Saturday, April 12, 2008

Steve Brock

Gary Player - A Gentleman

I guess professional golfer Gary Player made his 51st and final appearance at the Masters this week. It was an emotional moment as I watch him bend over and kiss the green as he exited for his final time.
His streak is older than Fred Couples. It predates the term "Amen Corner." It's been around longer than Barbie, hula hoops and audio cassettes.
To what does he owe such longevity? For a guy who boasts he can still do one-handed push-ups at age 72, it's no secret.
He says, "I've exercised diligently, profusely, for 64 years. And that's not easy; very few people go through their lives exercising for 64 years. So it's helped me to have longevity. Growing up and coming along in my career a lot of people ridiculed and thought I was a nut lifting weights and exercising and dieting the way I do. Now I'm sure there are many of them that wish they had done it."
Yvonne and I met Gary Player several years ago and found him to be a true gentleman. He often tells me, "This is the only game you can play all of your life." Or, "Believe it or not, I can still shoot my age. How many sport can you do that in?" If I didn't misunderstand him, he said his waist size has not changed in the past 30 years. Wow!

A Gift for Senior Pastors

[From Pastor Steven Furtick by sf]

Recently I recorded a discussion about protecting your pastor with 12 men in our church who mean a great deal to me. If you are a senior pastor and you’d like to have this resource on CD, we’ll send it to you for free. No strings attached. We’re not trying to get you on a mailing list. I just thought this would be a blessing to you.

Email us your mailing address, and we’ll send it out as soon as possible.

Send it by Tuesday, April 15. That date should make it easy to remember. After that, I’ll have to close the offer to make sure it’s not a looming headache administratively for our staff.

(I know several of you may prefer a link for download, but for this one, we’ll only be mailing out CDs. Thanks for understanding. Oh, and senior pastors only this time around, please.)

Click here to email us.

Thanks for reading the blog. We value you.

Leadership Development for Aspiring Leaders

Want to contribute? Want to make a difference? Want a good reputation? Want to be heard?

Practice the following:

1. Be Trustworthy: Trust is the first discipline and the foundation for a relationship between advisor and leader or boss.

2. Become a Verbal Visionary: The leader's greatest skill is verbal skill, and the leader’s advisor must also have powerful verbal skills.

3. Develop a Management Perspective: To be a management advisor is to be able to talk more about the boss’s goals and objectives than about whatever your staff function happens to be.

4. Think Strategically: One of the great realities of management is that the leader’s job is always about tomorrow, and almost never about yesterday.

5. Be a Window to Tomorrow: Understand and use the power of patterns. A sophisticated advisor is one who can forecast tomorrow with some level of accuracy.

6. Advise Constructively: Giving advice starts where the boss is and where he or she has to go (where the advisor is or has been).

7. Show the Boss How to Use Advice: If you want to see your recommendations come alive, teach the boss how to accept and use advice.

Vacation Time for the Pastor?

Every pastor needs to recharge from time to time. You must do this.

Total Church North America Conference

[From by D. Goodmanson]

Save the dates of August 12th-15th. I'd encourage you to attend the Total Church North America Conference in San Diego, hosted by Kaleo Church.

This will not be your typical conference and will radically benefit those who attend so they can walk away changed and refreshed to do mission.

Total church is a way of thinking about church and mission in the 21st century which sees the local Christian community as integral to Christian living and Christian mission. The Christian life is "total church" - our identity is communal.

The first Total Church was held in Sheffield, UK, in 2007 at the end of October, hosted by the Crowded House. The conference is named for the book, Total Church -A Radical Reshaping Around Gospel and Community which will be released in the Fall in the US.

Further Reading:
Total Church Post by Tim Chester (co-author)
Total Church quotes by Steve McCoy
Total Church review by Mark Moore

Church Planting

[From Planting Space by Doug]

In our recent survey of new churches currently in years 2-5, we found that the healthiest new churches had launch teams of over 40 people. Click here to see the stats.

At Passion 4 Planting we work hard at staying up to date with church planting and have a nearly exhaustive list of tasks for planting a church. Its packaged nicely into our Converge software and online launch plan tool. If you are interested, we’ll be giving it away for free starting at the Exponential Conference.

Though building a launch team is the most important things you do in starting a church, it hard to develop a task list around it. People are not tasks. If you approach them as such, your launch team will not thrive. You need to create opportunities to connect with people in an authentic way in which you reach out to them with the love of Jesus rather than look at them as a number or how they can help you. Here are a few ideas:

1. Define what a launch team is.

A launch team has a singular goal: to help the church planter get the church started. Once you begin launch team meeting, you must communicate the goal of the team. The tendency will be for the team to form a tight bond during the pre-launch time and focus inward once public services begin. You must regularly communicate the message that they are to reach out to their lost friends and neighbors and serve them rather than hang out together.

2. Determine who you will allow to be on the launch team.

By the time you begin building this team, you should already know what your target group looks like. Your target group helps determine who should be on the launch team. For instance, if you are targeting young couples a launch team of retired adults will not work. When the young couples arrive for the church and all they see is gray heads, they will assume the church is not for them. It is advisable to have diversity on the launch team, but the majority should reflect the target group.

Will you accept non-Christians on the launch team? I hope so. You are starting a church for lost people, so they should be a large part of the team. They may not yet fully understand church, but your relational connection will be enough for them to help get things started.
Don’t aim to recruit Christians from other churches. That’s not why you are starting the church. You will likely encounter Christians who want to be on the launch team. Be very clear up front what the vision of the church is and make sure they are on board 110%. Unity is essential. Find out why they want to be a part of the team. If they have left a church, call the pastor and ask. The last thing you need is a cantankerous Christian on your launch team. Avoid the temptation to begin holding “services”. Their will be many clamoring for this. Keep them outward focused and attend other church plants in your area together.

3. Define the commitment.

Ask people to commit to serving for the first 3-6 months of the church. You will need that commitment to have adequate volunteers the first few months. Hopefully they will continue to serve long after that. But remember the goal is to get the church started. If they do not see themselves as a permanent fixture at the new church, they are more likely to stay through their committed time.

4. Don’t get attached.

You will build close relationships with the people on your launch team. You will tell stories for years about the things you did together. You will think that they will be a part of the church forever. They won’t. Most church planters see about half of the launch team leave in the first two years. Part of that of that will be natural. The ones that will hurt are the those that never really got it and leave to go somewhere else.

5. Start with Prayer.

You cannot start a church out of your own strengths and talents. You should have the feeling of “I can’t do this.” Starting a church is a God thing. Pray for divine connections. Ask God to help you connect with the right people at the right time. God is already at work in your target area. Long before you arrived, God was working in the hearts of people and preparing the ground for your launch team. If the task of building a launch team of 40+ people sounds too big, then you are in the right place. Go to God.

6. Get out of the office/house.

You won’t meet to many people sitting in your office at the computer. Get out! If you need a place to work, go find a coffee shop with wi-fi and camp out daily. You’ll get to know the employees and regulars and through those relationships will have a chance to share your story.

7. Network, Network, and Network some more.

Make an exhaustive list of who you want to network with and intentionally spend time meeting with them. Meet with principals, business owners, other church leaders, politicians, land developers, real estate agents, etc. If you need help identifying who to meet with, we’ve created a Community Targeting Tool, to do the job for you. If you need an excuse to talk to people, start planning an outreach event and ask for businesses to partner with you.

8. Do Things You Enjoy in Public (ex. sit in a jacuzzi).

My wife and I met lots of people sitting at our neighborhood pool and jacuzzi. What else are you going to do besides talk (That’s rhetorical, no comments please). I’ve known lots of pastors that join gyms as ways to meet new people. My wife and I met a launch team couple and long time friend by walking our dog in the neighborhood. If you don’t have dogs or kids, get one or the other. Its the easiest way to break the ice and you will automatically have lots of things in common. Take your kids to the park and hang out with the other parents who have nothing to do while their kids play.

9. Plan outreach events.

Plan several outreach events to connect with and meet new people. Whenever you do, be sure to issue a press release. Partner with other events that are going on in the community for maximum impact.

10. Plan a Matthew Dinner.

When you connect with someone its natural to get together. If they have captured the vision of the new church, ask them to host a cookout at their house and invite all of their friends (including you). This will rapidly expand your connections. It is also how the church most naturally grows. Most people come because they are invited. Build this into the DNA of the launch team early. At dinner time, ask the host to introduce you as the pastor of a new church and have them ask you to pray. No need for lectures about the church. If people, are interested they will ask. As you meet new people, invite them to your house as well. Be strategic and invite people that you think will naturally connect with each other. I hosted a dinner group for friends and then asked if they would like to do it regularly and have discussion about spirituality afterward. Each person wrote down one question they would like to ask God. Each week we talked about a different question. This wasn’t bible study time. Everyone contributed their own thoughts. But I always shared Scripture and God’s point of view. The discussions were amazing.

11. Host informational cookouts and dinners.

Plan some launch team events where those you have connected with can bring their friends. These are crowd gathering events. If you plan to vision cast, make sure that people know that ahead of time. Remember the time you were hoodwinked into an Amway presentation. No one wants that experience.

12. Share your story and don’t be afraid to ask.

Don’t be shy about what God has called you to do. Most non-Christians will find it fascinating that you are starting a church and ask questions. I found that being a pastor is not the leprosy disease we make it out to be. People are interested in spirituality and your story is the most powerful tool you have. Look for opportunities to share it and ask them to share their stories of spirituality as well. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask. When you have an event our when you need volunteers to serve at the church, be sure to ask. Many won’t serve out of love for God YET, but they will serve because you’ve taken the time to be their friend.

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Today's Quote

"Without vision, people will define their own vision and the loudest voice will prevail."