Part Three: Some practical suggestions
1. Begin with prayer
· Perhaps small Bible study too... but you must build “dependence” into the warp and woof of the church from the start
2. Focus more on supplicating than advertising...
· Learn to pray about very specific needs and desires and catalogue how the Lord answers those prayers. (Eg: we needed another elder)
3. Make glorifying God the main priority
· Teach yourself and the people of the church that bringing God glory is more important than results, accomplishments, etc
4. Solid worship needs to be the priority, not programs for every age
· Somehow maintain a steady course of study and preaching – preach Acts! Then preach a gospel. Save Romans for later...
5. Expect great things – attempt great things.
· Do not have committees. Just take one thing at a time, involve others in decisions where that is prudent, commit matters to much prayer, be willing to be wrong and to be corrected, and do something! Don’t just talk about doing things – try to do them!
6. Use many different means of evangelism
· Church website
· Flyers door-to-door
· Give everyone in church business cards with service times and location on it
· Get involved in community events where prudent
· Teach your people how to share their faith (wayofthemaster.com)
· Don’t over-committ to one methodology – did Paul the apostle?
· Knock on doors
7. Train those who come to speak to others about Jesus
· Model and train personal evangelism
8. Don’t try to do all things for all men – know who you are as a church (strengths and weaknesses) and stay focused
· There is a temptation when you are small to cater to the loudest voice so that you will not lose people... you need to know who you are and that generally begins with the pastor.
9. Shudder at sheep-stealing and avoid at all costs
· Make it hard for people to leave their own church to come to you
· Demand a letter from or meeting with church they are leaving – church plants attract grumpy sheep!! Beware!
10. Protect your pastor
· Enormous amount of stress
· Begin plant with a promise of a sabbatical at 5 year mark
· Be willing to do more than you have ever done in church before to take some of the pressure off
· Ensure your pastor has deep relationships with other pastors who will hold him accountable and encourage his soul
11. Make use of the mother church
· Try to facilitate fellowship between congregations
· Pray for one another
· Depend on their years of experience and do not be afraid to ask for advice
12. Get free from mother church
· I think a church should be self-sufficient within 5-7 years max
· Work with supporters to develop a schedule of decreasing support so all parties are aware
13. Avoid programs for church planting
· Far too much uniqueness in each work – focus on Biblical mandates
14. Make all your plans movable!
· God may have you go another direction in a heartbeat and you don’t want to be stuck going off on your own tangent!
· Acts 16:6 And they went through the region of Phrygia and
15. Be willing to let it fail
· Not every evangelistic endeavor by Paul succeeded – if we place more emphasis on success than the glory of God we are laying a faulty foundation