Preparing For Launch
This month at Passion for Planting, we celebrated the graduation of three of our church planting residents. Over the past 10 months, these guys have invested hundreds of hours learning the nuts and bolts of church plant and developing their key strategies, policies, and plans that will give shape to their new churches.
From our years of planting churches, we know that failing to prepare is preparing to fail. All too often, we receive phone calls from planters looking for a diagnosis on their fledging church plants and the common denominator among these planters is a lack of preparation.
An initial step in the church planting preparation process is to attend the Exponential Conference. This fall the conference is coming to Washington D.C., San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles. To learn more about how this conference can help equip you and your team prepare to plant, visit the Exponential website.
–Dale Spaulding, Director
June 2017 – Contents
- Re-Imagining Church
- 10 Characteristics of a Multiplying Church
- Knowing Your Context
- Church Metrics
A year ago, Tim Wolf signed enrolled in Passion for Planting’s church planting residency knowing he was called to plant a church, but not entirely certain where he was going to plant. A couple months into the residency program he felt God calling him to plant in Ownings Mills, MD a suburb of Baltimore. With that Tim uprooted his family, moved to Ownings Mills, and started building a launch team. The team started with his wife and five kids, but over the last six months has grown to 70 (adults and children).
This past Sunday we had the opportunity to see first-hand what Tim’s been doing in Owings Mills to build the launch team for United Church, which is set to launch weekly worship gatherings this fall.
10 Characteristics of a Multiplying Church
What makes you, you? While you’re partly shaped by your environment, much of who you are was passed on to you by your parents. They passed on their genes to you which serve as your biological blueprints shaping your development and who you’re able to reproduce. Your DNA influences your hair color, growth patterns, and even your chances of reproducing healthy children.
Believe it or not, every church has DNA that influences its development. Unlike human DNA, which we have no control over, church DNA can be shaped and developed. This why at Passion for Planting we’re focused on starting churches infused with multiplication DNA from very start. What does multiplication DNA consist of? Read 10 Key Values of a Multiplying Church by Lindy Lowry to discover the building blocks of multiplication DNA.
Knowing Your Context
Recently, Outreach Magazine interviewed church planters asking them to share insights they’ve gain from their church planting endeavors that could help any church be more effective in reaching their communities. One insight they shared time and again related to the church leader’s understanding of their community.
Church planters must know their communities, so they can contextualize the gospel to meet its needs. The Apostle Paul did this. His sermon in Acts 13 in Pisidian Antioch is radically different from his sermon in Acts 17 in Athens because their contexts were different. The former was Jewish; the latter Greek, and he crafted his presentation of the gospel to fit those contexts.
How can you study your community, so you can articulate and demonstrate the gospel in a way that connects and meets needs in your context? Read what other church planters are saying on this topic in Knowing Your Community: The Math of The Kingdom and download our Demographics Guide for helpful tools and tips.
What does your church count? Do you know how many people attend your worship gatherings? Most likely, and you probably know how much people gave in offering last week, but do you know how many people surrendered their lives to Christ last month as opposed to the month before? What about small group attendance?
In the article Data Tells A Story….Why Churches Should Track Everything, our friend and church planter Carl Kuhl explains why tracking and reviewing your “numbers” can benefit how your church fulfills its mission. Carl’s experience planting Mosaic Christian Church, a multiplying church in the Baltimore suburbs, has reaffirmed to him the validity of the popular management idiom, “What gets measured improves.”
What numbers do you want to improve in your church? Number of leaders in training, people serving on ministry teams, small groups multiplying? Start improving these numbers by measuring them today. Visit churchmetrics.com for free software that will help you track anything you can count. The reports it produces will be perfect to send to your leadership team to give them a snapshot of the church’s health.