14550 Lee Rd, Chantilly, VA 20151

Newsletter December 2020

Merry Christmas!

Patrick Bradley, Director of Operations, Passion for PlantingWhat’s your favorite aspect of the Christmas season? Do you look forward to this time of the year? I know many pastors who don’t look forward to the Christmas season because it’s exhausting. The hustle and bustle is real for pastors around this time of year because of all the ministry activities we find ourselves engaged in. With that in mind I’ll keep this short.

Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” (Acts 20:35). As a child I didn’t understand this truth, but now as a parent I totally get it. As a kid I looked forward to Christmas dreaming about all the gifts I would receive. Now, however, when I think about Christmas I look forward to the gifts I will give to my loved ones. Yet, I still have a long way to go to fully comprehend and embrace, personally, Jesus-style generosity. But I hope to grow in a little bit more every day.

At Passion for Planting we want to practice Jesus-style generosity. Are we there yet? Certainly not, but we want to grow in it. That’s why we try to be as open handed with our resources as we can. We’re not the only organization that thinks this way, so in the spirit of giving we’ve highlighted some of our favorite free resources for church planters from us and other organizations. We hope you find them helpful. Merry Christmas!

-Patrick Bradley, Director of Operations

 December 2020 – Contents

  • Measure What Matters
  • Free Downloads
  • Leadership Development
  • Open Network 
  • Disciple Making 

Measure What Matters

There’s a common axiom in leadership and management circles that says, “What gets measured improves.” Measuring helps us assess our health. We measure our weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol to give us a picture of our physical health and clue us into any changes we need to make in our lifestyle in order to be healthy.

This same principle applies to churches as well. What your church measures will not only reflect what you value, it will also help you see where you’re healthy and where you’re not. For instance, if you track first-time guests and realize you haven’t had one in months, it’s a good indication your invitation culture is weak. If you have new guest every week, but never see growth in your weekly attendance, it probably means there’s something broken in your assimilation process.

Determining what you’re going to measure as a church isn’t a decision to make lightly. There are many things you can measure. The key is figuring out what measurements reflect your church’s progress towards accomplishing its mission. Which measurements matter? Where do you want to see improvement within your church? Spend time thinking and praying about this. Then once you have some clarity on what to measure, visit the Church Metrics website to access their free data tracking app to help you measure what matters.

Leadership Development

What’s your church’s leadership development strategy? Many churches can’t answer confidently. Too many churches don’t have an intentional strategy for reproducing leaders. Even churches that do have a clearly spelled out strategy for developing leaders struggle with implementing that strategy and helping leaders grow.  That’s why we appreciate the ministry of Mac Lake. He’s passionate about leadership development within the local church and gives many of his tools, tips, and techniques away for free via is YouTube channel.

If you haven’t viewed any of his videos, you’re missing out. Don’t just keep this resource to yourself. Think about some leaders or future leaders in your church that can benefit from what Mac shares on his channel, and then share it with them.

Open Network

Have you heard of the Life Church’s Open Network? If you’re into free ministry resources, you need to check this out. They offer churches free sermon series graphics, children’s ministry and small group curriculum, stock photography and so much more. The resources offered are the same resources Life Church creates for their own ministry purposes. Thanks, Life Church, for your generosity!

This is also the church that brought us Church Metrics and the Bible App YouVersion.

Disciple Making

Jesus was very clear about the mission he gave his church – make disciples. That’s why we plant churches. However, just because a church is started doesn’t mean disciples are being produced. That’s why we want to highlight the work of Movements.net. This website showcases many helpful disciple-making training resources that will help churches make disciples who make disciples when those training resources are implemented.

Don’t be content developing converts at your church. Equip believers to grow in their relationship with God and fulfill their purpose as disciple makers with the help of Movements.net. And yes, their training resources are FREE!!!

Passion for Planting Free Downloads

King Solomon taught us there’s nothing new under the sun. What you’re trying to do, somebody else has probably done. As a church planter, we know your time and energy is valuable, so don’t recreate the wheel if you don’t have to. That’s why we developed our Free Downloads page. It’s filled with tools and resources you can use to help you think through and accomplish the tasks that lay before you in your church planting journey.

Need to fundraise? Check out the vision-casting tools other church planters have developed to help them fundraise and recruit ministry partners. Looking for ways to help your church be the hands and feet of Jesus in your community? Search our outreach resources for ideas. Whether you’re a church plant or an established church, our Free Downloads page exists to give you a head start on your ministry efforts.

Photos by Debby Hudson, William Warby, Hunter Newton, Rawpixel, and Scott Graham from Unsplash.