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Feb 12, 2018

Five Lessons I’m Learning As A Church Planter

In the fall of 1999 I planted a church...

...and here I am almost 20 years later doing it again.  

I learned a lot with my first church plant; however, because I am continually learning there are some things I am learning with this new church plant as well - here are five of them...

#1 - Appearance Matters

I Samuel 16:7 says, "But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

I have always looked at this verse and thought about how God knows the heart - but - the concept I was missing was the Lord says people really do look at outward appearances.  

This doesn't mean we always have to purchase the newest, shiniest thing out there. 

Second Chance Church (the church I now pastor) is primarily a digital campus.  We do get a group of about 10-15 people together every single week so I am not preaching the message to an empty room.  

Last week I showed up about an hour early to make sure the temperature was comfortable and set up the chairs.  

However, when I arrived I noticed the floor was dusty.  

Honestly, I don't think anyone would have noticed.  However, I want to set the tone early.  So, I got the broom and mop and busted out my cleaning skills, because, while we don't have graphics and artwork - I want to set the tone early so when we do have those things we will take excellent care of them.  

#2 - Build the core before attracting a crowd.  

When I first started Second Chance Church I had quite a few people suggesting I purchase a large facility, saying if I did the church would fill it up the first Sunday...

...which would be problematic because...

...people would know WHAT we are doing,  but would not know WHY we are doing it (aka. THE VISION!)  

Jesus said in Matthew 7 that the foundation has to be SOLID or the house will fall, which means taking the time to build the core is essential.   

#3 - Listen To Millennials

I think this lesson is important for a couple of reasons:  

First - we spend way too much time making fun of them.  (Sure - the whole participation trophy joke gets a few cheap laughs--until we remember they didn't ask for them - insecure parents insisted on it!)  

And, side note, anyone who feels made fun of will eventually stop coming around.  

SECOND -millennials know how to reach millennials! 

Instead of criticizing them we should engage them.  Seriously - If we are SO CONCERNED about millennials dropping out of church - then instead of talking down to them them we should ask them WHY they are leaving and what would bring them back.  

#4 - The Importance of Online Giving

When I launched my first church in 1999 we didn't even have a website (most churches didn't!)

And to think someone would actually give via the WWW rather can cash or check was simply unimaginable!  

However, today is SO MUCH different (98% of all the giving at Second Chance Church is ONLINE.)

And, if churches want to continually see an upward trend in their giving - then engaging people in regards to online giving ie essential.  

BTW - if you are a church leader and want to see an increase in giving in your church, I have four free videos available at www.fiveminutegivingincrease.com - and I can promise if you will just do the information in the videos, you will see giving go up!)  

#5 - Community is Essential For Transformation!  

"All we need is Jesus" is a lie! 

We need Jesus and one another. 

Jesus didn't say, "will know disciples by the way you love me," but rather by the way you love one another.  

Andy Stanley says that "circles are better than rows," a lesson I didn't really buy into until I spent a month in a treatment center--where I learned that people who surround you with encouragement and support really do make a difference when it comes to making progress in life.    

This weeks edition of the Perry Noble Leadership podcast has all of this (and more) in way more detail - go here to check it out.  

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