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Archive for the tag “Church Planting”

20 Ways Your Church Can Be a Church Planting Personnel Partner….by Robert Beike

Church planting is hard work. There are a myriad of things that need to be done and, in most cases, few people to do them. In addition to spiritual energy, know-how, and money, human energy is a necessary ingredient for starting churches. Church planters need other “missionaries” to come alongside, roll up their sleeves, and help shoulder the load. Here are 20 ways your church can be a church planting personnel partner.

 

1. Provide short-term “missionaries” to help with music, child care, greeters, etc.

2. Help the planter in the relocation process (locating property, moving furniture, etc)

3. Provide a list of community entities, activities, and contacts.

4. Provide help with website development.

5. Provide opportunities for planter to preach & share at your church.

6. Provide office space and amenities, secretarial and/or administration help.

7. Attend appropriate functions of new congregation.

8. Provide a social and spiritual support system.

9. Pray.

10. Send mission teams for outreach projects, Vacation Bible School, etc.

11. Help with identifying & locating people groups, population segments, etc.

12. Enlist participants in $46 mission trips. Each person takes 100 names from the phone book, directory, or focus group list, 100 envelopes, and 100 prewritten letters. Purchase 100 stamps, address, stuff, stamp, and mail the envelopes. The pray for those 100 names for 100 days.

13. Enlist a team of “telemissionaries” who phone individuals/households from the focus group/area, inviting them to a specific function of the new church.

14. Send prayer walking teams.

15. Conduct a block party, assist in food drives and other “point-of-need” events with the new congregation.

16. Guidance with local school system(s).

17. Help with or provide locations for fellowships, gathering events, retreats, etc.

18. Provide opportunities and appropriate chaperones for children or youth functions.

19. Sunday School classes could adopt the new work and participate in projects on its behalf.

20. Assist the Church Planter/new church in advancing its strategy.

12 WAYS YOUR CHURCH CAN BE A CHURCH PLANTING PRAYER PARTNER…by Robert Beike

Every new church needs the same 4 ingredients; God, energy, know-how, and money. Starting a new church requires hard work, at least some knowledge, and at some point money, but without the spiritual ingredient it all falls flat, or is of the flesh. That is why every new church plant needs prayer partners. The church moves forward on its knees. Here are 12 practical ways your church can be a church planting prayer partner.

1. Establish and develop an intercessory prayer team to pray for the new church, church planter, and family.

2.  Give opportunity for the church planter to personally share prayer concerns.

3.  Conduct prayer walks and prayer drives on behalf of new church.

4.  Pray specifically for the new church during worship services, small groups, prayer meetings, etc.

5.  Provide the names of those committed to pray to the planter for ongoing communication.

6.  Write cards of encouragement to the planter and family.

7.  Send birthday cards to the planter and family.

8.  Distribute prayer cards, magnets, etc with the planter’s family photo and birthdays.

9.  Distribute the planter’s monthly newsletter to the congregation.

10. Practice “blanket praying” for the target community or focus group to be reached. (Enlist as many intercessors as possible to pray for a set period of time to warm up the community or people group to the gospel).

11. Practice “tag team” praying. (Enlist different church members to pray on a designated day of the week, so each day is covered).

12. List prayer needs of the new church on your church’s website.

20 WAYS A CHURCH CAN BE A PRIMARY CHURCH PLANTING PARTNER…by Robert Beike

If you are seeking to maximize the spiritual impact in a community or among a people group, consider planting a church. There are a number of ways a church can partner in starting a new church, but the most significant way is as a primary sponsor. Here are 20 practical ways a church can be a primary church planting partner.

 

1. Provide an intercessory prayer team to lead in praying for the new church.

2. Provide liabilty insurance and legal standing.

3. Provide administrative support, such as secretary, treasurer, record keeping, copying, etc.

4. Provide use of office equipment and supplies.

5. Provide Christian fellowship for planter and new church.

6. Provide a coach and/ or mentor for the Church Planter.

7. Provide opportunities for the Planter to share vision, needs, opportunities, etc.

8. Assist the Planter in relocating (i.e. finding a house and moving).

9. Assist the new church in outreach projects.

10. Allow the Church Planter access to Pastor’s library for commentaries, reference material, etc.

11. Provide leadership in church legal matters.

12. Send deacons to assist the new church in serving the Lord’s Supper.

13. Provide people for the new church’s core group.

14. Provide demographic, psychographic, and ecclesiographic information.

15. Hold a “Baby Church” shower for the new work’s facility.

16. Provide food for fellowships in the new church.

17. Minister to the Church Planter’s family, especially around the holidays.

18. Provide short-term “missionaries” to help with music, greeters, VBS, teaching, and advancing the new church’s strategy.

19. Provide office space, or meeting space, if needed.

20. Provide financial support. (Consider a percentage of the undesignated budget, or a set monthly amount, or a special offering taken monthly or quarterly, or a 5/52 plan wher individuals or families give $5 for 52 weeks {$260}, or instead of hiring staff, fund the Church Planter).

SEVEN DEADLY SIGNS of an unfriendly church….by Robert Beike

Though not exhaustive, these seven signs of unfriendliness are usually deadly to the possibility of guests returning or connecting to your church.

 

1. No (or unclear) directional signs inside or outside your facility

Unfortunately, familiarity often breeds contempt for strangers. Once we know the ropes we forget about those who don’t and it becomes every man, woman, and child for themselves. Put yourself in the place of a first-time guest and ask; “Do I know which door to enter?” (What if that door leads to the choir loft, or the front of the worship service? What if it opens into the Pastor’s study? Or maybe its locked and I’ll make a fool of myself.)  “Do I know where the childcare or classes are located? Where are the restrooms? Etc.

2. No greeters other than someone handing out bulletins.

Strategically placed greeters not only say “hello,” but their presence communicates to guests that they are special and you’ve been expecting them. A smiling face, a warm handshake, and a helping hand are hallmarks of a friendly church. Many churches place greeters in the parking lot, at the entrances, in the classrooms, and worship area. They not only welcome folks but also are available to walk people to where they need to go. (By the way, even regular attendees appreciate a friendly greeting.) Can’t find anyone in the church with a friendly disposition willing to greet guests?…Well, that may be another deadly sign.

3. No information about your church is readily available.

A greeter armed with brochures, or a wecome station stocked with newsletters, info cards, and Sunday School/small group information, and other opportunities to plug in or get connected is extremely valuable. It tells your guests who you are, what you’re about, and that you’d like them to be a part too.

4. No one introduces himself or herself to, or welcomes the guest(s).

You’re probably thinking that this never happens. That’s probably because you haven’t attended any churches other than your own lately. Check out the friendliness quotient of your church by enlisting a non-attendee to show up some Sunday and give you honest feedback (A kind of “mystery shopper”).

5. No one extends an invitation to lunch or to return next week.

People will connect to your church through relationships. If they can’t relate they won’t return. You will need to overcome your discomfort to make them comfortable. You will need to make others part of your life if you want them to be part of God’s kingdom. Hospitality may be the church’s most under utilized gift.

6. No general word of welcome is offered from the pulpit/platform.

What is said from the platform can make a big difference in how one feels from the pew. How the welcome is extended is critical. Normally, its not wise to call guests by name, have them stand, or stand in their honor (while they are seated). You don’t want to embarrass them in any way. In today’s culture people seek a degree of anonymity, yet don’t want to be totally ignored. Find a balance that works in your setting. Use the term “guest” rather than “visitor” and simply thank them for coming. Have registration material available in the pews/chairs and encourage them to fill it out and place in the offering. Bulletin tear-offs work well for this and can be used by everyone present to allow for prayer concerns, decisions, and other requests. A bonus would be a time and place after the service for guests to meet with the pastor and have refreshments.

7. No follow up within 48 hours of guests attending.

You have a two-day window to make a positive impression after someone attends your church. After that the possibilities of their connecting with your ministry are dramatically reduced. Send a letter, a card, an e-mail, or make a phone call to say thank you, invite them back, offer assistance, etc. In some cases a brief drop-by to leave literature or a gift is appropriate (hint: keep the car motor running and the car door open to signal the brevity of your stay). Also, if the contact person is someone other than the Pastor it is of more value. Sorry, but a non-clergy contact is often considered more genuine.

The “iPlant” (10 Essential Applications for Church Planting) PT 2…….by Robert Beike

Whether you are a believer God is nudging toward planting a church or a church looking at sponsoring a new work, consider an “iPlant” and these 10 essential applications for maximum kingdom impact. The first 5 from part 1:
* INCARNATIONAL PRESENCE
* INDIGENOUS APPROACH
* INSIGHTFUL PREPARATION
* INTENSIVE PRAYER
* INTENTIONAL OUTREACH

Pt 2

INCLUSIVE MINISTRY
(1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:8-10)

Every member is to be on mission for God; involved in the ministry of both the “gathered” and “scattered” church. Spiritual gifts must be discovered, deployed, and developed. A God-sized impact on a community or people group depends on the inclusive ministry of all God’s people. Help others to catch the vision of being missional, and release them into the harvest field.

INSTRUCTIVE PROCESS
(Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:42;11:25-26; Ephesians 4:12-13)

Remember the goal is to make disciples who can reproduce disciple-makers. A systematic process should be in place to build up the body of Christ, making its members fit for the kingdom of God, and equipped for service. The study of God’s word and development of Christian skills are to be designed for every stage of spiritual development. Think discipleship by design.

INSPIRATIONAL WORSHIP
(Psalm 34:3; Isaiah 6:1-8; John 4:23-24)

Christ-centered, Bible-based, Spirit-led, God-glorifying, believer-edifying, guest-appealing worship is critical. Whether in a living room or auditorium, the Savior is to be magnified, the saints motivated to serve, sinners moved to repentance, and the repentant experience grace and renewal. Times of worship act as a fueling station, and strategy session, that provides impetus for the work of the church–beyond the walls.

INNOVATIVE MEANS
(Mark 2:22; Proverbs 18:15)

Don’t be afraid to color outside conventional lines. Creat a climate conducive to risks and experimentation, where failure is not seen as final, but tuition necessary for ultimate success. Avoid being trapped by the familiar, wed to the comfortable, or driven by the traditional. Neither become enamored with everything new, but rather embrace what honors God and is effective in fulfilling His purposes. Remember, creativity runs in God’s family.

INVESTMENT OF LIVES
(Romans 12:1; Isaiah 6:8)

Planting churches requires seeing ourselves as “living sacrifices,” an offering poured out for the kingdom of God. A faithful investment of time, energy, and resources in God’s kingdom, will pay divine dividends.

The “iPlant” (10 essential applications for church planting) pt 1

More and more lives are being influenced, even dominated, by the latest and greatest technology. iPhones, iPods, and iPads are flooding the marketplace with the “ipromise” of making life better. But, if its real life change you’re after, i recommend the “iPlant.” Whether you are a believer God is nudging toward planting a church, or a church considering sponsoring a new work, here are 10 essential applications that can lead to eternal kingdom impact.

INCARNATIONAL PRESENCE
(John 20:21)

Just as Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us, we are to flesh out God’s kingdom among those to whom He sends us. A godly presence is foundational for church planting. Being good news is an inseparable companion to sharing the good news.

INDIGENOUS APPROACH
(Luke 8:38-39; Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5)

For maximum church planting impact, our efforts must fit the cultural context. It’s important to avoid inflicting a community with a vision and values that God does not intend, or implanting elements into a culture that are not readily suited to, or sustainable within the local context. Discover how God is already working and allow the culture to be a channel for God’s blessings.

INSIGHTFUL PREPARATION
(Proverbs 12:15;16:9;28:19)

Seeking the wisdom and guidance of God is paramount, but, the wise counsel of others should also be utilized. Counting the cost is a necessary first step in planting a church. In addition to a calling, church planting requires the power of God, know-how, energy, and money. Determining a people to reach, a place to meet, partners to support the work, and a prayer strategy to fuel the work, is all part of the initial planning to make it happen.

INTENSIVE PRAYER
(Luke 10:2b;11:9; 2 Corinthians 10:4)

Church planting moves forward on the knees of devoted believers, who persistently ask, seek, and knock with fervent prayer. Ask God to provide workers, seek God’s direction and timing, and knock on heaven’s door for needed resources. Recognize prayer as our work and weapon. Utilize it for the welfare of the church and mankind.

INTENTIONAL OUTREACH
(Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8; Mark 1:38-39; Luke 8:5-8)

Take the great commission seriously. Be strategic in attempting to reach the “Jerusalem” to which you are called, but understand the reach of the local church body also extends to the ends of the earth. A new church’s strategies should reflect an intention to reduce lostness by encompassing the globe with the good news, and growing the body of Christ, numerically, spiritually, locally, and globally.

….to be continued..

A Church Planting Check-Up…. by Robert Beike

A survey by the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention revealed a few years ago that 98.6% of responders agreed that sponsoring new churches is Biblical, and that the great commission cannot be fulfilled without starting new churches. Those results indicate a theological temperature that appears to be a normal and healthy 98.6. In the same survey, 96.2% agreed that churches starting churches is the preferred method of church planting–another healthy indicator. Yet, upon closer examination, there seems to be a serious spiritual abnormality affecting the reproductive process of the body of Christ. Somewhere between only 4% and 20% (depending on who’s reporting) of SBC churches are, in any way, involved in starting new churches. That seems a long way from normal and healthy. Our brains are obviously sending theological messages that the body refuses to acknowledge.

Why is there such a disconnect? And what will it take for church planting to become the habit of all churches and not just the hobby of a few? The problem is no doubt systemic and complicated by multiple issues. However, there are three chronic ailments that if left untreated will continue to retard kingdom growth.

Church Planting is not normal for most churches, first of all, because of impaired vision. A lack of kingdom focus blurs the purpose of the church. As Jesus stood with His disciples beside the well outside the city of Sychar and watched people streaming from the town toward them, He said, “Open your eyes and look…(John 4:35). Jesus intends that we really see people, to view them in a way that transcends the physical. But, like our physical eyes, our spiritual eyes are subject to maladies that prevent us from seeing clearly.

People blindness comes in a variety of forms. A church’s vision is often clouded by prejudice. Other churches suffer from tunel vision, allowing those on society’s fringe to go unnoticed. Near-sightedness is another common affliction in churches. Spiritually myopic churches can’t see beyond their own local context, and their mission awareness is restricted to those who are “just like us.” Still others, ironically, have a far-sightedness that enables them to see needs afar off, even on the other side of the world, yet prevents them from seeing needs on the other side of their own town, or street.

Clearly, our vision needs correcting. Acquiring a kingdom focus begins on our knees in the word of God. Getting beyond our blind spots and into our mission field requires us to become like the blind man, who was asked by Jesus, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man responded, “Lord, I want to see!” (Luke 18:41).

Heart Trouble is another malady hampering our church planting effectiveness. If subjected to the careful scrutiny of the Great Physician, we may discover our hearts have shrunk to the size of our church rolls, and our heartbeat out of sync with God’s mission.  God’s heartbeat resonates clearly, in that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).  Furthermore, Jesus prioritized all the law and prophets by insisting that we love God with all our being, and our neighbor as ourselves. He personally resisted the pull of His disciples agendas, and the press of a needy crowd to take the gospel to neighboring towns, adament that, “This is why I have come” (Mark 1:38). Oh, that God would sync our heartbeats with His, and enlarge our hearts to include all our neighbors near and far.

The third chronic ailment negatively impacting church planting is spiritual anemia. That may actually be too mild a term, but multitudes of churches are listless, and lack a robust spirituality. Unless they experience genuine spiritual renewal they will continue to exist in a kind of ecclesiatical fetal position. Years of inward focus and lack of regular spiritual exercise has left us weak. Recognizing our condition, repenting of our sin and selfishness, and aligning with God’s will are necessary first steps to spiritual health. Getting outside the walls of the church and into the fresh air of different neighborhoods and communities has a way of raising the fitness level of a church. Personal contact with others, building relationships, and gathering them to make disciples who will make disciples, can have a viral effect that results in a church planting epidemic–in other words, normalcy.

When Jesus scanned the five porches surrounding the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, He saw “a multitude of the sick–blind, lame, and paralyzed…” They were all waiting for a miraculous movement of God that would restore them to normal–a 98.6 life. He singled out an individual who had been sick for 38 years and asked him one critical question: Do you want to get well?” (John 5:3-5). How about you? What’s your church planting temperature? Do you want to get well…really?

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