One of the best parts of being a member of the “Church Leader Insights Family” is that each month you receive the CLI Newsletter, packed with the best church leadership content I can find.
Here’s an article from Steve Mathewson that was included in this month’s newsletter (in case you missed it):
“When we hear people complain about not being fed, we tend to think in terms of sermon content. We wonder how people can say that when we have done our exegetical homework. … Then, when we stand up to preach, we provide solid content. … The end, however, is not content but challenge or encouragement. People want help with the escalating conflict in their marriages. People want hope to get them through difficult economic times. People want help coping with cancer. If people do not see how the gospel relates to the struggles they face, we will hear them say, ‘I’m not being fed.’” — Read More…
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“Excellence can be obtained if you:
…care more than others think is wise;
…risk more than others think is safe;
…dream more than others think is practical;
…expect more than others think is possible.”
– Tom Peters, Author of Little Big Things
Just a quick post this morning to let you know about the Memorial Day Sale running at Church Leader Insights.
Now through Monday – We’re offering over 40 resources at up to 50% Off (including The Growth Barriers Workshop, Planning Worship Services for Life Transformation, Sermon Series, and more).
But hurry… this sale ends Monday!
Have a great weekend!
I thought you could use a laugh this morning – here’s a funny video I saw recently from North Point Media that brought a smile to my face…
I hope it will “growtivate” you to make the most of your church’s worship services:
Have a great Wednesday!
P.S. If you’re seriously ready to maximize your church’s weekend worship services, check out Planning Worship Services for Life Transformation.
This is Kerrick Thomas – I’m the Executive Pastor at The Journey Church and co-author of “Activate” with Nelson.
He asked me to address a question today that we receive regularly about when and how to start Small Groups in a new church plant.
We’re often asked if the Activate small groups system will work in a small church plant, and let me just say “yes,” I believe the “Activate” strategy of semester-based small groups does work for a small church plant (under 100 people).
Remember – The Journey was a church plant of about 80 people when we started semester-based small groups 7 months into the church.
We often caution people not to try to launch and start groups at the same time, because of the energy it takes away from the other systems of your church in the early days. However, six months after launch (or if you’re already running over 100 adults) is a good time to get your groups started.
Let’s say you just launched this past February, this would be my suggestion to you… begin your small groups this Fall with what we describe in “Activate” as a church-wide campaign.
In other words – develop a teaching series for the Fall that ties in with the small group curriculum you will be using and have all of the small groups study the same material. That way – all of the groups are studying the same material every day and it ties in directly with what you are teaching on Sundays.
In the other semesters, we give our small group leaders the freedom to choose the study they lead (with approval and direction from our staff). But every Fall we do a campaign where all the groups study the same material.
We find it gives a lot of momentum and synergy to the church.
Here are some ideas to prepare for your full-church campaign:
1 – You and another staff person might consider leading a couple of small groups this summer with people in your church who you would like to be the small group leaders for the fall.
2 – Start sign ups for your Fall groups shortly after school starts back in the Fall. For us in NYC that’s Labor Day. We begin sign ups that weekend and then kick the groups off a month later (the first week of October).
3 – Pick a study that allows you to teach on the topic on Sunday and have the groups reading about it during the week (and then they discuss it together in their groups). We even sometimes provide daily devotions to everyone signed up for a group by e-mail.
4 – A good example of curriculum is “The Purpose Driven Life” and the “40 Days of Purpose Campaign”. Each Sunday you teach on one of the purposes and the groups are reading the “Purpose Driven Life” during the week.
Hope this helps give you some ideas!
P.S. For more on implementing a semester-based Small Groups System in your church, check out the three-hour audio training: The Activate Seminar.
by Nelson Searcy and Tommy Duke
Today we’re sharing the final post in a series on “Bootstrapping” a new church, or starting with very little (or no) outside funding. While this isn’t the ideal way to plant a church, there are a number of lessons to be learned through the process. You can read the rest of this series of posts here: 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Here are the final two lessons:
2. APPRECIATE: YOU’LL BETTER APPRECIATE RESOURCES WHEN GOD DOES SEND THEM
The above lessons (if you apply them well) will place you in the rare position of truly being a good and faithful servant. Each one will guide you as you grow in your stewardship of the resources God does send. As you prove yourself faithful with a little – both in the way of financial support and newfound wisdom – God will entrust you with more (Matt 25).
1. DEPEND: YOU’LL CONSTANTLY BE REMINDED OF WHOSE CHURCH IT IS
Your church is not yours. Bootstrapping will re-teach you this truth day in and day out. Each time things are uncertain, each time the bills are coming due and you don’t see any way to pay them, you’ll be driven back to a complete awareness of the one who owns your church in the first place. Let your financial dependence on Christ remind you of his words from Matthew 16:18: “I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”
As we wrap up, let me reiterate: A fully resourced church plant has a greater chance of reaching health and stability than one that’s underfunded.
However, to all of you out there who are struggling to make ends meet, don’t lose hope! Strewn along the difficult road you are traveling there are valuable lessons waiting to be uncovered – lessons that will help you grow your new church plant right now and that will serve you well for the rest of your ministry.
Don’t miss what God wants to teach you along the way!
by Nelson Searcy and Tommy Duke
We’re looking at the lessons that can be learned in “Bootstrapping” a Church Plant (starting with little or no outside financial support). Click here to read the first, second, and third posts in this series.
Here are today’s lessons:
4. FOCUS: YOU’LL STAY FOCUSED ON YOUR CHURCH’S VISION
Bootstrapping will force you to drill down on the two or three things you feel called to do in order to fulfill your God-inspired vision. You won’t have time or money for rabbit chasing. For example, at The Journey we’ve chosen to focus on the weekend worship services and small groups. Anything that doesn’t support or flow through those two activities is a distraction from God’s vision for our church. We can attest that not having that pesky funding floating around will keep you from heading off in too many different directions.
3. BE BOLD: YOU’LL LEARN TO TEACH WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT GIVING
God isn’t shocked by the fact that your church needs resources to fulfill its purpose. He set the church up to be supported in a specific way, and he lays out the plan for that support in his word. During this bootstrapping process, take time to dig in and confirm your understanding of what the Bible says about money, on both a personal and corporate level.
One of the primary reasons pastors don’t teach on finances is that they’re not sure what they really believe. But once you have settled your theology of money (and are modeling the way of biblical generosity), you’ll have the confidence to teach your people about giving boldly, passionately and in a way that resources the church as God intends (Mal 3:10). Stewardship is discipleship. If you shy away from teaching on money, you are doing both your people and your new church a disservice. (For more on this topic, be on the outlook for Maximize: How To Develop Extravagant Givers In Your Church, coming in October.)
Tune in tomorrow for the final two lessons from bootstrapping a new church!
Recently my friend and 3 time Coaching Alumni Terry Mahan from The Fathers House Christian Center in Leesburg, FL asked me to send him a list of the Top 10 Books that have impacted my life.
I don’t know if this list is my TOP Top 10, but here’s what I shared:
What would you add?
Thanks for the question Terry!
P.S. For more book recommendations, check out my Free Monthly Newsletter where I review at least one book a month.
In addition to the books, you’ll receive the best and latest thoughts from some of the greatest minds in the country and a half-hour of free monthly podcast training, all delivered to your inbox each month.
by Nelson Searcy and Tommy Duke
We’re about halfway through a new series of posts about “Bootstrapping” a Church Plant (starting with little or no outside financial support) and 10 of the lessons learned in doing so. Click here to read the first post and the second one.
Here are the next two lessons:
6. MOBILIZE: YOU’LL RAISE THE VALUE OF PERSONAL EVANGELISM
If you want to reach more people for Jesus (and if not, don’t plant a church), you have to tell them about him, right? While the well-funded church plant may be tempted to lean too heavily on paid promotion (direct mail, billboards, radio and TV ads, etc.), the bootstrapping church planter knows that his best asset to connect with more people is the people who are already attending his church. Click here to read an excerpt from Ignite: How To Spark Immediate Growth In Your Church on the formula for fostering effective personal evangelism.
5. LEAD: YOU’LL AFFIRM YOUR ABILITY TO LEAD YOUR CHURCH
If you’re not clear about mutual expectations on the front-end, financial support often comes with strings attached. A few months in to your new church, you may find yourself getting more and more heavy-handed “suggestions” about how you should lead, what you should be preaching, what your worship style should be and even how the congregation should be dressing (yes, some people still make a big deal about this).
As a bootstrapper, you won’t have to deal with the noise of too many opinions, which means you’ll be able to listen more closely to God’s unique vision for your new church… and then lead in that direction.
Check back throughout the week, as we’ll be wrapping up the countdown!
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