YOU CAN’T TAKE YOUR PETS TO WAR

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“Where there’s light, there’s bugs”. After church planting I realize the importance of a good bug zapper. Everybody’s got an angle. Everybody’s got an agenda. People see a new church plant on the horizon and they think that it’ll provide an ideal place to make the sunshine on their favorite pets. Even among our own core team, there was a temptation to pull the church one way or the other into our personal preferences. But because what we all wanted was for people to see Jesus, we sacrificed our personal pets. If scrambling up over the trenches and barbed wire, and running covert missions into enemy territory, then we were marked for war. As planters for the kingdom, it was serious business, and our pictures were going to end up on the “Most Wanted” pin-up on the bulletin boards of hell. Therefore, we made a decision early on. We forbid people to bring their pets. I’ve never seen pets on the battlefield, have you? I mean, a pet terrapin on a leash would look pretty stupid while mortars shells are exploding all around me.

We all have our pets. Mine is preaching. In America, the circles that I was a part of preached for 65 minutes. Sometimes 75, but then people complained.  A short sermon was 50. 35 minutes was unheard of. When I got to Wales, they all expected 30 minute sermons. I had to change a bit.  Not that much, but I trimmed it down to about 40 minutes, and that was about the best I could do. My 65 minute pet had to be left home in America (sniff). But I wasn’t the only one. There were people from the more charismatic background who joined our team and were nothing but a blessing. Early on, we had a meeting in which we all listed what we’d like to see in the church, and talked it through. In that meeting we talked about what would fly and what wouldn’t in the establishment of Pillar. We all had to sacrifice some pets in that meeting.

As a leader, it’s important that you listen to the visions, ideas, and priorities of your team. It’ll save you some headaches in the future. Get it all out after a few months, after you’ve gotten to know and trust one another. I definitely wouldn’t do it before the six-month mark; you’ll prejudge each other too soon. Once you get to know each other, you’ll be able to listen respectfully to each other without alienating one another. So although one of your core team members has a great idea, you’ve heard him pitch it, and likewise, have given him ample scriptural justification for why naked Sundays is probably not going to fly. Setting the ground rules is something that you’ll need to do together as you talk through the reasons why things get the thumbs up or thumbs down.


Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on Amazon.com. You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.

reaching-the-unreached-book

CORE VALUES

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Your core values are going to keep you from straying from your mission statement. Carefully examining and defining your core values is the concrete mixing stage. Before you pour a foundation of cement, you need to know what it is your pouring. Everything subsequent to the foundation will be in relation to what you poured into the original mix. If your church has built for 20 years on a foundation that is cracked, then you stand to rip the whole thing down in order to build again on a solid foundation……………………………….. and that’s not easy. Like Mark Twain said, “Plan for your future, it’s where you’re going to spend the rest of your life”.

When building your core team, this is your one chance to get your priorities right and make sure that everybody is on the same page.  If you don’t establish the core values from the start, people will smuggle their own in. Core values are unchangeable. It means that if we’re small or large, we operate the same.

Here’s a couple of examples:

  • We value people themselves over anything they can do for us.
  • Only three things need to happen: 1.) We hear from God 2.) God hears from us 3.) We hear God through each other.
  • God gets the prime cuts, not our scraps.

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WRITE IT DOWN

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When I’m coaching church planters, I like them to write the mission statement down on paper when they’re all hot and bothered about the condition of the church, the perishing of the lost, or their personal frustrations in leadership. Best to write this when you’ve had a bad day. The reason is that the raw, unbridled emotion will help to unpack some of what has been smoldering down at the core of your gut. Usually, when I read these, they self-destruct in flames before I’m finished looking them over. But the passion is there. There is a fire in the bones, and in prophetic fashion the planter uncovers the core reasons of what he or she really wants to do without couching it in polite, feathery language for others to critique. Don’t worry…you will always go back and put some yoghurt on it to douse the spice of the flaming curry so that it’s suitable for public consumption

In Habbakuk 2:2 the prophet is told “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” By doing those three things, Habbakuk was told to make the vision permanent, clear, and transferable.

Write it down

If you’re a talker like most planters, you can winsomely persuade others to a cause. It’s part of the leadership bug. Often, when we’re done, people are

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I have a Patreon!!!

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Hey Everyone!

I have some big news! Last Week I launched my Patreon account!

If you don’t know what that is, Patreon is a site that basically allows memberships for individuals.

The way it works is you choose a tier of support. Each tier is a different financial contribution each month and in return, you get some goodies from me.

For my Patreon I have 7 total tiers of support that you can choose from and the monthly support for those tiers range from $1 a month to $250 a month.

Here is a quick breakdown of the tiers and their cost. With each tier comes more access and more goodies.

 

Tier 1-Ninja Tortoise-$1

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WHY THE WORLD NEEDS YOU TO HAVE A MISSION STATEMENT

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Launching with the right focus is essential if your plant is going to avoid defaulting into just another big church after you’ve grown. If you’re using the New Testament apostolic model, then the solution is hard-wired into your church already. You’re not wired to grow big, but to reproduce. As soon as the tender shoots begin to grow, you’ll be splicing them to ready them for transplants. Outgrowing your building means that you’ve got to start assembling some new teams for planting outwards.

Multiple services, outlying campuses, and other forms of ecclesiastical greed will make you want to vomit instead of causing you to salivate as you indulge your insatiable appetite for more. Getting your priorities right from the start involves setting a missional agenda that seeks to grow the church outward, rather than just upwards. It also details how to ensure that you’re starting by reaching the lost, rather than just attracting disillusioned Christians from other churches.

But starting out well isn’t a guarantee that all will end well. It is possible to start out a champion like Gideon earning the moniker of “Baal-slayer”, only to end up establishing your own form of idolatry in its place as people bow down to your sacred ephod. If people worshipped Gideon’s armor, rest assured that they will find ways to worship your success too… If you let them. The masses will flock to you and burst the fire capacity of your four walls, but at that juncture, you have a choice. If I had my way, most of you reading this would constantly be shedding the ephod like David, finding Saul’s megachurch armor too big and cumbersome. Instead, you’d be opting for a sling-shot, greater mobility, guerilla tactics, the Spirit’s power, and enough confidence in the Almighty to keep running at giants.

The world has had enough of churches that are out for themselves. Young people have already made up their minds that churches are no longer about people, but about the institution. They cynically analyze the million dollar money making machine from a distance and conclude that the church is out for itself. Their number one question is “Are you for me, against me, or for yourself?” In the end, a mission statement will help you safeguard that the church doesn’t become about “itself” as an institution, merely adding more programs to keep the machine running and the people happy. After all, if you don’t keep the people happy they’ll leave, right? Any church planter worth his salt always wants people to leave his church; either to plant more churches, or to stop distracting the rest of them from the mission. You know what the difference between a church plant of 50 people and an established church of 1000 people? The answer is 950 people.  It’s up to you to make sure that your church has more to say when it gives that answer. There should be more difference between a church plant and an established church than numbers. It’s an issue of DNA, not size.


Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on Amazon.com. You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.

reaching-the-unreached-book