Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Half of the US Lives in These Counties

Half of the U.S. population lives in 146 counties. These locations should be a major focus for the planting of churches. Happy to say I live in one of these counties!

(HT: Business Insider)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

15 Life Giving Things When Planting Churches in Cities

Here’s the notes from an encouraging talk by Justin Buzzard at this years CPLF meeting in Nashville. Some very helpful information for church planters.

1. Know and Love Your City

  • Live in a place where you love the city
  • Who is your city? 
  • What is your cities history?
  • What is your cities values?
  • What is your cities future? 
  • What is your cities dreams?
  • What is your cities fears? This is opposite of your cities values. 
  • What is your cities ethos? Mode of operation? 

2. Prioritize Friendships

  • Most church planters are lonely and need strong friendship
  • Don’t allow a fear of favoritism to keep you from friendship
  • Give a significant priority to making friends… believers and unbelievers

3. Disciple a Handful of Men

  • Focus your life on discipling a few men well
  • Everyone in the church should have 2 or so people they are investing in

4. Rest

  • Rest daily 
  • Turn off technology… sleep well at night… 
  • Keep the sabbath
  • Once a month have a retreat day… reading bible, praying, reading good books, and then dreaming about the church
  • Take an annual break… Justin takes the month of July off every year
  • Read: "The Power of Full Engagement"… a good secular book on maintaining rest

5. Unleash Your Rookies

  • Don’t hold back your new and young believers
  • Let them serve, evangelize, etc…
  • Rebuke the control idols

6. Play Big

  • Don’t hold back… give everything a 100% efforts. Go for it.

7. Resist the Devil

  • 1 Peter 5

8. Go to Where Your Men Work

9. Do What You Love

  • One of the quickest ways to burn out is to stop doing what you enjoy

10. Date Your Wife

  • We are in a job where your marriage can disqualify you
  • Invest in dating your wife

11. Set the Culture

  • What your church is going to feel like… how is it going to operate
  • Set a culture of encouragement… sending out encouragement cards
  • Celebrate any opportunity you get
  • Run to the tensions… don’t avoid, but aggressively deal with the issues you face
  • Set a Gospel culture where grace is real in your church

12. Take Care of Yourself Financially

  • Cities are expensive… take care of yourself… speak with financial planners
  • Set a solid salary package that will fully support you

13. Finish Sermons Earlier in the Week

  • 8-10 hours on a sermon and have it done by Wednesday morning
  • Monday to study the text, Tuesday to outline, Wednesday to assemble

14. Let God Reck You

  • God will destroy the church planter somewhere in the journey of planting
  • Embrace it as God’s good means of changing you as a person and planter
  • Church planting can be the greatest means of sanctification in your life… accept this and recognize it as good.

15. Stay Excited About Jesus

Racial Demographics in the US

Here is a great resource for pastors and church planters. The Racial Dot Map by the Weldon Cooper Center gives a visual representation of racial demographics in our cities, an important information source as we seek to create multi-cultural gospel movements and churches. Below is the map of Milwuakee, one of the most racially segregated cities in the United States.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Where Christianity is Growing Fastest

According to this report, if the current rate of Christian growth continues, China could have more Christians than any other country in the world by 2030. As pointed out by my friend Pastor Matthew Svoboda, 40 years ago China had less than 1 in 1,000 Christians, today 1 in 10. Amazing! The growth happening within several Muslim countries is also encouraging to see.

It's good to be reminded that we are part of a Gospel movement of disciples and churches multiplying around the globe.

Friday, November 08, 2013

How to Become a Church-Planting Church

Couldn't agree with this article more in terms of practical ways you can become a church-planting church. Oh that existing churches would get a heart for this New Testament model of missional faithfulness. Below is the overview and the full article here.

Year 1
  • Assess and re-define your church missions strategy/philosophy.
  • Allocate a certain percentage of your annual budget for church planting.
Years 2 to 5
  • Partner with other churches in supporting a church planter.
  • Adopt and support an existing church planter.
  • Intentionally build a church-planting ethos in your church.
Years 6 and Beyond
  • Do a church-planting residency with a future church planter.
  • Hire staff with the aim of sending them out to plant after 3 to 5 years.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Des Moines Boot Camp Announced

If you are in process or interested in planting, this 5-day boot camp is a great resource for you to consider. For more information or to register for the boot camp click here.