Encouragement from one church planter to another…
Fellow church planter, let’s celebrate! Early on, when you’re grinding, you have to be quick to celebrate even small evidences of God’s grace. This week you learned from other churches, you got prayed over, met with potential core team members, and launched a Facebook page. Stuff is moving and God is in this! I love you and am so proud of the HUGE step you’re taking. So what’s next?…
A FEW BIG ROCKS
This is your MAIN tool in your tool belt during this season. You need this to recruit financial givers. You need this to partner with churches. You need this to enlist Advisory team members. You need this to recruit staff. You need this to inject DNA into your CORE team members. Get this done, edited by a grammar nazi, and graphically designed by a pro. Its the best thing you can do.
2. Communicate Weekly with Your Core Team
Get a email list together. Tell people what’s happening that week. Celebrate what God’s doing. This is your way of keeping people in the know, and helping them know what’s next. You have to keep over-communicating. Remember they have never planted a church before either… So, you have to lead them with vision, encouragement and clear direction (here is whats happening this week. Here is a story of what God’s doing, here is what I am learning. Here is why this matters… here is what I am so pumped about, Here is whats NEXT!). For tools you can use Mail Chip, Gmail (Mail merge) or set up Church Community Builder. KEEP new Content and updates going on your Facebook page. Any new photos at a City Group, or with a member. Anything to celebrate, and inject DNA.
3. Cultivate Relationships
If you’re not emailing or texting your people, be with them. Lunch. Breakfast. etc. Those are the best times for people with jobs. OR keep getting people around your kitchen table! You know that, but I always told myself “don’t ever eat alone”. So, I know you’re texting and following up, and listening to stories.. I would ask people their stories, and if you know it, I would just do general pastoral stuff.. How’s work, family, what’s going on in your walk with God, what’s good, where do you feel stuck etc. Just keep loving, thanking and caring about people. Don’t be afraid to tell people you need them, want them, like them and are blessed by them!
4. Get your Advisory Team
Look grown, Godly, mature men in the eyes and say, “I want you on the team. We NEED you. We have no money. No book deal. We have nothing but need you to come and pray, shepherd, coach and care for our team.” Get no more than 7 people total. Call a meeting to get all of you in the same room.
5. Get Going with the C&MA
You cant get paid your church until it actually exist as an organization. So, work with the C&MA to get licensed. To get your own organization set up, to get your by-laws, to get your own state EIN (Employer) number. They can help you with the nuts and bolts. Once you become an organization legally, you can get a back account, and then you can start collecting donations through your own giving tools. Until then, use our tools but you need to get this going asap.
6. Make City Groups AWESOME
Meet with leaders. Coach leaders. Send leader articles from Todd Engstrom’s blog or Verge Network. Groups are great! They help people connect to the people of God and help them visualize who their friends will be on this adventure called Citylight. The groups don’t need to be super missional right now. Just let them get to know each other. THEY need to become a FAMILY, before they become a FAMILY On mission. Let people connect, share stories, pray together, and eat together.
7. Building Leads
People want to know WHERE. I was blown away when we planted how many people didn’t care about my vision. They just wanted to know WHEN are you starting and where do you meet? SPACE can be hard to find. AND it will impact your budget. You have really less than 3 months before you’re in CORE team, Sunday morning stuff. Get some options in place and be thinking about rent, parking, kids’ space, sound, and proximity to established parts of the city.
You have to raise money. We have a giving link on our Give page. Get people who are ALL in started now. And once you get your prospectus printed.. Get after it.
This is last. But a website and video will bless you. These are great communication tools. Be on the look out for a web guy. Once your church plant is announced, people will want to google it, find it, and share it. But that process starts now. An early stage website can really just be a web version of your prospectus. It has the team, the vision, the denomination, the story, a give link etc. Basic, but helpful. People will date your church virtually before they step into your church physically.
This is all going to happen! I am pumped to see JESUS surface givers. Surface new leaders. Surface web designers. GOD will raise up a team of laborers and the more you call people into this stuff- the more ownership they will feel! I am telling you, church planting is great because you just say, “I NEED You” and God shows up and brings people that are awesome wanting to be a apart of the story.
I just wanted to get some stuff on paper and to you. I know you wake up in a house with kids, and are away from our team. You’re kind of on an island trying to plant a church! I just want to help coach, cheer lead and equip you.
We love you guys! Let’s run hard! Jesus is worthy. THE CITY is RIPE FOR Harvest. People will follow. GOD will provide! Lets go to work!