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Newsletter January 2021

Grasping What’s Ahead

Patrick Bradley, Director of Operations, Passion for PlantingWhen you look into the year ahead, what do you see? Do you have a clear vision of where you’re heading this year? As a leader, it’s important to know where you’re heading so you can direct your time and energy to that end.

Have you spent time with God seeking his direction for you this year? If you haven’t yet spent time in prayer to discern God’s path for your 2021, schedule time in your calendar to do that. Seek the Lord’s guidance in where he wants you to lead the church he’s placed under your care. Ponder what he wants to do in and through you this year, so you can be a light in a dark world.

While we don’t know for certain what God has in store for 2021, we do know that he’s working for our good and his glory. Sometimes we miss out on the good future God has in store for us, though, because we’re focused on the past and not ready to partner with what he’s doing now. As Paul wrote, “..one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13b-14 NIV)

Jesus has good plans for you and your ministry this year. Seek his guidance. Discern his vision. We’ll be ready to help you turn vision for church planting into reality.

We’ve filled this month’s newsletter with tools and resources to help you pursue God’s vision for your life and ministry in 2021. We hope you enjoy it!

-Patrick Bradley, Director of Operations

 January 2021 РContents

  • Horizon Storyline
  • Launch Vision
  • Fasting Guide
  • Share Your Story¬†

Horizon Storyline

Discerning where God is leading you is the first step in pursuing the vision God has for your life and ministry. Next, you’ll benefit from formulating a plan that will guide you in pursuit of that vision. The biggest hinderance to achieving big visions can be neglecting to develop smaller goals that serve as stepping stones leading you towards your preferred future. Knowing this, Will Mancini developed the Horizon Storyline framework to help leaders break down their vision into measurable and timely goals.

Don’t overlook developing a plan that will direct your efforts to a singular vision. As the saying goes, “The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” However, if you make that first step in the wrong direction, after even a thousand steps you won’t be where you intended to be. Define your vision and then use the Horizon Storyline to direct your efforts, all towards a common vision.

Launch Vision

One of your roles as leaders is helping those under your care see where God’s leading you and invite them join you on the journey towards that preferred future. This is especially true for church planters. That’s why we encourage all church planters to develop a Launch Vision document (prospectus). Through images, illustrations, and moving stories, this vision document helps you recruit launch team members and attract financial supporters.

Here’s an example of a Launch Vision created by former Passion for Planting resident Chris Flathers, who planted Connect Church in the Denver, CO area. This document has helped Chris share the unique vision God has given him to recruit ministry partners who help him pursue that vision.

Interested in developing your own Launch Vision? Use our free Launch Vision template today to help you get that vision out of your head on onto paper. Well, digital paper, anyway.

Fasting Guide

It’s January, which means dieting season is upon us. More people will start diets this month than any other month of the year. It’s a popular time to start dieting because so many people associate the new year with a fresh start. Plus, with all the sweets people consume around the holidays, January tends to be the month clothes start fitting tighter and our scales betray us. While eating healthy is a great way to care for our bodies, fasting is a great way to care for our souls.

What’s your plan for fasting this year? Do you have one?

Fasting isn’t just about not eating. It’s about giving up something good so you can include more of something better; well, more of someone else, really – Jesus.

If you haven’t developed a vision and plan to invest in your relationship with Jesus this year through fasting, check with your medical professional and check out Your Personal Guide to Fasting and Prayer created by Dr. Bill Bright. It will help you understand the importance of fasting and offer you tips and ideas for how to make the most of this spiritual discipline.

Share Your Story

With all the difficulties people faced in 2020, we have an incredible opportunity to share the reason for the hope we have even through tough times. The question is, are we ready to share that reason at a moment’s notice, while standing in line at the grocery store or shoveling snow with a neighbor? Perhaps you are, but are the people in your church confident to do this?

The fact of the matter is, most Christians want to share their faith with their friends, neighbors, and co-workers, but they don’t know how. That’s why we train church planters to develop their 2-minute story and their 15-second testimony as a way to share their faith and train others to do so as well. Not only do these tools help believers master their story, it provides them a framework for training others to shape and share their stories, too. 

Here’s the challenge: master your 15-second testimony and share it with three people over the next three days. Then email planting@church-planting.net and share with us what you learned through the experience and how you saw God work in and through you during this experience. 

Photos by Drew Saurus, Diego Jimenez, Jack Sharp, and Joshua Ness from Unsplash.com.