NOVA Church Plant – The Vision

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For the full PDF (printable) version click here.

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The Church has Left the Building

The following is an except from John Young’s blog. He provides simple, yet profound insight on what the church is to BE. If you have read the vision for the church we are starting then you will understand how my heart resonates with with John’s perspective of the church.

Recently, I saw a group of people eagerly passing out snacks and hot cocoa on an Atlanta street. The group was dressed in a uniform of sorts that read “The Church Has Left the Building.”

Surprisingly, the church name wasn’t on the shirt. No plug. No quotas being met. No guilt being given in the form of “we fed you now come visit us.” That a church would simply want to serve-without any apparent effort to self-promote-is rare, indeed, in our culture today.  

Too often it seems that professing Christians are more busy doing church rather than being the church to our communities. Of course, church is much more than a set of rituals. It isn’t the performance of teachers, or musicians, or the pastor. Church is the life of Jesus on display through His people.

During this holiday season of busy-ness, think about where you will be. In meetings? On the phone? Calling on clients? Planning next year’s budget? Cleaning house? Delivering speeches? Delivering babies? Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, try to think of yourself as part of that great, global reach of Christ’s love to a needy world. Our role is to be a stand-in for Jesus-to proclaim the good news of the gospel and to help make the world a better, less threatening place. Perhaps we need to remember just what it is we are to be busy with-the Lord’s work.

Don’t forget. The church has left the building. The church is you.

Church Planting Boot Camp

Way too many people (though I don’t mind) have been asking me about Church Planting Boot Camp with Church Coaching Solutions. So here it is… it was like drinking out of a fire hydrant in regards to the amount of information, but spiritually and emotionally it was inspiring, encouraging, and invigorating. Here are only some of the BiG Ideas, take aways, and next steps I received at Boot Camp:

Stefani and I refined our philosophy of ministry especially as it pertains to core values (thank you Doug for your help with this) and our spiritual formation strategy especially as it involves the reproduction of leaders.

“Prayer is DOING”. This concept rocked my prayer world. Coming out of the weekend we are setting up a couple of vision, partnership, and prayer nights with the people from Calvary Church who are on our prayer team.

Todd Wilson, “God has already set up incredible contacts and released amazing resources. You just have to discover them.” This statement by Todd was very confirming to how we have been praying while being instrumental in changing how we relate.

“Church plants are the planting of God’s Kingdom in the kingdom of the world.” I love this quote of Ed Stetzer. It resonates with my heart and reinforces the concept of God as a sending God.

Chemistry, Character, and Competence are essential in choosing the launch team. It is the chemistry part that really caught my attention. This concept is modifying how I approach potential staff.

During the week, I became even more stoked for our faith-based approach to church planting. As if I wasn’t already. I can’t wait to start piloting this approach!

My evangelistic mindset in church planting was brought the next level through Vince. I appreciated this quote, “The only way to raise your passion for lost people is to hang out with lost people. We find God’s heart for lost people when we hang out with lost people. We aren’t close to God if we aren’t close to the people His heart is close to.” I am continuing to grow in this area and look forward to beginning the many new relationships I have to gain with pre-Christians.

Joe Beam, “Our battle is in the heavenly realm. Don’t get mad at the person – look at what is behind them.” This quote has been very beneficial in some spiritual warfare I am facing.

The whole concept of Limerance opened my eyes to human choices and is helping me extend the balance of prayer, grace, and truth in people being restored to right relationship with God and others after making moronic decisions. It also serves as an intellectual warning to guard my own life.

Coming out the week we determined that we had to put together a brochure that outlines the vision God has given us and the opportunity for others to partner in the vision.

To read the notes I took for each of the 20 sessions – click here.

Church Planting Boot Camp Notes

A five day intensive church plant training with Church Coaching Solutions – get it all here:

Session 1: Converge with Pat Ferguson

Session 2: A Complete Philosophy of Ministry with Bob Harrington

Session 3: Prayer Team Development with Andy Hudleston

Session 4: Networking, Outreach, and Marketing with Todd Wilson

Session 5: Engaging in God’s Mission with Ed Stetzer

Session 6: Building the Launch Team with Bart Stone

Session 7: Marketing with Bart Stone

Session 8: Next Steps in Faith Based Church Planting – Todd Wilson

Session 9: Evangelistic DNA – Vince Antonucci

Session 10: Church Services for People who do not like going to church – Vince Antonucci

Session 11: Diving into the Chaos – Vince Antonucci

Session 12: Personal Leadership – Joe Beam

Session 13: Becoming a Reproducing Leader – Brian Zehr

Sesion 14: Staffing a New Church – David Crosby

Session 15: Church Planters and Leadership Coaches – Bob Harrington

Session 16: The Discipleship of Money in a New Church – Bob Harrington

Session 17: Finances and Budget – Todd Wilson

Session 18: Seven Keys to Starting a Dynamic Childrens Ministry – Melanie McRay

Session 19: Leadership and Small Groups – Bob Harrington

Session 20: Opening Day – Todd Wilson

A church that moves the world

globeJR Briggs posted this great quote that states well what God has called us to do in starting a new church.

“We do not want, as the newspapers say, a church that will move with the world. We want a church that will move the world.”  -G.K. Chesterton

Chosen

There isn’t much more the human heart longs for than to be accepted just as it is without being marginalized. To be affirmed in strengths without being condemned for choices. To be loved when fully exposed.

The leadership genius of Jesus is He chooses a group of nobodies from the class of not good enough, who are marginalized as everyday, ordinary men, to be His disciples. Jesus looks past human flaws to see spiritual potential. These men are less than perfect, and they know it, but they have been chosen by Jesus! Imagine their excitement when chosen by Jesus, the perfect Rabbi, to be His disciples.

Even more amazing is after only a few months of relationship building and training, Jesus trusts them enough to give them His authority to cast out demons, heal the sick, and share the good news of the Kingdom (Luke 9:1-6). This is dangerous, but He believes in them. He sees beyond the negative perceptions of men and into their Kingdom potential.

This is what Jesus has done for me. He has loved me just as I am. He has empowered me with the power to heal others and see them restored to the fullness of life as he designed. He has put me in a place of spiritual authority regardless of my flaws. He has believed in me. He has chosen me as His disciple.

Life Change

Bryant BaptismMy life changing relationship with Bryant began four years ago when he first came knocking on my door to repair his bicycle. I have been repairing his bicycle ever since which makes me look like a really bad bike mechanic.

I clearly remember the first night he attended our junior high ministry at the invitation of a school friend. When he saw me at this first event, he ran over curious as to why I was there. I told him I was helping to lead the night. This was the beginning of Bryant attending every week and getting involved in an awesome small group.

A few weeks into his attending, we talked about repentance. While driving him home that night, I asked if he understood how repentance works. It was clear that he did not understand “penance” as he called it. After taking it through, he agreed to practice the spiritual discipline of “penance” to discover if it really works. Two weeks later, I followed up, by asking what he was learning by practicing “penance”. His response was classic, “Yeah man, it’s weird!” What’s so weird about it? “It works!” What do you mean? Bryant went on to explain that his relationship with peers, who he has hated for years, where changing. They were becoming friends. As he continued to practice repentance, his relationship with his brother and sister began changing; his relationship with his parents began changing; his grades started going up; he started experiencing less relational drama at school; he was beginning restored to God and others. After a year of practicing repentance and experiencing God’s work in his life, Bryant prayerfully submitted to the leadership of Jesus.

Last night, I was on the verge of tears while baptizing Bryant. What a powerful night and awesome story of God changing this young man’s life.