“Where there’s light, there’s bugs”. After church planting I realize the importance of a good bug zapper. Everybody’s got an angle. Everybody’s got an agenda. People see a new church plant on the horizon and they think that it’ll provide an ideal place to make the sunshine on their favorite pets. Even among our own core team, there was a temptation to pull the church one way or the other into our personal preferences. But because what we all wanted was for people to see Jesus, we sacrificed our personal pets. If scrambling up over the trenches and barbed wire, and running covert missions into enemy territory, then we were marked for war. As planters for the kingdom, it was serious business, and our pictures were going to end up on the “Most Wanted” pin-up on the bulletin boards of hell. Therefore, we made a decision early on. We forbid people to bring their pets. I’ve never seen pets on the battlefield, have you? I mean, a pet terrapin on a leash would look pretty stupid while mortars shells are exploding all around me.
We all have our pets. Mine is preaching. In America, the circles that I was a part of preached for 65 minutes. Sometimes 75, but then people complained. A short sermon was 50. 35 minutes was unheard of. When I got to Wales, they all expected 30 minute sermons. I had to change a bit. Not that much, but I trimmed it down to about 40 minutes, and that was about the best I could do. My 65 minute pet had to be left home in America (sniff). But I wasn’t the only one. There were people from the more charismatic background who joined our team and were nothing but a blessing. Early on, we had a meeting in which we all listed what we’d like to see in the church, and talked it through. In that meeting we talked about what would fly and what wouldn’t in the establishment of Pillar. We all had to sacrifice some pets in that meeting.
As a leader, it’s important that you listen to the visions, ideas, and priorities of your team. It’ll save you some headaches in the future. Get it all out after a few months, after you’ve gotten to know and trust one another. I definitely wouldn’t do it before the six-month mark; you’ll prejudge each other too soon. Once you get to know each other, you’ll be able to listen respectfully to each other without alienating one another. So although one of your core team members has a great idea, you’ve heard him pitch it, and likewise, have given him ample scriptural justification for why naked Sundays is probably not going to fly. Setting the ground rules is something that you’ll need to do together as you talk through the reasons why things get the thumbs up or thumbs down.
Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on Amazon.com. You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.