Archive for the Church Planting Category

A Big Back Door

Posted in Blogs, Christianity, Church Planting, Leadership, Religion on March 5, 2008 by Scott
  • door.jpg 80 percent of pastors say they have insufficient time with spouse and that ministry has a negative effect on their family
  • 40 percent report a serious conflict with a parishioner once a month
  • 33 percent say that being in ministry is an outright hazard to their family
  • 75 percent report they’ve had a significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry
  • 58 percent of pastors indicate that their spouse needs to work either part time or full time to supplement the family income
  • 56 percent of pastors’ wives say they have no close friends
  • 45 percent of pastors’ wives say the greatest danger to them and family is physical, emotional, mental and spiritual burnout
  • 21 percent of pastors’ wives want more privacy
  • Pastors who work fewer than 50 hours a week are 35 percent more likely to be terminated
  • 40 percent of pastors considered leaving the pastorate in the past three months

I read the above at Sermonators, which is a group dedicated to coaching pastors in preaching and general burnout, and they also host a radio show regarding the topic.

Kind of alarming…not that its happening but that a pastor’s job is no different than anyone else’s. You’d think given by whom pastors are employed, it might raise the standard of joy or increase the margin in their life…kind of a practice what you preach mentality in the organization, but obviously not. It appears organizational constipation resides within these doors as well…the grass is not always greener.

So your vision statement can be God-centered, as opposed to AFM (anything for money) which is chanted in companies around the globe, and yet the hyper-drive for success and the treadmill are still in play…seems people are people regardless of the vision. And the result is the only back door bigger than the one in our churches is the one in our churches.

Thought for the day…pray for our pastors.

Reaching The Unattached

Posted in Blogs, Christianity, Church, Church Planting, Discipleship on March 3, 2008 by Scott

unattached.jpgThe Barna Update has a new study which again looks at church participation. They broke people down into these categories….

  • Unattached…23%
  • Intermittents…15%
  • Homebodies…3%
  • Blenders…3%
  • Conventionals…56%

On the Unattached, he lists some additional characteristics about them…

Compared to regular churchgoers, the Unattached are:

  • more likely to feel stressed out
  • less likely to be concerned about the moral condition of the nation
  • much less likely to believe that they are making a positive difference in the world
  • less optimistic about the future
  • far less likely to believe that the Bible is totally accurate in its principles
  • substantially more likely to believe that Satan and the Holy Spirit are symbolic figures, but are not real
  • more likely to believe that Jesus Christ sinned while He was on earth
  • much more likely to believe that the holy literature of the major faiths all teach the same principles even though they use different stories
  • less likely to believe that a person can be under demonic influence
  • more likely to describe their sociopolitical views as “mostly liberal” than “mostly conservative”

Ever feel like we’re being sold a commodity…is love supposed to be a commodity. We know the Christian church has made their love conditional over the years but this is basically market research…

“if we fished x% of people currently attending a local church, we could increase attendance y% and correspondingly, giving z%”.

Is this eternal planning or fiscal planning…kind of feels like a business plan. I bet they know how long on average I’ll attend the church, to what I’m likely to give above and beyond, and what is most likely to get me emotional…that’s probably how teaching gets assimilated as well…who needs the Holy Spirit when you have Barna and Pastors.com.

We’ve got all this intel yet we weren’t quite sure on the whole weapons of mass destruction thing…wow!

God’s CEO

Posted in Blogs, Christianity, Church, Church Planting, God, Leadership, Megachurch, Politics, Religion on February 11, 2008 by Scott

trump.jpgWe read a post over at Phoenix Preacher on Mark Driscoll and some of the turmoil going on at Mars Hill Church. The skinny is that Driscoll removed members of the pastoral staff for “unhealthy distrust”. It seems to come down to Driscoll having an agenda, staff members disagreeing with said agenda and leaking it to an elder, and they got canned.

Was Driscoll in the right? Is the pastor the CEO like in any other corporation…when the agenda of the CEO is thwarted, someone gets axed. No need for protocol or grace, or even the restoration plan afforded Ted Haggard, fire the Judas!!!

There are some powerful men controlling large operating budgets with even bigger egos in our churches. They’re magnanimous…and they’re ruthless when their will…oh, God’s will, is not followed through on. They can hide beneath structures such as Elder Boards and Leadership Teams but never doubt who is calling the shots…the guy who planted that church. He’s God’s CEO…

Ultimately as the church, we need to increase the visibility of the organizational church…it cannot be some black hole of tithes and offerings…request audited financial statements, minutes, operational plans, whatever is available. The majority of our Church Executive Officers are responsible stewards and respected leaders but it does not mean we are to be trustworthy to a point of naivety…verify the information and follow the dollars.

With comments such as “attracting new worshipers” circulating in our new church culture…that comes down to $ per attendee.

What do you think…is the church a pastor’s to do with what he/she pleases?

Quoting Hybels

Posted in Blogs, Christianity, Church Planting, Discipleship, Leadership, Megachurch, Missional, Relationships, Religion on October 24, 2007 by Scott

Here are some excerpts from the October 18th post at Christianity Today which quotes Hybels at the Leadership Summit.

Speaking at the Leadership Summit, Hybels summarized the findings this way: Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn’t helping people that much. Other things that we didn’t put that much money into and didn’t put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for.
We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between service, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.
Spiritual growth doesn’t happen best by becoming dependent on elaborate church programs but through the age old spiritual practices of prayer, bible reading, and relationships.
Our dream is that we fundamentally change the way we do church. That we take out a clean sheet of paper and we rethink all of our old assumptions. Replace it with new insights. Insights that are informed by research and rooted in Scripture. Our dream is really to discover what God is doing and how he’s asking us to transform this planet.

This is some good stuff…the realization that we still need the word of God and it took building a megachurch to get there. We love the three spiritual practices. Here are some thoughts from the book of Jude on relationships…

But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand
Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

What do you think about Hybels…is it time to move from seeker church to feeder church?

False Profit

Posted in Christianity, Church, Church Planting, Creativity, Evangelism, God, Megachurch, Religion on August 31, 2007 by Scott

joel_osteen-false_prophet.jpgSo…we’re trying to put legs under our new reality show for youtube or cable.

The show is going to take 16 of the most up and coming church planters and pit them against each other. In typical reality show form, there will be a wannabe pastor fall from grace each week.

A weekly rewards challenge will be held on the biblical basics…scripture, people, and even evangelical history. But it culminates each week with an elimination challenge. A 5-minute sermon based on a topical blind draw just prior to their time (we’ll give them 10 minutes prep time). The judges, with at least one guest judge each week…a who’s who of the evangelical and emergent worlds, will decide who the weakest candidate is and thus send the false prophet on their way.

The finale will showcase the final two, where they have to plan an entire 1-hour experience/service. The winner…gets $1 million to launch their new megachurch.

Oh…the winner is determined by the number of hands raised in the audience of non-Christians and uncommitted Christians at the conclusion of their set…that’s always who wins…right?

Spiritual Obesity

Posted in Blogs, Christianity, Church Planting, Discipleship, Evangelism, God, Religion, Video on August 29, 2007 by Scott

Steven Furtick of Elevation Church gets fired up in this video about those he deems as pharisees.

What do you think about what he says? Is evangelism all there is or are we called to discipleship in other ways? Can someone really be a disciple only by doing works like serving or has God called us to a life of studying his word as well, and are we getting fat and self-righteous?

We wonder if Christ would deliver this message…gotta like the enthusiasm. Is someone who just raised their hand ready to fight this fight and build the church, or will this world pierce them as it did Peter at the cockcrow.

What do you think…can churches just be responsible for one element and leave the rest to another church?

Do You Dabble?

Posted in Church, Church Planting, Community, Discipleship, Evangelism, Faith, God, Megachurch, Religion on July 31, 2007 by Scott

preacher_economics.jpgWe recently read that “the economics of the entire business would fall apart if it weren’t for uncommitted users who just dabble”. This applies to such things as movie rental programs, gym memberships, commercial flying, and even voting.

But if the economics of the church is actually salvation, doesn’t the church as we currently experience it cease to exist if people become totally committed?

Think about it…most resources are dedicated to the uncommitted, so if there aren’t any, does it have a purpose in our current culture…perhaps as a country club.

What are the economics of your church? If a church doesn’t know its economy, it has already failed and it is merely dabbling in mediocrity. Know God’s economics for you; the world is full of dollar-movie places, so be different and capture those who dabble.