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Apparently, guys forget their anniversary a lot, so I hate to tell you three other dates that you need to mark on your calendar.  Remembering these dates will not save your marriage, but they may save your church plant.  They involve the development of your team and provide time for you to bond and gel before your public launch.

Bonding is essential to core team building, and time is the secret sauce.  The great thing about the missionary journeys of Paul was that 1st Century travel lent itself to team building.  Weeks and months of traveling by ship, horse, or foot, gave Paul and Barnabus bags of time on their hands to forge a tight bond. You talked, prayed, laughed, ate together, farted, played tricks on each other, and practiced evangelism on people along the way.  Not too much different from short-term trips today, except that short-term in meant long-term in those days.  In today’s world of modern transportation, you’re not going to have the luxury of traveling months at sea or by land with your partners, so you’d better get your calendar up and mark some dates to spend some quality time together.  While you may not be traveling on the Mediterranean together or snorting horse farts in a caravan, these dates will prove invaluable in making up for lost time when building your team.

The three dates are:

  1. The initial core team vision meeting
  2. The commitment cut off
  3. The public launch

CORE TEAM VISION MEETING:

By now, you’ve already had the initial crazy night of gathering a bunch of peeps and selling them on this “crazy idea”.  You invite them to your house, a Denny’s, or where ever.  It doesn’t matter on the first night.  The point is that you’ve gathered with the people that are interested in church planting in your community.  Something was said that night that resonated, and that’s why you’re back.

Do you remember what it was?

Was it the mission that captured your heart?
Was it the values that they said they’d operate by?

Was it that the strategy they laid out for reaching your community was something you knew would work?

Or was it just that you knew that here was a group of people where you’d be safe. They’d love those who came through the doors?

You’d heard the broad brush strokes. Now it’s time for you to start filling in the details.

That’s right!

Your gifts are going to be what makes this dog and pony show do some tricks.

During the next 9 – 12 months time, you’ll eat together, laugh, talk, get into the word, pray, and discuss the people that you’re trying to reach.  Most of your bonding will happen naturally through prayer and over a plate of indian curry, or sweet barbecued pigs flesh.  We over formalize team building in the West, yet the Mediterranean people know that if you really want to bond with somebody, you eat with them.

Some of the best team building was done by my youth pastor who was more apostolic than he ever knew. Without realizing it, he mentored me by taking me into his house after our late night outreaches, and feeding me anything he had which usually wasn’t much.  Over the years, I’ve realized that I ate that poor guy out of house and home, but he will never know until eternity reveals all, how much he invested in me during those late night hours. We ate tacos, reviewed that night’s ministry, and laughed until we cried poking fun at low budget rap videos, and infomercials.  Shadowing this man of God unwind on the downside of intense front line ministry I learned what it meant to be a disciple.  I’m convinced it was no different with the Twelve.

Over the next few months, your team is going to go through all of the normal ups and downs that life sets up. Birth. Death. Loss of jobs. Sickness. Promotions. You name it. God is going to take you, as well as the others, to new heights.  He may also sink you into heart-wrenching depths as well.  In his sovereignty, however, God will bond you together as you share these sorrows, weep with one another, and carry each other to God in prayer.  Laughter and tears have the bonding properties of super glue, and I’m sure that Jesus had this strategy in mind, when he lived with and carried these poor misguided youths for three years.   I’m sure that their laughter was epic.  I’ve traveled with groups of guys before, and one thing that they know how to do is laugh and cut up.

As Solomon said, enjoy these times, for dark times will come… soon enough..

But some of you will still decide that you’re not going to make it to the launch.

And that’s okay. For now.


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.

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