So, I’m gonna end this installment with my final two church planting mistakes. Again, there were so many more, but I’d be writing forever. However, these five (in total) were the main ones that, looking back, I’d do a little differently.
MISTAKE #4: Not Paying Enough Attention to Outreach Events
This was another big one… because events are the main draw and catalyst to grow the launch team. From big events, names/information are collected and followed up on, and more detailed info concerning the church is given after the event. Inevitably, there are people who will want to become a part of the journey of seeing this new church get started. This goes for even unchurched people. I’m a very strong proponent of allowing non-believers to be a part of the launch team (notice I didn’t say core… I don’t even use that word), if they have an interest in locking arms with us. Here’s why: they come and be a part of the Kingdom-building process, they’re hearing the Gospel and the claims of Christ, they’re rubbing shoulders with passionate Christ-followers, they’re seeing God answer prayer in awesome ways… they get to see first-hand what following Christ looks like!
But what kind of events? This is where the team’s creativity comes to play… block parties, cookouts, paintball events, free concerts, and more. There is an endless list of ideas a team can come up with to plan relevant events to connect with the community they’re trying to reach. The key is to plan thoroughly, make it something fun and exciting, have a way to get names & info (maybe a raffle of some kind), and do as many as you can (maybe monthly) in the months leading up to the launch.
Also, aside from events, there are mega-opportunities to do community outreach… especially in the area of random acts of kindness. To be able to meet a need and say, “I just want to show you the love of God in a very practical way” goes many miles toward bridging the great divide between church and community.
MISTAKE #5: Not Paying Enough Attention to SYSTEMS.
This was the granddaddy of them all… because systems underscore everything you do! Having good systems (along with good people) in place won’t assure that you’ll have a megachurch… but not having good systems will almost guarantee that your church will run a whole lot smaller than you ever anticipated.
I didn’t really begin to pay attention to having good systems until we were well underway with launching the church. But stronger systems in the beginning would have saved us alot of stress, time, energy, and money (thank you for that acronym, Nelson Searcy). Having strong systems would have forced us to ask hard questions about our strategy, goals, vision, resources, etc. It’s not enough to try to be spiritual and say, “Let’s just pray and believe God for this work.” NO! As Andy Stanley says, “When one or more of the systems in our body are failing… when we get sick… we don’t just pray.” We go to a specialist who can tell us how to get our bodies (systems) back to work!
Thinking in systems is crucial… if you don’t, then everything you do will be haphazard or hit-and-miss. We accomplished alot of good things in the early days of Mosaic, but I know – had systems been a large part of our thinking – we’d have accomplished way more. Systems force you to ask clarifying questions about where you are, what you’re trying to accomplish, where you’re heading, who plays what role, what resources will it take to pull off “X” event… etc.
Strong systems + strong people will infinitely increase the productivity of your team!
D Plum 😉