You are Transitional

You are Transitional

By Ed Compean

A church planter can be overwhelmed with developing a core team, meeting with people and raising volunteers. These immediate based commitments, and numerous others, can make it difficult for a church planting pastor to even consider  who will follow him in the pastorate.

 

My experience until now has been planting churches and helping others plant churches. While the progress sometimes felt glacial, the focus had been to establish, raise up and turn over. In a series of events which can only be described as God’s sovereignty, things have changed. As of six weeks ago, I am the new pastor of a well functioning, almost 25-year-old church full of wonderful people and rich history. It is from this experience I hope to make three points for the planter to consider for the benefit of the church and the next pastor.

 

You Are Transitional 

A few days into my new pastorate,  a man wept deeply in my living room, not in a counseling session or in a time of confession. Instead, he was deeply moved to sobbing tears because the Lord had brought a new pastor to his church. His joy was not for me specifically, it was joy for God’s faithfulness to bring an under-shepherd for the church he loved.

 

Church Planters would do well to encourage the people of the church to care for the church with a view touching  eternity. Bill Holdridge with Poimen Ministries was instrumental in the pastor search and in my transition into the new church. He explained the importance of the long-term view by telling me, “We are all transitional pastors, there will be another.”

 

Church planters will do well to encourage people to love the Head of the church, honor His bride and appropriately respect the office of pastor. Of course there will be a generation in which there is no transition, but until Jesus returns, one day we will all be replaced. It is best to pray and plan from the beginning.

 

You need to Communicate 

The previous pastor had done an excellent job of preparing the church for transition. He had similarly done an excellent job in helping me understand how the church was functioning and how the small staff was operating. The assistant pastor was completely supportive and provided a great sense of continuity. We all knew sheep could be restless in the transition, so effort was made to communicate as much as possible.

 

Before final decisions were made my wife and I met and broke bread with the elders for a time of testimony and dialogue. Similarly, the outgoing pastor arranged for time with key staff members where many questions were asked of all. All the church volunteers were invited to a luncheon where we again gave our testimonies and answered questions.

 

To keep the church updated, the elders asked me to preach and after each service opened the church up to questions for my wife and I. While the final decision was made by the elders, it was an opportunity to communicate to the body. It allowed inquiring, involvement and investment by the body as well as to the body. In the weeks since becoming the lead pastor, several people have mentioned how they felt they understood the process and appreciated not being left out.

 

It Is Not About You

The verses the Lord gave me for the transition is Psalm 23:1-2.

 

The Lord is my shepherd;

     I shall not want.

     He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

     He leads me beside the still waters.

 

Though my wife and I are making another radical change in our lives, these well known words are not for us. They are for the Lord’s sheep in His pasture.

 

There was strong agreement that the former pastor and his family were called to a new work, but there is also strong grieving as a dear part of this community of believers is missed.

 

Even if his leaving had been from disqualification or division, as the new pastor I would want to honor and help the grieving of the sheep. They hurt, and that is okay. Grieving is good and honoring of the relationship. The better the grieving, the sooner the sheep are lying down in the Lord’s pastures and drinking of His waters. Their missing of the former pastor has nothing to do with how they view me as the new pastor. It has everything to do with missing a friend. You want to minister to and with people who feel the depth of relationships.

 

Pray and Prepare

Praying for and preparing the church for the eventual transition to the next pastor should be on the minds of all church planters. Some will transition soon, like the apostle Paul, others after many decades, like Pastor Chuck Smith. In either case, until Jesus returns, we are all transitional and should pray and prepare for the inevitable.

 

Finally, let me take a moment more to make another callout to Poimen and Bill Holdridge. They are a great wealth of information for the times a church planter moves on to do what church planters do.


Ed Compean is a former church planter in Kenya and the current lead pastor at Shoreline Calvary in Morro Bay, CA.

The Problem With Fast Growth – Part 2

The Problem With Fast Growth – Part 2

By Pastor Miles DeBenedictis

Growth, of Character, is Needed

The second problem with fast growth, and this is über important, fast church growth tends to hide the need of personal character growth for the one leading the fast growth.

I do believe that slower growth cultivates the pastor’s character as much as the church he’s planting. Quick growth, however, makes it more possible for the planting pastor, and those around him, to overlook or neglect the need for personal growth and development.

I’ve been somewhat disheartened, in meeting a number of high-profile, large church pastors who experienced fast growth in their ministries. Yes, correlation is not causation. But I do think that fast church growth can mask the need for steady pastoral growth. And that pastoral character development is never fast! Specifically, the deficiencies I’ve observed are in the areas of humility, grace and for lack of a better word, warmth.

Perhaps I’ve over-hammered the issue of humility already. Pride is almost never a virtue, hardly ever warranted and pretty much always sinful. Every one of us has the seeds of pride residing within. Fast growth is an amazing incubator for pride. Slow growth is the compost for humility. If lead pastors are to be representatives of Christ’s church, then they absolutely cannot lead from a position of pride; the first on the list of things that God hates.

In the last 10-years we’ve watched more than a few large church pastors publicly chastised for ungracious attitudes and methods of leadership. Honestly, I am ungracious too. We all are, in our base natures (i.e. flesh). When the church grows quickly I believe learning to work graciously with others on your team can be easily overlooked. Don’t misunderstand; small church pastors can certainly lack grace too. But churches that grow on a slow curve, tend to require that the pastor grow in grace.

A Proponent of Grace

Pastor Chuck Smith pastored a massive mega-church for decades, but was a huge proponent and picture of grace. This is likely because he had 17-years of small church experience before the precipitous growth of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. Those 17-years were, I believe, essential to his growth as a pastor.

It is somewhat inevitable that as a church grows, the distance between the senior pastor and the larger church body increases. This isn’t entirely a good thing, but it is a thing, and it is a thing that is compounded when a church grows quickly. Which means that introverted pastors remain rather cold and standoffish toward the people they pastor throughout their entire tenure. Slower growth, however, requires that a pastor be forced out of the comfort of introversion. No, that doesn’t mean that he’ll become an extrovert, but he will have to learn to be more of a people-person than he may be naturally. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that some of the most relationally warm pastors I know are former missionaries who served in a context that remained small and a culture that required relational interaction.

I get it. Lead pastors like church growth. But church growth at the expense of growth in Christ likeness is not acceptable. Please, don’t despise the day of small things. 


 

Miles DeBenedictis is the Senior Pastor of Cross Connection Church in North San Diego County, CA, the church he attended as a child and was discipled for ministry by. He can be followed @PastorMiles

How to be Qualified to Lead

How to be Qualified to Lead

By: Bruce Zachary

This post is shared from the VELO Church Leaders Page 

Another mega-church pastor was removed from his ministry because of notorious sin. This time it wasn’t embezzlement, or inappropriate behavior with a woman. This time, once again, the life dominating sins were pride and abuse of authority. This time, once again, we were reminded that character trumps talent. This time, once again, we learned that dynamic and talented people unbridled by the Holy Spirit are dangerous and unqualified. Unfortunately, their public disqualification tends to transcend their general sphere of influence. Abraham Lincoln observed, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

…“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

Leadership is at its essence influence. A spiritual leader influences others towards God’s desired destination. Therefore, spiritual leaders encompass a much broader group than the roles of pastors, elders, and deacons. For example, parents are called to be spiritual leaders. Influence generally begins with a small sphere, but can often expand. The larger the scope of influence the greater the need to be qualified. John Adams, second President of the United States, noted, “Because power corrupts, society’s demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.”

In the local church, existing and emerging Spiritual leaders must be qualified. Every person with the title leader (or assistant leader) in his or her roles [e.g. usher leader, children’s ministry leader, youth leader, community group leader] is a spiritual leader. In the local church, the highest level of qualification relates to the office of elder (also referred to in the New Testament as bishop, pastor, overseer, and shepherd). All leaders should aspire to develop the Christ-like character that is the essence of the qualifications for the highest-level spiritual leaders.

All leaders should aspire to develop the Christ-like character that is the essence of the qualifications for the highest-level spiritual leaders.

What are some of the qualifications, and how qualified do you need to be to start leading?

What are some of the qualifications? Paul describes a snapshot of the qualifications for elders in his first letter to Timothy. The list reveals several of the qualifying character traits that spiritual leaders should seek to develop:

“This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil [1Tim. 3:1-7].”

The twelve [12] traits noted below are presumably not intended as an exhaustive list. All the qualities deal with character rather than ability, with the exception of teaching. Let’s consider the traits that we are to display as leaders, and cultivate among emerging leaders:

  1. Be blameless [2]: The essence is a good reputation, not perfection, so that you don’t bring reproach to Christ, His Church, or self. Have a good reputation within the church community as well as the community outside of the church [7].
  2. Be faithful (the husband of one wife) [2]: Leaders are faithful to Christ and faithful to their spouse. This is not an exclusion of single people leading. Similarly, those who have been divorced may not be excluded depending on the circumstances.
  3. Be temperate [2]: Leaders should be sensible, and self-controlled in their behavior.
  4. Be sober-minded [2]: Be wise regarding spiritual decisions and avoid foolish choices. A person of faith should be led by the Spirit not fleshly impulse.
  5. Be good (good-behavior) [2]: There should be a sense of godliness and modesty to a spiritual leader’s speech and behavior.
  6. Be hospitable [2]: Hospitality can be shown by willingness to open your home, and other tangible acts of love for strangers.
  7. Be able to teach [2]: Spiritual leaders should be able to communicate spiritual truth and explain the Scriptures to others.
  8. Be sober (not given to wine) [3]: A spiritual leader should not drink to excess nor be intoxicated.
  9. Be gentle (not violent) [3]: Christ’s leaders are gentle, able to make peace, humble when criticized, and aren’t looking for a fight.
  10. Be content (not greedy for money) [3]: God’s leaders are to be content and not covetous. People who are drunk on money can be just as dangerous as those who are drunk on wine.
  11. Be respected by family (rule his or her house well) [4-5]: Spiritual leaders should have a godly home. Their children should have a reverence for Christ and therefore be submitted to authority in the home.
  12. Be spiritually mature (not a novice) [6]: A new believer, or one newly planted, should only be conferred with significant authority. The accolades and influence that flow from the authority are likely to produce pride. Pride led to Satan’s fall, and countless leaders have followed the same destructive path. It is wise to ensure a spiritual leader’s stability before conferring too much authority.

How qualified does a person need to be to get started as an emerging leader? I had been a follower of Jesus for less than six months when I was asked to teach a Bible study. That opportunity was critical to my development as a leader, and allowed for expanding influence as a spiritual leader. For more than 25 years I have been blessed to serve Christ, enjoy expanded influence, and the opportunity to develop other existing and emerging leaders. I believe that the most important test is whether the emerging leader is submitted to Christ and accountable to godly authority? As long as the leader is growing in character, and is under Christ’s authority, and remains accountable to godly leaders, than progressive influence and authority can be conferred. Like a horse, don’t hold the reins so tightly as to quench or break the spirit of a thoroughbred. Similarly, don’t completely let go of the reins and let mavericks cause damage.

…the most important test is whether the emerging leader is submitted to Christ and accountable to godly authority…

Lifework: Three tests to see how qualified you likely are:

  1. Pray that God would reveal any particular areas where you need to grow. Then read the list of character traits again. Share the insights with another person who can encourage accountability.
  1. Ask your spouse or a close friend to grade you on a scale of 1-10 on each of the 12 traits, and use the results to help you see areas where you might need to grow.
  1. A great test to determine whether the existing or emerging leader is submitted to Christ and accountable to godly authority is the 360-degree review. Provide the list of twelve [12] traits to a group of ten people that know you from various spheres of life [family, friends, work/school, church, community]. Ask them to anonymously grade you on a scale of 1-10 on each of the 12 traits. Receive the answers anonymously and use the results to help you see some areas where you might need to grow.

Pastor at Calvary Nexus, Camarillo, CA. Bruce has been an ordained pastor for over 20 years. Bruce planted Calvary Nexus in Camarillo, Ca. in 1996 and continues to serve as the lead pastor of a multi-site church. Bruce is the author of 12 books. He has previously been a trial attorney, and helps direct the Calvary Church Planting Network [CCPN].

Who Should Plant a Calvary Chapel?

Who Should Plant a Calvary Chapel?

Christ-Confident

I Peter 2.9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

 

When speaking of any kind of leadership, you don’t have to dig very deep into secular reading to find that CONFIDENCE in oneself is viewed as a MUST. Take a look at what a few authors have said on the subject matter:

 

“There is one particular component of leadership that is so important, so necessary, that without it, leadership cannot exist. That component is confidence. Self-confidence is the fundamental basis from which leadership grows.”

 

“Trying to teach leadership without first building confidence is like building a house on a foundation of sand. It may have a nice coat of paint, but it is ultimately shaky at best.”

 

“While the leadership community has focused on passion, communication, and empowerment, they’ve ignored this most basic element and in the process they have planted these other components of leadership in a bed of quicksand.”

 

Yet, we know through our own EXPERIENCE and the WORD of God that confidence in oneself is nothing but a foundation of quicksand.

 

Jeremiah 17.5-6: Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.

 

Phil 3.3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—

 

Confidence is truly a MUST in church planting, but not a confidence in you, your system, or your training; but a confidence in the PERSON and MISSION of Jesus Christ. We must be Christ-Confident. That’s why I love this passage in 1 Pet 2, take this passage in again, and see the truth of who we are in Christ: a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

 

When you know who you are it changes everything. We are confident because we are confident in WHO we are IN Christ.

 

Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20  “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

 

This passage is over-familiar to us all as those interested in planting and pastoring a church, but, what I don’t want you to miss is what Jesus says in verse eighteen. Jesus says, ALL authority in heaven & earth is MINE. Jesus, the one who has called us, this is HIS mission and He’s our backer. We can be confident not because we have it ALL together, but because HE does, and He’s called us to care for and lead His people.

 

If that doesn’t give you confidence, I don’t know what will. I see a picture of this confidence best displayed in my daughters. I can remember when my oldest was learning to swim, and she would jump into the pool from diving board… she would ask the question, “Are you gonna catch me?” When she jumped and I caught her… we were jumping and catching ALL day. When my youngest daughter was just an infant and would cry, I would cradle her in my arms and she would fit nestled between my hand and my elbow, as I would speak to hear and sway her in my arms, she calmed down.

 

As planters, we have been given a heavenly calling & mission from Jesus, the one whose calmed storms and conquered death. He’s gonna catch us, He’s gonna calm us; let’s be confident in who Christ is and who He has made us to be… may we be confident in Him!

 


This article is adapted from some of the content from our Planter’s Manual. Download the full manual from our site to find out more about planting a Calvary Chapel church.

 

Got Theology? Part 2

Got Theology? Part 2

By Trip Kimball

Theology, gotta have it! Even atheists and agnostics have a form of theology—one doesn’t believe God exists and the other is unsure or indifferent. It’s still a belief about God.

Many different types of theology exist. Some theology is complex, it requires a PhD to know authoritatively. But most people have a much simpler theology based on their personal experience with spiritual truth.

We all believe something about God, no matter how we define or describe it.

Belief-based or relationship-based theology

One question I think we all need to answer is this—How does our theology define us, or do we define our theology? A follow-up question is—How have we developed our personal theology?

We’ve all developed our own theology, whether we’re aware of it or not. It develops over time as we learn and internalize truth as we understand it. That’s the key thing. How do we understand it?

“How does our theology define us, or do we define our theology?”  @tkbeyond

It comes down to whether we have a belief-based or relationship-based theology. What’s the difference? One is grounded in certain beliefs, but often leads to dogmatism. The other is grounded in relationship, but based on the truth revealed by God’s Spirit (see John 14:26 and 2 Tim 3:16-17).

When dogmatism becomes the basis of a person’s spiritual assurance, a person’s faith can be shattered if something undermines their belief. When our theology is relationship-based, it grows out of an abiding, continuing relationship with Jesus and His word abiding in us (John 15:5, 7-8).

A few more thoughts and a caveat

Understanding spiritual truth requires spiritual discernment (1 Cor 2:10-14). I know this from experience. As mentioned in my book, I read the Bible every day for about two years before I began to understand it.

My openness to God was the key, not the time I spent reading. When I opened my heart to the Lord, He opened my eyes to understand the truth in His word (the Bible).

But God has shown it to us through his Spirit… Some people don’t have the Holy Spirit. They don’t accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. Things like that are foolish to them. They can’t understand them. In fact, such things can’t be understood without the Spirit’s help. 1 Cor 2:10, 14 (NIVR)

“Understanding spiritual truth requires spiritual discernment” @tkbeyond

So, how can we develop a sound theology and a true understanding of God? A rule of thumb that’s helped me is found in John’s gospel where Jesus rebukes some Jewish religious leaders—

You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me…. (John 5:39 NIV)

Studying the Bible ought to deepen our relationship with Jesus. If we only gain more biblical knowledge, then we become more like the Pharisees than Jesus’ disciples.

“Studying the Bible ought to deepen our relationship with Jesus” @tkbeyond

Finally, everyone needs to be careful about how they interpret the Bible. It isn’t just how it suits one person or another, nor how it should be understood from a certain religious viewpoint.

It needs to be consistent and congruent with what the author of the Scriptures intended. The author is God via the Holy Spirit, as the apostle Peter reminds us—

No prophecy in Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation. No prophecy ever originated from humans. Instead, it was given by the Holy Spirit as humans spoke under God’s direction. 2 Peter 1:20-21 (GW)

A personal challenge

Here are 3 things I want to challenge you to do—

  1. Review your own life as a believer in Jesus—What stands out as most important and why?
  2. Who is the most influential spiritual leader in your life, so far? Why?
  3. What’s been most helpful to you in your pursuit to know God?

You can respond to this post directly or on the social media where you see this post.

Would you like to know my answers to these questions? Then, let me know!


trip_0Trip disciples and mentors in several small groups in Jacksonville and beyond. He travels within the US and overseas to teach and train leaders whenever possible.Trip has written a book, training materials, and Bible studies for leaders and missions. He posts 3 times a week– an article, short devo, and simple Bible study at Word-Strong.com

 

BTW, the photo for this post was downloaded from unsplash.com and the photographer is Aaron Burden, check out his photos… he’s a fellow believer!

Got Theology? Part 1

Got Theology? Part 1

By Trip Kimball

 

Theology, gotta have it! Even atheists and agnostics have a form of theology—one doesn’t believe God exists and the other is unsure or indifferent. It’s still a belief about God.

Many different types of theology exist. Some theology is complex, it requires a PhD to know authoritatively. But most people have a much simpler theology based on their personal experience with spiritual truth.

We all believe something about God, no matter how we define or describe it.

A (very) basic understanding

Christian theology is categorized in various ways. The most common one is systematic theology. It’s a system of beliefs, but often with an embedded view-point.

Systematic theology sets out to be objective, but the starting point can be subjective based on certain beliefs, such as—Evangelical, Reformed, Pentecostal, or Roman Catholic perspectives.

Another major area of Christian theology is Biblical theology. It’s based on what is revealed from the written Scriptures, and is, I believe, more likely to bear the original intent of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration (2 Tim 3:16).

Of course, Biblical theology can be both objective and subjective depending on how it’s approached. If an objective approach to exegesis is applied, even an inductive study, the theology gained should be more objective, systematic and trustworthy.

” It’s easy to be swayed by the opinions and biases of others”  @tkbeyond

A cultural theology is also common for many believers. This tends to be highly subjective and personal. In other words, it’s distinctively un-objective. One example of an American version of this became known as Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.

Gaining a good theology

Unless you’re a seminary grad or highly motivated Bible student, most Christians believe what they’re told or taught by influential leaders in their lives. These would include pastors, evangelists, and popular speakers and authors.

It’s easy to be swayed by the opinions and biases of others, unless you develop an objective and systematic approach for studying the Bible.

Paul the apostle’s exhortation to the young leader Timothy reflects this—

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16-17)

This is the value of an approach like Inductive Bible Study, or IBS. A very basic description of how it’s done is expressed in the three primary steps to the IBS approach—observation, interpretation, and application.

Perhaps in the next week or so, I’ll talk about this in more detail. If that sounds interesting, let me know!

A personal challenge

Here are 3 things I want to challenge you to do—

  1. Review your own life as a believer in Jesus—What stands out as most important and why?
  2. Who is the most influential spiritual leader in your life, so far? Why?
  3. What’s been most helpful to you in your pursuit to know God?

You can respond to this post directly or on the social media where you see this post.

Would you like to know my answers to these questions? Then, let me know!

 


trip_0Trip disciples and mentors in several small groups in Jacksonville and beyond. He travels within the US and overseas to teach and train leaders whenever possible.Trip has written a book, training materials, and Bible studies for leaders and missions. He posts 3 times a week– an article, short devo, and simple Bible study at Word-Strong.com

Mike Vincent: Developing a Core Team

Mike Vincent: Developing a Core Team

Finding and Developing your Core Team!

 

As a church planter prepares to launch out and begin his church, it is always more effective to begin the work with a team as opposed to going it alone. As our examples, both Paul and Jesus consistently did ministry using the team approach. For our church planters, we call the church planting team that is going to assist in the church launch, “THE CORE TEAM.” The questions answered in this article include:

 

  1. Who should be included in a church planter’s core team?
  2. What are the specific requirements and expectations for a church planter’s core team members?

 

In this article we are going to discuss the four S’s that we recommend for every Core Team member.

 

  1. SHOW UP!

 

If a person expects to be part of a church planting core team, they need to show up!  This might sound basic, but many people want the glory and excitement of being part of a church planting team, without the sacrifice of faithfully showing up for preparation and training. When Jesus walked the earth He consistently showed up and He attended synagogue weekly –“as His custom was.” (Luke 4:16) To be on a core team, a person should be expected to show up at all church plant training meetings and the future church services once the church launches.

If a person cannot be faithful and counted on to show up at the weekly core team training meetings, you cannot count on them to show up once the church plant begins.

 

 

 

 

  1. SUBMITTED! 

 

If a person expects to be part of a church planting core team, they need to have a submitted heart! The Bible instructs us in Ephesians 5:21, “submit to one another in the fear of Christ.”  In a church plant, who is it that the core group members need to be submitting to? Each core group team member should be submitted primarily to the Lord Jesus Christ, and then the church planter or senior pastor. If a person is attending another church and submitting to someone else as their pastor, they can certainly help out with the church plant, but they should not be considered Core Team members.

 

  1. SUPPORT!

 

If a person expects to be part of a church planting core team, they need to support that church plant with their time, talent and treasure. As Jesus taught us in Luke 12:34, “for where your treasure is, their your heart will be also”. Once a core team begins weekly training and preparation meetings, we recommend that the church planter have an offering box at the meeting site so that the core team members can financially support the future church. These funds serve two purposes. First, these finances provide key funding which will be needed to prepare for the church launch. The financial support gives the core team the opportunity to show that they are fully behind this work.

 

  1. SERVING!

 

If a person expects to be part of a church planting core team, they should be ready to serve from the very beginning. Our Lord Jesus described His own ministry in Mark 10:45, by saying “the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.” As a church launches, there will be an endless supply of jobs that need to be done. Each core team member should be counted on to serve in any area needed. Once the church launches, core team members should be expected to arrive early and be the last to leave as they serve God’s people.

 

Do these four S’s set a high level of expectation for core team members? Yes! Should all people that want to attend a new church be expected to be core team members? No! These four qualities are simply a grid to help the church planter find out who he will be able to count on as he prepared to launch his church and begin the greatest adventure of his life.

 


Pastor Mike Vincent is an experienced missionary and church planter in Mexico. Calvary Chapel Rosarito hosts a one year school of church planting. This local church has four church planters being sent out in 2016 who are preparing to find and develop their core teams.

 

 

Beginning & Ending Our Church Plant

Pastor Jason Brown serves as an assistant pastor at Calvary Knoxville. In this article we’ll look at some key “lessons learned” from his experience with beginning and ending a church plant.


Pastor Jason Brown first felt a calling to ministry in his senior year of college. Jason grew up in the Methodist church, and after graduating from seminary he began serving in the Methodist church he grew up in, located in Knoxville, Tennessee. He first heard of Calvary Chapel’s through the local radio station of Calvary Knoxville. Soon after, Jason left the Methodist church to begin attending Calvary Knoxville.

After six months of attending Calvary Knoxville, Jason and his wife felt called to plant a church in Blount County, Tennessee. Calvary Chapel Blount started in January of 2006 with fifteen people and began meeting in a local school. Over the years, the church grew to about forty-five people. Yet, many of those who called CC Blount their church home began moving out of the area, Pastor Jason and his wife felt the Lord stirring their hearts to close the church.

However, Pastor Jason wrestled with feeling that if he stopped the church, then he would be failing. Pastor Mark had even offered Jason a staff position with Calvary Knoxville, yet Jason could not let go. Six months after Jason knew God was calling him to lay down the church, he realized that he was trying to keep the church alive in his own strength. In January of 2014 Pastor Jason officially closed the church, and the remaining members merged with Calvary Knoxville.

CCPN: “What are some of the key “lessons learned” that you would like to pass on to current or prospective church planters?”

Be one who is SENT out, not one who just WENT out

“If I had to go back and do it over, I would have stayed longer, got more plugged into CC Knoxville, and received more training before planting. It would have been better to build that a better relationship with CC Knoxville. Because before there wasn’t too much connection. We jumped in and planted. I think there will be a lot more fruit if you wait to be SENT out instead of just GOING out.”

Hold What God Gives You With OPEN Hands

“I’d say, hold onto the ministry that God gives you lightly. Just because He gave it to you doesn’t mean it’s yours. If He wants you to lay it back down you need to do that. We are called to Jesus first and it’s not about what we can do for Him but being with Him.”

Don’t Give Authority To Others Too Quickly

“One mistake I made was giving too much authority too quickly when someone asked for it. I gave it b/c I felt like I needed it, not because God was calling this person to leadership. So, don’t just give out of need.”


elders_jason_brownPastor Jason Brown lives in Knoxville, TN with his wife and three children. He serves as an Assistant Pastor to Pastor Mark Kirk of Calvary Knoxville. Find out more about the work God is doing in Knoxville by visiting calvaryknoxville.org.

Christmas: Daniel Williams Meals Matter

Christmas: Daniel Williams – Meals Matter


Once you have known the love and mercy of Jesus in your life, there is no greater joy than sharing His love with someone.

Jesus commands us to go into all the world and make disciples,and nothing brings greater fulfillment than stepping out and helping a person grow in their relationship with Jesus. (Matthew 28:18-20, John 20:21) I want nothing more than to obey my Savior and tell someone else about how much He loves them and what God has already done for them! But have you ever found yourself feeling ill-equipped or maybe you just don’t know where to start when it comes to discipling someone or even sharing Jesus? ! !

When my family came to Florida to start a church, we did not know anyone. We had no team, no church to invite people to, and wanted a way to form relationships and share Jesus with people who so desperately need Him. We had always loved having people over to our house to eat, and we decided to continue using this approach to building relationships and see what God would do through it! ! !

Meals are a practical and powerful means of connecting with people. ! ! Jesus used meals as an opportunity for ministry throughout His life. Robert Karris said, “In Luke’s Gospel Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal.”! !Luke 7:34-35 says, “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by all her children.” ! !

God is constantly using the everyday world around us to show us things about who He is. So, it makes sense that Jesus used every opportunity to teach those around Him, including meal times. It is amazing to note the number of times we hear some of the greatest teachings of Jesus come from a time sitting around a dinner table.

The act of inviting someone into our home is becoming more rare as people are busier and connecting more and more through social media and texting rather than face to face. We have had many people tell us that our home was the first “real home” they had been to in years! Tim Chester wrote a book on this subject called “A Meal with Jesus.” “Few acts are more expressive of companionship than the shared meal….someone with whom we share food is likely to be our friend, or well on the way to becoming one.”!! ! We eat an average of 21 meals per week.

It is a reasonable and attainable goal to plan out 1-2 of these meal times each week to connect with someone for the sake of discipleship! In a natural setting, eating a meal is an intimate and comfortable environment for real conversation.! ! So be encouraged that this is something you can do! Sometimes we may feel like what we are doing is not enough, or we feel at a loss in how we can better pour into someone’s life.

This is a great starting point. Just as Jesus used meal times to pour into those around Him, we can begin to look for ordinary opportunities to do the same!


Daniel Williams started Redemption Church Delray Beach in 2012 in Delray Beach, Florida. Where he lives with his wife, Laura, and their two children.

He currently serves as the Lead Pastor. For more information about him or Redemption Church visit www.redemptionindelraybeach.com

Unbelief

Read the following quotes that were actually stated by people:

We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”- Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

“Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

“Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances.”  -Dr. Lee De Forest, inventor of the vacuum tube and father of television.

Everything that can be invented has been invented.”– Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

Unbelief

We are all touched by unbelief in one way or another.  Many of us see it as a harmless, healthy dose of doubt that we need from time to time. But God sees unbelief as rebellious sin!
…God sees unbelief as rebellious sin!

When God brought the children of Israel to the promised land, they sent spies ahead to scope out the land.  Ten of the spies came back with a report full of fear, lies, and doubt.  The people listened to these men, rejecting Caleb and Joshua’s full-of-faith testimony that God could do what He was leading them to do.

The result was that the children of Israel were given 1 year of judgment for each day the spies were gone: which equaled 40 years!  Each one of the fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, and grandparents would perish in the wilderness, with only the next generation and Caleb and Joshua being allowed to enter in.

The application here is dramatic: are you living a paralyzed life of unbelief?  What is God calling you to do?  Where is He calling you to go?  He wants to bring you into the fullness of the promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey, but your faith is the admission ticket! Throughout the Gospels it was unbelief that Jesus marveled at, and often would not do miracles where people were doubting.

Throughout the Gospels it was unbelief that Jesus marveled at, and often would not do miracles where people were doubting. 

Don’t allow Satan to whisper his lies to you anymore.

Remember this familiar quote?

You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” —Satan to Eve in the garden of Eden.

 Give God your doubts, and begin living the fruitful life of faith today!

“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness,'” Hebrews 3:7-8.

 

Pastor Pilgrim is the lead pastor of Shoreline Church, a new church in Southwest Florida. You can check out his blog or follow him on Twitter at @pilgrimbenham.