Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Church Planter. Do you have a story or a plan?

Every church planter wants to share his story.  I'm all for that.  Stories are great.  Especially when they are stories of God giving  a family or a group of people faith-filled direction to do something new . . . like plant a church.

But even thought the stories are great and inspiring and probably what you need to get yourself motivated to take that first scary step, a story will not cause a new church to rise up out of nothing. But a plan might.

What's your plan to build a team to work along with you to start that new church?  What's your marketing plan to get the word out about that new church?  FYI - your community is not nearly as excited about your story or vision as you are.  This is not a negative fact. It's just a fact that needs to be understood and taken into consideration when you set expectations and even goals.  What's your plan to provide, financially, for yourself and your family?  This can be anything you want it to be, but please soberly face the reality that hoping and praying for your church to grow quickly enough to pay you a sufficient salary is not a plan.  I did this and I'm embarrassed about that.  I'm embarrassed because, quite simply, I was a coward.  I was afraid to face the reality that things may not go the way I thought they would.  Sorry, that's not faith.  That's fear.

I'd love to hear your story.  But even more than that, I'd love to hear your plan.  When you're in the planning, dreaming and vision stage of your church plant, it is difficult and painful to hear that your plan may be lacking or incomplete.  But please believe me when I say, It's much more painful to embrace that reality once you've gotten neck deep in it and have bet the farm on a poorly conceived plan.  Let's talk. I'm all for your vision and I'll tell your the truth about your plan.   Look me up.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Failed Church Planter - available for questions

Four years ago, as I was preparing to venture out to plant a church, I knew one thing for sure.  It was going to big and I was going to be a success.  I networked and talked to every successful church planter and leader who would give me the time.  Those times were helpful and I learned a lot.  No doubt about that.

But I always longed to spend some time with a "failed" church planter.  Someone who had done the work, walked the road and not seen the results.  I wanted to get some wisdom.  I wanted to hear the "If I had it to do it over, I would have done . . . " stories.  I wanted to meet with these guys, but it felt too cold and heartless to ask someone to share their failure (and pain, I guessed) with me.  

Well, I guess I'm one of those guys now, although I don't see myself as a failure in the least.  But I'd like to say that I have a big place in my heart for church planters.  I'd like to say to those thinking, praying and working to plant a church, I'm here to talk with you if that would be helpful.

That talk - talk about my big dreams and expectations and the reality that followed and how my story relates to yours - would not be painful for me.  Nor would it be filled with bitterness or frustration.  I'm not out to talk church planters out of their calling.  I still believe it's a great thing and absolutely necessary.

So, if it would help you or someone you know to talk with a "failed" church planter, pass this post on to them or look me up yourself.  I'm easy to find and I'd love to talk with you about my journey and yours.