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Where do we get out?

by guest blogger Jonathan LaBarge As we have a Lord who is found out on the water, your church becomes something of a laboratory for stepping out of the boat. Your experiments live out Peter's question: "Lord, if it's you, call me out upon the water." But is there...

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Out of the boat

by guest blogger Jonathan LaBarge The disciples are straining at the oars. The current, the wind, perhaps even the sea itself seems against them. Darkness cuts off their vision from the confines of the boat (Mt. 14). Where are they going? Could they even make it...

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Navigating leadership challenges

Because leadership challenges look different in every church plant, they can be difficult both to identify and to figure out how to handle. Sometimes the issue is a spiritual one; other times it’s a management one; sometimes a combination. Different problems...

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The leadership challenge

This blog entry has been excerpted from my upcoming book, The Church Planting Journey. Without exception, every church planter I know of has gone through a leadership challenge at some point in his or her planting process. A leadership challenge is when things go...

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Spiritual warfare and church planting

This blog entry has been excerpted from my upcoming book, The Church Planting Journey. These are two topics you don’t always see in the same sentence. Yet I’d argue that they are inextricably linked. When you are planting a church, you are encroaching on what the...

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Church revitalization and a spirit of fear

You’ve seen this situation before: A beloved pastor of many years has gone and now there’s a new pastor. The congregation is finding it hard to readjust. Even small changes in direction feel threatening. There is uncertainty about where the church is going. What will...

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The way back to sustainable churches

Last week I wrote a blog entry about some parallels I saw between sustainable farming and healthy ministry practices. I was surprised by how many similarities I found. If you missed last week’s blog, check it out here. Another parallel I discovered was in the history...

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Reaching consensus: Affinity exercise

After engaging in listening prayer, identifying core behaviors, and sorting them into categories, it’s time for your team to begin reaching consensus on what your core values are. I find the affinity exercise helpful for this purpose. It allows all people to have an...

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Identifying core behaviors

To help facilitate the identification of core values, it can be helpful to start with behaviors and then work backwards. This process results in actual values rather than desired values. Actual values are those lived out in behaviors, while desired values are those...

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