The coffee’s hot. The spice bread is on the plate. Your living room is about to become a vortex designed to draw people into a whole new world. Call it the doors forming the portal to Narnia; call it the first step on the road leading away from the shire; call it the first visit to the Mos Eisley spaceport with Obi Won…Either way, a whole magical world is about to open up for them beyond the wardrobe…A new adventure is unfolding down the road from the Frodo’s front door “And wither then? I cannot say…” This spaceship is about to take off and tackle the forces of the evil Empire… AN UNEXPECTED PARTY
Every great adventure starts with a meeting of the minds. Bilbo got a knock on the door from Gandalf the Grey, and 14 dwarves who followed. In this case, you’ve invited 8 people to your house for a cup of coffee, a bite of cake, and some mind-blowing vision. You’re about to share with them what you’ve put in the letter…but this time face to face.
There is such a thing as group dynamics. The ideal interpersonal group communicates well somewhere between 8 -12 people. For that reason, I suggest inviting no more than 8 other people. Including your wife and you, that makes 10. Over pouring the cups of coffee, you hand them a full copy of your mission statement, explaining to them your history, your call, and what you’d like to do.
SHUT UP AND LET THEM TALK
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Because you’ve got unsuspecting victims in front of you, you’ll be tempted to storm blast them with the pent up passion that’s been building up inside of you.
Instead, keep it to twenty minutes, allowing them to flip through the mission statement while you talk. Keep it relaxed… Keep it informal… Keep it personal.
What you want to do is to get to the Question and Answer time. It is the most fruitful time, and the discussion will help direct your evening in the way that it should go to help them best understand your vision. So, shut up and let them talk.
WHAT TO SAY
Begin by telling them that you’re not selling anything, but that you’ve carefully selected them from a list of people that you knew would want to track with you and keep abreast of the new venture that God is calling you to.
The MOST IMPORTANT thing for them to know UP FRONT is that you’re looking for a commitment from people to pray.
At the end of sharing your vision, reiterate to them that you respect them all and would appreciate any commitments and to pray for you. Tell them briefly that there are deeper levels of commitment as well, including supporting the work financially, and even joining your team.
It is helpful to provide self-addressed, pre-stamped envelopes with the following responses:
I will commit to praying for you and would like to receive a monthly newsletter.
I will commit support the work financially in addition to praying and receiving the newsletter.
I will commit to joining your team in addition to praying, receiving the newsletter, and supporting the work financially.
Hold it up for them, and explain the steps, letting them know that there is no pressure here, and you’re just waiting for the Lord to move on people’s hearts as He sees fit.
Lastly, open up a short time for people to pray for you. God will massively encourage your heart as his people pour out their hearts in prayer for you, your family, and the work at hand.
All of this should go no more than an hour to an hour and a half.
Lastly, thank them for coming, and let them get the heck outta there so that they can talk about what a nut you are!
Don’t assume that just because you’ve unburdened your vision over coffee, preached on it, reminded them in discussion, that they’re going to get it. As I left my first church plant, after 4 years, a close friend of mine who’d been there from the second week of our public launch came up to me and said, “After 4 years of being here, just as your leaving, I think I’ve finally figured out what you’ve been trying to do here”. That was worth the four years, right there. It made me smile. I reminded them of the vision non-stop, but some people just didn’t get it. Now I tell church planters to write it down and hand it out. Some people need to see it spelled out in black and white. Let your people know your vision, your core values, what your name means, what you expect to happen when they come together. Shoot, write a tome! Just make sure it’s something they can hold in their hand so that it can serve as reading material while on the thunder bucket. That way, if they don’t like it, they can also use it for toilet paper and never come back. But if they like it, they show up reporting for duty, rather than standing around, waiting for somebody to tell them what to do.
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.