Church planter and Entrepreneur, Dave Foster, hit it out of the park on this article. It’s true for everything you start in life!
Archive for May, 2008
I like what Brian Bloye calls church planters; the wild boys! In other words, they are, indeed, a group of people who have renegade faith, no sense of danger, reckless abandon, lay it all on the line, do or die tenacity, go for it risk-taking, the miraculous, and “just do it” mental toughness!!! With the first step into the world of church planting comes a lot of spiritual war. In other words, there is always challenge after challenge that God always seems to deliver us from. I love to hear the individual stories of the particular journey that church planters have had. To hear them encourages all of us. If you feel the liberty to help others by sharing your story and what you’ve been through from day one of your church plant journey, i.e, the nitty gritty of the sacrifices you’ve made, how you struggled financially, emotionally, mentally, the negative health issue reports along the way, the miracles, and/or the many victories God has led you to as you persevered, I’d love to hear them. God uses planters in a large way and the devil often puts a bigger target on the back of those that have an effective tool like church launching at their fingertips. If you will, let us hear from you in the comment section.
The Whiteboard Sessions Conference in Virginia was out of this world! There is a whole new world of great leaders and church planters out there that are completely sold out to Kingdom work. I’ve got to tell you, it is absolutely refreshing! God is doing a new thing among many. You can find a lot of these guys here on my blog roll; you should read them! I come away from the conference with a clear direction for what and how we will reach that large, large percentage of unchurched, out of church, and never been to church folks. I am convinced, it is not clothing, style, location, or building; it is simply a sacrifice of what we like, to reach people that are separated from their father and doing anything short of sin to accomplish the mission. It will be worth it! Vince Antonucci, from Virginia Beach, really inspired me, and became a new friend. He has the evangleistic passion of a Freddy Gage, the commitment to the Bible of George Whitfield, and the the creativity of Disney World! The question he asked is, “Are you willing to sacrifice and be a part of a winning team?” Most would say, “yes,” but do not realize what that really means. The real answer is a whole different world.
At approximately 5pm on the afternoon of Wednesday May 21st, Maria Sue Chapman, 5 years old and the youngest daughter to Steven and Mary Beth Chapman was struck in the driveway of the Chapman home in Franklin, TN. Maria was rushed to Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital in Nashville, transported by LifeFlight, but died of her injuries there. Maria is one of the close knit family’s six children and one of their three adopted daughters.
More than five years ago, Chapman and his wife MaryBeth founded The Shaohannah’s Hope Ministry after bringing their first adopted daughter, Shaohannah, home from China. The ministry’s goal is to help families reduce the financial barrier of adoption, and has provided grants to over 1700 families wishing to adopt orphans from around the world. Chapman is a five-time GRAMMY ® winner and 54-time Dove Award winning artist who has sold over 10 million albums and garnered 44 No. 1 singles.
Sprung Structures are a fabulous way to have a permanent building for $25-$55 a square foot. Some of them can be up in less than four months. They can also be moved if you ever need to relocate.
The inspiration continues! Church planting can take place anytime, anywhere, and anyplace God calls. It doesn’t matter your age, your race, or your style of church. If you listen to God’s voice and obey it, then doors open. This is another example and motivation for us as planters.
D.A. Carson, has some fabulous principles and insight into 21st Century communication as pastors. I am listing his four recommendations for shifting our thinking and preaching processes. He mentions that there could be many more. The entire article is worth the read right here:
1. It has become more difficult to get across what the Bible says about sin. When more people lived in a world where “right” and “wrong” were widely perceived to be transcultural categories, it was easier to get across something of the enormity of violating the law of God.
2. The current focus on narrative preaching has rightly broadened the older emphasis on discourse passages from the Bible. If it helps us better handle all the genres of Scripture faithfully and responsibly, it will be to the good. If it merely tips us from one cultural preference (viz., discourse) to another (viz., narrative), we have not gained anything. Indeed, because narrative is intrinsically more hermeneutically “open” than discourse, the move may merely contribute toward moving us away from truth. How much better to remain faithful to biblical truth yet simultaneously focused on Scripture’s existential bite.
3. Because for many people in today’s word, “faith” and its congnates refer to one’s personal, subjective, religious choice-a choice abstracted from any pretentions of public truth-it does no good to encourage people “to believe” unless one explains what “to believe” means, how important the object of belief is (see 1 Cor. 15), and how faith and truth relate to each other. Many such links were simply presupposed by our hearers several decades ago. Few of the links are today culturally presupposed.
4. The structure of apologetics needs to change somewhat. A great deal of the earlier intra-evangelical debates about presuppositionalism and evidentialism were themselves parasitic, in whole or in part, on the subject-object distinction as it developed in the modern period. That debate today takes on a raft of new emphases with the move to various kinds of postmodernism.
I’m a big believer in reinventing our churches and ourselves as we progress through life. Oftentimes, we sense the need, but just don’t know how. We may find that our ministry plateaus and our lives are stale, but we have not lost the “dream.”
The progression is that we have had a lot of success as a church, church health is great, a lot of good ministry going on, and the church has tons of energy, so why mess with it? Well, because there is always a next level. You get to certain levels and unless you change things like structure, staffing, the understanding of the culture in the church, systems, and even the name, then you will continue to stay at that ceiling you have reached. These changes give you an unprecedented opportunity to re-launch the church much like a church plant. These launches are priceless and this type of momentum normally gets to happen only in a new church plant. However, I believe it can also happen in an established church, IF, the people are willing to go further.
We need to ask ourselves this question, “What would happen if we gave God free reign?” Uh oh, this opens up a can……..Most stop after they arrive at the answers. You know what I think a lot of people say: “That’s just not me; that’s just not us.” That’s not true! If the answers indicate reaching more people and seeing more changed lives, it is you!! That’s what you’ve always been about. The style or the mindset that it will take to get there can be learned and enjoyed. Remember, it’s not about you!
Read this article on what happened to a Methodist church near Tampa, FL. Exciting stuff!