By Stan Rodda: If we want to be successful at any endeavor, it is going to require significant preparation.
My high school football coach knew this. Every Monday during our season we would watch game film of our next opponent in preparation for meeting them on the field. We would break up into offensive and defensive meetings, studying our opponents most successful plays over and over. We mentally prepared for how we would beat them come Friday night.
Tuesday and Wednesday were spent in full pads, running through plays and strategies. We would huddle up with our teammates and run over every situation we anticipated facing. We would practice no less than two hours daily – mentally and physically preparing to recognize our opponent’s tendencies so we would be ready to make a play and fulfill our assignments.
Thursday was spent with only our helmets on and we would walk through everything again at half speed to keep us fresh for Friday. Between Monday and Thursday afternoon we exhausted the hours allotted for high school teams to spend practicing in preparation for a football game. We invested blood, sweat and tears into our preparation – all with one goal in mind…WIN!
If we are willing to put in that kind of time and effort for something as simple as Friday Night Lights, how much more so should we prepare when it comes to planting churches and making disciples? Benjamin Franklin is credited as saying…
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Maybe you’re reading this right now and believe that God has called you to plant a church. Or maybe you are exploring to test that calling. No matter where you are in the process, I can think of at least five key areas that will help you prepare to plant a church and each of them can be found in Passion 4 Planting’s “Church Planter Residency.”
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Preparation for the 21st century!
If you are preparing to plant a church, pursuing that must be able to be accomplished wherever you are. With today’s technology, gone are the days when you have to travel across the country to find the training you need. This residency allows you to take part from literally anywhere in the world. No matter where God has you uniquely positioned, you can still learn, be trained and discover God’s next steps for you and your church plant.
Learn from those who have gone before!
P4P’s residency gives you the opportunity every week to train and learn alongside some of the nation’s church planting leaders. Learn from people like Todd Wilson the CEO of the Exponential Conference, Shawn Lovejoy the founder of Courage to Lead and more. Learn from planters who have walked a similar path to you. Guys like Brett Andrews, Bobby Harrington and Joel Pazmino.
Prepare in Community!
When I prepared to go into battle on a football field, I never prepared alone. I lifted weights, watched film and practiced with others who were on the same mission. We prepare best in the context of community. That’s why P4P’s residency consists of a small cohort of 4-8 church planters, who meet weekly to receive training while remaining in their local context. These cohort members share ideas and resources and challenge each other to grow as leaders. They build friendships for life as they prepare to accomplish a mission they’ve all been called to pursue.
Practical tools and strategies!
The primary books and conferences that I have seen and heard are heavily theoretical. There is often a shortage of practical tools and strategies to build on. P4P’s residency is built around the nuts and bolts of what it’s going to look like practically to start a church. Even if you have already started down the path, you need practical tools and strategies that can be used, implemented and tailored to your context along the way.
Prepare for your context, not ours!
Every Friday our football team would face a different opponent, each with different strengths and weaknesses.
Different sized players
Different offensive or defensive approaches
Each week we had to contextualize our preparation for what we were about to face. The same is true of your church plant. Your context is unique. Within the cohort you will develop contextualized plans and strategies for your specific ministry context. Ultimately you’ll walk alongside others who are on mission with you and who will help tailor plans and strategies to you. This may be the most beneficial part of your preparation.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
Preparation is key to successfully launching a church. If God has called you to plant now is the time to begin preparing to answer that significant call. Invest the time and mental energy into clarifying the vision God has given you and develop the tools and strategies you’ll need to turn that vision into a reality.
Applications are now being accepted for their 2019-2020 cohort kicking off in September. Click for more information and to apply.