News

5 Business Books for the Church Planter

Church planters often fall into one of two categories regarding business and leadership books. One group uncritically embraces whatever method sits atop the current bestseller lists. This approach fails to recognize that the publishing industry is plagued by faddishness that would embarrass Contemporary Christian music labels. Many of these books have a shelf life slightly longer a gallon of whole milk. Others fail to engage with any secular content regarding business and leadership. These leaders pay lip service to a “biblical” way of leading, and are instead relying on their instincts and experiences —which can be misleading and incomplete. What we need is…

5 Values That Shape Our Staff & Volunteer Culture

I would love to tell you we knew exactly what we were doing when we started Mission Church…we didn’t. I would love to tell you we had values and strategy clearly marked out…we didn’t. I would love to tell you we knew what it was going to look like in three years…we didn’t. What we didn’t know in the beginning seemed to significantly outweigh what we did. So we began to clarify what really mattered to us – the things we wanted to be true about us – and started sketching a list on the white board in our office….

Church Planting in Miami – Diversity, Downsizing, and Adapting

Learning a new language, adapting to a new culture, trying new foods – a missionary to a foreign country would expect all of these challenges. Church planters in the United States might not anticipate such cross-cultural experiences as part of their work, but Orchard Group planters in major cities are discovering the world is right on their street. Whitney Ingram moved to Miami six months ago to help start a new church with her husband Greg. A recent conversation highlighted the opportunities and challenges of planting a church in and for the city. Here is what she is learning: Be…

5 Suggestions When Hiring Staff

You’ve read the books, gone to school, gone through assessment, raised money, worked and reworked your vision statement, found a place to meet and made it through launch. Congratulations, you’ve planted your church!   You thought the most difficult stage was over, right? While the beginning stage of a church plant presents lots of challenges, I’ve found that as your church matures the decisions and leadership pressure only intensifies.  It is sort of like raising kids. When they are little it is physically demanding, but once your kids discover a world outside of your four walls, the parenting challenges, decisions…

What I Didn’t Know About Church Planting

“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” Albert Einstein I’m no Einstein, but I do resonate with this quote. I have only been a church planter for 4 years. Village Church is not quite 3 years old and I’m still a relatively young man. The last few years of church planting have shown me how much I have to learn: 1.  You will say no to some really great things. When you are the new church in town, lots of people want to know what you are about. They may have a list of things…

5 Things I’m Learning While Planting

My team and I have been planting this church in Harlem for the last six months, and by the grace of God we’re growing.  We’re at/near all of our goals, and it’s been one of the most nauseating roller coasters of growth and defeat I’ve ever been on. While I’m loving the journey, it’s far different than what I expected it to be. I’ve had dozens of conversations with pastors and church planters about what to expect, and while those conversations benefited me greatly, none fully prepared me for the pressures and fears I experience on a semi-regular basis. No…

5 Things I’ve Learned About Waiting

Without a doubt, waiting is one of the harshest aspects of human existence.  Is there anything more painful than being forced to wait with no course of action?  Have you ever had to wait by the phone for test results from your doctor?  Each minute feels like an hour as you wait for answers. Waiting is to feel neglected for a time.  As I type these words, my family and I are in a season of waiting.  Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have been delayed in relocating to Miami to start a church with Orchard Group. Here are…

5 UNAVOIDABLE LEGAL ISSUES FOR YOUR CHURCH

There are only two things in life you can’t avoid.   One of those will be upon us April 15.  As a church planter or church leader, there are other things we don’t like to think about but, in the end, cannot avoid. I can’t give official legal advice in this forum, but I can point out things that I’ve seen that, just like death and taxes, must be planned for and expected:  1)  UNDERSTANDING YOUR CHURCH COULD GET SUED . . . AT ANY TIME It is a bad day when summons is served.  Yet in reality anyone can…

5 Quick Ways To Improve Your Preaching

When it comes to church growth, preaching is kind of a big deal.  You can get a lot of things wrong and your church can still grow if the preaching is strong.  Likewise, you can do everything else right and flounder it it’s weak.  So, humbly submitted in the spirit of helping us all pick up our game, here are 5 quick ways to improve your preaching. 1 – Prep ahead of time.   Do whatever you can to prep your message prior to the same week you’re delivering it. Unless you’re one of those rare birds that actually likes pressure,…

5 Essential Tips For Church Planters

I’ve been hanging around church planters for almost twenty years. I planted a church fifteen years ago, and since then I’ve interviewed, assessed, trained, coached or managed hundreds of church planters. They are among the brightest, most gifted, most entrepreneurial leaders in the kingdom. They also make mistakes. Lots of them. Sometimes these errors lead to surprisingly positive outcomes; others result in painful long-term consequences. We’d like to help church planters avoid common mistakes, so here are five things I’ve learned during the last two decades: 1.  Raise more money than you think you’ll need. Church planters get started because…