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Category Archives: church planting

I can’t wait for tomorrow to be over. I love planning big events. But I get so stressed a few days before the event happens. I’m a perfectionist. I want everything to go right. Therefore my life becomes consumed by events.

I hate this…I wish I was not this way. But it is what it is. I want everything to be top notch.

Of course this causes more issues. Like trust. Sometimes I have to remind myself that Jesus is ultimately in control. He is in control of Spring Fest. Even if it rains and my angers burns a hole through my heart. Because my event did not go my way.

As the old saying goes, “work like it depends on you, pray like it depends on God.” I’m trying to remind myself of this truth.

Everyday my goal is to work hard, work to my max. Then leave the office, the to-do list and just “be.” It’s hard to let ministry go. It’s hard not to wake up in the middle of the night with so many thoughts, concerns and even dreams. But, at the end of the day I have to learn to “let ministry go.” Because if I don’t, then I’m not trusting God.

As I think through church planting, missional living and the broader Christian movement. Sometimes I struggle with how to embody the Kingdom and see the Christ-story become real in the hearts of those who claim they believe. Including myself!

Articles like this one gets me fired up.

Somehow I hope to help Christ-followers “be” & “live” the story. We are “sent” people. We are called to transform culture, love, give and serve our generation.

I think church planting can change the world. BUT, only if we plant churches and build a missional DNA. God has called His people to love this world. Not just show up and attend gatherings or small groups. Those aspects can and should be launching points to a greater mission. A mission that is radical, extreme, and revolutionary. The Jesus message is revolutionary…How can it not be? We follow a murdered Rabbi. Folks died and continue to die for the cause and message of Jesus.

How do we Americans deal with this reality? How has the Bible become a little “devotional” book? How has the height of Western Christianity become Sunday mornings gatherings? Those things are good only if they help fuel incarnational missional living from the larger body of Christ.

Which this leads to greater questions and difficult answers. But for now, I’ll chew on these questions and step down from my soap box!

HT: Zach

So today I was finally able to connect with Charles. (and his non-blogger connection pastor-David, who makes a wicked cappuccino) Charles is the pastor of Crestview Baptist Church. We’ve followed each others blogs. So it was nice to meet in the real world.

These boys are brave as they are taking an older church and basically re-planting it this fall. In the meantime they converted an old library room in their church into a cool cafe/ art gallery as a way to connect with their community. They did a great job.

As church planting has become the cool sexy thing to do. I think in the next 10-20 years we are going to hear similar stories of older churches like Crestview being re-planted. I think this is vital to urban church planting. We can redeem older churches, who may have buildings and money but are no longer able to connect with changing neighborhoods.

Earl Creps discusses in his book the importance of the “older” generation passing the baton to the “younger” generation. What Charles and Crestview are attempting to do is a great example. The baton is being passed, which is a good thing.

Anyhow, good coffee, good lunch and good friends. Can’t beat that. Please pray for these guys as they journey off the map and explore new forms of ministry and ways to embody the Kingdom in N. Austin.

The essence of a church planter is change. We envision a different future. Many people ask me why I decided to be a church planter. If I was truthful, I would simply let them know that I love Jesus. I see how “the Jesus way” can absolutely change the world. It did, and still does. And I want to be apart of that.

Of course I wish I could stop at that point. But then I must go on…See I love Jesus, but the church (as we know it, not as it could be) is a different story. I’m not a church guy. I did not grow up in the church. When we sing hymns I’m still usually lost. (unless Crowder or somebody has modernized it) When we are asked to hold hands to pray I usually stress out…What’s next…A holy kiss?  I’m anti religion. Institutions scare me. What do they want from me? How do they want to control me? How does the leader want to use me for his/her gain? See these are typical questions that roll through my twisted mind.

Of course I see a different church. One that is full of love, hope and redemption. A church that helps people uncover the Jesus story. A church that stands up for justice. A church that shows mercy. I live for that, that hope that we can help bring Jesus to our generation in a new and fresh way. And that is why I’m a church planter. And if you are considering planting a new church, that is why you should be a church planter.

Mark Driscoll has a great blog post on rest, sabbath and longevity in ministry. I think it’s so important to find a healthy rhythm. Which may look different for everyone. For me, I want to take at least one day off (Friday’s) and spend that time with Christ, being alone and doing things that I think are fun and refreshing.

This past Friday I spent some time thinking-through the future church plant (OK I really think that is fun and refreshing, but in the future I will do non-churchy actvities). I found myself so stressed with all the details. I wonder, do I really have the energy to do this again? But the vision is gripping and I can’t wait to to get things going in the next couple of years.  That is the tension a church planter deals with. Uncertainty, risk and failure are always issues that constantly hang around and remind you of the real realities that exist.

But you also see life-change. Marriages restored, addictions broken, unchurched seeing the real Jesus. And that is what drives a church planter. We stay up late, we rise early and we constantly think about the church. And that is why we have to be intentional on finding healthy rhythm and balance. Burn-out lurks around every corner!

Necole and I are in discussion in regards to church planting. We love the city. It’s our passion. But of course city church-planting also comes with some natural complications. The two biggest for us:

1. Cost of living.

2. School.

Anyhow, Tim Keller is on the forefront of city church-planting. He pastors in the heart of NYC. So when he speaks I listen. Below are some key points from The Cutting Edge Newsletter that Vineyard publishes. You can find the article in it’s entirety via the link below.

Tim Keller on How Churches Will Be Effective in City-Centers

1. Hold the historic Christian gospel– orthodox and Biblical in doctrine and practice, but are neither legalistic nor liberal, neither doctrinalist nor pietist, neither individualistic nor collectivistic.

2. Have a positive regard for the city; recognize that it is the most strategic possible place for ministry.

3. Neither over or under adapt to the culture of those in their surrounding neighborhood and culture.

4. Are intensely, creatively evangelistic and effective in reaching not just people who are already traditional or conservative but who are very secular.

5. Relentlessly emphasize and seek to build strong, “thick” counter-cultural Christian community in cities, especially through cell groups.

6. Are holistic, ministering in both word and deed to their community and the poor in extremely creative and generous ways.

7. Have a bias toward being multi-ethnic– seek to be at least as multi-ethnic as their neighborhood.

8. Are arts and culture friendly; both supportive of Christian witness in “secular work” and willing to train people for cultural leadership, not just church leadership.

9. See church planting as a ministry as natural and important as discipleship, music, education, and pastoral care.

Original source: timkeller.pdf

HT: Cawley Blog

Because he is going to start a church in Berkley California. Go here to find more info.

Actually I think its cool and I think Earl is going to do awesome in Berkley. Please be in prayer for him, his family and his team.

Also, simplymissional.com will be doing an interview with Earl shortly. Looking forward to that. We are going to chat about his book and hopefully church planting stuff.

Ed Stetzer has just released a new paper on Church Planting and Survivability.

You can download the full report by clicking the link below:

church-planting-and-survivabilty.PDF

HT: Drew Goodmanson

Jeff’ sent me these PDF’s that Glen wrote in regards to church planting.

According to Glen, there are 12 essential qualities of a church planter broken into three easy-to-understand categories.

4 Personal Qualities:

  1. Spiritual Vitality
  2. Personal Mastery
  3. Marriage & Family Readiness
  4. Clarity of Calling

4 Critical Starting Skills

  1. Relationship Building
  2. Personal Evangelism.
  3. Contextualizing
  4. Entrepreneur Leadership

4 Sustaining Skills

  1. Entrepreneur Resilience
  2. Disciple Making
  3. Leadership development
  4. Futuring Skills

I’ve attached the 3 PDF’s if you would like to get the critical in-depth details. Lot’s of really good wisdom packed into these quick-to-read articles.

Enjoy
churchplanterqualities1.pdf

churchplanterqualities2.pdf

churchplanterqualities3-1.pdf

So this morning Jeff, Dave and myself headed to Houston to get some coaching from Glen who leads New Church Initiatives.

I learned a lot, it’s good to have a 3rd party to chat with. Glen really helped us process some of our dreams. I enjoyed our time with him. He’s been involved in some major networks, like Acts 29 and Glocal.net. Another words he bleeds church planting. I love that.

Made it back in time for a the apt bible study. Man, it was freaking phenomenal. I had a dude come up to me when it was over and he told me that he was not a Christ-follower. But he really wants to follow the Jesus we’ve been talking about. Ya man…I was so stoked. We watched the NOOMA video-BREATH. Simply amazing. I could have talked all night. But I diden’t.

Life has been crazy busy, but I’m so fired up man. God is doing some cool stuff.