking with them, they will tell you about all the churches they’ve been a part of and they will tell you what’s wrong with them. They may tell you why your new church is God’s gift to the area, and they will offer to help you lead it. Be careful, they may have their own agenda – and you may be out-counseling them. Better do it sooner than later. And NEVER give away leadership! Give away opportunities to serve – that way you can test to see if they have the character of a mature believer and the chemistry to be a part of the team. Always assign tasks, not titles. Give them a task and see how they do, then give them another task and see how they do, then give them a task and see how they do, and if their character, faith, and passion are in line with the new church then they may be ready for leadership. Asking new potential leaders “to clean toilets” will often weed out the “wanna-bes” from those with a true servant heart. 19
    • The problem is that all 3 of these can be indistinguishable when you first meet them!3-Point Range – the 3 activities you must do well. • Gathering – the #1 reason church plants stall is they stop gathering. • Connecting – if you don’t connect people relationally and help them serve according to their gifts, you’ll have a big back-door. • Building – you need to continue to build disciples and develop leaders. (see the “Participation Survey” in the On-line Resource Center at www.churchesplantingchurches.org for ways to get people connected and growing)TEAM APPLICATION:Talk about the current make-up of your Launch Team.How would you describe the make-up of your launch Team using these tools?What would God have you do to build a stronger Launch Team? 20
    • 4. You will be able to schedule events for healthy Launch Teamdevelopment. (Watering and Fertilizing the Roots) As the launch team is growing it will be important that there is a focus on developinga sense of community. The best way to accomplish that goal is to gather the whole groupon a regular basis. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25• A suggested schedule is to have the group meet every other Sunday afternoon or evening. These meetings are different than a Sunday morning worship gathering. These meetings provide opportunity to cast vision, discuss the core values that are driving this new church, talk about your outreach strategy for your community, pray together, worship, and support one another. Meeting on Sunday mornings is often confusing since the church is not ready for a full-fledged worship experience at this point. Meeting on Sunday morning will create an expectation that you need to offer “Sunday worship.” Your focus in Launch-Team development is gathering and growing the Launch Team as large as possible. Focusing on worship will bleed energy and passion away from the task at hand. Those who are new to the team might also be discouraged if Sunday morning worship isn’t all that they envisioned it would be. You don’t want to set the bench-mark for worship too “low.”• Homes can often be utilized to meet until the group outgrows them. The best place to meet is always a large home. Many have had the experience of a youth group gathering where they jammed the house or basement and there was a sense of oneness and excitement. Another option is to find temporary public space that also allows for adequate childcare during your gatherings, has enough chairs, and can be arranged so you can create an environment that encourages a growing sense of oneness.• Use Sunday mornings to visit other church plants. If you can, arrange to get together with the planting pastor afterward and ask questions. Separately, evaluate with your team what they did well and what they didn’t. Observing a “poor” church plant can be as helpful as visiting a “good” one – because with either you’re discerning and learning. Experiential learning like this is very helpful. When you visit a church plant, interview the pastor – and also debrief as a team. A worship observation guide is available at www.churchesplantingchurches.org/resources 21
    • A typical Launch Team Meeting might look like this:• A Greeting from the Church Planter• A worship time. (Reading the Word and singing with acoustic instruments)• The Planting pastor can lead a Study related to church planting (The book of Acts or Ephesians, or the Mission and Message of Jesus). (See attached curriculum in the on- line organizer at www.churchesplantingchurches.org) This is also a time to focus on agenda harmony with the group and begin teaching about the mission, vision and values of this new church.• Announcements about the upcoming schedule of activities and a time to talk about the business of the new church.• A time of prayer. (Have the group begin to pray for those on the list of 10 people God has placed on their hearts.)• More singing and invite selected lay people to share why they’re excited to be a part of this church.• Offering time (begin to teach the group to tithe from the beginning)• Closing prayer• Begin building teams. (Hospitality, children’s ministry, outreach, worship, etc. This helps you get ready for Stage-Two)• Conversation and refreshments.What to do Between Launch Team Meetings. (Keeping the roots from drying out.)• Gather more people. Host gathering events.• Work on the DNA of the growing church by using the off weeks to focus on serving in the community.• The Church Planter should utilize this time to meet with key leaders, focus on personal evangelism, follow-up with those who have expressed interest in the new church.• Visit church plants as a group in the area at least once a month –• Evangelism should be a key focus throughout the entire life of the church, but these weeks where the launch team is not meeting allows for the launch team to invite people to their homes to build relationships, share the vision and share their lives and faith stories. What are some creative ways you can serve your community? How can the launch team be prepared to engage in personal evangelism? 22
    • Length of Time for Launch Team Development• Launch Team development will typically be a 3-4 month time frame that usually begins at the signing of a Covenant Agreement.• More important than the actual number of months will be progress made on growing the launch team to the point that it will be possible to begin transitioning to the next growth phase of planting. The key growth-mark is having a launch team of at least 30 adults before moving to the next phase of growth; although in some urban contexts there may need to be double this number of adults. The next phase of development is the Leaf and Branch phase where launch team growth continues to happen with the addition of a once a month worship experience.A suggested Rhythm for Launch Team meetings A more detailed schedule can be found on the next page• Months 1 and 2—Grow and Deepen Your Launch Team. Focus on growing the launch team deeper by teaching about core values and vision, focus on agenda harmony, and talk about mission. Also, include time to serve together, do outreach together, and build evangelism into the DNA.• Months 3 and 4—Keep Growing and Prepare for the Next Phase. Begin to prepare the team for the next phase of growth in the church plant where you will continue to gather a launch team while adding a once a month worship service. This is the time to focus on building ministry teams and identifying those who will lead these ministry areas. The focus of launch team meetings must be on those in the community outside the church to prevent the group from becoming ingrown. How will you keep the launch team outwardly focused? What spiritual disciplines do you need to build into your launch team meetings? 23
    • Detailed Timeline for Launch Team Development. See timeline on last page. Month One: Week One: Host a Gathering Event Personal Evangelism Meeting with Interested People Week Two: Servant Evangelism Project Launch Team Meeting Meeting with Interested People Personal Evangelism Serving in the Community Week Three: Gathering Event Personal Evangelism Worship at a church plant and debrief Meeting with Interested People Week Four: Launch Team Meeting Personal Evangelism Serving in the Community Meeting with Interested People Month Two: Repeat Month One Month Three: Week One: Host a Gathering Event Personal Evangelism Meeting with Interested People Begin building ministry teams Work on agenda harmony Week Two: Launch Team Meeting Servant Evangelism Project Meet with Interested People Personal Evangelism Week Three: Gathering Event Personal Evangelism Meet with Interested People Work on developing ministry teams Worship at a church plant in the area and debrief Work on any agenda harmony issues. Week Four: Launch Team Meeting Servant Evangelism Project Meet with Interested People Personal Evangelism Month 4: Repeat Month 3 24
    • Bibliography 1. Nelson Searcy, Launch: Starting a New Church from Scratch pgs.141-160 2. Thom Rainer, Simple Church 3. Tim Keller, Redeemer Church Planting Manual 4. Ed Stetzer, Planting Missional Churches pgs. 198-206 5. Gary Rohrmayer, First Steps for Planting a Missional Church 6. Steve Sjogren, Community of Kindness: A Relational Approach to Planting and Growing a Church 7. Dave Olson, The American Church in CrisisWebsites: 1. www.churchfromscratch.com 2. www.churchleaderinsights.com 3. www.churchplantingvillage.net 4. www.outreach.com 5. www.servantevangelism.com 6. www.yourjourney.org 7. www.churchsmart.com 8. www.TheAmericanChurch.orgSamples of Launch Team Curriculum Look on-line at www.churchesplantingchurches.org/resources for Lessons in Church Planting from the Book of Acts (12 week series), the Book of Ephesians, and more.Always: Teach your ZERA, DNA, and mission/vision: one lesson eachAlso: Teach on the 5 Messages/Missions of Jesus and The Church – 5 sessions. 1. Focus on the Cross—Jesus came to save people from their sins and reconcile them to God. • How can we live out the message and mission of Jesus? 2. The Triumph of the Grave—Jesus destroyed the power of Satan and delivered people from bondage. • What are the bonds Jesus calls us to break that hold and oppress people? 3. The Resurrection—Jesus came to change hearts of stone to hearts of flesh…to help people live a new life through Him. • What does it mean to live a new life in Christ? 4. The Ascension—Jesus challenged the culture of earthly principalities and powers (both religious and political) by seeking to incarnate the values of the Kingdom of God on this earth. • How can the church be a counter-cultural force in the world? 5. Pentecost—Jesus came to establish the church. • How can we model the Kingdom of God here on earth? 25
    • ST A G E ON E – LA U N C H TE A M DE V E L O P M E N T TAGE NE AUNCH EAM EV ELOPM ENTDevelopmental Goals -1. Get Settled, Organized and Focused2. Follow Leads for Anyone who Might Want to Be a Part of This New Church3. Connect Core Team with Each Other4. Clarify Vision and Values5. Locate Facility for Previews and Beyond6. Plan for Preview Services7. Solidify Your Relationship With Parent Church Pastor And Clarify ExpectationsMost Productive Activities1. Meeting Lots of New People2. Developing Events that Generate Enthusiasm Among People3. Clear and Compelling Vision Casting4. Bonding Quickly with People, Moving to a Deeper FriendshipBenchmarks1. A Minimum of 20 - 30 Committed Adults2. Clear and Compelling Vision, Values, Timeline and Strategic Plan3. Appropriate Planning in Place for Preview Stage4. Stage One Details - Incorporation, Good Financial Systems, Enrollment in Insurance and Pension, Credentials Received, Enrolled in Orientation Program (if applicable)Warning Signs1. Confusion about How to Prioritize Time2. Inability to Connect with New People3. Inability to Create Enthusiasm Among Core Members4. Inability to Lay Groundwork for Future Stages5. Inability To Become The ‘Legitimate Leader’ Of An Existing Core Group 26
    • TIMELINE ñ CORE GROUP DEVELOPMENT STAGE (Schedule Core Group Meetings, Gathering Events, Assimilation Events, Visits to other Church Plants, Speaking at Supporting Churches and Key Ministry Meetings) Developmental Goals Benchmarks & Details Leader Focus 1. ! A Minimum of 20 - 30 Committed Adults 1. Connect with New People 2. ! Clear and Compelling Vision & Values 2. Prioritize Use of Time 3. ! Timeline Complete 3. Create Enthusiasm Among 4. ! Vital Church Strategic Plan Core Members 5. ! Planning for the Preview Stage 4. Lay Groundwork for 6. ! Incorporation Future Stages 7. ! Financial Systems Developing 5. Close Connection with Coach ! Enrollment in Insurance and Pension, 6. Cast Clear & Compelling Vision ! Credentials Received and/or Enrolled in Orientation27
    • DRAFT Strategic Ministry Plan For Our New Church1. Theological Basis >> 2. Spiritual Foundation in Prayer >> 3. Mission Field - Need of our Area >> 4. Evangelistic Strategies >> 5. Our Specific Vision >> 6. The Strategy of the 4-Stage Launch >> Stage 1 - Roots: Launch Team Gathering Stage 2 - Leaves: Preview Services Stage 3 - Branches: Preparatory Worship Stage 4 - Fruit: Launch 7. Leadership >> 8. Covenant >> 9. Finances>>6a. The Four Stage Launch Strategy: Stage 1 – Roots: Launch Team Gathering Also see “Growth-marks” on how Gathering a Launch Team. Here are our 3-5 Key Gathering Activities Develop a planning calendar for the next 3-4 months. Note: This worksheet is for your in-house, detailed, strategic plan. You will put an overview of the 4-stage Launch strategy in your public Strategic Plan. This is something that can be shared with prospective Launch Team members and potential major donors. This will help build confidence. 28
    • Planning Schedule Stage 2, Month 2 Stage 2, Month 3 Stage 2, Month 4for Stage 2, Month 1 Month ____________ Month ___________ Month ____________Month ____________ (repeat month 1) (repeat month 3) Week 1 ___________Week 1 date__________ Week 1 ___________ Host a gathering event Week 1 ____________Host a gathering event Personal EvangelismPersonal Evangelism Meet people/prospectsMeet people/prospects Build ministry teams Work on Agenda HarmonyWeek 2 __________ Week 2 ___________Servant Evangelism or Week 2 ___________ Week 2 ____________ serving the community Launch Team MeetingLaunch Team meets Servant EvangelismMeet people/prospects Meet people/prospectsPersonal Evangelism Personal EvangelismWeek 3 __________ Week 3 ___________ Week 3 ___________ Week 3 ____________Gathering Event PREVIEW WORSHIPPersonal Evangelism Personal EvangelismPREVIEW WORSHIP Meet people/prospectsMeet people/prospects Build ministry teams Work on Agenda HarmonyWeek 4 __________ Week 4 ___________Launch Team meets Week 4 ___________ Week 4 ____________Personal Evangelism Launch Team MeetingServing the Community Servant EvangelismMeet people/prospects Meet people/prospects Personal EvangelismNotes: Notes: Notes: Notes: 11
    • The Leaf Development Monthly Cycle *** GOAL: Get 50 new people to attend each preview service ***Check out the potential in each different fishing pool by asking 3 questions:1. How many can the church planter and spouse get there through their personal networking? (for example, 10 people)2. How many can the core group get there? (Ask them – take that number and divide by 2. For example, they say 40, you plan for 20)3. How many do you need to get through impersonal invitations? (Direct Mail, newspapers, radio, etc.) Use expected response ratios to plan for the remaining needed. (e.g. if you need 20 more new people, the rule in direct mail is one new family checking you out for every 1000 brochures, so you will need to send out 8,000 brochures, assuming 2.5 people per family)Additional ideas:1. Every month gets harder to get 50 new people. Work relational networks as hard as possible at first, saving up impersonal invitations for later if possible.2. New attenders often have the best network potential. Provide invitation resources for them.3. Momentum is a key. Going backwards in numbers and quality is not helpful! ***Try to Assimilate as Many of those 50 New People into your Launch Team***Hold an assimilation event 7 – 14 days after your preview service. Assimilation events are easy-to-attend social events that help people personally connect with each other and the group. Newpeople have different ‘adopter’ rates – in a church plant some are early adopters, an equal numberare middle adopters and there will be a few late adopters. Recognize this – pull, but don’t push.For many people, it will take two, three or four Preview Services and a few other events beforethey are ‘on-board’.Many churches will also have a meal or fun-time immediately after their Preview Service, so youdo Two Assimilation events per month. 12
    • 4. You will understand how to expand your ministry teams andleadership base. 3-Point Range: The Ideal New Church %’s and Development Paths A. The Curious Seeker 33% Who are these people, how do they get connected to your church, and how do you develop them spiritually? • Evangelism Path (Normal and Natural) • Assimilation Path • New Believer Path B. The Casual Christian 33% Who are these people, how do they get connected to your church, and how do you develop them spiritually? • Spiritual Growth • Relational Connection • Personal Discipleship • Acts of Service C. The Committed Christian 33% Who are these people, how do they get connected to your church, and how do you develop them spiritually? • Leadership Training • Agenda Harmony • Spiritual RechargingTEAM APPLICATION:What are the %’s and Spiritual Development pathways you have for each of the 3groups in your plant.How can you help establish these as user-friendly, normal and natural pathways? 13
    • Ministry Team Development:At this stage, you need to begin to pull together at least 4 of the 5 Key Ministry Teams.Note: there will be more on Ministry Team Development in the next chapter. 1. Worship Team – as you plan for larger worship venues 2. Kids Team – to care for kids and help learn about God’s Word and God’s Love 3. Outreach Team – to recruit people to join you in a. Incarnational Outreach b. Attractional Outreach 4. Connection/Assimilation Team – to figure out how to develop a pathway for people who come to your worship gatherings so they can increasingly connect with a. Christ and His Word b. The Church and It’s Mission 5. Small Groups/Christian Formation – to create discipleship pathways and pastoral care settings a. While you may begin to split into 2 small groups at this point, for some this happens in the next phase. b. Don’t forget to find ways for each of the 5 ministry teams to have some kind of “small group experience” where there is prayer, fellowship/fun, and some kind of biblical study of the purpose for your group.TIP: Some plants will continue to gather their “Launch Team” and also have “MinistryTeam Meetings.” Here’s what it could look like (often starting with some food andfellowship)Worship with a few songs.Inspire where the church planter teaches from God’s Word and focuses on the currentchallenge ahead.Thanksgiving where the people are thanked and stories of life-change are told.Huddle in Ministry Teams. (note: those attending for the first time can either meet withthe pastor to find out more about the church; or, they can be encouraged to sit-in andcheck-out the Ministry Team they’re most interested in).PRAYER Close with prayer and (possibly) more worship.Idea on Prayer – split the people up into triplets and have each one share one prayerconcern and one person that they plan on inviting to the church (or one person God wantsthem to touch with His love) – then PRAY...TEAM APPLICATION: How will Ministry Team Development work for you? 14
    • Leadership Development: THE PAT = Pastors Advisory Team From Church Planting Landmines byTom Nebel and Gary RohrmayerPrinciples:Because you don’t know who really buys into you and into the specific vision of thechurch plant and because you don’t know the character or spiritual leadership of yourgrowing core team, here are key principles: 1. Multiple leadership phases are recommended before the official leaders are elected. (We don’t want the “cement to set” too early – we want to continue to mix in new people. Or, to change the metaphor, we want to keep more lives developing and feeding new life to the growth of the church.) 2. Church-sounding nomenclature should be avoided. 3. Titles which imply permanence (such as “board”) should be avoided. Don’t give titles, instead invite people to get involved in ministry. 4. A clear purpose and time-frame for each phase must exist. 5. A changing of the guard must occur at each phase. Many new leaders will come with future growth. They’re not all there at the start. a. You can find some leaders from outside your core in the first two phases. This is particularly helpful if you don’t have many leaders to choose from at the outset. Some of these outside leaders (or advisors) could be a trusted friend of the planter, another church planter or pastor in the area, missional leaders from the parent/partner churches. b. The multi-phase approach can allow middle adopters to get into leadership; since they often will not be willing in the earliest stage. 6. Be looking for spiritual fruit and specific giftedness from individuals at each phase. Use an annual evaluation of leaders to help determine fruitfulness and help them know what is expected. (see end) Don’t be hasty in the laying of hands… I Timothy 5:22Phase I: PAT – the Pastor’s Advisory Team - to help the planter make key decisions up until the Launch of the Church (phase 4 of the 4-stage launch) - included in this group is someone who will work as the financial assistant to write checks and make financial reports. - included also is someone who will tally the offerings (with another volunteer) and make deposits.When you get to Launch (Phase 4 in the 4-stage Launch), you will move from the PAT tothe TLT (Transitional Leadership Team).TEAM APPLICATION:How will you apply this for your plant? 15
    • Addendum #1: A Case Study The History of the First Preview Service Ever!!Granite Bay is in the east suburbs of Sacramento. With a population of about 15,000, ithad very few churches, each with little spiritual impact. Located directly west isRoseville, another growing community with a population of 55,000. Although a numberof church plants have prospered in Roseville, that city was highly unchurched as well.The key obstacle was limited contacts in Granite Bay, and none in Roseville. FiveCovenant churches were interested in helping, but none were able to commit manyresources to this church plant. We had an excellent church planter available to help part-time, but little else. Where should we begin?We decided to start with the age-old strategy of ‘pray and plan.’ So in October 1994, weheld a Core Group Development prayer meeting. We invited any contact we had whowould come and pray for the starting of this new church. 22 adults and one 12 year boycame. After a relatively lackluster meeting, it was closed by an invitation to pray. The 12year old led out. “Dear God, help my dad to find a job so we can stay here. And help thischurch to make it, so we will have a church to go to.” His emotion and transparencyignited the meeting, so that when we had finished praying there was a real sense of God’spresence with us.Yet that key obstacle was still there. There were still hardly any good contacts. After asecond prayer meeting in November attracted 43 people, we decided to try a sneakpreview service in early December. We were desperate to make networking inroads in thecommunity! A facility seating 80 was secured, word of mouth contacts were workedextensively and 9,000 brochures were sent out inviting people to attend this specialChristmas service. Sunday morning came with gloom and showers, yet God surprised usall! 161 people showed up!For the January service, personal invitations and a direct mail piece led to 235 peopleattending a Super Bowl Sunday service. There were 72 first time visiting family units!There seemed to be a real vacuum in the Granite Bay / Roseville area for this kind ofchurch. In February, the leadership team decided to not do any external advertising, tosee who was really on board. There were over 60 first time visitors through word ofmouth and 241 in attendance. After a fourth preview service in March, Bayside Covenant Church started meeting weekly on Easter Sunday with 403 people in attendance. Attendance settled in at about 220 shortly thereafter. 16
    • Addendum #2: Advantages To A Preview Stage1. Conserves critical energies of the church planter and core team at the initial stage, somost of the energy can go into people gathering and follow-up.2. It is a somewhat painless way of enlisting the help of other churches and Christians -low commitment / high impact.3. It gives the new church a much better option than meeting every Sunday too soon,when you are still too small and weak.4. It gives visitors a simple, non-threatening way to observe what your church andconnect with people.5. It allows the church planter to demonstrate public ministry skills - often a strong areafor many church planters. Potential Liabilities1. The new church needs to gain momentum with each preview service. The impressionthat fewer people are coming each time is not helpful!2. Every preview service needs to be done with excellence. Count the cost and make surethere is the talent, volunteer bodies and funding to make each one happen well.3. This model is based on the ability of the church planter to be attractive leader to newpeople and help them make step-by-step commitments to the new church. Lack ofsuccess at this stage will likely indicate poor potential in church planting. A WarningMost new churches benefit greatly from a focused effort at leaf development, throughbeginning a once a month service. Often, well-intentioned launch team members willencourage the group to begin to meet for worship weekly. Resist the temptation! You aretoo young and too weak to jump into weekly services! You are still growing the launchteam! If you do, the new church will find that all the energy of the group will focus onsolving system problems created by the stress of meeting weekly. Little energy is left forgathering and relationship building, the two keys to strong leaf development.There are occasionally cultural settings (for example, some Hispanic church plants) thatrequire an adaptation for the leaf development stage. Changes should only be made indialogue with your Conference Director of Church Planting and the ECC Director ofChurch Planting. 17
    • Addendum #3: Adaptation of Preview ServiceContextual Example in an Urban Area• Back in Stage 1 – weekly Bible Study with light worship• Now in Stage 2 – instead of the evening Bible Study, add a once-a-month Preview Service o Previews offer a higher worship component o Opportunity to invite more people once a month.• Then, during the other weeks, go back to Bible Study & light worship. o And work to get as many to come back for Bible Study. o And begin to recruit these folks for ministry teams and to help with outreach.Remember –The GOAL is to double your Launch Team and this is a tried-and-tested method.This is a helpful way to gather those people who want to see what “church” will look likewhen it launches.This is a venue for church planters and their worship leaders – who often have largegroup gifts. 18
    • ‘Leaf Development’ Goals, Activities, Benchmarks and Warning SignsDevelopmental Goals1. Work with Supporting Churches and Contacts to Get Ministry Team Help2. Get 50 First-time Visitors to Each Preview Service3. Assimilate as Many of Those 50 as Possible4. Keep Reconstituting the Core Group / Launch Team5. Keep "First Core" People Happy and Motivated6. Begin Developing Your Own Indigenous Key MinistriesMost Productive Activities 1. Work Networks and ‘Get the Word Out’ so 50 New People Come to each ‘Once a Month’ Service 2. Weave New People In to the Launch Team. 3. Develop Quality Music, Preaching, and Children’s Ministry for each ‘Once a Month’ Service. 4. Begin Identifying and Training Workers in the Five Key Areas 5. Keep Momentum Going in the Right DirectionBenchmarks 1. A Minimum Attendance of 70 - 100 at each month service. 2. Strong Word of Mouth Continues - Most of the New People are Coming from Personal Invitations. 3. Fifty New People Assimilated into the Launch Team by the end of Leaf Development. 4. Financial Record-Keeping Now In-house. 5. Appropriate Planning for the Five Key Ministries in Branch Development. 6. Stage Two Details - Facility Contract, Possible Office Location.Warning Signs 1. Limited Word of Mouth Visitor Flow – Few New Leaves. 2. Lack of Resources to Do a Quality ‘Once a Month’ Service. 3. Few New Attenders Coming to Assimilation Events. 4. Momentum Going in the Wrong Direction. 19
    • TIMELINE ñ PREVIEW STAGE (Schedule Preview Services, Assimilation Events, Launch Team Meetings and Key Ministry Meetings) month month month month Developmental Goals Benchmarks & Details Leader Focus 1. ! Minimum of 70 - 100 at Each Preview Service 1. Work Networks and Advertising 2. ! Minimum 50 First-time Visitors each Month 2. Weave New People Into the ! Over Half Of New People From Personal Invita- Launch Team 3. tions 3. Program for Great Previews 4. 4. Identify and Train Workers in 4 5. ! 50 New People Assimilated into Group Key Areas ! Financial Record-Keeping Now In-house 6. 5. Keep Momentum Building ! Progress in 4 Key Ministries 6. Generate Resources for Preview ! Facility Contract, Possible Office Location Services 7. Monitor Preview Benchmarks20
    • DRAFT Strategic Ministry Plan For Our New Church1. Theological Basis >> 2. Spiritual Foundation in Prayer >> 3. Mission Field - Need of our Area >> 4. Evangelistic Strategies >> 5. Our Specific Vision >> 6. The Strategy of the 4-Stage Launch >> Stage 1 - Roots: Launch Team Gathering Stage 2 - Leaves: Preview Services Stage 3 - Branches: Preparatory Worship Stage 4 - Fruit: Launch 7. Leadership >> 8. Covenant >> 9. Finances>>The Four Stage Launch Strategy: Stage 2 - Leaves: Preview ServicesWhat we will do to achieve the “Growth-marks” for Stage 2 – Preview Services - How will we contextualize Preview Services? - How will we Build our Core Ministries? Typical core ministries are: Worship, Kids, Small Groups, Connection (assimilation and hospitality) and Outreach/Evangelism. Develop a planning calendar for the next 3-4 months. 1 month time frame (repeat this for 3-4 months – to double the Launch Team) 1st week 2nd week 3rd week th 4 week Preview Services Launch Team Assimilation Launch Team Date_________ date ________ date________ date ________ See Detailed Plan on next page. You will put an overview of the 4-stage Launch strategy in your public Strategic Plan. This is something that can be shared with prospective Launch Team members and potential major donors. This will help build confidence. 21
    • CHAPTER 7 – LEAVES: PREVIEW SERVICES Leaf DevelopmentImpacting More Lives (More Leaves) through Life-Giving Growth The Second Stage of the 4-Stage Launch – Preview ServicesTheme: How your new church can gather more people on the launch team and impactmore people with the Gospel in attractional and incarnational ways.Objective: To develop a Preview Service where the new church can double the size of theLaunch Team and more fully express what it is becoming through public worship andexpanded attractional and incarnational ministries.Chapter Goals: 1. You will be able to double your Launch Team in a way that keeps the excitement building and the life-giving growth expanding through adding a special monthly worship experience. 2. You will understand how to grow healthy ministries for your church plant through large group venues, through your small group venues, and by offering outreach opportunities. 3. You will schedule a healthy development balance for each month while you’re in this stage – using the W. 4. You will understand how to expand your ministry teams and leadership base. NOTE: the Growth-Marks document following the Note pages will be something your coach will use to help you move through this important stage. The shaded area will be the section for you to concentrate on for this stage.Blessed is the person… who is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Psalm 1:1,3 1
    • Growth-Marks Checking for Growth/Health in the 1st Year of a New Church First the seed, then the stalk, then the head, then the full-kernel of grain. Mark 4:28 Just as the wise farmer evaluates the growth of the crop, so too the wise church planter evaluates progress of their new church at each stage. Just as the farmer makes adjustments at each stage, evaluating the need for hydration, fertilization, pesticide, pruning… Or, to change the metaphor, just as the parent pays careful attention to how their child moves through the 1st 12 months of life to see not only growth in weight and height, and pays attention to how they’re developing mentally, emotionally, relationally, etc… and gets concerned if they don’t achieve certain growth-stages, so also… The wise church planter looks at the growth & health of the church at each stage ofdevelopment to determine what adjustments need to be made and to determine if they are ready to move to the next stage.Check off the growth-marks as they are achieved. When you have marked them all off,you are ready to move to the next stage. If you have not achieved them, this indicates thatyou are missing a key growth element. You should only move to the next stage with approvalof your coach. Consistently not meeting these marks is a real cause for concern and a timefor deep discussion with your coach and possible adjustments…Meet with your coach before moving to each new stage.Root Development: Finding & Developing the Launch Team Start date_________Check when achieved: (usually takes 3-4 months)___ minimum of 20-30 committed adults in the core___ 50% of core from new contacts___ clear, compelling Passion, Values, and Mission – with the timeline and strategic plan___ begin incorporation, financial system, enrollment in ECC pension, insurance, beginningECC credentialing, enrolled in CEOP (if needed)___ planter is seen as the ‘legitimate leader’ of the group___ increasing number of people contacted, coming and connecting with the group___ growing enthusiasm by the people___ visits to church plants in area by Launch Team___ vision deserts and/or gathering events___ incarnational mission beginning in the community___ begin taking an offering & sending 10 & 5 to ECC and conference mission Achieved by________ Each goal is important to accomplish before moving to the next stage! 2
    • Growth Marks for this season: - attendance of 60-100 in monthly services - 50 new people at each special service - strong word-of-mouth: over " from personal invitation Leaf Development - 50 new people connecting as new Launch Team members Spreading the word and - good facility, good financial record showing forth a monthly keeping, people beginning to tithe to example of what the new church community at worship -increasing attendance will be like! -planning and recruiting people for And beginning life-giving key ministries: worship, kids, ministries in outreach, connection, groups, outreach groups, kids, - people who are far from God connection! coming to worship and/or being touched by the outreach of the Time-frame: 3-4 months churchLeaf Development: Preview (accelerated launch team development) Start date_______Check when achieved: (usually takes 3-4 months)___ minimum attendance of 70-100 in monthly preview services___ 50 new people at each preview service (generally once-a-month)___ plan for marketing for 3rd and 4th preview if you can’t get 50 new people by personalinvitation___ strong word-of-mouth with over ! of new people coming from personal invitation___ 50 new people assimilated into Launch Team over the 3-4 month time-frame___ good facility, good financial record keeping, people beginning to tithe to new church___ increasing attendance at each preview service___ planning and recruiting people to serve in 5-key ministries of worship, kids, connection,small groups, outreach.___ PAT (Pastors Advisory Team) functioning___ people who are far from God coming to worship and/or being touched by the outreachof the church Achieved by________ Each goal is important to accomplish before moving to the next stage!NOTE: For more information, see ‘Leaf Development’ Goals, Activities, Benchmarks andWarning Signs + The Timeline at end of this chapter.For the Growth-Marks for all 4 Stages, see chart in Chapter 6. 3
    • The Metaphor of Leaf Development Leaves = LivesWhile ground nutrients are essential to a trees growth, the majority of its biomass comesfrom carbon dioxide absorbed from the atmosphere through the photosynthesis of itsleaves. Since leaves do not grow on the roots and the trunk, the branches are the structurethat facilitates the multiplication and growth of leaves.The primary function of leaves is to produce sugar (glucose). This becomes the energysource for the whole tree. Carbon dioxide is absorbed by the leaf and combines withwater through a chemical reaction with chlorophyll in the leaf to produce glucose. Thischemical reaction produces a significant byproduct, oxygen, which is released into theatmosphere, to the benefit of our environment and our love of breathing air.Glucose becomes the tree’s energy, fueling the growth of the whole tree. Root growthdepends on the leaves of the tree producing high levels of carbohydrates (glucose) during the growing season. At least 50% or more of the photosynthates produced within the leaves are shunted below ground and used to construct and maintain the roots. Leaves cannot facilitate photosynthesis without light, in most cases through direct exposure to light. Branches grow longer and stretch toward the sun to help the leaves receive directsunlight. As the leaves bask in the light, God produces the chemical miracle ofphotosynthesis. Without plenty of leaves on the branches, the tree will quickly shrivel upand die.Talk as a Team:1. Insights from the Metaphor.2. What is the symbolic significance for a church of over half of the tree’s energy going into the roots?3. In a church, what is the light that produces ‘photosynthesis’ in the members? 4
    • 1. You will be able to double your Launch Team in a way that keeps theexcitement building and the life-giving growth expanding throughadding a special monthly worship experience.Understanding “Preview Services”The General Challenge in the ‘leaf development’ stage is to stimulate the growth ofleaves on the new tree and its small branches. The leaves are the only way to producelife-giving energy for the tree. More leaves create health and growth throughout thewhole tree – investing greater strength throughout the roots, facilitating the growth ofstrong and long branches, and eventually providing the conditions for the production offruit.‘Leaf development’ in horticulture becomes ‘life development’ in a church plant.Every new ‘leaf’ is a new ‘life’ that is coming under the influence of Christ and yourchurch.- Some will be newborn ‘leaves’ = new believers.- Others have never had the chance to connect to a healthy tree and experience spiritualgrowth = unchurched or de-churched believers.- Still others will provide nutrients to the whole tree, through their service and theirspiritual gifts = mission-minded disciples God calls to be on the Launch Team.In most cases, the Root Development stage averages 20 to 30 people.The goal of the Leaf Development stage is to grow to a launch team of over 70 people.Biblical Examples: 2 Structural Forms for Growth in the Early ChurchTemple Courts and House to HouseDay after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teachingand proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah. Acts 5:42“Temple Courts” Ministry occurs in larger groups – over 70. This is where Gatheringnew people happens best.You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you buthave taught you publicly and from house to house. Acts 20:20“House to House” Ministry occurs in smaller groups, typically less than 30. This iswhere Building disciples happens best. 5
    • The ChallengeYou have developed a strong launch team, primarily using house-to-house ministry. Butyou are finding it difficult to grow beyond 20 - 30 adults. What should you do to build onthat strong foundation?The SolutionBegin holding a public worship service once a month. Covenant church planting hashistorically called this a preview service. This once-a-month service allows the group toexpand into ‘Temple Court’ ministry. Many of the gifts of the church planter and launchteam will blossom here. It provides an opportunity to let people ‘come and see’ the life ofyour new church and experience heartfelt worship and inspired preaching in a groupsetting with a larger number of people.The Basics of a Preview Service • Plan to meet once a month for 4 months until the new church is strong enough to meet weekly. • Work as hard as possible to meet as many contacts as possible and invite them to the first preview service. The goal is to get 50 first-time visitors at each ‘once-a- month’ service. Ask strategic people to make short-term commitments to help during the preview phase. The key to the people flow is networking and recruitment. Direct mail is sometimes used as a secondary means to invite people. • Your strategy between the ‘once a month’ services focuses on 3 areas: o Follow-up the 50 first-time attenders through letters, personal contacts and mid-month assimilation events; o Find the next 50 contacts to invite to your next service; o Motivate and enlist new workers for the following month. • Use your coach to work closely with your team to develop the plan and to network with nearby Covenant pastors and churches to provide ‘ministry muscle’. Ideally seek between two and six churches in the larger area that will take ownership in the new church, through special offerings, networking of their contacts in that community and providing specific ministry teams for the preview services. o Enlist a prayer team using personal contacts and supporting churches.Option for the Leaf-Development Preview Service StrategyThe GOAL is to gather More LivesAnd to add the large-group structure to the smaller “house to house” structureAnd the challenge is to DO BOTH AT THE SAME TIME. 6
    • The Standard Way of doing this was developed by the ECC for Bayside Covenant inSacramento, CA. See Addendum #1 near the end of this chapter.However, this standard model can be complicated when there are contextual needs tohave something for weekly worship. In many urban and ethnic environments, alternatingbetween one monthly worship and then going back to a small group is difficult. Certainsettings may need to use the option described at the end of the chapter – consult withyour coach. See Addendum #3 near the end of this chapter.TEAM APPLICATION: Using the standard Preview Plan or the Alternate in the Addendum:Talk as a team with your coach about how your team will plan for worship servicesduring this Stage.Look at the “Growth-Marks” on pages 2-3 and the Developmental Goals and Time-line at the end and talk about the implications for your plant.2. You will understand how to grow healthy ministries for your churchplant through large group venues, through small group venues, and byoffering outreach opportunities. 3-Point Range: Gathering, Building, Outreach Talk about the following 3 questions1. What spiritual gifts and ministry results are best seen in temple court ministry ratherthan in house to house ministry? Which people on our team have these gifts?2. What spiritual gifts and ministry results are best seen in house to house ministry ratherthan in temple court ministry? Which people on our team have these gifts?3. Look at the following chart tracking “Temple Courts” and “House to House” ministriesas they develop over the 4-stages.Generally gathering ministries and building ministries will happen in the two variousstructures of Large Group and House-to-House. 7
    • Root Development – Launch Team Development Ministries Outeach10% Temple Courts Gathering90% House to House BuildingLeaf Development – Preview Services25% Temple Courts Gathering75% House to House BuildingBranch Development50% Temple Courts Gathering50% House to House BuildingFruit Development50% Temple Courts Gathering50% House to House BuildingTEAM APPLICATION: In Leaf Development, what will you do to Gather, whatwill you do to Build, and what will you do for Outreach? 8
    • GatheringCore Group Meeting Event Core Group Meeting Event Gathering 3. You will schedule a healthy development balance for each month while you’re in this stage – using the W. Assimilation Event The W Week . 1 2 3 4 5 eg. Sept 7 Sept 14 Sept 21 Sept 28 Oct 5 Preview #1 Bible Study Picnic or Bible Study Preview #2 with good meal Outreach with bar-b-que afterward & bounce-house 9
    • TEAM APPLICATION:- As a team (and with your coach) turn to the TimeLine at the End of the Chapterand Draw a continuous WWWW over the 4 months for your “Leaf Development.”- Start with your first Preview Service and write the date down; then write the datesdown for the subsequent events - Launch Team (Core Group) meetings - Assimilation Events - Preview Services - Outreach Events- Also, look at the Time-lne on the next page. 10
    • CHAPTER 8 – BRANCHES: DEVELOPING MINISTRY TEAMS Branch Development Moving from a Launch Team toward a Healthy, Missional Church Stage Three of the 4-Stage Launch – Preparatory WorshipTheme: How to grow strong ministry teams and get ready for a strong launch.Objective: To help your new church develop more strength and structure through vitalministry teams. This allows for more lives to be impacted and for the tree’s branches to prepare to bear fruit without breaking.Chapter Goals: 1. You will learn how to strengthen your 5 Key Ministries: a. Groups and Structures b. Worship c. Children’s Ministry d. Outreach e. Connection/Assimilation 2. You will learn how to strengthen gathering and growing prior to Launch. 3. You will learn how to develop leadership and volunteers.NOTE: the Growth-Marks document following the Note pages will be something yourcoach will use to help you move through this important stage. The shaded area will bethe section for you to concentrate on for this stage. I am the vine and you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, then you will bear much fruit. Apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5 1
    • Growth-Marks Checking for Growth/Health in the 1st Year of a New Church First the seed, then the stalk, then the head, then the full-kernel of grain. Mark 4:28 Just as the wise farmer evaluates the growth of the crop, so too the wise church planter evaluates progress of their new church at each stage. Just as the farmer makes adjustments at each stage, evaluating the need for hydration, fertilization, pesticide, pruning… Or, to change the metaphor, just as the parent pays careful attention to how their child moves through the 1st 12 months of life to see not only growth in weight and height, and pays attention to how they’re developing mentally, emotionally, relationally, etc… and gets concerned if they don’t achieve certain growth-stages, so also… The wise church planter looks at the growth & health of the church at each stage ofdevelopment to determine what adjustments need to be made and to determine if they are ready to move to the next stage.Check off the growth-marks as they are achieved. When you have marked them all off,you are ready to move to the next stage. If you have not achieved them, this indicates thatyou are missing a key growth element. You should only move to the next stage with approvalof your coach. Consistently not meeting these marks is a real cause for concern and a timefor deep discussion with your coach and possible adjustments…Meet with your coach before moving to each new stage.Root Development: Finding & Developing the Launch Team Start date_________Check when achieved: (usually takes 3-4 months)___ minimum of 20-30 committed adults in the core___ 50% of core from new contacts___ clear, compelling Passion, Values, and Mission – with the timeline and strategic plan___ begin incorporation, financial system, enrollment in ECC pension, insurance, beginningECC credentialing, enrolled in CEOP (if needed)___ planter is seen as the ‘legitimate leader’ of the group___ increasing number of people contacted, coming and connecting with the group___ growing enthusiasm by the people___ visits to church plants in area by Launch Team___ vision deserts and/or gathering events___ incarnational mission beginning in the community___ begin taking an offering & sending 10 & 5 to ECC and conference mission Achieved by________ Each goal is important to accomplish before moving to the next stage!Leaf Development: Preview (accelerated launch team development) Start date_______Check when achieved: (usually takes 3-4 months) 2
    • ___ minimum attendance of 70-100 in monthly preview services___ 50 new people at each preview service (generally once-a-month)___ plan for marketing for 3rd and 4th preview if you can’t get 50 new people by personalinvitation___ strong word-of-mouth with over ! of new people coming from personal invitation___ 50 new people assimilated into Launch Team over the 3-4 month time-frame___ good facility, good financial record keeping, people beginning to tithe to new church___ increasing attendance at each preview service___ planning and recruiting people to serve in 5-key ministries of worship, kids, connection,small groups, outreach.___ PAT (Pastors Advisory Team) functioning___ people who are far from God coming to worship and/or being touched by the outreachof the church Achieved by________ Each goal is important to accomplish before moving to the next stage!Branch Development - Preparatory Worship 3-4 months Start date_________Check when achieved:___ minimum attendance of 80 in the weekly services___ quality of 5 key ministries (see previous stage for these 5) raised by one grade level(eg. C to B+) and increasing number of people serving in one of the ministry teams___ 50% of adults in small groups___ continuing outreach at this stage and planning for greater fruitfulness in next stage___ continuing gathering and increasing attendance at worship___ pray/plan for Grand Opening of Phase 4 with the G.O. (Grand Opening) Team Achieved by________ Growth-Marks for this season: -attendance of 80+ in the weekly services Branch Development -quality of key ministries raised Weekly Worship and focus on from C to B+ and increasing increased quality of key number of people serving in one branch ministries: kids, of the ministry teams worship, connection, groups, outreach. - 50% of adults in small groups Time-frame: 3-4 months -continuing outreach at this stage and planning for greater At each stage – you must re-plant the fruitfulness in next stage church’s passion, values & mission, invite new folks into the story, and you - continuing gathering and must LIVE it out yourself and as a increasing attendance at growing church! worship 3
    • The Metaphor:The trunk gives height to the leaf-bearing branches, aiding in competition with otherplant species for sunlight. In most trees, the arrangement of the branches optimizes exposure of the leaves to sunlight. Strong and strategically placed branches enable the growth and development of leaves, the fuel system for the whole tree. Branches need regular pruning to maximize fruitfulness, often through pruning inside the crown to allow those remaining branches to flourish.For a tree to prosper, pruning is necessary. Jesus himself talked about this importantfunction of the arborist: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts offevery branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesso that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:1 & 2)Why Prune? There are four primary reasons. 1.) To improve the appearance or healthof a plant. For trees, pruning a dense canopy permits better air circulation and sunlightpenetration. To avoid future problems, remove crossing branches that rub or interfere with each other, and those that form narrow crossings. 2.) To train young plants. Training main scaffold branches (those that form the structure of the canopy) produces stronger and more vigorous trees. Youll find it easier to shape branches with hand pruners when a plant is young than to prune larger branches later. 3) To influence fruiting and flowering. Proper pruning of flower buds encourages early vegetative growth. You can also use selective pruning to stimulate flowering in some species, and to help produce larger (though fewer) fruits in others. 4) To rejuvenate old trees and shrubs. As trees and shrubs mature, their forms maybecome unattractive. Pruning can restore vigor, and enhance the appearance of theseplants.In a church plant, a healthy church will cause new ministries structures to becreated. Wise leaders learn how to shape, guide and prune ministry structure toprovide more opportunity for leaf growth, and greater ability to bear fruit.Occasionally, certain ministry structures will need to be ended, or more often will need tobe reshaped to produce more ministry fruit. 4
    • Talking about Developing Stronger Branches in a New Church Moving Your Quality Level From a C To a B+ or Better.Branch Development is a chance to develop quality in your core ministries. Usually mostnew churches choose to focus on five core ministry areas, and attempt to do them well -Sunday morning worship, small groups, follow-up and connection of contacts andvisitors, children’s ministries and Outreach (both Attractional and Incarnational).TEAM APPLICATION: 1. In a new church, what do the branches represent? 2. In what sense do the branches enable the growth development of the whole church? 3. What is the significance of pruning in the ministries of a church? 5
    • 1. You will learn how to Strengthen your 5 Key Ministries: 1a. Group Structure: There are 3 Types of Groups 1. Small Groups These are groups of 7 – 15 people. Small groups have certain dynamics that are unique to them, one of which is for the members to know each other more intimately, as well as to be known by them. 2. Mid-Sized Groups These are groups of 20 – 50 people. Mid-sized groups have certain dynamics that are unique to them, one of which is to create a social environment of connection with a larger circle of friends, often in an environment of fun and casual social relationship. 3. Large Groups These are groups of more than 70 people. Large groups have certain dynamics that are unique to them, one of which is to create a sense of being a member of a larger group of people that hold similar values, which are reinforced by the power of the whole group.SMALL GROUPS: this is an important stage for developing small groups.How will you develop small groups at this stage? How can you move tomultiple groups?One good way to launch small groups is to link them to the Sunday morning teaching.That way if someone comes to a group first, they will “sample” what the pastor wasspeaking about. Or, for those who want to go deeper or who have questions, they can goto the small group to learn more.The simple way to do this is provide a list of follow-up questions in the Sunday bulletin.(Individuals may want to use this as well) You may also want to provide the text for theupcoming message and have the group anticipate how the pastor is going to deal with it.Another way is to develop “Alpha” or “Christianity Explored” groups. At the start, haveeveryone go through them, then use them twice a year for outreach/discipleship. Seewww.alphana.org or www.christianityexplored.com for more information.Another way is to start small groups and ask for a 4-6 week commitment. This allowspeople to sample the group before making a longer commitment.In addition, look at the on-line resources at www.churchesplantingchurches.org/resourcesor talk with your coach about curriculum and options for small groups. 6
    • 1b. You will learn how to Strengthen Core Ministries: WorshipIn most cases, the first Sunday of weekly worship is filled with errors, omissions, snafus,accidents and general all-around mistakes. In most cases, reaching a ‘B’ level of qualityduring the first few weeks shows excellent ministry development. However, an importanttask in this phase is improving the quality level to an ‘A’.Here are some ideas on how to make this happen: 1. Videotape each service. Review the tape, making special note of energy, transitions and visitor friendly explanations. 2. Have a feedback session after each service, asking 4 - 6 people to evaluate each part of the service. 3. Develop more efficient ways to do set-up, looking at improved systems, storage and procedures. 4. Call selected visitors to get feedback on ‘how can we do better?’ 5. Find ways for people to share their ‘life-change’ stories in worship. Don’t give them the microphone. Either interview them or show a 2-3 minute video (videos can then be put on your website). Share various life-change stories: someone who has come to Christ, someone who is making progress but hasn’t yet arrived, someone who has begun serving and loves it, etc. CHECKLIST ON WORSHIP AREA SETUP & AESTHETICS___ Use curtains or plants to reduce and close off the excess size of the room.___ Use vivid colors to add brightness and light to the room.___ Build a small portable platform for increase viewer sight lines.___ Make sure you have adequate lighting up front. If not, get some spotlights or alighting system.___ Find art and other worship aids that communicate your mission and core values.___ Use good graphics on the screen (if using a video projector)___ If possible, set up fewer chairs than you anticipate and add back rows as needed.___ Find ways to make your group look as big as possible in the facility - e.g. widerspacing of chairs. Putting up room dividers such as Ficus trees, string of Christmaslights, etc.___ Have up front people model dress codes and ethnic/gender/age mix that areconsistent with the people you wish to reach. 7
    • 1c. Strengthening Core Ministries: ChildrenIn many new churches, the easiest way to accelerate the growth of a new church is tofocus on developing ‘kid-friendly’ and ‘family-friendly’ ministries. Here are suggestions:1. Back-Ground Checks: This is important for everyone you have working with kids.Check out the ECC material on “Making Churches Safer” - a 23 page pdf file is availableat www.covchurch.org and includes check-in forms etc.Also, consider joining Group’s “Volunteer Central.” Your annual registration (around$100) will allow you to do national background checks on volunteers for $9 each. Theyalso have lots of helpful information, access to sign-in forms, access to GroupCurriculum and much more. Go to http://churchvolunteercentral.com2. Curriculum: Another easy way is to use curriculum that is fun, hands-on and kid-understandable. One of the best at this is material from Group. Or, you can use video-based curriculum that is very easy for volunteers to use. These have pre-school andelementary levels. A good way to do this, is use one of these for your elementary kids,and use something like Group or VeggieTales Curriculm for Pre-Schoolers.For elementary especially (although they also have pre-school curriculum), consider - Elevate: http://www.creativepastors.com/elevate.php - Empowering Kids: http://empoweringkids.net/homepage.html - Kidmo: www.kidmo.com - Free LifeKids curriculum from www.open.lifechurch.tv - 252 Basics: http://www.252basics.com/ - Or use great VBS curriculum and adapt it for your Kids Ministry.3. Three Age Divisions and Schedule: Nursery: 0-1 IDEA: Hire a paid nursery worker(s)! The last thing you want at the beginning is new people stuck in the nursery, instead of building friendships. Pre-School: 2 - pre-K or K Early Elementary: K - 2nd or 1st - 3rd IDEA: Have these kids come into worship with their parents, and then have them come forward before they are dismissed (people love seeing kids), have the kids worker tell the parents how much we value kids, tell them briefly about what they’ll be learning today, and then pray for the kids before they go to their program.4. Extra WOW Focus: - Purchase a bounce house and have it available before and after the kids program. It’s a kid-magnet and helps get parents and kids there BEFORE worship and helps them hang around longer AFTER worship. Get it up and going 20 minutes before worship and then deflate it a few minutes before worship so kids can go to their program. Then ‘fire it up’ again at the end of the program. Make sure you 8
    • have good volunteers to monitor the kids while they’re in there – and if you have lots of kids then offer ‘shifts’ 4 minutes for kids 5-7; 4 minutes for kids 8-10; or… - On Special Sundays, move the bounce house outside (weather permitting), have a bar-b-que, kids games, and possibly even a climbing wall. - On all brochures, make sure they communicate the interest your church has in children. Use pictures, fonts and verbage that reinforce.5. Teachers, Helpers and More: - Pamper, prepare and praise your teachers and workers, so they will give all they have and feel rewarded in their work as a vital ministry. THANK them! - Consider moving to two services with the early service for your elementary teachers and only nursery and pre-school care provided. Then, you can promise that teachers will never have to miss a Sunday to work in your program. (This may also provide another option for guests to come – and be another way to grow the church.) - Provide great looking T-Shirts for each teacher with the name of your Kids Ministry on it. It adds to the excitement + easily identifies who is supposed to be working with kids.6. The Big 2 Questions When parents pick their kids up, they ask 2 Questions, and if the kids answer the wrong way, the family may not return. The 2 Questions are: - Did you have fun? - What did you learn? So, before the parents pick up their kids, have the teachers say “Didn’t we have fun today!” and have the kids repeat the key lesson “We learned …” The parents will be impressed!7. Ministries at Other Times: - Consider starting TGIF. It’s a Friday night club event for 5 - 10 year olds that is like VBS in one night. It’s also a great way to meet parents and provide them a value-added night out! - Consider doing a summer Day Camp. It is a great way to have a high impact kids event, and also can do wonders at teambuilding for your volunteer workers. Mega Sports camps are a good way to do this www.megasportscamp.com - Consider a “Date Your Mate” night, where your church provides free child-care to couples on a Friday night from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. You register the kids and give them a fun-time. You’ll have a lot of opportunity to build relationships with families when the drop-off and pick-up. - Club “56” (for 5th and 6th graders) or Club “45” (for 4th and 5th graders). Consider Club 56 if your school system starts Junior High in 7th grade and consider Club 45 if you school system has Middle School starting in 6th. This becomes a pre-teen youth group.Insights for your Children’s Ministry: 9
    • 1d. Strengthening Core Ministries: Outreach Word of Mouth StrategiesVirtually every church that grows quickly does so through word of mouth chatter from motivatedmembers of your launch team and new visitors. Many new churches spend a lot of time andmoney thinking about impersonal growth methods. We suggest you spend as much time andenergy in developing a quality word of mouth campaign. Here are some ideas of a good plan: 1. Commit yourself to quality ministry in every area - otherwise word of mouth will not work well. 2. Create attractional events and ministry opportunities that make it easy for people to invite others - these are special events, mission projects, monthly outreach Sundays, serving opportunities, cycles of the church year, etc. 3. Give people tools for inviting others - these are: • business cards that tell your service times; • preprinted invitations and envelopes for special events and mission opportunities; • send five copies of a brochure or flyer with a cover letter to each family inviting them to use these for a certain event. Mass Media StrategiesAs well as direct mail, other methods of advertising include the yellow pages; newspaper;telemarketing; and the radio. Here are some thoughts on each medium:A Web Site:The first place most people will look when wishing to find out more about your church isyour website. If you need help creating one, talk to your coach. In today’s world, this is acritically important task to accomplish right away.Radio:Advertising on a contemporary Christian radio station can be effective. 50% of itslisteners do not attend church! Some new churches run ads, which they will help youwrite and produce. Other stations will let you sponsor a program. Especially in smallermarkets, radio can be very effective.Newspaper:The best deal is always a free story about you or your church, complete with a colorpicture on the front page of a section. Some smaller newspapers will publish whatevercopy you submit as long as it has any public interest. Many Covenant church plantershave been exceptional at receiving free coverage. Another angle is to offer to advertise ifthey will do a story on your church. 10
    • Connecting with People through Multiple Front DoorsChurches that grow well usually learn how to have multiple doors into your church. Whatthis means is strategically thinking a out events and activities that can be easy entrancepoints for new people to hear about your church and come within the sphere of yourinfluence. Here are some ideas:1. Use ‘value added’ components to your service - ideas include special singers,dramatists, speakers, puppets, choirs, etc.2. Sponsor a Conference - for example, one on parenting, marriage,3. Provide a service to the community - painting senior’s houses, free car wash, etc4. Sponsor a seminar - divorce recovery, drug proofing your kids, investments/wills, etc.5. Start a sports ministry - softball teams, mixed volleyball, golf tournament, etc.6. Start a women’s Bible Study.7. Start a men’s ministry group.8. Sponsor a booth at the county fair.9. Develop evangelistic affinity groups for professionals in your community.10. Launch a Summer Day Camp for kids.NOTE: there are additional ideas for Outreach in Chapter 4 and Mass Media Strategiesin the next chapter. For additional help, go towww.churchesplantingchurches.org/resourcesInsights for your church plant: 11
    • 1e. Strengthening Core Ministries: Connection/Assimilation STICK POINTS The Glue that Builds RelationshipsWhen new people come and visit, often they are very receptive the involvement. Here are someideas in helping visitors become regular attenders.1. Take small steps, one at a time.2. Find ways to get people talking - before, during and after the service.3. Non-threatening events often involved asking people to do simple tasks together - set-up, takedown, labeling brochures, bringing a plate of cookies for treats, etc.4. Ask new people to help with welcoming and serving ministries as early as the second week -greeting table, usher, set-up LifeChurch in Canton, MI found that men were especially willing to come and help with set-up. They were promised that they wouldn’t have to talk with anyone, there would be donuts, and they were needed. They were given specific tasks to do. The team leader thanked them when they were done and then led in a prayer for the people who would be sitting in the chairs they just set up. Many of the men were amazed when people made commitments to Christ that Sunday. They saw their role in set-up as contributing to this. LifeChurch has seen many of these men come to Christ!5. Try to begin with small groups for short periods of time - 4 to 8 weeks.6. After your small group ministry is active, use one small group as the small group entry pointfor new people - when it is full, spin it off as its own group and start again.7. Create special children’s events that will make parents return with them - children’s choir,ticket for next week’s special kids event, etc.8. People support what they help create - never start a new ministry without lay people having acrucial part of the planning and discussion.9. Encourage your regulars to always meet someone new after the service before they begintalking to their friends. The “5 Minute” Rule – you can’t take anything down, or talk with yourfriends for 5 minutes after the service – you must talk with someone new!10. Party with the Pastor!- 7 minutes after the service ends, have balloons in a particular area and announce that the pastorwould like to meet first-time guests there. Give them a small gift, talk about the vision of the newchurch and let them ask questions. Only takes minutes!- Or, every month, invite new attenders to Party at the Pastor’s House. It can be simple withpizza, or a potluck. Most of our churches see 100% of those attending these becoming members! 12
    • Greeting and HospitalityGreeting Ministries:This is an important area. Assign a person or a group to head up this ministry. Here aresome ideas on how to do this well:1. If possible, set up your greeting table outside. Decorate it with flowers and brightcolored balloons.2. Use stick - on name tags for everyone. The best is when everyone writes their ownname.3. Use greeters as far out in the walkway and parking lot as possible.4. Ask new people to help with welcoming ministries as early as the third week - greetingtable, usher, etc.5. Teach your greeters to be friendly but not overbearing.Refreshment Ministries:1. Jesus understood the value of good food. Take your refreshment ministry as seriouslyas Jesus did his!2. Provide a selection of specialty coffees and lemonade.3. Excellent treats leave a good impression with virtually everyone. Get great snacks andcut them into smaller pieces.4. Provide this both before and after the service - it greatly aids conversation.5. Entropy causes you to lower standards with time - don’t let it happen to you!Insights for your church plant: 13
    • 2. You will learn how to strengthen “Gathering and Growing” prior toLaunch.In branch development, you can worship at 50-70 people initially and get by withbreaking the "Critical Mass at 75" rule, but you need to work hard to get up to 80 – 100soon in worship attendance. Once in your Fruit Development stage, consistently stayingunder 100 in attendance will usually make growth more challenging. • Four out of five key ministries need to begin on the first Sunday of preparatory worship at least at a "B" level, with a commitment to increase the quality to an "A." In most new churches the five key ministries are the Sunday worship service, childrens ministries, the follow-up and assimilation of new visitors, small groups and CMJ (compassion, mercy and justice). • An important principle in branch development is to keep "re-forming" the launch team. The recommending strategy is to “re-form” the Launch Team into the GO (Grand Opening) Team. In other words, allow the new people to have ownership as well as the original ‘early adopters, and engage them in active ministry. This is brought about by vision casting and having group events that emphasize the expanding launch team. • In branch development, train people in friendship building. A few will be gatherers – pray for more of these. Some will be bringers – who bring friends naturally. Some need to be trained to bring friends and neighbors and trained to make friends of the new people that come. • Every Sunday, have some people assigned to have "visitor eyes" to see and evaluate everything they experience through the eyes of a first-time visitor. • Tell and re-tell the story of why God called you to start this church at every public event. This is critical so people understand why your church lives out its values and mission as you do. This will encourage the development of an evangelistically-effective church.Insights for your new church: 14
    • See next page for specific examples: 15
    • The Power of Evaluation NG = (VF x RR) - BDL Can we gain insight into why we seem blocked in our momentum? This review raises up the possibility of seeing if the issue is in the area of visitor flow, the assimilation of visitors, or in the slippage of regular attenders and members. Net Growth = (Visitor Flow x Retention Rate) - Back Door Loss • word of mouth • worship style/quality • unrelated personal issue • visibility strategies • follow-up strategies • lack of close relationships • ‘light’s on’ impact – • frustration w/style over time the church is doing • children/youth issue things during the week that attract • unresolved difference with attention leader(s) • doctrinal ballpark • children’s experience • relational potentialTEAM APPLICATION: 1. How will you work on Visitor Flow – why people come? 2. How will you strengthen the factors that will result in a strong Retention Rate – why people come back? 3. How can you reduce the possibilities of Back-Door Loss – why people stay? (Of course some loss is good if it’s a result of agenda dis-harmony or out- counseling). 16
    • PRINCIPLES OF GROUP DYNAMICSI. The “Sardines in a Can” Seating Rule.“You have heard it said, “A congregation can never grow beyond 80% of its seatingpotential; but I say to you… …unless you have dynamic worship, you won’t grow”It’s more important to have dynamic large group dynamics – and often you achieve thisby jamming as many people in as you can!How can you change the room dynamics for higher energy in worship?II. The Unleashed Power of Lay Ownership.“You have heard it said, “A pastor is the key ingredient to church growth; but I add to itthat… …unless the people catch the vision and spread the word, you’re just a lone voicecrying in the wilderness.”What can you do to help people catch the vision and spread the word?III. The Catalytic Point of Excitement and Invitation.“You have heard it said, “The best way to grow a church is through word of mouthinvitation; but I say to you… …they will never come back unless you have a great worship experience andconnection experience. Plus, you need to invite the majority of your community that livebeyond your relational networks through some kind of appropriate marketing.”What can you do to have dynamic worship + begin to plan to invite the community? 17
    • 3. You will learn how to Develop Leadership and VolunteersTransition to the G.O. TeamDuring this stage find a way to close the launch team in a formal way and honor them,and then start another team, the GO team.The GO team meets every other week to plant and pray for the Grand Opening Stage(Fruit Development).This accomplishes multiple goals - it does not over-empower the early adopters; it letsmiddle adopters join in; it helps new people get ownership quickly, and makes the GrandOpening a bigger deal.How will you transition from the Launch Team to the G.O. Team? G.O. Team Testimony Church Planter, John Fanous, writes, “Our original launch team is celebrating its closure this week with a BBQ. We started a new team (Grand Opening “GO” Team) that will meet every other week between now and the end of October to plan and pray for our 6 week Grand Opening Celebration in September.” www.edgewaterthechurch.org Edgewater Covenant Church. Pittsburg, CA 18
    • Volunteer Staff DevelopmentThe obvious advantage is the low cost of labor! It can also be a good way to test out aperson before you hire them part-time. This may also work well with:! Office secretary! Worship leader! Children’s Director! Youth sponsor! Day camp director! KeyboardistPart-time Staff DevelopmentThis is when you hire a person to do a specified task for between 10 and 30 hours a week,often paying between $7 and $14 per hour, depending on the circumstances. Theadvantage for you is that often these people put in many extra hours as a ministry and itrelieves you of the stress of certain areas of ministry. The disadvantage is thatsupervising them can be time consuming. It can also be a good way to test out a personbefore you hire them full-time. This may work well with:! Office coordinator! Worship leader! Keyboardist! Children’s Director! Youth Director/Youth Pastor! Summer intern! Year-long internFull-time Staff DevelopmentThis needs to be done in close cooperation with your coach or supervisor. Usually thisdevelops out of part-time positions. A new church typically needs to be over 200 inattendance before they consider adding a full-time staff position. Also don’t forgetdeclining appropriations! Be careful! The particular choice of position will depend onthe needs of your church plant and the growth rate of the church.What staff (volunteers, etc) do you need now? 19
    • ABOVE THE LINEABOVE THE LINE BELOW THE LIINE BE L O W T H E L N EStaffing can have a major impact on the growth and development of achurch.Above the line staff contribute to the __________.Below the line staff contribute to the __________.Above the line staff have ____________________.Below the line staff have ____________________.Ideally, your staff sequence will both grow and stabilize the ministry. singles children’s ministry worshippastor youth small groups young childrenadministrationWhen growth levels off…An above the line person may be doing too much below the line activity.A below the line person functioning in an above the line position. 20
    • Branch Development Preparatory WorshipDevelopmental Goals - 1. Solid Weekly Worship 2. Strong Visitor Flow 3. Strong Assimilation Rate 4. Steadily Increasing Ownership Among People 5. Steadily Developing Five Key MinistriesMost Productive Activities 1. Devote Energy to Getting Key Ministries Going, Improving Weekly and Becoming Sustainable 2. Continue to Help People Invite Their Contacts 3. Continuing the Developing Sense of Team Among the Attenders 4. Making Sure Your Energy Output is Sustainable for Your and Your Family Over the Long HaulBenchmarks 1. A Minimum Attendance of 80 or more in your worship service. 2. Quality Level in the Five Key Area Increased to a B+. 3. 50% of Adults in Small Groups or Ministry Groups 4. Transition from Launch Team to GO (Grand Opening) Team 5. Appropriate Planning for Expanded Outreach during Fruit Development StageWarning Signs 1. Major Problems in One or More Ministry Areas 2. Most of the Group Energy Has Been Expended and Momentum is Flagging 3. Low Visitor Flow or Assimilation Rate 4. Possible Burnout By Church Planter and/or Spouse 21
    • TIMELINE ñ PREPARATORY WORSHIP STAGE (Schedule Sermon Series, Special Events, Ministry Launches and Team Building Events) month month month month Developmental Goals Benchmarks & Details Leader Focus 1. ! Minimum Attendance of 110 or more 1. Strong Preaching 2. ! Beginning of an Interim Leadership Team 2. Strong Leading through Vision 3. ! Stewardship Growing Quickly and Ministry Development 4. ! Significant Numbers Making Faith Commit- 3. Focus on Evangelism Process 5. ments 4. Focus on Spiritual Growth 6. ! Part-time Staff Potential 5. Identify Emerging Leaders 7. ! Track Backdoor Loss 6. Guard Against Maintenance ! Begin Planning for Constitution, Leadership Auto-Pilot Mode Structure and Membership22
    • DRAFT Strategic Ministry Plan For Our New Church1. Theological Basis >> 2. Spiritual Foundation in Prayer >> 3. Mission Field - Need of our Area >> 4. Evangelistic Strategies >> 5. Our Specific Vision >> 6. The Strategy of the 4-Stage Launch >> Stage 1 - Roots: Launch Team Gathering Stage 2 - Leaves: Preview Services Stage 3 - Branches: Preparatory Worship Stage 4 - Fruit: Launch 7. Leadership >> 8. Covenant >> 9. Finances>>6. The Four Stage Launch Strategy: Stage 3 – Branches: Preparatory WorshipIdeas on how to strengthen our 5 Key Ministries: Groups and Structures Worship Children’s Ministry Outreach Connection/Assimilation (hospitality) Other How we can strengthen gathering and growing prior to Launch. How we can develop leadership and volunteers. 23
    • CHAPTER 9 – FRUIT & THE LAUNCH Fruit Development Stage Four of the 4-Stage Launch Launching the Church, Going Public and the HarvestTheme: How to Launch as strong as possible. “To achieve high orbit, you need to have a good flight plan, a good crew, and good systems -- and plan on expending a lot of fuel.” When the season is right and the tree is healthy and ready – there is an explosion in the growth of the fruit!Objective: To learn how to be as Fruitful as a New Church.Chapter Goals: 1. You will learn how to invite as many guests as possible. 2. You will learn how to make a lasting impression on them when they come. 3. You will be able to test fruitfulness in your new church. 4. You will learn how to follow-up on guests – assimilation and connection. 5. You will proclaim the Gospel through great preaching. 6. You will plan and schedule a fruitful 3-4 month Launch. NOTE: the Growth-Marks document following the Note pages will be something your coach will use to help you move through this important stage. The shaded area will be the section for you to concentrate on for this stage. Jesus said, The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest field. Matthew 9:37-38 1
    • Growth-Marks Checking for Growth/Health in the 1st Year of a New Church First the seed, then the stalk, then the head, then the full-kernel of grain. Mark 4:28 Just as the wise farmer evaluates the growth of the crop, so too the wise church planter evaluates progress of their new church at each stage. Just as the farmer makes adjustments at each stage, evaluating the need for hydration, fertilization, pesticide, pruning… Or, to change the metaphor, just as the parent pays careful attention to how their child moves through the 1st 12 months of life to see not only growth in weight and height, and pays attention to how they’re developing mentally, emotionally, relationally, etc… and gets concerned if they don’t achieve certain growth-stages, so also… The wise church planter looks at the growth & health of the church at each stage ofdevelopment to determine what adjustments need to be made and to determine if they are ready to move to the next stage.Check off the growth-marks as they are achieved. When you have marked them all off,you are ready to move to the next stage. If you have not achieved them, this indicates thatyou are missing a key growth element. You should only move to the next stage with approvalof your coach. Consistently not meeting these marks is a real cause for concern and a timefor deep discussion with your coach and possible adjustments…Meet with your coach before moving to each new stage.Root Development: Finding & Developing the Launch Team Start date_________Check when achieved: (usually takes 3-4 months)___ minimum of 20-30 committed adults in the core___ 50% of core from new contacts___ clear, compelling Passion, Values, and Mission – with the timeline and strategic plan___ begin incorporation, financial system, enrollment in ECC pension, insurance, beginningECC credentialing, enrolled in CEOP (if needed)___ planter is seen as the ‘legitimate leader’ of the group___ increasing number of people contacted, coming and connecting with the group___ growing enthusiasm by the people___ visits to church plants in area by Launch Team___ vision deserts and/or gathering events___ incarnational mission beginning in the community___ begin taking an offering & sending 10 & 5 to ECC and conference mission Achieved by________ Each goal is important to accomplish before moving to the next stage!Leaf Development: Preview (accelerated launch team development) Start date_______Check when achieved: (usually takes 3-4 months) 2
    • ___ minimum attendance of 70-100 in monthly preview services___ 50 new people at each preview service (generally once-a-month)___ plan for marketing for 3rd and 4th preview if you can’t get 50 new people by personalinvitation___ strong word-of-mouth with over ! of new people coming from personal invitation___ 50 new people assimilated into Launch Team over the 3-4 month time-frame___ good facility, good financial record keeping, people beginning to tithe to new church___ increasing attendance at each preview service___ planning and recruiting people to serve in 5-key ministries of worship, kids, connection,small groups, outreach.___ PAT (Pastors Advisory Team) functioning___ people who are far from God coming to worship and/or being touched by the outreachof the church Achieved by________ Each goal is important to accomplish before moving to the next stage!Branch Development - Preparatory Worship 3-4 months Start date_________Check when achieved:___ minimum attendance of 80 in the weekly services___ quality of 5 key ministries (see previous stage for these 5) raised by one grade level(eg. C to B+) and increasing number of people serving in one of the ministry teams___ 50% of adults in small groups___ continuing outreach at this stage and planning for greater fruitfulness in next stage___ continuing gathering and increasing attendance at worship___ pray/plan for Grand Opening of Phase 4 with the G.O. (Grand Opening) Team Achieved by________ Each goal is important to accomplish before moving to the next stage!Fruit Bearing – Launch stage 3-4 months Start date_________Check when achieved:___ minimum attendance of 110 in services___ great facility that can accommodate growth to 200+___ have begun TLT: Transitional Leadership Team___ beginning to see increasing numbers of people coming to Christ___ keeping most of the launch team folks and transitioning into a G.O. team as youincorporate new people working toward the ideal mix after Launch phase of 1/3 newbelievers, 1/3 former de-churched Christians, 1/3 committed believers___ beginning to plan for membership, etc. See graphic on next page.At the end of each stage, the wise church planter does two things: 1) Evaluation with their coach and leaders of what went right, what needs to be improved, and what needs to be changed. 2) Celebration with the people of what God has done thus far! People will continue to support what they celebrate. Share the credit and help people to see what God has done in just a few months!NOTE: For more information, see ‘Fruit Development’ Goals, Activities, Benchmarksand Warning Signs + The Timeline at end of this chapter. 3
    • Growth-Marks for this season -attendance of 110+ in services Fruit-bearing : STAGE 4 - great facility that can accommodate growth to 200+ And having a growing Influence on the Mission Field. -have transitional leadership team + ministry teams + infrastructure development -increasing numbers of people The Launch Phase for coming to Christ sustainability and growing Missional -Ideal mix: 1/3 mission-minded, Impact for future 1/3 formerly de-churched, 1/3 generations formerly un-churched. Time-frame: 3-4 months -keeping most of the launch team folks, while incorporating new people into the churchThe Metaphor of Fruit Development:The mechanism for reproduction of plants and trees is the development of fruit. Thesurvival of the species is totally depending on its reproductive ability. In most cases, theprecursors to fruit are flowers. The male and female parts of the flower combine to givebirth to fruit, sometimes within the same flower itself or sometimes in conjunction withtransporters such as bees, who pollinate the flower. The fruit byproduct also providesmany pleasures and delights for both the gardener and the Creator. Your Grand OpeningThis is MORE than a single event: it is a Season of Growth and a Season of Harvest:Many of our new churches hold multiple ‘Grand Openings’ during the ‘FruitDevelopment’ stage. These are a series of Sunday services where the church goes ‘allout’ to both invite people to come and see, and while at the same time the church is goingout to serve and love its community. Often they continue the once-a-month specialSundays that provided an easy-invite to friends. Use the TIME-LINE at the end of thechapter to plan out your schedule during the Launch Phase.By this time, the primary ministries of the church should be firmly rooted, growing andbearing fruit. The Grand Opening stage marks the beginning of some of the most fruitfulseasons of ministry for your church, seasons that continue for years, decades, centuries.1. In a new church, what does the fruit represent?2. What are the components of fruitfulness in ministry?3. How will your new church celebrate the many expressions of fruitfulness? 4
    • 1. You will learn how to invite as many guests as possible. In the Launch Stage, you will have your Grand Opening, and will be inviting lots of people to experience your new church as it gathers on Sunday. You’ve been improving your 5 Core Ministries: Worship, Kids, Connection (Follow-up and Assimilation), Small Groups and Evangelism in Stage 3, now it’s time to “Go Public”Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. Luke 14:23 You will always reap what you sow. Galatians 6:7If you tell us how many you’ve invited, we can tell you how many will show up.If you invite few, not many will show up. If you invite 50,000, many will attend.Beyond your Launch Team and others that you’ve begun to touch, People in your citydon’t know you Exist. God loves them and He wants to use new churches like yours toreach them. Remember 80% or more of the population in your area does not go tochurch. Remember that most people will come to church if they are invited.Use Multiple Touches for the People You will Invite:- Hot: Those you’re closest to o Print general business cards for everyone in the church to use ! Your Launch Team members need help in talking about the church and about spiritual things with their friends. o Use Invite Cards for each new series o Find ways to encourage your Launch Team to hand them out ! Use the P.I.E. method – Pray, Invite (using the card), Expect God to Work and Expect them to come ! Get your people to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for their friends.- Warm: Those who are closest to you geographically or demographically. o Web-site – many will check this out first o Can you “drive” people to your web-site. With a small add in a newspaper that many in your area read – and put a provocative statement that will cause people to go to your web-site for more information – something like “God, Sex, Love” or “The Gospel According to Napoleon Dynamite” (actual series a plant used). A “reverse add” (black background with white type) works best. o You can put a flyer on your web-site that your folks can pass on to friends via the net. o One church used multiple yard-signs on the lawns of Launch Team and Parent Church Member homes. (make sure it’s OK in your area) 5
    • - Cool: Those who are in the general area. o Direct Mail – is the primary way that most plants use to invite those who are not already in their networks. They need the Gospel – and many have begun their spiritual journey though being invited by a good direct mail piece. ! Try to mail to as many as possible: 15,000 as a minimum. Some plants mail to 50,000 homes. ! Try to mail to homes that fit the relational target that God is calling you to – this is good stewardship and allows you to tailor the message. ! Try mailing multiple times to the same folks for multiple touches – perhaps twice during the Launch Phase, again for the next fall, and then continue for following years: fall, Jan/Feb, and Christmas or Easter. Direct Mail (or other mass marketing) also gives your people Air Cover – the opportunity to talk again with the friends they’ve already invited, and to provide increased legitimacy and excitement about the church you invited them to. o Other Mass Marketing. Or you can create multiple touches with other media: newspaper, radio, or even a bill-board (if it’s strategically located to direct people to your facility)Story of a Recent Launch: Launch Insights – February, 2008 Pastor Dave Diller, Renovate Covenant Church, Muskegon, MI (Primarily a 20 and 30 Something church plant) • Set a specific day (Feb. 10th) in which we could put our time and energy behind. Anticipating we would have many new people with us on that day in forced us to take "a fresh look" at what we were doing and how we were doing it so we could "tidy things up" • 3 weeks out we sent out 10,000 postcards advertising the 6-week series that was beginning on Feb. 10th. "Designed for Greatness" a series to inspire and encourage people to become all that God as made them to be. • 1.5 weeks out we sent out another 10,000 mailers to the same database (20-35 year olds within a 3 mile radius of our zip). This peace was a full sheet (8.5 x 11) glossy, folded in half and simply read: "Youre invited" on the cover; stated Feb 10th in BIG print, and then 3 quick bullets about what people could expect. • Website. We created a new website that gives a great glimpse into who renovate is. All of our mailers had the website in large print. (We spent about $2,700). The sites main page has rotating images that correspond with the mailers. Provide messages to download, a place to share a personal story, who to contact if youd like to serve, as well as philosophies that we hold to. 6
    • • Saturday 1 week before launch we bought the entire back page of the 1st section of the main paper. Full color. We had full creative control on imagery and wording. We used this to introduce ourselves to the community, highlight our parent church Forest Park, and talk about all the good things we are about. We also pointed to Feb 10th and our website.• Wed, Thurs, Fri News Paper (1 week before and week of) we had a 3 x 5 add running in the paper highlighting Feb 10, the new series, and our website.• 2 weeks prior we distributed 50 double sided yard signs (the political kind, bright red) that said: "Youre invited, Feb 10th Renovate Church", etc. Although these were picked up by the city (violated some silly ordinance even on private property) this really got our people pumped up for Feb. 10th.• We utilized biz cards that we treated as invite cards as well as excess "designed for greatness" cards.• All of these things worked together to enable a successful word of mouth. It gave our people great confidence to know that "the word was out." The “multiple touches” really resonated with people. This also helped because we solidified a strong "brand." (We had a unified logo and a consistent message.)• We also spent the 6 Sundays before Feb 10th doing an evangelism Message series called: "Channel 4: Broadcasting the Kingdom". We figured that if we wanted our people to share their faith, etc. we (me) were responsible to help equip them to do that effectively in our context.• Party at the Pastors: basically potlucks at my home. We did one in December, Jan, and in late Feb. We have seen a great turn out (35-55 people). This provided a great "medium sized group" for people to connect in an intentional but non- threatening way. I shared for 5 minutes about the vision for Renovate.• Guitar Hero Family Night: During our launch we have a local bar/grill owner who is closing down his place for us on a Sunday night (he doesnt get much business then anyway) so we can have the run of the place and play Guitar Hero on the big screens (Guitar Hero has connected with people of various ages). We heavily emphasize that our people invite their friends (people might be afraid of Church on a Sunday morning even if it meets in a H.S., but they will come hang out at a sports bar). Not every church planter has connections like this to have a bar open up just for them, but every church planter does have connections. We need to look around, see who we have, get creative and ask.• For Feb 10th we also ordered enough subway to feed everyone that came. (We donated any extra to a local shelter for a win/win.) 7
    • • We tightened up our music, kids, greeting, follow up, and Life Packs (easy to fill “packs” that our people could fill with things to drop off at shelters). We invested $4K in a Kids video (10ft screen) and audio to have a "Wow" effect in the gym. We gave our Kids Workers range "Renovate Kids" t-shirts and laminated name tags. This clearly communicated to parents that their kids were "in good hands, we know what were doing." We experimented with our Kids Ministry prior to our Launch, but once we entered launch season we felt we needed to stay fairly predictable (in a good way), so we could consistently provide a quality ministry.If I could emphasize one aspect: Do not skimp out on what your church produces viapromo materials. Your logo, website, mailers, etc should be top-notch quality. It oftendoesnt cost that much more to have these professionally done. Also you have to countthe cost of not spending some money here, I am reminded of 1 Sam when David isanointed King and God tells Samuel. "Man looks at the outside, but I look at the heart."Let this inspire you to outwardly do things with excellence because "man does look atthe outside" and asks: "is this worth my time". In other words. "The Medium IS theMessage." (You may have great content and a great vision, but if it is printed at home ifthe coloring is off, and if it looks crummy, then you end up communicating things thatare not intended.)Some helpful resources here: • Artistry Marketing: www.artistrymarketing.com This is a Christian company desiring to help the church "look good". They do everything from Branding (logo, concept, etc) to websites (from custom sites to "custom looking sites") that have a great look and easy functionality (you dont need any computer background to operate it) and can add great features (video, audio files, calendar, blog, podcast, sign up, plus send out mass emails that have your websites look. Their branding and web services begin at very reasonable prices (about $2k); their customer support and tech support are lights out. • 48 Hour Print: www.48hrprint.com great quality, quick turn around. They will also handle mass mailers. All you have to do is submit your data base via excel and they print the addresses, postmark, collate, and deliver to the post office. • Britten Banners: www.brittenbanners.com Handles all of our banners (retractable, as well as ones we hang from the ceiling). Their quality is awesome and so is their customer service. They can do just about anything.THE RESULT: First Sunday of Launch was February 10. There was a blizzard thatclosed most churches in the Muskegon area. All of the “fluff” (well-wishers) stayedhome. The Launch Team of 40 faithfully set-up the space we had rented and wefervently prayed “God, we’ve done all we can in Faith, and we leave the results up toYou.” And 180 showed up! Praise God! What from this story can you apply to your plant? 8
    • 2. You will Learn How to Make a Lasting Impression When They Come First Impressions of Guests Adapted from Mark Waltz, Granger Community Church First Impressions, Group Publishing“You never get a second chance at making a First Impression.” Mom.“You have 10 minutes from the time a guest drives onto you campus to make a good firstimpression.”“Because people matter to God, they should matter to us.”Therefore, we have to think through the experiences that matter to our guests when they come toour church (for themselves and for their kids) – so they can see evidence of God’s love in thetangible ways we’ve cared for them.The following help you think about how to create great First Impressions:• How does our Public Worship, Kids Ministry, etc clearly express our unique Mission? • If your mission includes reaching people for Christ, then how does your mission impact everything: signage, building, grounds, ministries, etc?• Is there a specific group of people you are trying to reach with the Gospel? • “Anticipate the needs of your guests and do everything you can to make them comfortable.” Mom • What do you want your guests to say about your church on Monday morning at their workplaces and to their friends?• Is your current campus “inviting?” • Are the signs attractive and clear? • Parking: Is there a safe ‘drop-off’ area? Is there surplus parking? Do you need ‘parking lot ambassadors’ and greeters to help guests -- especially when it’s raining or snowing or when they have small children or if they have trouble walking?• Children’s Ministry • Is your children’s ministry up-front and attractive? Is there ‘energy’ communicated along with a warm welcome, a safe check-in procedure, and adequate information about the kid’s ministry?• Greeting/Hospitality – Connection/Follow-up • Is there a central greeter station – and are the greeters ‘welcoming,’ informed and helpful? • When people call the church during the week, can they ‘get through’ and find the help they seek? • When people log on to the web-site, is it attractive, up-to-date, easily navigated, and helpful? 9
    • 3. You will Learn How to Test Fruitfulness in Your New ChurchThe First Message and Mission of the ChurchThe church is to proclaim the message of forgiveness in Christ, which produces reconciliationwith God. This is called Evangelism. Evangelism happens publicly and personally when peopleencounter the love and truth of Jesus.The Second Message and Mission of the ChurchThe church is to help people break the bonds that hold and oppress them, helping restore in themGod’s original creation. This is called Ministry. Ministry happens through prayer, healing, andpractical help that leads to a restored image of God.The Third Message and Mission of the ChurchThe church is to help people live a new, resurrected life in Christ, through the filling andempowerment of the Holy Spirit. This is called Spiritual Formation. Spiritual formation happensthrough teaching, Bible study, the spiritual disciplines, and mentoring.The Fourth Message and Mission of the ChurchThe church is to be a compassionate countercultural force in the community, nation, and world.This is called Love. Love happens locally, regionally, and globally through compassion, mercy,righteousness, and justice.The Fifth Message and Mission of the ChurchThe church is to be God’s community of broken-yet-healing people that provides love, support,and accountability for each other. This is called True Community. True community happensthrough love, worship, fellowship, feasting, and Holy Communion, and multiplies through churchplanting. 10
    • Testing FruitfulnessTest it like a farmer who owns an orchard, you not only want “Leafy” Trees, you want“Fruitful Trees” (Luke 13:6-9). And you want quantity and quality of fruit. Withoutboth quantity and quality, you’ll soon be out of business!Test it from God’s perspective of the fruit He anticipates from your church – MoreBelievers, Better Disciples, and More Impact on our Mission Field. Jesus becomes the“holy fruit inspector” for the 7 Churches of Revelation 2-3. This is to my father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:8Test yourself and your leaders first: • Do you have more leaders now than when you started? Are these the right leaders in the crucial roles? • Do you and your leaders understand the strategic steps for this stage?Test the fruitfulness of the plant:How will you measure fruitfulness in your church plant in each of the five areas?Remember there are qualitative and quantitative measurements. (note – chapter 5introduced this topic on Vision)Categories Quantity Qualities1. Evangelism2. Ministry3. Spiritual Formation4. Love5. True Community+ Expanding the orchardthrough church planting for more missional impact! 11
    • 4. You will Learn How to Follow-up on Guests through Assimilation and Connection Assimilation System Journey Church, New York City, Nelson Searcy, 2007 From the book Fusion, Appendix A,First-Time Visit o A person attends the Journey for the first time & fills out a Communication card. o Following the service, the first-time guest receives a free book and can visit the Fresh Start Table to ask questions or talk with a member or staff person. o The guest receives an email within 36 hours of attending a Journey service. This email includes a link to an online survey that encourages feedback from the first visit and connects the person to the Journey’s website. o The guest receives a handwritten note in the mail within 96 hours of attending a Journey service. In addition to a postcard describing the current message series, this note includes an unexpected gift to wow the first-time guest. The gift is relevant to the target demographic. o The person receives a typed letter in the mail approximately one week after the first visit. Included in the letter are another gift and an audio message CD from a prior service.Second-Time Visit o A person attends the Journey for the second time and again fills out a Communication card. o The person receives an email within 36 hours of the second visit. This email focuses on a specific way the person can get connected at the Journey. o The person receives a typed letter in the mail within 96 hours of the second visit. Included in the letter is a second surprise gift that someone in the target demographic would appreciate.Regular Attender o A regular attender is encouraged and has opportunities to sign up for service teams, Play Groups, Growth Groups, baptism and Membership Class on a weekly basis. o The regular attender is eligible to attend Membership class after attending the Journey regularly for two months. The Journey’s Assimilation ProcessMissionThe Journey exists to give the people of New York City the best opportunity to becomefully developing followers of Jesus. As part of this over-all mission, the Journey’s Assimilation System exists to movepeople forward along a three-step process. 12
    • 1. From being first-time guests to becoming second-time guests. 2. From being second-time guests to becoming regular attenders. 3. From being regular attenders to becoming fully developed members.AssumptionThis strategy is based on the assumption that once a people become fully engagedmembers (people working out the five purposes in their life at the Journey—see below),they are experiencing real life transformation and as a result are in the process ofbecoming fully developing followers of Jesus (the ultimate mission of the church).The five purposes members work out in their lives are: 1. accepting the invitation to an intimate relationship with God 2. connecting to healthy relationships with other Christians 3. moving toward an authentic commitment to God 4. becoming involved in life-changing ministry and mission in the city and the world. 5. honoring God completelyGoalThe goal of assimilation at the Journey is to move people to take the important and life-changing step on church membership (from home plate to first base using the Purpose-Driven Church model of the baseball diamond).First-Time Guest Online SurveyThank-you for visiting The Journey recently! You matter to us, and so does youropinion. We would appreciate your feedback on the following four questions. - What did you notice first? - What did you like best? - What was your overall impression? - How can we pray for you? Name: Email address:Second-Time Guest Online SurveyThank-you for visiting the Journey for a second time! We would appreciate yourfeedback on the following four questions. - What most influenced your decision to attend the Journey a second time? - What was most memorable about your first or second time at the Journey? - Would you feel comfortable inviting your friends to attend the Journey with you? Why? - How could we improve your experience? - Would you be interesting in learning more about: o Growth Groups o Serving on Sunday o Volunteering during the week Name & Email address 13
    • Follow-up – a Predictable Path for Connection Involvement in Ministry Team Involvement in small group Involvement in a __01 class 101 Class: Discovering Membership 201 Class: Discovering Maturity 301 Class: Discovering Ministry 401 Class: Discovering Mission Involvement in a social event and/or pastor’s Open House 14
    • How will your church follow-up on those who come as guests?What will be the easy-to-follow pathways to move people closer to Christ and thechurch?Typical Momentum-Busters in a 4 Stage Launch 1. Lack of visitors 2. Pastor Lacks “leadership savvy” 3. No life transformation happening 4. Public Ministry fails to ignite energy 5. No “spark in the eye” (Group has a ’blah’ personality!!) 6. Empowering the wrong lay leaders. 7. Hiring the wrong staff 8. Having a financial crisis 9. Poor planning and not thinking ahead 10. Agenda disharmony 11. “Niche” too narrow to meet Minimum Requirements 12. Project not well-conceived 13. Launch Team seals-off the centerWhich of these Momentum Busters may be true of your plant? 15
    • 5. You will Proclaim the Gospel through Great PreachingWhat are some insights you can make from the following on Message Preparation?Books:Many church plants have benefited from Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley,where he shares that preaching is like taking people on a Journey from where they are toa destination. He also shares his simple outline method: Me-We-God-You-We.Or, How to Speak to Youth and Keep them Awake at the Same Time by Ken Davis,where he shares his SCORRE method.Urban and Ethnic Planters may enjoy They Like to Never Quit Praising God and Powerin the Pulpit by Dr. Frank Thomas.Planning: Often church plants utilize 4-8 week series. This helps encourage your peopleto extend new invitation each time. It also helps organize your preparation.Try to plan further out than you have before. If you’ve planned one series, try togenerally think about the next 2 – 3 series. Begin to collect information, stories, etc onthese and put them in a file. PREACHING AND TEACHING“A deaf church is a dead church: that is an unalterable principle. God quickens, feeds,inspires and guides his people by his Word. For whenever the Bible is truly andsystematically expounded, God uses it to give his people the vision without which theyperish. First, they begin to see what he wants them to be, his new society in the world.Then they go on to grasp the resources he has given them in Christ to fulfill his purpose.That is why it is only by humble and obedient listening to his voice that the Church cangrow into maturity, serve the world and glorify its Lord.” (John Stott)“Christian preachers, more than all others, should know that people are starving for God.If anyone in all the world should be able to say, ‘I have looked upon thee in thesanctuary, beholding thy power and glory, it is the herald of God. Who but preachers willlook out over the wasteland of secular culture and say, ‘Behold your God!’? Who will tellthe people that God is great and greatly to be praised? Who will paint for them thelandscape of Gods grandeur? Who will remind them with tales of wonder that God hastriumphed over every foe? Who will cry out above every crisis, ‘Your God reigns!’? Whowill labor to find words that can carry the ‘gospel of the glory of the blessed God’?”(John Piper)Nothing but fire kindles fire. To know in ones whole nature what it is to live by Christ; tobe His, not our own; to be so occupied with gratitude for what He did for us and for whatHe continually is to us that His will and His glory shall be the sole desires of our life . . .that is the first necessity of the preacher. (Phillips Brooks) 16
    • SWERVE BLOG Thoughts on Message Preparation: Craig Groeschelwww.lifechurch.tv – most of his messages available for free at “open”Harder Work Posted: 29 Apr 2008 05:28 AM CDTWe’re talking about the importance of “bringing” you in a message to your church.To bring you means you’ll have to spend more time in study and prayer.(Notice I didn’t say research. Studying the text is vital, but don’t stop there.) • A “Saturday night special” sermon that you throw together won’t likely empower you to bring you. • A sermon you lifted from www.quickandeasyfreesermonsforlazypastors.com won’t do the trick either. (I made up that site.) • A rehashed sermon you preached five years ago will likely feel like a rehashed sermon you preached five years ago.You must live the message. Breathe the message. Experience God’s Spirit speaking to you. Thatgenerally takes time. In my opinion, the best messages are usually ones that are born out of daysor weeks of wrestling with God’s Word.When possible, I suggest: • Spend four days preparing three hours a day rather than one twelve-hour day. (This gives your Spirit and mind time to process what God is saying to you.) • Interview a few other people about the text. See how God speaks to them. God might say something to you through them. • Let the message “cook.” Instead of microwaving a message, give God time to slowly burn the message on your heart.If you are unwilling to do what it takes to bring you, your effectiveness as a biblical communicatorwill be drastically limited.Authentic and Transparent Communication Posted: 28 Apr 2008 06:28 AM CDTThis week I’d like to discuss the value and necessity of authentic and transparent preaching.Bring YouEvery year, I personally mentor a handful of young speakers. Most of the speakers I work withdon’t struggle with researching the text, preaching creatively, building meaningful outlines, orpointing people toward the gospel. Most of the communicators I see struggle to bring all ofthemselves to a message.When you preach or teach, you must bring you. Without you in, around, and through themessage, you will not impact today’s listener.The younger audience today has a built in authentic-meter. You can preach with passion, humor,clever points, or heart-wrenching stories. But if the scriptures haven’t touched your life, thelistener will know it—and ignore your well-crafted message. 17
    • People want to know: • How has the text affected you? • How have you failed in the area(s) the Scripture addresses? • What about the text makes you uncomfortable? • What do you feel about what scripture is saying? (I know our feelings don’t trump scriptural truth, but talking about how we feel about the text can help engage others to listen at a deeper level.) • How are you becoming different because of your study in God’s word?Less Is More Posted: 12 Jun 2008 05:17 AM CDTAndy Stanley has said it for years: Less is more. He’s right.I’m as guilty as anyone I know of cramming too much information into a message. I’m workinghard to communicate more by communicating less.(Some preachers can cover a whole 4-week series in one message!)Not only do too many preachers attempt to communicate too much content, but many take toomuch time to do it.Why take 45 minutes to communicate 30 minutes worth of content?Why take 35 minutes to communicate 25 minutes worth of content?There are a few preachers who can hold a crowd for an hour, but not many. (Mark Driscoll, PerryNoble, Steven Furtick, and Matt Chandler seem to do it well. Most don’t.)Many who preach an hour (or more) could say the same thing in 45 minutes. I’d argue they wouldprobably be even better.I’m not saying we should shortchange the amount of time we devote to preaching, but I do thinkmost communicators would be more effective if they shaved some fluff from their messages.As communicators, we can become emotionally attached to information others simply don’t careabout. Find those areas and cut them.In the past year, I’ve shaved about 8% off the time of most messages. I have done sowithout sacrificing the quality of biblical content. Hopefully my focus has made it better.Less is more.Other Resources For Preaching and Teaching: Sermons and More - Read the sermons of some of the greatest preachers in thehistory of the church Internet Guide to Preaching - This is designed as a handy aid to sermon preparation. http://www.preachingtoday.com Leon@rd Sweets PreachingPlus 18
    • http://www.willowcreek.com/willowtalks/ - Willowcreek Messages http://www.pastors.com/portal/ - Pastors.com from Saddleback Church www.crazychurch.com – free resources from Crossroads Church, Cincinatti www.GodWhy.com – access some of the messages by John McLendon as he addresses the Questions about God that people in community have sent in.Here are podcosts that young church planters are listening to:Tim KellerErwin McmanusEfrem SmithPeter HongRob BellMark DriscollChapter 23, “Preaching in the New Church,” Planting Missional Churches, by Ed StetzerOr have a link on your church web-site with the text you’ll be preaching on next week,with a link to BibleGateway. People can check it out and prepare their hearts. They canalso recommend it to their friends.From Alex Rahill at LifeChurch Canton, MI- Videos in message: www.sermonspice.com, www.youtube.com, www.godtube.com- Sermon Series: www.pastors.com Sermon Central “Preaching Today” — great audio- Preaching skills — 4 things I do regularly 1. Listen to a good communicator – vary who you listen to. 2. Listen to my own message – and figure out how to improve. 3. Watch video of message when available. 4. Ask for others honest evaluation of your messages. 19
    • www.theafricanamericanlectionary.org 1-800-391-1905The African American Lectionary project, in conjunction with the work begun by The African AmericanPulpit Journal, its President and Publisher, Martha Simmons, has assembled a team of scholars to developthe first African American non-denominational lectionary, and place it online! The Kelly Miller SmithInstitute of Vanderbilt Divinity School, Vanderbilt University, is also a partner in the project.The lectionary highlights significant liturgical movements that express the joys and challenges of beingAfrican American and Christian (for example, Watch Night, Women’s Day and Usher’s Day). Thelectionary project also incorporates some of the traditional celebrations of the Christian year and momentsof special importance to African American Christians. 20
    • 6. You will Plan and Schedule a Fruitful Grand Opening STAGE FOUR – FRUIT DEVELOPMENT TAGE OUR R U IT E V E L O PM E N T GRAND OPENING R A N D PE N IN GDevelopmental Goals1. Re-igniting Visitor Flow and Getting Into New Networks2. Getting Results from Your Evangelism Process3. Patience to Keep Building Strength through Attention to Doing The First Things The Church Initially Did Well4. An Emerging Vision of What are the Next Steps for The ChurchMost Productive Activities1. Strong Preaching2. Strong Leading through Vision and Ministry Development3. Finding How to Get More Unbelievers Into The Churchs Sphere of Influence4. Slowly Identifying Emerging Lay LeadersBenchmarks1. A Minimum Attendance of 110 or more in Services2. The Beginning of an Interim Leadership Team3. Balanced Planning for Outreach and Spiritual Growth of Christians4. Stage Four Details - Begin Planning for being Received as Covenant Church, with Constitution, Leadership Structure and MembershipWarning Signs1. Burnout By Church Planter and/or Spouse and/or Key Lay Leaders2. Church Goes to Maintenance Auto-Pilot Mode3. Lack of Seekers Coming Within The Churchs Influence4. Early Adopters Now Leaving for No Reason 21
    • TIMELINE ñ GRAND OPENING STAGE (Schedule Sermon Series, Special Events, Ministry Launches and Team Building Events) month month month month Developmental Goals Benchmarks & Details Leader Focus 1. ! Minimum Attendance of 110 or more 1. Strong Preaching 2. ! Beginning of an Interim Leadership Team 2. Strong Leading through Vision 3. ! Stewardship Growing Quickly and Ministry Development 4. ! Significant Numbers Making Faith Commit- 3. Focus on Evangelism Process 5. ments 4. Focus on Spiritual Growth ! Part-time Staff Potential 5. Identify Emerging Leaders 6. ! Track Backdoor Loss 6. Guard Against Maintenance 7. ! Begin Planning for Constitution, Leadership Auto-Pilot Mode Structure and Membership22
    • DRAFT Strategic Ministry Plan For Our New Church1. Theological Basis >> 2. Spiritual Foundation in Prayer >> 3. Mission Field - Need of our Area >> 4. Evangelistic Strategies >> 5. Our Specific Vision >> 6. The Strategy of the 4-Stage Launch >> Stage 1 - Roots: Launch Team Gathering Stage 2 - Leaves: Preview Services Stage 3 - Branches: Preparatory Worship Stage 4 - Fruit: Launch 7. Leadership >> 8. Covenant >> 9. Finances>>6. The Four Stage Launch Strategy: Stage 4 – Fruit: Launch Our Plan to invite as many guests as possible. Our Plan to make a lasting impression on guests. What kind of fruitfulness do we envision In terms of numbers who come The people who stick and get connected The number of new believers in our first year The number of people discipled in small groups The number of ministry and mission teams we’ll have Our Plan to follow-up on guests – assimilation and connection. The pastor’s plan to Preach the Gospel. Our plan for a fruitful 3-4 month Launch. 23
    • CHAPTER 10 - LEADERSHIP Leadership Development Through Spirituality, Chemistry, and StrategyTheme: Great church planters grow in their own leadership and develop other leaders asthey grow the church.Objective: To be able to lead the church toward fruitfulness in the harvest.Chapter Goals: 1. You will learn your Leadership Strength in 3 critical areas a. You will learn about Growing in Spirituality b. You will learn about Growing in Chemistry c. You will learn about Growing in Strategy 2. You will be able to evaluate Gathering, Building and Leadership Development for the first year of your new church. 3. You will learn about the Leadership Growth and developing a Transitional Leadership Team 4. You will learn how to avoid the 4 Pastoral Ministry Corrosion Factors As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, established in the faith just as you were taught.. Colossians 2:6,7 On each side of the rivers stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves are for the healing of nations. Revelation 22:2 1
    • The Metaphor: Spirituality, Chemistry and Strategy The StoolObservations about the design of a three-legged stool:First, all three legs are critical – one or two will not do.Second, without the strength and stability of the seat, the three legs by themselves willcollapse.Third, all three legs should be close in length. (Fortunately, in a three-legged stool, ifthe legs are of slightly different lengths, the stool will still be stable, although the seatwill be slightly tilted). 2
    • 1. You will learn your Leadership Strength in 3 critical areas. Each Leg and the Seat Corresponds to a Dynamic Quality Necessary for Growth to Occur 1. The first leg of the stool is Spirituality, which is a commitment to deep spiritual transformation to bring about the work of God in people. 2. The second leg of the stool is Chemistry, which creates an inviting relational atmosphere within the church. 3. The third leg of the stool is Strategy, a process of sequential actions that produce fruitful ministry in line with God-directed goals. 4. The seat is Leadership, which rests on the three supporting legs and ensures that spirituality, chemistry and strategy are both internalized within the church and lived out in the community by the church’s leadership and its membership. 3
    • Ask Yourself These Three Questions: • Which of the Three Legs is my Strongest Area? • Which of the Three Legs is my Weakest Area? • Which of the Three Legs is my Medium Area? There are Three Most Common PatternsPattern #1 Strongest Middle Weakest Chemistry Spirituality StrategyPattern #2Strongest Middle WeakestStrategy Spirituality ChemistryPattern #3Strongest Middle WeakestSpirituality Chemistry StrategyWhich is your pattern?What is the make-up of your team? (If the Church planter is strongest in one area,it’s important for the leadership team to balance this strength.)How do we listen to and appreciate each others strengths in leadership?What have been the roadblocks and how could we do better? 4
    • 1a. Growing in Spirituality Fruitful growth begins with spirituality, which is a commitment to deep spiritual transformation to bring about the work of God in people.Four subjects encompass the components of Christian spirituality. • The first is clarity on the question, “What is the Gospel?” The American church will not thrive in its current culture until it intentionally refocuses on the message and mission of Jesus. • The Necessity of Transformation. The message and mission of Jesus is to deconstruct the damaging worldview formed within each person and reconstruct a new worldview based on life in the Kingdom of God. • The third is Spiritual Formation (or Discipleship), what Jesus called “turning hearts of stone into hearts of flesh.” Spiritual formation builds on transformation to create the type of heart that Jesus seeks to produce. • The fourth component is Reliance on the Holy Spirit. I Corinthians 3:6 describes the necessity of the divine miracle: “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” Fruitful ministry is a remarkable combination of God-directed, human effort converging with the Holy Spirit to create the touch of God Himself. In their own power, Christians can never produce spiritual transformation, either in themselves or in other people. Rather, transformation is solely the work of the Holy Spirit. 5
    • 1b. Growing in ChemistryChemistry focuses on the church’s personality as it relationally lives out the fruits of the Spirit.Two crucial components create good chemistry in a church.A Healthy Family System. This happens when a pastor, the staff, lay leaders and themembers are set free to be whom God created them to be, living an authentic, joy-filledlife together. As mentioned, healthy family systems prosper in atmospheres of truth andlove, without the exercise of abusive power.An Attractive Group Personality. Energy, excitement, love and joy should characterizeyour church’s personality. When visitors come to your church, they usually decide withinthe first ten minutes whether to return. Visitors subliminally pick up the group’spersonality, and intuitively know whether they wish to connect with you. An attractivepersonality is not a sign of shallowness, but instead marks out a group of people that trulyenjoy being together. Paul described this type of church in Romans 14:17 when he said,“The Kingdom of God is marked by righteousness, peace and joy.” 6
    • 1c. Growing in Strategy Strategy creates a process of sequential actions that produce fruitful ministry in line with God-directed goals.Four components make up a church’s strategy. • The first is Vision. Vision is the conceptualization of God’s future for each church. • The second is Delegation and Division of Ministry. Your new church needs to determine how to delegate ministry responsibilities. • The third is Ministry Development. • The fourth component is Connection with New People. The lack of growth in a church usually stems from the inability to make personal connections with new people.In each of the Components of Strategy above, a four-step process will build andstrengthen ministries. 1. Set God-directed, attainable goals. 2. Develop a strategy to reach the goals. 3. Implement the strategy. 4. Regularly evaluate the progress. 7
    • 2. You will be able to evaluate Gathering, Building and LeadershipDevelopment for the first year of your new church. Healthy Church Plant Assessment Analysis – Year 1 Lamentation 3.40 Let us examine our ways and test them By Dr. Don DavenportPlease check off those areas below that apply to your ministry at this point and time. Thisshould be done as often as necessary with your leadership. This analysis is not meant tobe thorough or scientific but merely to assist you to understand where your strengths andweaknesses may be at this time in your ministry.Gathering Questions: Bringing those on the outside in 1. Is there an atmosphere conducive to reaching lost and hurting people? 2. Is there a minimum of one gathering or impact event per month? 3. Is there a plan or strategy to equip your people to invite others to your church everyweek? 4. Are there flyers and a strategy to get the word out in your community? 5. Are you and your core team committed to connect with 2-5 new persons per week? 6. Is there an average of 1 visitor per every 10 attendees in your core group, or 50 first-time guests at each Preview worship service, or at least 5 guests per week in preparatoryworship, or at least 7-10 guests each week in Grand Opening? 7. Is there a time during the year that evangelism is taught in your ministry? Total checked _____Assimilation Questions: Bringing those on the inside closer 1. Is the core team expanding with new people – so that you’re doubling the core every6 months? 2. Is there a follow up system or a way of following up visitors that works? 3. Do you have a follow-up team devoted to this? 4. Are you developing at least 4 different ministry teams for Worship, Kids ministry,Assimilation, and Small Groups? 5. Are there functioning small groups i.e. task, support or bible study groups? 6. Are you beginning to develop membership materials and planning to launch yourfirst membership classes? 7. Are you regularly sharing stories about people who have come to Christ orrecommitted their lives? Total checked _____ 8
    • Core Group Questions: Developing those on the inside as your core leaders 1. Is there a clear system of processing, mentoring and developing new leadership foryour church? 2. Are your core members beginning to give regularly and sacrificially to your churchwith time/money? 3. Have you developed a PAT (Pastors Advisory Team) or TLT (TransitionalLeadership Team) – a group of spiritually mature believers that share the passion for thelost and that can help the pastor make key decisions? 4. Are your ministry teams expanding in number of teams and/or number of people oneach team? 5. Can your core members each explain the mission/vision/values of your church inclear and compelling ways? 6. Are you spiritually feeding your core as you also do leadership development? Total checked _____ Grand Total Checked _____ Levels Evaluation Scale18 to 20 checks – Green Flag: excellent health with a steady ministry momentum15 to 17 checks – Yellow Flag: exercise caution - review where your ministry is heading12 to 14 checks – Red Flag: stagnation may be settng in - review this with your leadership11 and under – Critical: you may be in need of ministry intervention – review with your coachTEAM APPLICATION:Talk about insights from the “Healthy Church Plant Analysis”See next page for an on-line Monthly Church Planters Report form Thiswill update your coach and the ECC team so they can better counsel and resource you. 9
    • Covenant Church Planting :: Planter’s Monthly Progress ReportPlease fill out and email to: yourDCP! yourSup! ecccge@aol.com, davetolson@aol.com Planter Conference Reporting Jan Period 2008 Email Church Date CompletedYou Spiritual Reserves E ! " # F Comment: Physical Reserves E ! " # F Family Reserves E ! " # FHow would you, your spouse, or staff member describe the nature of your presence?The ChurchAttenda Week 1: Week 2: Week 3: Week 4: Week 5: nce Monthly average: Average same month last year: Monthly average year to date: Visitors Week 1: Week 2: Week 3: Week 4: Week 5: Monthly average visitor retention:Member New: Transferred out: Dropped out: Deaths: New membership total: ship Ministry Number serving in ministry: Number involved in small groups:Number of first time commitments to Jesus: Number of significant decisions to change or repent:Please share a conversion or repentance story:How did the church do at communicating, living out, or grow with regard to the Message and Mission of Jesus?Describe the momentum level or direction in the church:How would a member and/or visitor describe the church:Describe current challenges:Describe new initiatives or major events in the planning stages:How can the Covenant or the Conference be more helpful to you and/or the church?Other news, needs, prayer requests, updates, or encouraging items?Finances Inflow Outflow Balances Local budgeted This month’s budgeted Last month’s general giving* expenses fund balance Appropriations Non-budgeted expense New general fund received (specify) balance Outside Special funds (benevolence) Other fund balances fundraising (specify) Special funds Total outflow Total all funds Other Total past due bills To Covenant* List past due bills: Total income To Conference* * Basis used for figuring percentage giving to the Covenant 10% and Conference 5% - see Outflow 10
    • 3. You will learn about Leadership Growth and developing aTransitional Leadership Team ‘Leadership for Growth’ is the seat that provides stability and strength forthe three legs. The purpose of ‘Leadership for Growth’ is to focus the energy of the whole church on spirituality, chemistry and strategy.Consider these Four Observations about Leadership. • Churches do not grow without godly and gifted pastoral and lay leaders. • With coaching and teach-ability, most leaders can dramatically improve in all three areas. • Spirituality, chemistry and strategy are listed in the sequential order of development. | • Pastoral and lay leaders lead with integrity only when they authentically live out spirituality and relational chemistry in their own lives. HO W GR E A T CH U R C H PL A N T E R S LE A D HO W GR E A T CH U R C H PL A N T E R S LE A D 1. Love Well - Chemistry - Ownership Granter. 2. Lead Well - Strategy a. Visionary. b. Team Builder. c. Teachable. Teachable. 3. Preach Well – Spirituality - Compelling Communicator (see last chapter on preaching)It takes all 3! 11
    • Transitional Leadership Teams First and Second Years in a Church Plant From Church Planting Landmines by Tom Nebel and Gary RohrmayerNote shaded area for this stage:Principles:Because you don’t know who really buys into you and into the specific vision of thechurch plant and because you don’t know the character or spiritual leadership of yourgrowing core team, here are key principles: 1. Multiple leadership phases are recommended before the official leaders are elected. (We don’t want the “cement to set” too early – we want to continue to mix in new people. Or, to change the metaphor, we want to keep more lives developing and feeding new life to the growth of the church.) 2. Church-sounding nomenclature should be avoided. 3. Titles which imply permanence (such as “board”) should be avoided. Don’t give titles, instead invite people to get involved in ministry. 4. A clear purpose and time-frame for each phase must exist. 5. A changing of the guard must occur at each phase. Many new leaders will come with future growth. They’re not all there at the start. a. You can find some leaders from outside your core in the first two phases. This is particularly helpful if you don’t have many leaders to choose from at the outset. Some of these outside leaders (or advisors) could be a trusted friend of the planter, another church planter or pastor in the area, missional leaders from the parent/partner churches. b. The multi-phase approach can allow middle adopters to get into leadership; since they often will not be willing in the earliest stage. 6. Be looking for spiritual fruit and specific giftedness from individuals at each phase. Use an annual evaluation of leaders to help determine fruitfulness and help them know what is expected. (see end) Don’t be hasty in the laying of hands… I Timothy 5:22Phase I: PAT – the Pastor’s Advisory Team - to help the planter make key decisions up until the Launch of the Church (phase 4 of the 4-stage launch) - included in this group is someone who will work as the financial assistant to write checks and make financial reports. - included also is someone who will tally the offerings (with another volunteer) and make desposits.Phase II: TLT – the Transitional Leadership Team - After the Launch of the church, the PAT meets one more time to celebrate and be dissolved. - The planter will prayerfully consider a new TLT to continue to help the planter with big decisions, prepare the church for receiving members and getting ready to approve the permanent constitution. Some from the PAT will be invited onto the TLT, but others will step aside to make room for new leaders. 12
    • Phase III: LT – the Leadership Team (or other form of ECC Governance) - When the church receives their first members and adopts the Leadership Team constitution, the TLT members will meet once more to celebrate progress. At the church business meeting where the new leaders are elected, the TLT members will be thanked. - The duties of the LT are spelled out in the LT constitution of the ECC.Evaluation and Annual Check-up of Leaders:The Church Planter needs to work with their leaders and evaluate them in 5 areas. Giveeach leader the following list and then meet with them one-on-one to evaluate the pastyear and to set goals for the upcoming year: 1. Who am I? What is my role on the team? What is God calling me to do? AND, how am I contributing to the team? 2. Who are we? As a church, what is our unique calling? AND, how am I helping or hindering the church in this unique calling? 3. Who is coming along? How am I developing as a leader? What do I need from the point leader to do better? Am I developing at least one other leader – and what am I doing to help them grow as a leader? 4. Where are we going? What is our primary destination? What should be the result? AND, how am I helping us get to our goal(s)? 5. How are we going to get there? What specific methods and processes will be use? AND, what is my unique contribution?Talk with your coach about how to develop a strong TLTand about how to develop leaders in your new church. 13
    • Passion Integrity 4 You will learn how to avoid the 4 Pastoral Ministry Corrosion Factors Healthy Missional Pastor Early stages of Internal Drifting We must pay more careful attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. Hebrews 2:1 Definition of Pastoral Corrosion: The gradual, continual decline, gnawing or rusting AdaptabilityIdentity of the interior heart, spirit and mind of a pastor. Over time the unintended consequences of these challenges could affect the culture of the life of a congregation. Passion – Nehemiah V__________ and H______________ Nehemiah 1:3-11 Isaiah 6:1-2 Corrosion Factor: C_________________ and R___________________ Identity – Gideon V______________ and I_______________ Judges 6:11-16 Matthew 16:13 Corrosion Factor: A_______________ and F______________ Integrity – Joseph S______________ and T_____________ Genesis 39:6 Romans 7:14-25 Corrosion Factor: D_____________ and C_________________ 14
    • Adaptability – Abraham A__________________ and F_______________ Genesis 12 Romans 12:1-2 Corrosion Factor: S____________ and P_______________Healthy Missional Pastor Jeremiah 3:15 Transformative Behaviors: H______________ Transparency Behaviors: L_______________ The Death of a Pastor Romans 6:6-8 Death to our Weaknesses Passion Integrity H.M.P Identity Adaptability Jeremiah 3:15 I will give you shepherds after my own heart who will guide you with knowledge and understanding. 15
    • Pastoral Corrosion Score Sheet By Dr. Don Davenport, adapting material from “The Emotionally Heathly Church” In each of the 17 questions, assess yourself from a 1-5 (with 5 being “this is very true of me”) 1. ___ I enjoy being in quiet reflection with God. 2. ___ I am able to deal with anger in a way that leads to growth in myself and others. 3. ___ I am able to explore previously unknown parts of myself, allows Christ to fully transform me. 4. ___ I take responsibility and ownership for my past life without blaming others. 5. ___ I resolve conflict in a clear, direct and respectful way not thru putdowns, avoidance, or third parties. Rather, I go to the person directly. 6. ___ I am able to speak freely about my weaknesses, failures and mistakes. 7. ___ I am consistently open to hearing and applying constructive criticism and feedback that others might have for me. 8. ___ Others have described me as approachable, gentle, open and transparent. 9. ___ I have never been accused of “trying to do it all” or biting off more than I can chew. 10. ___ Those close to me would say that I am good at balancing family, rest, work, play in a biblical way. 11. ___ Its easy for me to distinguish the difference between when to help carry someone else’s burden and when to let it go so they can carry their own burden. 12. ___ People who are in great pain and sorrow tend to seek me out because it is clear to them that I am in touch with the losses and sorrows in my own life. 13. ___ When I go thru a disappointment or a loss I reflect on how I’m feeling rather than pretending nothing is wrong. 14. ___ I am able to cry and experience depression, or sadness and explore the reasons behind it and allow God to work in me thru it. 15. ___ People close to me would describe me as a responsive listener. 16. ___ I am able to form relationships with people from different backgrounds, cultures, races, educational and economic classes. 17. ___ I have a healthy sense of who I am, where I’ve come from and what are my values, likes and dislikes.This requires an honest assessment of who we are. Hopefully this will assist in creating abalance in your pastoral ministry. In each of the 17 areas assess yourself from 1 to 5 5 Excellent 4 Good 3 Fair 2/1 PoorAdd the total from each _______ and divide by 17 to determine where you are fromabove .My Average assessment _______If your assessment was below 4 – Review the questions and list those areas you can makeimprovement? 16
    • Additional Notes from the 4 Corrosion Factor Questionairre:Questions 1-3 deal with “Have you looked beneath the surface?” Texts: 1. Luke 6:12 2. Ephesians 4:25 3. Romans 7:21Questions 4-5 deal with “Have your released yourself from the power of the past?” Texts: 4. John 5:5-7 5. Matthew 18:15-18Questions 6-8 deal with “Do you live in brokenness and transparency?” Texts: 6. II Corinthians 12:7-12 7. Proverbs 10:17 8. I Corinthians 13:4-6Questions 9-11 deal with “Do I know my own personal boundaries?” Texts: 9. Proverbs 3:5-6 10. Exodus 20:8 11. Galatians 6:2,5Questions 12-14 deal with “Am I able to embrace grieving and loss?” Texts: 12. II Corinthians 1:3-7 13. II Samuel 1:17-27 14. Psalm 42Questions 15-17 deal with “Have you shown the ability to incarnate a pastoralheart? Texts: 15. Proverbs 29:11 16. John 4:1-26 17. John 13:3 17
    • CHURCH PLANTER SELF-EVALUATION GRID Leading Ministering Speaking Planning Managing Production Resources Results P 10 E 9 R 8 F 7 O 6 R 5 M 4 A 3 N 2 C 1 E 0 Vision Prayer Exegesis Purpose Goals Standards Spiritual God Glorified Values Depth Felt Need Mission Principles Structures Personnel True Worshippers Listening Gift-mix Structure Clarity Envirionment Efficiency Volunteer Spiritual Health Motivator Evangelist Presence Involvement Competence Evaluation Financial Trained Leaders Instinct Discipler Emotion Reward Motivation Problem Solving Structural Trained Workers Priorities ‘In the Spirit’ Humor Penalty Wisdom Feedback Physical Visitor Flow Dynamism Wisdom Illustration Intentionality Flexibility Innovation Energy Retention Reproducer Integrity Application Input Ownership Techno-edge Networks Back Door Exit18
    • Addendum – Additional Thoughts on LeadershipPastoral Leadership - Paul Borden, Direct Hit:“Probably no profession other than pastor has such a vast opportunity to lead changethrough individual and group communication.”“Pastors… (must) understand that one of their primary responsibilities is to develop newleaders… A congregation grows in proportion to the number of new leaders that arebeing developed every year.”Pastors are not just good pastors and “resident theologians” but leaders who areresponsible to God to “lead a people to fulfill a mission and achieve a vision”A leader is not content to be “faithful;” but also is passionate that the church demonstrateincreasing “fruitfulness” in moving forward towards its redemptive potential.Borden talks about the following roles of fruitful pastors: - Passion - Courage - Flexibility - Missional - Wisdom - Positive - ResponsibleDefinition of Leadership: Gary Rohrmayer, www.yourjourney.org"Be, Know, Do: Leadership the Army Way" by Frances Hesselbein and General Eric K.Shinski (USA Ret.) This book takes a close look at the official Army Leadership Manualand applies its principles to the corporate and civic leadership realms. Here is the Armysdefinition of leadership, "Leadership is influencing people, by providing purpose,direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improving theorganization". (pg 5) Gary directs “First Steps” for Church Planters with the BGC. Church Planting leaders: - Are Passionate Followers of Christ - Inspire Others to become Worshippers of God - Serve out of their Unique Giftedness - Have a heart for the Lost all around themDefinition of Spiritual Leadership by Larry Sherman:A Spiritual Leader… • Has a passion for Christ that leads to compassion for others. • Has a vision of what God wants done that is embraced by the people as their mission. • Has the wisdom to develop disciples, grow leaders, and deploy resources to impact a region for Christ. 19
    • Leadership Challenges in a Church Plant - Develop a Great Coaching Relationship for encouragement and resources o Get together with your coach at least once a month. Use the Monthly Church Planters Report to talk about issues. o In year one: use the Growth-Marks document with your coach. o Respect your coach, i.e. become TEACHABLE - Get together regularly with other church planters who are at your stage or who are just beyond you to share prayer requests, best practices, challenges, etc. - Can you be led? This will determine how far you can develop as a leader.THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR that will determine whether a churchplanter will get even better is whether they are TEACHABLE. - The lesser-performing church planters are NOT very teachable. They often think they know better than their coach. - The highest-performing church planters ARE very teachable. They seek out advice and think deeply about it, even when they initially disagree with this counsel. The High-performing church planter isn’t necessarily the most highly-gifted – however, they are often the MOST Teachable: o Always asking questions o Getting feedback from many people (even their critics) o Developing mentoring relationships with peers and with more experienced leaders. o Develop their ministry gifts: particularly communication, leadership, gathering and building. o Identify, invest in, and empower other leaders, both staff and lay. They become a “leader of leaders.” o Find new ways to organize and structure ministry of the church for greatest effectiveness and fruitfulness.Other Resources: - Lyle Schaller, The Very Large Church - Mark Batterson, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, a church planter in Washington DC on courage and risk-taking - Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, great book by Patterson, Grenny, Maxfield, McMillan, and Switzler. 6 core aspects of influence. - Crucial Conversations, another great book by the same authors as Influencer. - Integrity: the courage to meet the demands of reality by Henry Cloud. Some have called this the best book on leadership they’ve read. - Leading with Confidence by Bobb Biehl (also avail in Spanish). Originally published as “30 Days to Confident Leadership” this book is very helpful in raising the right questions for a variety of leadership challenges. Available at http://www.aylen.com/ Also great resources, egs. “Masterplanning Arrow” and “Building Your First Building.” For more info on Bobb Biehl’s organization, go to http://www.masterplanninggroup.com/ - Getting Things Done by David Allen – excellent way to organize your time 20
    • DRAFT Strategic Ministry Plan For Our New Church1. Theological Basis >> 2. Spiritual Foundation in Prayer >> 3. Mission Field - Need of our Area >> 4. Evangelistic Strategies >> 5. Our Specific Vision >> 6. The Strategy of the 4-Stage Launch >> Stage 1 - Roots: Launch Team Gathering Stage 2 - Leaves: Preview Services Stage 3 - Branches: Preparatory Worship Stage 4 - Fruit: Launch 7. Leadership >> 8. Covenant >> 9. Finances>>7. Leadership How we will Grow in Spirituality – as individual leaders and as a team How we will Grow in Chemistry – as individual leaders and as a team How we will Grow in Strategy – as individual leaders as as a team How balanced is our team? How will we evaluate Gathering, Building and Leadership Development for the first year of our new church. Our plans for Leadership Growth and developing a Transitional Leadership Team Our plan to avoid Ministry Corrosion 21
    • CHAPTER 11 – THE COVENANT MOVEMENT Orchard DevelopmentTheme: For true fruitfulness, it’s more than one new tree or one new church, it’s aboutmore churches, a larger orchard, and a growing movement. .Objective: To Connect with the Covenant and Contribute to the Church PlantingMovement.Chapter Goals: 1. You will understand why the Covenant has become a strong church planting movement. 2. You will review the Covenant Agreement and the mutual commitments that result in a strong plant and an increasing movement. 3. You will understand how to organize the Church for mission and ministry. 4. You will understand the process of officially joining the Covenant. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” … and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:11,12 1
    • “The Heritage of the Past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the future.”On the National Archive building in Washington, DC The Fruit of an Orchard: One Church is great, but a Movement is better. How can your church leave a legacy? 2
    • 1. You will understand why the Covenant has become a strong churchplanting movement. THE COVENANT IIS A STRONG MOVEMENT THE COVENANT IS A STRONG MOVEMENT H E O V ENANT S A STRO NG M O V EM ENT IN AN AGE WHEN MANY DENOMIINATIIONS HAVE WEAKENED THEMSELVES,, IN AN AGE WHEN MANY DENOMINATIONS HAVE WEAKENED THEMSELVES N AN AG E W H EN M ANY DENO M NAT O NS H AV E W EAK ENED TH EM SELV ES THE COVENANT HAS MANAGED TO RETAIIN THE GLUE THAT HOLDS IIT TOGETHER.. THE COVENANT HAS MANAGED TO RETAIN THE GLUE THAT HOLDS IT TOGETHER THE OVENANT HAS M ANAGED TO RETA N THE GLUE THAT HOLDS T TOGETHER THAT GLUE HAS HELD BECAUSE OF THE FOCUS ON BEIING BIIBLIICAL,, DEVOTIIONAL,, THAT GLUE HAS HELD BECAUSE OF THE FOCUS ON BEING BIBLICAL DEVOTIONAL H AT G LUE H AS H ELD BECAUSE O F TH E FO CUS O N BE NG BL CAL EVOT ONAL MIISSIIONAL AND CONNECTIIONAL.. M SS O NAL AND O NNECT O NAL ISSIONAL AND CONNECTIONAL NEW CHURCHES CONTRIIBUTE TO THE STRENGTH WHEN THEY ((AND THEIIR PASTORS)) NEW CHURCHES CONTRIBUTE TO THE STRENGTH WHEN THEY AND THEIR PASTORS EW CH URCH ES CO NTR BUTE TO TH E STRENG TH W H EN TH EY AND TH E R PASTO RS PARTIICIIPATE IIN COVENANT EVENTS AND SUPPORT COVENANT MSSIION.. PARTICIPATE IN COVENANT EVENTS AND SUPPORT COVENANT MSSION PART C PATE N O V ENANT EV ENTS AND SUPPO RT CO V ENANT M SS O N OUR ‘‘TRUST’’ IIS TO LEAVE IIT STRONGER THAN WE RECEIIVED IIT AND TO EXPAND THE OUR TRUST IS TO LEAVE IT STRONGER THAN WE RECEIVED IT AND TO EXPAND THE UR RUST S TO LEAV E T STRO NG ER TH AN W E RECE V ED T AND TO EXPAND TH E MOVEMENT.. M OVEM ENT M OVEM ENT FOR THE SAKE OF THE MOVEMENT,, THE NAME "COVENANT" IIS IIMPORTANT FOR THE SAKE OF THE MOVEMENT THE NAME "COVENANT " IS IMPORTANT OR THE AKE OF THE OVEM ENT HE NAM E OVENANT S M PORTANT • YOUR FAMIILY NAME • YOUR FAMILY NAME OUR AM LY AM E o First Names and Family Names: You have a first name and a family name. You are uniquely associated with your first name. However, your family name is also important. It identifies your heritage and the family values you were raised with. Your family name helps your family continue their legacy. o Your Church Name: For a new church, your First Name may be something like: Faith, Christ, Life, Journey… Your First Name gives your unique identity. But your Family Name is Covenant or Evangelical Covenant. We ask churches not to hide their Family Name, but to use it. This helps your people understand their family values and family heritage. And, this helps others understand who you are. o Therefore we ask each church plant to: ! Have Covenant or Evangelical in your official name. ! Participate in ECC and Conference “Family” events like annual meetings, retreats, etc. ! Identify your Covenant affiliation on your • Web-site • Printed material • And provide ECC information and links to ECC and conference websites. 3
    • • BRAND IDENTIITY • BRAND IDENTITY RAND DENT TYGo to your local grocery store, and walk down the cereal aisle. You are immediatelyconfronted with a paradigm decision. Should I buy the name brand cereal or a genericbrand? If the price is the same, which will you buy? Of course, everyone would buy the“name brand.” Why? Because you trust the quality of the name brand product. Youknow it will meet your expectations. You know what you are going to get.The question of whether to have ‘Covenant’ in your new church’s name is akin to thebrand name / generic issue. But first, a little history of church names. 1. The moniker ‘Community’ was popular in the 1980’s, but has diminished greatly since then. 2. Churches with ‘Community’ span the whole theological spectrum. For example, one block away from a new Covenant church plant in Minneapolis is ‘Lake Harriet Community Church’. That wonderfully-named church is a New Age Center for the community. 3. Although denominations have been criticized as being irrelevant in modern times, research shows that very few independent churches can maintain a vital ministry for over one generation. Think of the metro area you know best – who were the thriving independent churches a generation ago, and how are they doing now? On the other hand, tens of thousands of denominational churches have been able to maintain vitality, often over a century of time. 4. Certain denominational names carry significant baggage – Baptist is the classic example. ‘Covenant’ tends to be either a neutral or slightly positive name in virtually all communities. 5. The two best-known denominations that emerged in the 1980’s and 1990’s were Vineyard Christian Fellowships and Calvary Chapels. In both cases, they created ‘branded’ names that gave great cohesion to the movement.Branding helps create a brand identity in the US and in your area. In the Covenant, we are trying to create church planting movements in everygeographical area. Sacramento, California is a good example of the power of a brandedname. The Covenant has started 6 new churches there in the last 6 years. Add to that the 5strong existing Covenant Churches, and Covenant presence has grown from 2,500 inattendance in 1993 to over 12,000 today. Christians in Sacramento will tell you that theCovenant has quickly become one of the strongest evangelical group in the area. Word ofmouth for Covenant churches is very strong, and enhances the ministry of each church.Every new Covenant church started in Sacramento gets a great advantage because of the‘brand name’. If you are planting a Covenant church, we ask that you use the word Covenant inthe primary part of your name. It carries no negatives with it; it creates group identity; itidentifies quality and ministry excellence; it will enhance your church’s ministry overgenerations; and it will create cohesion and attraction to our church planting movement. 4
    • QUADRANTS AND UNDERSTANDIING THE UNIIQUE IIDENTIITY OF THE ECCQU A D R A N T S A N D U N D E R S T A N D N G T H E U N Q U E D E N T T Y O F T H E ECCLow __________/High ___________ High _________/Low __________Low ________/Low ___________ High _________/High __________Low ________/High ___________ High _________/Low ___________Low __________/Low ____________ High _________/High __________ 5
    • 2. You will review the Covenant Agreement and the mutualcommitments that result in a strong plant and an increasing movement. Sample Covenant AgreementThe Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) and its regional conferences are convinced ofboth the Biblical mandate and demonstrated wisdom of church planting being a clearlyeffective means for bringing God’s grace and compassion to a lost and hurting world.This Covenant Agreement delineates the parameters of partnership among the partiesherein to see the mission of God move forward through the ministry of church plantingwithin the ECC.A covenant is an agreement among parties to be committed to each other’s welfare overtime by contributing to the relationship in specific, predictable, and enduring ways. InECC church planting there are three primary parties: the ECC through its department ofChurch Growth and Evangelism (CGE), the regional conference within which the churchis being established, and the new congregation and pastor. The conference and CGE lookto the interest of the church plant by taking responsibility to provide the best supportsystem possible for the new church to take root and grow strong. The congregation takesresponsibility to advance its ministry, care for its pastor and staff, and to take itsresponsible place in the overall mission of the ECC and regional conference. The pastortakes responsibility to lead the congregation in its local mission and, by extension, tostrengthen the whole of the ECC and conference mission. With this reciprocal spiritamong all parties, all parties are strengthened to accomplish God’s work together in thelocal community, larger region, North America, and around the world.A new church typically goes through three distinct developmental aspects in its first tenyears. The first aspect is the launch phase. This relates to the initiation of the project, thegathering and growing of the young congregation, and early developmental issues ofcongregational life and organizational effectiveness. The first phase generally lasts threeyears. The second phase is the maturation phase. This relates to building effectivenessover time. This second phase generally stretches into years four through ten. The thirdaspect is the permanent facility phase. This relates to permanent facility acquisition andutilization. In timing it frequently overlaps parts of the maturation phase. This agreementis designed to seamlessly segue a project through all three of these developmental aspectsand thereby lay the foundation for enduring ministry for years beyond.Project Goal: By the end of the Appropriation Phase, for the church to be self-sustainingwith an average of 200+ in attendance.Part One: Parties to the Agreement and Duration 1. Parties: The parties to this agreement shall be the ________Conference, and the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism of the ECC (CGE), 6
    • 2. Duration: This agreement shall be in effect for 10 years.10 years is the typical length of time necessary to move from inception, through developmental phases, starting with the three (3) years of external appropriation and past all coaching issues related to the planting and maturation of a new congregation. The duration of the agreement may be lengthened as developmental matters dictate by the consent of all parties, but it will not be shortened.Part Two: Responsibilities of the Department of Church Growth and Evangelismand the ____________ Conference.CGE and the Conference shall provide the following over the span of this covenantagreement: 1. Pastoral assessment for church planting. The Conference and CGE will provide for all costs associated with the assessment process for church planting candidates established by the ECC. 2. Initial training for church planting. The Conference and CGE will provide for all costs associated with the required training process for church planting established by the ECC. This includes attendance for up to four people (including the pastor) in the foundational ECC training event for church planters and lay leaders. 3. On-going training for church planting. The Conference and CGE will provide for all costs associated with additional required training events that are a normal part of the training sequence for church planting established by the ECC. 4. Land and facility training. CGE will provide for all of the costs associated with the training of church leaders in preparation for securing permanent land and facilities. This training is mandatory and must be completed prior to land and facility options being investigated. 5. Optional subsidized training. Optional subsidized training events will also be made available by either the conference or CGE with reduced costs to the church as detailed in the invitation. These are not required but do provide additional spiritual development, strategic value, and relationship building among peers. 6. On-site coaching. A primary coach for each phase shall be provided to the project. Costs associated with coaching, including transportation for on-site visits, will be covered by the conference or CGE. The coaching frequency shall typically be at the rate of monthly the first year, and less frequently as needed after the first year.. 7. External financial support. The Conference and CGE shall ensure external funding to this project over the first three years in the aggregate amount of $____________. This will come from a combination of the conference budget, CGE budget, and additional supporting churches. A detailed schedule is attached 7
    • as addendum #1 to this agreement. By the conclusion of this funding schedule, a congregation will be responsible for providing for all of its own financial obligations. A congregation must demonstrate at least one year of financial self- sufficiency before pursuing permanent land and facility options.8. Computer hardware and accounting software. One lap top computer will be purchased for the church and in the name of the church at the outset of the ministry. The purchase will only be valid if made by the technical services group of CGE. Included will be mandatory accounting software for use with all church finances.9. Covenant External Orientation Program tuition. Should the Covenant Orientation Program (CO) be a condition of credentialing in the ECC for the lead pastor, the tuition amount for the lead pastor shall be paid for by the Conference and CGE. The tuition is currently $4,750. The congregation shall be responsible for other CO costs, such as transportation.10. Coaching in land and facility acquisition. CGE will provide professional staff assistance in site identification and negotiation in the leasing, purchase and construction on all land and facility matters. Use of this staff assistance is required.11. Assistance in capital-campaign efforts. The Conference and CGE will provide professional staff assistance for major fundraising efforts related to land and facility matters at no cost to the congregation other than contributing the agreed upon portion of the proceeds to additional church planting in the Great Lakes Conference.12. Kingdom Builders Grant. At the point of either the purchase of property or the construction of a permanent facility, CGE will arrange the eligibility of the church for a one-time grant (generally in the range of $20,000) to assist with associated purchase or construction costs through the Kingdom Builders program.13. Purchase and construction loan. At the point of purchasing property and/or construction, CGE will work with the congregation to establish eligibility to secure a loan through National Covenant Properties. All loans must meet loan qualifications and protocols prior to approval.14. Loan guarantee. CGE and the conference will provide a loan guarantee to National Covenant Properties for a qualified land or facility loan originated with National Covenant Properties.15. World Mission vision trip. The pastor will be invited to participate in a mission awareness trip to an ECC world mission field within the first three years of this agreement. One-half of the cost for this trip will be covered by the ECC Department of World Mission. The balance shall be covered by means outside of the ECC and conference. 8
    • 16. Missionary connection. The congregation will be given the opportunity to designate a portion of your ECC mission giving to particular ECC missionaries or countries with whom you would like to establish an on-going relationship so the congregation from the beginning can see its mission contributions at work. 17. Seminars in prayer and evangelism. CGE makes available three seminars at no cost to the church within the first five years of this agreement related to prayer, evangelism, and cultivating a deeper personal spiritual walk with God. 18. Website. The congregation will be listed on the ECC website directory of churches. A link will be made directly to the congregation’s home page. 19. Covenant Companion. A subscription for 10 copies of the Covenant Companion, the official magazine of the ECC, will be entered for the church for the first year for distribution as determined by the congregation. By request of the church, this may be raised to a maximum of 25 copies. 20. Access to all ECC and conference resources. In addition to the above items that are specifically tailored to new congregations, as an ECC congregation the church will have access to the entirety of expertise and resources across all departments and institutions of the ECC and conference. This includes a wide range of seminars, consulting, assistance in times of ministerial staff search, assistance in times of conflict, camping and retreat opportunities, national conferences for pastors (Midwinter), youth (CHIC), women (Triennial), and families (FEAST), access to participation in mission projects around the world, various curricula, print and video materials, and more. 21. Moving Costs. If needed, CGE and Conference will pay for reasonable moving costs for the family based on getting 2-3 bids from moving companies. 22. Future. It is the expectation that the provisions of this section unrelated to church planting processes will endure into perpetuity.Part Three: The Responsibilities of the CongregationThe congregation shall provide the following: 1. Adequate compensation for staff. The congregation shall annually set and review compensation for its staff, taking into consideration the compensation guidelines of the ECC. The budget shall contain funding to allow for participation in the conference pastor’s retreat and the ECC Midwinter Conference. See addendum #2 for the year 1 compensation agreement for the church planter and sample budget. 2. Vacation. The congregation shall provide three (3) weeks of vacation for the pastor each year. After the 3rd year, this can move to four (4) weeks of vacation per year. These weeks are to be used each year. 9
    • 3. Pension agreement. The congregation shall become a member of the ECC pension plan and make full contributions for its ECC credentialed staff members.4. Insurance. The congregation shall pay for full medical insurance for the pastor and family including major medical, term life insurance of $75,000, long-term- disability insurance, and dental coverage. They are encouraged to use the Covenant program through Bethany Benefits; however, if they use another carrier for commensurate medical and dental insurance, they should keep the Life Insurance and LTD through Bethany Benefits.5. Polity. The congregation shall incorporate and operate under church governance patterned after an ECC model articles of incorporation, constitution and by-laws. The initial governance documents must be approved by the ECC prior to their adoption by the congregation in order to become a full member congregation of the ECC.6. Name. The name “Covenant” or “Evangelical Covenant” shall appear in the name of the church, and in public usages including signage and website.7. Identification with the ECC. The church shall be identified as an ECC member congregation on its website and other appropriate public usages. A link from the website to the ECC shall be established.8. Reporting. The congregation through its pastor shall ensure that ECC reporting requirements are met.9. Annual ministry review. The congregation shall participate in the annual ministry review process of the ECC and GLC for new churches. For this first five years, this entails written materials and the in-person attendance of at least the lead pastor and one lay leader. Beginning in year six, this shall be through written materials unless any of the parties requests an in-person review.10. Engagement in the life of the ECC and Conference. The church shall regularly send delegates to the conference annual meeting, ECC annual meeting, and find additional ways of engaging the common life of the ECC and conference.11. Mission giving. The congregation shall contribute 10% of its local general fund offering income in support of the global mission and ministry of the ECC and 5% to the mission of the conference. These mission commitments must be fulfilled prior to the church adopting additional mission commitments.12. Covenant Companion. The congregation shall maintain a minimum bulk subscription of 10 copies of the Covenant Companion for distribution as determined by the congregation.13. Membership. The congregation shall complete the administrative process for becoming a full member congregation in the ECC and conference. Should the congregation fail to become, or cease to be, an ECC member congregation, the 10
    • congregation is obligated to immediately repay all appropriations, grants, and loans received over the lifetime of its corporate existence. 14. Future. It is expected that the provisions of this section unrelated to church planting processes will endure into perpetuity.Part Four: The Responsibilities of the PastorThe pastor shall provide the following: 1. Mission Leadership in reaching many for Christ in _______ city and the surrounding areas. 2. Covenant Agreement. The pastor shall work a minimum of a 50 hour week and lead in ways consistent with all of the items contained in this document. 3. Collegiality. The pastor shall engage the collegial life of the conference and ECC through regular participation in conference and ECC events. This shall include regular attendance at the conference ministerial retreat and the ECC Midwinter Conference, including mandatory participation at each for the first two years of this agreement. 4. ECC credentialing. The pastor shall fulfill all of the requirements necessary to receive and maintain ECC credentialing. This shall include the timely completion of CEOP if CEOP is necessary for credentialing. 5. Well-being. The pastor shall exercise personal spiritual, emotional, physical, relational, and ethical self-care by adhering to the ECC Rules for the Ordered Ministry, the Ethical Guidelines for Covenant Ministers, and other sound practices to protect heart, soul, mind, strength, family, and congregation. 6. Future. It is expected that the provisions of this section unrelated to church planting processes will endure into perpetuity.Part 5: Exceptions and Termination of the Agreement 1. Amendments. Amendments to this agreement must be agreed to by all parties. Amendments must be documented in writing and on file for the duration of the agreement. 2. Termination of Agreement. The agreement is subject to termination in the following circumstances: a. failure of the congregation to receive and maintain membership in the ECC. b. failure of the project to maintain progress against goals as determined jointly by CGE and the conference. 11
    • c. failure of the congregation or pastor to adhere to this agreement as determined by CGE and the conference.Thankful for God’s grace through Jesus Christ, and depending on the strength andwisdom of the Holy Spirit, we enter into this agreement as a sign of our commitment toone another to work together to further God’s mission to a lost and hurting worldSignatures: DateChurch Planter DateMember of the Transitional Leadership Team for Church PlantOr Representative of the parent Church Date _____Representative of the Conference DateDepartment of Church Growth and EvangelismNOTE: For pastors who need a credential with the ECC, go tohttp://www.covchurch.org/ministry/departmental-ministries/ministerial-credentialsOr pastors who need to take Orientation Courses as part of their credentialing process, toto http://www.covchurch.org/ministry/orientation-to-the-ecc 12
    • 3. You will understand how to organize the Church for mission andministry. Preparing for Effective Polity SystemsWhen you enter a new home, you do not see the plumbing and wiring hidden behind thefreshly constructed walls. However, that which is unseen is the exact source making thathome comfortable, convenient and efficient. Likewise, good organization and the smoothoperation of a church at its best is largely unseen behind the more visible aspects such asworship, children’s ministries, outreach efforts, and ministries of compassion. Good“behind the scene” organizational and governing processes are indispensable to sustainedaccomplishment in mission. Church plants that start strong but then erode almost alwayshave issues that trace back to poor attention to organizational and polity matters.There are three stages to establishing well-rooted structures in your congregation. Stage One: Identify which ECC constitutional and by-law model you will follow. Early on in the project timeframe, and before you are incorporated with your state, your coach will make available to you the three model constitutions and bylaws available in the ECC. At that time you will be asked to select the model you will use. When you incorporate with your state, this is the document to supply when asked to submit a constitution and bylaws or articles of incorporation. Stage Two: Operate with the PAT > TLT. These are provisional, interim teams that help assist in the planning and launching of the new congregation. These will be in place until the congregation becomes a full member congregation of the ECC at which time the congregation will begin operating under the full provisions of its chosen constitution and bylaws. These will operate under a “mini-me” version of its chosen model provided by the ECC. For example, for a congregation choosing the Leadership Team model as its eventual constitution and bylaws, the advisory team will operate under an abbreviated version of that model with special provisions until such time as the full constitution and bylaws are implemented. The pastor will consult with the conference coach in recommending names to serve on these teams. Team members may be nominated and added at any time according to the needs of the ministry. All team members shall be reviewed for re-nomination each January. The conference may remove an advisory team member in consultation with the pastor. The congregation may change from one ECC model to another ECC model if it so chooses, but it will always operate with the appropriate abbreviated provisions with an advisory team. 13
    • Stage Three: Transition to Full Constitution and Bylaws. In the year in which the church plant is moving towards full member status in the ECC, the congregation will begin its transition to all of the provisions in the previously identified chosen constitution and bylaws. Since the PAT and TLT will have been operating under an abbreviated version already, the transition should flow smoothly. Minor changes to the permanent constitution and bylaws are possible but may be made only with the approval of the ECC. Your coach will walk you through the transition process, which includes final approval of the constitution and bylaws prior to the congregation being conferred full member status in the ECC. Transitional Leadership Teams First and Second Years in a Church Plant From Church Planting Landmines Tom Nebel and Gary RohrmayerNote shaded area for this stage:Principles:Because you don’t know who really buys into you and into the specific vision of thechurch plant and because you don’t know the character or spiritual leadership of yourgrowing core team, here are key principles: 1. Multiple leadership phases are recommended before the official leaders are elected. (We don’t want the “cement to set” too early – we want to continue to mix in new people. Or, to change the metaphor, we want to keep more lives developing and feeding new life to the growth of the church.) 2. Church-sounding nomenclature should be avoided. 3. Titles which imply permanence (such as “board”) should be avoided. Don’t give titles, instead invite people to get involved in ministry. 4. A clear purpose and time-frame for each phase must exist. 5. A changing of the guard must occur at each phase. Many new leaders will come with future growth. They’re not all there at the start. a. You can find some leaders from outside your core in the first two phases. This is particularly helpful if you don’t have many leaders to choose from at the outset. Some of these outside leaders (or advisors) could be a trusted friend of the planter, another church planter or pastor in the area, missional leaders from the parent/partner churches. b. The multi-phase approach can allow middle adopters to get into leadership; since they often will not be willing in the earliest stage. 6. Be looking for spiritual fruit and specific giftedness from individuals at each phase. Use an annual evaluation of leaders to help determine fruitfulness and help them know what is expected. (see end) Don’t be hasty in the laying of hands… I Timothy 5:22 14
    • Phase I: PAT – the Pastor’s Advisory Team - to help the planter make key decisions up until the Launch of the Church (phase 4 of the 4-stage launch) - included in this group is someone who will work as the financial assistant to write checks and make financial reports. - included also is someone who will tally the offerings (with another volunteer) and make desposits.Phase II: TLT – the Transitional Leadership Team - After the Launch of the church, the PAT meets one more time to celebrate and be dissolved. - The planter will prayerfully consider a new TLT to continue to help the planter with big decisions, prepare the church for receiving members and getting ready to approve the permanent constitution. Some from the PAT will be invited onto the TLT, but others will step aside to make room for new leaders.Phase III: LT – the Leadership Team (or other form of ECC Governance) - When the church receives their first members and adopts the Leadership Team constitution, the TLT members will meet once more to celebrate progress. At the church business meeting where the new leaders are elected, the TLT members will be thanked. - The duties of the LT are spelled out in the LT constitution of the ECC.Evaluation and Annual Check-up of Leaders:The Church Planter needs to work with their leaders and evaluate them in 4 areas. Giveeach leader the following list and then meet with them one-on-one to evaluate the pastyear and to set goals for the upcoming year: 1. Who am I? What is my role on the team? What is God calling me to do? AND, how am I contributing to the team? 2. Who are we? As a church, what is our unique calling? AND, how am I helping or hindering the church in this unique calling? 3. Who is coming along? How am I developing as a leader? What do I need from the point leader to do better? Am I developing at least one other leader – and what am I doing to help them grow as a leader? 4. Where are we going? What is our primary destination? What should be the result? AND, how am I helping us get to our goal(s)? 5. How are we going to get there? What specific methods and processes will be use? AND, what is my unique contribution? 15
    • ORGANIIZIING FOR MIISSIION:: OR G A N Z N G F O R M S S O NLocal Church Governance in the Evangelical Covenant ChurchWhen you enter a new home, you do not see the plumbing and wiring hidden behind thefreshly constructed walls. However, that which is unseen is the exact source of makingthat home comfortable, convenient and efficient. Likewise, the good organization andsmooth operation of a church at its best is largely unseen behind more visible aspectssuch as worship, children’s ministries, outreach efforts, and ministries of compassion.Good “behind the scene” organizational and governing processes are indispensable tosustained accomplishment in mission.This document introduces local church governance in the Evangelical Covenant Church.It will review key purposes for good governance, articulate central principles ofcongregational polity (polity = governance), identify basic characteristics ofcongregational polity as practiced in the Evangelical Covenant Church, and introduce theprocess for new churches gaining approval of their constitution and by-laws.Key Purposes of Good Governing DocumentsA well-crafted Constitution and By-law document accomplishes four primary functions.A. Identity. The document is able to instill an enduring sense of identity by articulating key principles and processes that transcend changing circumstances and leadership.B. Operation and Decision-Making. The document is able to clearly articulate specific processes for decision-making and operation so there is no ambiguity about who is empowered to take what actions under what circumstances. This allows for good operation and protects relationships.C. Conflict management. By identifying processes for resolution of differences, the document protects a congregation from charges of unfair treatment on the part of any particular individual or group. It creates appropriate forums for the airing of differences and coming together in the spirit of unity.D. Transition. By identifying processes to be undertaken during times of leadership transition, good documents allow for direction, continuity, and stability.Central Characteristics to Congregational PolityThe story of the early Church in the New Testament is the story of a rapidly expandingmovement seeking to both catalyze its mission and stabilize its advances. It sought tolengthen its external impact to reach new populations while at the same time 16
    • strengthening its internal ability to manage itself. As a young, dynamic, unfoldingmovement, there is no unarguable singular pattern discernable in the New Testament foreither local church governance or for how local churches related to one another. Instead,it is a picture of fluid development with varying patterns at varying times and places.However, out of the Biblical witness, three basic models have emerged, all of which haveBiblical and theological underpinnings. Groups have made particular choices for avariety of theological, historical, and practical reasons for why one particular model oranother is reflective of their own identity.The first category is episcopal, taken from the Greek word episkopos, or bishop. Thismodel favors an external positional model of authority, where an office external to thecongregation has strong influence or control over the affairs of a local congregation. TheRoman Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church, and the United Methodist Church are allexamples of movements from this stream.The second category is presbyterian, taken from the Greek word presbuteros, or elder.This model favors a specific ruling group from within the congregation empowered tomake decisions on behalf of the total congregation. The United Presbyterian Church andthe Reformed Church of America are two examples from this stream.The third category is congregational, based on the Pauline teaching that the Church is theBody of Christ. Christ alone is the Head. Each part of the Body is valuable and has acontribution to make toward the functioning of the whole. Likewise, each part has aresponsibility to discern the “leading” of the head and to coordinate its actions with therest of the Body. It therefore looks to the congregation acting as a whole as the center fordiscerning direction. This is the stream of the Evangelical Covenant Church.Particular Marks of Congregational Polity in the Evangelical CovenantChurchThe Covenant has a strong and abiding tradition of congregational polity. It is as much apart of our approach to faith and practice as a presbyterian approach is to Presbyteriansand an episcopal approach is to Episcopalians. Indeed, our choice of the word“covenant” is deeply rooted in how we relate to one another: we are covenanted,mutually committed, to a spirit of collaboration, unity, and mutual respect in living outfaith and ministry.Here are some of the central ways congregational polity works itself out as practiced bythe Covenant:1. The core principle to congregational operation is this: the congregation retains authority and delegates responsibility. This means that the congregation reserves for itself certain specific actions and always reserves for itself final voice on any matter of its choice. However, for effectiveness and efficiencies, it likewise delegates 17
    • responsibility to appropriate leadership positions. One of the central purposes, then, of a congregation’s Constitution and Bylaws is to articulate just what is delegated under what circumstances to what leadership. In the Covenant models, you will notice that varying amounts are delegated in varying ways.2. In practice, the congregation retains for itself the following areas: the calling (and dismissal) of the pastor, the selection of lay leadership, the incurring of capital indebtedness, the approval of the budget, the approval of the reception and dismissal of members, the amending of the Constitution and Bylaws, and the right to final voice in any area it chooses to act.3. In practice, the congregation delegates significant particular responsibilities to various ministry staff and board or committee structures (although these are called by various names in varying models), who are empowered to work within those areas.In addition, there are certain marks of Covenant identity and position that are required ofConstitution and Bylaws seeking approval:1. The preamble to the denominational Constitution and Bylaws is also the preamble to the Constitution and Bylaws of local Covenant churches as a way to articulate a consistency of historical and theological context across the diversity of the Covenant.2. The Covenant believes that any person of appropriate giftedness and character is eligible for any leadership position in the church regardless of gender. Therefore, the document shall be styled in a permissive neutral voice, without references to gender.3. The name “Covenant” or “Evangelical Covenant” shall be in the name of the church.4. In the event of a schism where competing claims to the property and assets of the congregations are under challenge by competing factions within the church, the dispute is resolved by the executive board of the regional conference of which that congregation is a member.5. In the event of dissolution, the assets of the church revert to the regional conference of that church and to the Covenant. These are most commonly used to help in the planting of new congregations in that region so that out of the conclusion of ministry, the beginning of others may begin.6. Areas of ministerial credentialing, care and discipline must conform with the Covenant Rules for the Ordered Ministry.Introducing Three Model ConstitutionsThe Covenant has developed a range of models that all meet the criteria forcongregational polity. In applying the key principle that congregations retain authorityand delegate responsibility, the three models differ in how much is delegated and how 18
    • many are involved. At one end is the Board model. This delegates the least, involves themost people to carry out, and is relatively fixed in its design. At the other end is a newpilot draft called the Leadership Team model, which delegates the most, involves theleast number of people, and has the most flexibility. In the middle is the Council model,which experiences some of the strength and weaknesses of the other two models.The Board Model. Think of the toy series “The Transformers”. Through ingeniousengineering, these toys are really two toys in one. What looks and plays like a jeep canwith a few twists and turns be transformed into an airplane. Which is it – a jeep or anairplane? It is both. The Board system is like that. On the one hand, there are actuallythree (sometimes four) different individual boards that carry out specific functions.These are the Diaconate Board (spiritual care), the Trustee Board (property and fiscalmatters), and the Christian Education Board (age level discipleship). Each of theseindividual boards carries out ministries in their respective areas. However, these threeboards then combine (along with the officers of the Church), and are collectivelytransformed into the Church Board, which acts as the chief governing point betweencongregational meetings in areas assigned to it. The chief advantages to this model arecommunication and ownership of decisions. Because of the large number of peopleinvolved, more people hear about what is going on and more people are involved early onin making decisions and recommendations. The chief potential drawbacks are that itssize and process do not always allow for efficiency of decision-making (especially incomplex or rapidly changing circumstances), it requires a good number of people toimplement (who may then choose not to serve in other needed capacities), and a ratherfixed instead of flexible configuration. This is the model with the longest history.The Leadership Team Model (pilot project). Think of a set of Tinker Toys. The roundtinker toy is the anchor element. From that center are added spokes to other elements.As circumstances warrant, spokes from that hub can be added, replaced, or connected toadditional elements. The overall effect is a strong center with flexible configurations.The Leadership Team is like that. The Leadership Team is the round piece, providing astrong center point of coordination. To it are added ministry teams to carry out andaccomplish specific ministries. More can be added as needed. Those no longernecessary can be removed. The chief advantages are efficiency in dealing with complexand fast-paced issues, and freeing up more people for direct ministry areas. The chiefpotential disadvantages are communication between ministry areas and lack of broadownership of decisions (if those decisions are viewed as out of step with thecongregation). To use this model during its pilot phase, you must have the approval ofyour regional conference superintendent.The Council Model. Think of a mobile. Its rings are constantly moving, but in a fixedand connected orbit around a center point. The Council model is like that. The councilprovides a center point for coordination and balance. It is comprised of the officers of thechurch and the chairs of the various commissions. The commissions orbit around thecouncil and carry out specific ministry areas. The “thread” between each commissionand the council is the chair of each commission, who is a full participating member ofboth the church council and that ministry commission. It is in many ways a midpoint 19
    • between the Board and Leadership Team models. The chief advantage is that it takessome of the benefits of both the Board model (by ensuring communication betweendifferent ministry areas through representation on the council), with some of the benefitsof the Leadership Team (in relation to the efficiencies of a somewhat streamlined size).The chief drawbacks can include overload on the ones who both serve on the council andchair a commission, and a council with some members who are most energized by theircommission rather than the ministry as a whole (or vice-versa). This is the mostcommonly used model.The Approval ProcessA congregation must have an approved constitution and by-laws fully consistent with theentirety of this document in order to be accepted into membership in the regionalconference and the Evangelical Covenant Church. The following outlines the process forthat approval.1. The congregation researches which of the three model constitutions best fits its circumstances. These may be attained from the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism.2. The congregation particularizes a draft of one of those models for review. Broad and substantial conformity and patterning to the model is required. All areas must be consistent with the entirety of items delineated in this document. The congregation is encouraged to consult with regional conference personnel or the Covenant Director of Church Planting if there are any questions. The deadline for submitting the draft is January 15 of each year.3. The draft is then reviewed by the Constitutional Review Committee of the Covenant, consisting of the President, the Vice President for Administration, and the Executive Minister of Church Growth and Evangelism. It is either approved or returned for changes. Notification generally comes by February 28 of each year.4. The window for changes and final approval, if needed, is March 1 – March 30.5. Assuming all other requirements are met, the church then proceeds to join the regional conference and the Covenant as a full member congregationFor more information, contact David Olson, Director of Church Planting for theEvangelical Covenant Church, at dave.olson@covchurch.org, or phone 916-718-6112.On the following page is one interpretation of how ministry gets done and how decisionsare made with the ECC constitution and bylaws. Additional interpretive descriptions ofeach section are available at www.churchesplantingchurches.org 20
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    • 4. You will understand the process of officially joining the Covenant. BECOMIING A MEMBER CONGREGATIION BE C O M N G A M E M B E R CO N G R E G A T O N Overview of Steps and ResponsibilitiesNew churches are received into denominational membership each year at the CovenantAnnual Meeting, held in the latter part of June. The following outlines importantthresholds in the months leading up to that milestone.1. Determination to proceed, made jointly by the church leadership, regional Conference, and the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism. Point person: Covenant Director of Church Planting. Deadline: September 30.2. Instructions forwarded to the church. Point Person: Covenant Director of Church Planting. Deadline: October 15.3. Constitution and Bylaws. a. Selection of proposed constitution and bylaws, based on one of the Covenant models. Point person: Pastor. Deadline for submission of draft for review: January 15 (earlier, if possible). b. Review of proposed constitution and bylaws by denominational review committee. Point person: Executive Minister, Church Growth and Evangelism. Notification of approval or needed changes: February 28. c. Window for changes and final approval, if needed: March 1 – March 30.4. Submission of application, pension agreement, and copy of articles of incorporation. Point person: Pastor. Deadline: March 315. Membership process to establish charter membership, and chartering service including conference personnel. Point person: Pastor and Conference staff. Deadline: June 156. Delegation from the congregation to the Conference Annual Meeting. Point person: Pastor and Conference staff. Deadline: Conference Annual Meeting.7. Delegation from the congregation to the Covenant Annual Meeting for official action. Point person: Pastor and Conference staff. Deadline: Covenant Annual Meeting.Summary of Necessary Elements:1. Determination to proceed2. Approved Constitution and Bylaws3. Application4. Church pension agreement5. Copy of Articles of Incorporation6. Chartered membership7. Delegation to the Conference Annual Meeting8. Delegation to the Covenant Annual MeetingIf any of these elements is not complete, then the process will be delayed until thefollowing year. 22
    • JOIINIING THE COVENANT CHECKLIIST JO N N G T H E C O V E N A N T C H E C K L S THere is a helpful checklist as you prepare to send in your material for review. Pleaseinclude a copy of this checklist when you do send materials.Materials " Completed Application for Membership " Completed Covenant Pension Fund Agreement " Copy of the church’s Articles of Incorporation " Hard copy and electronic version of Constitution and Bylaws draft for reviewConstitution and Bylaws(note: each area must be covered appropriately in the document in order to be approved) " Use of the Covenant Preamble as the preamble for the church document " The use of “Covenant” or “Evangelical Covenant” in the name of the church " Congregational action to call and dismiss pastor " Congregational action to approve budget " Congregational action to affirm and dismiss people into or out of membership " Congregational action to select lay leaders to officer/board/council/leadership team positions " Congregational privilege of final voice in any area of its choice " Congregational action on incurring capital indebtedness " Ministerial credentialing, care, and discipline areas conform with Covenant Rules for the Ordered Ministry " Congregational action to amend the Constitution and Bylaws " Schism dispute resolution occurs through Conference Executive Board " Asset distribution reversionary clause assigned to Conference and Covenant " Written in a gender permissive neutral voicePlease send in all materials to the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism, 5101North Francisco Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625. Electronic documents can be sent ondiskette or as email attachments to cge@covchurch.org. 23
    • You can find the text of this brochure atwww.churchesplantingchurches.com/resourcesand a scan of the document is on thefollowing pages. Addendum A great way to connect with the Covenant: - World Mission - Go on a mission trip to one of our mission fields. - Arrange to “adopt” a specific mission field or Covenant missionary. Call the Dept of World Mission 773-784-3000 about the options. You can designate a portion of your ECC mission giving to this mission field. - Your Conference - Get involved in conference ministries and attend conference events. - Arrange to feature and pray for a different church plant each month or each quarter. You can share a video from them, have a Skype call, etc. Brochures and More There are many excellent brochures and dvds available from the ECC for you to display and to use in helping people understand our family of faith. Millie Lungren would be happy to introduce you to these at resource.center@covchurch.org A Sample Listing: - Covenant Affirmations – dvd and brochures o Great for use in membership classes or as a sermon series - Mission To Serve – dvd - Various resource papers, including o How the Covenant Reads the Bible o Women in Ministry o Baptism Some churches in the Great Lakes Conference also use the brochure on the following pages to share about their affiliation with the ECC. It get printed on high-quality paper. The GLC purchases paper from www.outreach.com that has a multi-ethnic and multi-generational theme. It’s called the “Hope Brochure” and is product # IB1140001. Cost is $20 per 100 sheets. You can run off as many as you want on your own copier. 24
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    • DRAFT Strategic Ministry Plan For Our New Church1. Theological Basis >> 2. Spiritual Foundation in Prayer >> 3. Mission Field - Need of our Area >> 4. Evangelistic Strategies >> 5. Our Specific Vision >> 6. The Strategy of the 4-Stage Launch >> Stage 1 - Roots: Launch Team Gathering Stage 2 - Leaves: Preview Services Stage 3 - Branches: Preparatory Worship Stage 4 - Fruit: Launch 7. Leadership >> 8. Covenant >> 9. Finances>>8. Covenant ConnectionOur plan and understanding of the Covenant Agreement.How we will communicate that we are a part of the ECC and how we will share in themutual ministries and mission of the Covenant and our Conference.We know how to organize the Church for mission and ministry.Our process of officially joining the Covenant. 27
    • As G oes t h e Lead erA leader is a person with a God-g iven capacity, and a God-g iven r es pons ibility, who is inf luencing a specificgroup of God’s people, towards God’ s pur pos es for that group.Thr ee O bjectives 1. Per s pective: To see the big picture of how God has been working in your life. 2. Focus : To see how God has shaped you for a future mission. 3. Intentionality: Identify changes that can make your ministry more effective.The Pr oces s ing of a Leader 1. God develops a leader over a lifetime. 2. God uses people, circumstances, and ministry assignments to shape the life of a leader. 3. Leadership plateau is often indicative of a developmental need or growth issue within a leader’s life.Five Habits of Ef f ectivenes s 1. Effective leaders maintain a lear ning pos tur e throughout life – informal, non-formal, and formal. 2. Effective leaders recognize leader s hip s election and mentor ing as a priority. They are committed to mentoring and being mentored. 3. Effective leaders who are productive over a lifetime have a dynamic minis tr y philos ophy (personal mission statement). 4. Effective leaders experience r epeated times of r enew al. They develop intimacy with God which in turn overflows into all of their ministry. The essential ingredient of leadership is the powerful presence of God in a leader’s life and ministry. 5. Effective leaders increasingly perceive their ministry circumstances in terms of a lif etime per s pective. God brings along many destiny experiences to shape a leader’s ministry. Leaders manifest a growing awareness of their sense of destiny.S even Habits of Failur e 1. A uthor ity. Effective leaders must learn to submit to authority. Leaders who have trouble submitting to authority often have trouble exercising spiritual authority. 2. Minis tr y A s s ig nment. Many leaders leave one ministry assignment for another without bringing adequate closure to the previous assignment. Closure helps leaders identify lessons for future ministry. 3. Tw of old W ar f ar e. Leaders must learn to discern spiritual battle and warfare. Neither blame all conflict and problems on spiritual warfare, nor be blind to spiritual warfare. 4. Minis tr y Philos ophy. Leaders frequently pursue ministry without a clear understanding of their own ministry philosophy. They fail to integrate previous lessons into future decision making. 5. A mbition. Expanded influence and new ministry challenges can mask a leader’s selfish or ego-driven ambitions. 6. Neg ative Pr oces s ing . God often uses negative experiences to develop character in leaders. Unfortunately leaders sometimes leave assignments rather than working through negative issues. 7. Fles h A ct. Too often, aggressive leaders move ahead of God’s guidance. Instead of waiting for God’s leading, they presume God will bless their human plans. Frustrations and lack of self-fulfillment can lead to flesh acts or moral failure. (by Peter Sung, adapted from Focusing Leaders©)