Robbie MacKenzie, of Missional Youth Ministry, recently interviewed me via Skype video. In that video, I talked about my own journey of faith and calling, my perspective on missional ministry, and advice to today’s church planters. If you’d like to check out the 20-minute recording, it’s on youtube. Would love to hear your thoughts.
If you expect your church plant to grow beyond your own personal capacity to lead others, you absolutely need to develop leadership in your church. There are two elements to this challenge: developing people and developing the organization.
The people development side focuses on coaching relationships. Coaching relationships are the means to come alongside others and develop them in their ministry skills and personal life. If we’re going to continue to grow and expand the ministry, more leaders are a must. Our role is not to recruit from the outside, but to take each of the people already within our ministry as far as we are able to take them. If someone can lead a group well, could they lead a ministry area? If someone can lead a ministry area, can they start a new church plant? Whatever your categories, keep challenging and stretching people while providing the relational support they need through coaching.
Shortly after my church planting workbook came out many years ago, I happened to be at the mission headquarters office when a call came in from a guy in Germany. He said, “I hope it’s okay, but I took the liberty of translating your workbook and wanted to field test it. I gave the translated copy to a church planter and told him to go and do exactly what the book said.”
Today I don’t want you to read my blog. I want you to read this entry by Tom Nebel. It highlights the importance of living out the values of what you want to reproduce. That’s true not just for individuals, but also for groups, churches, and movements.
Read it here: Your Church Needs to be Generous, Too | ChurchPlanting.com
I love finding stories of church planting the mainstream media. A friend in Denver sent me this story from the Denver Post.
A Methodist Church in Westminster, Colorado began sponsoring Cuban refugees in 1962. The reverend and his family led the way by example, welcoming people into their home and helping them settled in America. They had people live with them, helped them learn English, find work, and get their children enrolled in school. The ministry caught on.
Today that same Methodist Church now meets in three congregations by language group: English, Hmong, and Spanish/Hebrew.
Here’s something I’ve learned: When you’re doing coach training, don’t try to train them in an application area (e.g. coaching for church planting, coaching for discipling) at the same time you’re training them in basic coaching skills. If you try to have people learn the content area at the same time as the coaching skills, what sticks is the content area. They get the content, but not the coaching abilities.
It’s much better to first learn good coaching, and then learn how to apply it to a particular ministry area. When we rush ahead to meet the felt need before laying the groundwork, we sabotage ourselves. Walk before you run.