This is the night you gather up all the peeps that you think might be interested in your “crazy idea”. You invite them to your house, a Denny’s, where ever. It doesn’t matter on the first night. The point is that you’re gathering the people that you think might be interested in church planting. If it resonates, they’ll be back the following week.
Initially it’s best to tell them to come that night, and explain that there’s no strings attached, and you’re not going to make them sign in blood on the dotted line. At the end of the night, you let them go away without any talk of commitment. Instead you simply say:
“If you liked what I said, then I’ll see you next week.”
Some will, some won’t, but from there on, you continue to meet weekly, for about 9 – 12 months.
How will you recruit a team? I wish I could give you a formula, but I suck at chemistry. I also know that God invented Algebra to illustrate that sometimes there is an unknown factor in every equation. In church planting, He’s called the Holy Spirit. Mark him with a letter x, p, q, or whatever, but like the wind in your parachute, there are just some things that you can’t plan. Building your team is one of those things. I can remember God moving in the Starbucks that I planted my first church out of. It was obvious that the Spirit was moving, and that the lost were hungry for the gospel, but I had no team. I had already quit the ministry, telling God that church people weren’t for me and that I was tired of their games. Ministry, however, isn’t something that you can flick on and off like a light switch and before I knew it, the Holy Spirit was moving. At the time Pillar was just taking off in a Starbucks and lost people were enthusiastic. My wife and I stood out on the edge of a field on one of our hikes through Wales, and she said, “I don’t feel safe without a team”. Standing there in that clearing, we prayed. She for a team, and me for anybody else who could come along and be more suited to take this thing than me.
Within a month, we had a team.
I make no bones about telling people that if you’re going to church plant, then you’d better start expecting God to turn up. No more of this playing in the whitewash of human effort when he’s given us the powerful currents of the vast ocean in the Spirit. He’s like the wind, and He turns up and blows
To catch the blog post about Missional VS. Attractional CLICK HERE!
Each church planter is seemingly faced with a choice as to what path they will take, deeming one path as the way of the Jedi, and the other as the dark path that must never be ventured down, lest it forever dominate their destiny. However, those that watched the prequels know that only Sith deal in absolutes. The difficulty with glorifying one model at the expense of demonizing the other is that the Spirit may be working through both.
From the 1st Century onwards, Church history is packed with examples both missional and attractional. Those that have gone before us seemingly utilized both approaches as they followed their call to proclaim the gospel and expand the borders of the Kingdom of God.
Charles Spurgeon, a favorite among many missional community leaders was so attractional that he had to ask his congregation to limit their attendance to the Metropolitan tabernacle to 3 out of 4 Sundays so that the massive crowds in London could be accommodated. There was even a
There is a debate raging in the church planting community; Attractional or Missional? Both sides are firmly convinced, and go at each other like the British and Americans alternatively championing tea and coffee.
In mentoring church planters, I’m often asked which approach I favor. Before I answer that question, allow some brief summaries for those not familiar with the terminology.
The generation who had their heyday in the 80s and 90s favored the attractional model. The plan was simple; rent an industrial building, renovate the sanctuary, plan a bunch of programs, hire a dynamic youth pastor, cater to families and watch the people pile in. Place the emphasis of church upon meeting needs, running programs, and excellent teaching, and the church becomes a “one-stop shop” for everything people need to enhance their
“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.