Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mission Partners Part 2

A Couple of days ago I threw down a few thoughts on the challenge that is raising partners in the mission.

Today I want to focus on the role of the Lead Planter when it comes to raising and stewarding the resources required for the mission. A few observations;

1. Jesus is the ultimate provider of all our needs however as the under-leader you are responsible to prayerfully gather the partners and raise the finances required to get this new work off the ground.
2. You are responsible to teach your congregation what gospel motivated giving is : giving generously, faithfully and concistently to the vision of seeing people impacted and transformed by the truth of Jesus Christ.
3. You are responsible to protect yourself. You need to lead your leadership to formalise the new churches financial system so you can lead and teach Biblical stewardship from a position that guards you personally. This means having a system where you aren't signing cheques, the church has accountability structures, there is a budget and it is transparent.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Week in - Week out

Now that the real football season has started back home in Australia I've noticed how easily the club world champions Manly's NRL premiership defence is already in terrible shape. Last years unbreakable Manly have now slumped to their third straight loss with a 12-10 defeat by Penrith. Whats gone wrong and what can I learn from this sudden slip? A couple of thoughts;
* No one is ever on the top of their game all of the time. Face it, it's reality. We get injured, tired and need seasons of rest and recovery if we're going to play a good game for the long haul.
* When you've got momentum you look and play better than you are. When you haven't got it you look and play worse than you are.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Upside Down People

Today at Mountain Lake Church we refocused ourselves on the heartbeat of Jesus as we read of His encounter with the "Woman at the well." What a beautiful reminder to us of what 'Church' should be about. Church isn't for perfect people. Church should be a place where 'upside-down' people can find love, healing and hope in Jesus.

I'm so excited about the opportunity I've been given as an 'upside-down' person to know and follow Jesus. And more than anything the amazing privilege I have to share the love God with others today as I serve them and tell them about my Lord and friend Jesus.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Insights from Pastor Chris Mavity

Today I had the privilege of having lunch with Pastors Chris Mavity (North Coast Church), David Putman and Casey Graham.

One of the great insights that Chris shared with us was the principle of 'transitions'. He explained that if you do not clearly identify the times of transition and guide people through them you run the risk of confusing them, destabilising them and loosing them. Example : the transition from kids church to youth group. Solution : bring the litte kids in for visits to the youth group so the 'environment' is not a huge surprise and so they can meet the older kids etc. Do not just expect them to 'make' the transition.

Mission Partners Part 1

One of the key challenges that Church Planters face is communcating their vision with the goal of raising partners, most of whom will never regularly attend the church that is being planted.

A couple of thoughts that have been very helpful to me:
1. Be clear about the gospel vision that Jesus is calling you to.
2. Pray and ask God bring partners with a heart for His vision.
3. Identify the relationships God has placed around about you:
Businesses &
4. Get in touch with them, communicate the vision and ask them to prayerfully consider partnering with you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Church Planter Advice - Pastor Rory Dyer

Pastor Rory leads Glenridge Church International, Durban, South Africa.

"Rory’s philosophy of ministry is “keep it simple.” In fact, it is so simple they don’t even have a church website, yet the church gathers nearly 3,000 people! Glenridge focuses on three things: Inclusion, Intercession, and Increase. They do Sunday meetings and small groups, and that is about it." The Leaders Poole

Zero to Sixty Day Conference

Hey wanna give a BIG shout out to one of my Church Planting Coaches Bob Franquiz and his day conference "Zero to Sixty" to be held in Atlanta next Thursday. Bob will be sharing his leadership 'toolbox' and the "principles and practices that leaders of growing churches need to lead at the next level." If it's anything like the coaching network he leads it'll be an absolute great cracker!

Thursday, April 2, 2009
9:00AM - Noon

This seminar is hosted by:
Avalon Church
1467 HWY 20 West
Mcdonough, GA 30253

Here’s what you can expect to learn:
- How to communicate vision in a way that causes people to respond
- How to hire the right people and fire the wrong people
- How to gauge the health of your church
- Staffing strategies that add staff and reduce expenses
- How to maximize momentum for greater growth
- How to develop a system for raising up leaders
- How to develop yourself as a leader
- How to manage staff more effectively
- And much more!

To register click here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Scratchin' my way through

Hey though I dearly love Georgia for it's Southern BBQ, fried chicken biscuits, trucks, bikes, ballparks and genuine people... one thing I can't stand about Georgia is the freakin allergies I get from time to time here! I wake up at night my eyes itchy, throat itchy, skin itchy, nose is either clogged up or running. Headaches. Man it can make for a tough existence. By the way the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America lists Atlanta Georgia "the worst US city to live in." Dang it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Leadership Tip

Hey for what it's worth, and primarily to remind myself in the future:

"You can not and never will be able to recruit difference making leaders via email." Pastor Shawn Lovejoy.

Want to change the world? You can't do it alone. Real lasting change happens when leaders gather for the cause. How do you gather leaders? You must build genuine community based upon collective vision, trust and genuine relationships. Try to cut the corners on these three and to quote my Dad (who by the way is a great visionary leader) and "You're spitting into the breeze."

Church Planter Advice - Pastor Andrew Heard -

Hey some great foundational advice from Andrew Heard, Pastor of Central Coast Evangelical Church on the North side of Sydney, Australia. I really appreciate Andrew and his heart for Jesus, the gospel and reaching Aussies who're far from God.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Leading a movement

"Soldiers know it takes war to make a general." - source unknown.
My thoughts on this profound quote; It takes conflict and opposition to raise a true a leader. To lead any group of men well into harsh conditions it takes a man who :
* has been blooded by the battle himself and stood firm.
* has risen naturally into leadership & not by appointment or politics.
* has the trust, loyalty and confidence of the men who he leads.

"It had long been known that the Third Australian Brigade, consisting of Queenslanders, South Australians, Western Australians, and Tasmanians, had been chosen to make the landing...
During the whole of this trying time if one thing cheered the men more than another it was the behaviour of their officers. I saw one officer in charge of a machine gun who one knew for certain must be killed if the fight lasted...
Australia has lost many of her best officers in this way. The toll has been really heavy...
It would be absurd to pretend that the life of an officer like that one was wasted. No-one knows how long his example will live on amongst men. There were others, whom I will mention later on when the casualties have all reached Australia, who died fighting like tigers, some who fully knew they would die. One was sometimes inclined to think this sort of leading useless, but none who heard the men talking next day could doubt its value. "By God! Our officers were splendid," one Australian told me. Where I went I heard the same opinion expressed."

Charles Bean - The First Report (ANZAC landing)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Church Planter Advice - Pastor PJ Smythe

A highlight for me of the recent Acts 29 Seattle Bootcamp was Pastor PJ Smythe's message on planting gospel driven churches. Pastor PJ leads Godfirst Church Bryanston Johannesburg. Great post on the priority planters must place on loving and pastoring their household first.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why plant another church in Brisbane Australia?

Surprisingly Christians often ask me this question. My answer:

The planting of a new 'church planting church' located in the Southern Inner City region of Brisbane, Australia is strategic for the following reasons;
1. The catchment area is populated by hundreds of thousands of unchurched people who need to be introduced to Christ and the life He offers.
2. Research shows that Brisbane is the fastest growing capital city of Australia and is strategically located in the heart of one of the fastest growing regions of the nation.
3. Research shows that the Australian Protestant church is not only in rapid decline but is also moving through a period of cultural transition.
4. Research overwhelmingly supports the effectiveness of church plants in evangelism, discipleship and gospel contextualization.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Church Plant Vision

Thanks to my friend Ps James Rodder I now have a great clip to help share the vision for a new church in Brisbane, Australia. See to the top right -->

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Link Love

Matt Adair - Innovation3 summaries.
Time Magazine, New Calvinism is No. 3 World Changing Idea.
Mark Driscoll's take on 'New Calvinism'.
Jamie Munson - Financial Series Summary.
Shawn Lovejoy - Spending time with God.

Finish Strong - In Jesus

True followers of Jesus don’t just start with the good news of Jesus, they engage with him every day. It really is all about Jesus. The Bible plainly teaches us that "Jesus plus anything" leads to spiritual death. The fact is that God has created us to only be fulfilled by knowing and worshiping Jesus and living inline with His Gospel. It's when I forget the gospel : who I am in Christ and that He abundantly loves me, has purchased me 'at a price', I am His and He now lives in me... It is when I forget to live out of the truth of Jesus and His gospel that it all falls apart. Apart from Jesus and His gospel I have nothing. And it is in this condition my sinful heart loves to arise, deceive and lead me to return to life by the law not life by the Spirit. War begins. A war with my personal security, identity and who I am and where I can find peace.

That's why I need other men. Not to beat me and tie me up with the Law, but men to pray for me, to daily remind and encourage me in the Truth of Jesus my Lord and King and who I am/we are in Him. That's the sort of relationship that God tells us to have with the brothers. It is life giving and guards us as a family. Law giving alone kills. I hope that makes some sense. I find this fleshed out in Hebrews 3:12-15.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Seth Godin - Underdog Leadership

"Leadership almost always involves thinking and acting like the underdog. That's because leaders work to change things, and the people who are winning rarely do."
Seth Godin.

Observation - Leaders who've 'won' and experienced some 'success' simply have something loose, and the temptation is to guard and 'manage' what you've got rather than risk it all to initiate change and take new ground.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Formation of 'New' Australian Church Planting Network

Earlier this week I had the privilege of attending the Acts 29 Seattle Boot Camp. Whilst there I caught up with 'five' Australian Pastors/Planters who were visiting to gain insight as they determine their way forward. Click here for the 'open letter' penned by 'group leader' Al Stewart, Anglican Bishop of Wollongong (Sydney Diocese).
"...Mars Hill Seattle – like other American churches I have been to – exudes a love for Jesus, a confidence about the future and a great generosity to visitors. They are generous with their resources, their hospitality (food laid on at every turn) and their encouragement. I think this is the thing we can most learn from our American brothers and sisters: they are big-hearted and understand gospel generosity, and they feel a sense of urgency about getting things done.
"All five of us are coming back from the conference resolved to work at encouraging the good work that’s already happening in church planting in Australia, and build further on that.
"However after discussion with Mark Driscoll and Scott Thomas (Acts 29 Director) we have agreed that us Aussies will run an independent Australian church-planting network (the name is coming soon) with partnership and support from Acts 29."

Pray for Al Stewart as he leads this newly forming Network.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Church Planter Advice - Ps Mikey Lynch

It was great to meet fellow Aussie Mikey Lynch at last weeks Acts 29 Boot Camp in Seattle. Mikey has some great advice for us as he reminds us of one of the often forgotten 'basics' of following Jesus.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shaping young men

I have the privilege and responsibility before and under God to raise three young men. It daily brings me to my knees. One of the things my friend Ps David Putman and I often talk about is the fact that when it comes to the bottom line of discipleship - you reproduce who you are. We can not escape this reality. We all have an impact on the people around about us. And we all pass on whatever is going on inside us. What's going on your life? What are you building into the people God has placed around about you? Is it negativity, religiousness, isolation? Or the life, freedom and love of God you have found in Jesus Christ?
"There is just one way to bring up a child in the way he should go, and that is to travel that way yourself." Abraham Lincoln.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Seattle Acts 29 Personal reflection

There is nothing like getting away for six days and waking up at 3.30am every morning to hear God. As I've reflected on the bible passages I've read, the prayers I've prayed, the messages spoken and the words various men spoke into my life I have three things that I do not want to loose:
1. The gospel is Jesus. He is the good news. Life, death, resurrection, forgiving, spiritually living in me, changing me, working in and through me. Never leaving me. Thank You Jesus, I live for you. Isaiah 7:14 - God with us forever, that is the good news!
2. I must daily die to all my insecurities. They are idols and I need to repent of them and embrace who God has made me in Jesus. I am His. I am not anyone else. God loves me perfectly and eternally in His Son.
3. I love the gospel of Jesus. He calls me to come follow Him and use all I am to see others know His love and follow Him. Lord give me a spine of iron and a heart overflowing with hope, passionate, unfliching in my watch over the good news.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mark Driscoll - The Call to Endure

Some Notable Quotes.
"Though the Bible exhorts us to finish well, few men do so."
"Character begins to set early and over time will calcify, I urge you start well and heed the advice of your bride..."
"You need time with Jesus, time, solitude, listen. Without you will lack ability to repent, lead, speak, pray."
"To endure spiritually you will need to practice silence and solitude."
"Extrovert? Discipline yourself."
"Do not let Ministry become your idol because it's the one the church will let you get away with."
"Love Jesus - Dont use Him to get to your ministry ends."
"Churchplanters think we're invincible. You're not. You are a jar of clay. We think we're moved by the Holy Spirit when its stress."
"Fundamentalists tell me I shouldn't be drinking alcohol. Hey you shouldn't be drinking gravy. Gluttony is sin."
"If you're a pastor you don't have a pastor. The 'closest' thing to a pastor is your wife. Wives love, help & guard him."
"First priority is to love Jesus, second is love your wife, third love your chidren, fourth is being a pastor."
"Planters - You have a great battle plan to plant your church but no plan to love your family... Make sure your marriage is the priority."
"Your wife is not the churches helper. She is your helper. You need your wife more than you think. Presence, time, touch, emotionally... "
"If ALL you are into is NEW you will end up a heratic. God call us to contend & Contextualise."
"Manage your time & energy. Know who are. Planters get someone else to counsel."
"Preaching the gospel? There will be critics everywhere online permanent. Turn them into coaches. Never engage on their terms. In your anger do not sin. Avoid email."
"Know the size of your plate and fill it. Reverse engineer. First add on priorities. Don't pile. OR you will loose it. You won't see it."
"Ministry - Lots of Fans. Heaps of Foes. Not many friends."
"Don't try and find that ONE mentor. Instead Build a Bull Pen - Men who can help you in a 'situation'. Specialists who care."
"Those who do not endure are those that do not repent."
"Do not just preach the gospel. Practice it, use it, respond to Jesus. Grow. Repent well."

Monday, March 9, 2009

Acts 29 Seattle Boot Camp 2009

A Few Notable Quotes - Mark Driscoll
"Thinking of Planting? You will need three things : Money, People and Place."
"Some planters get a hurricane and others get a nice breeze to fly their kite, that’s just up to God."
"Think carefully when considering your calling and consider who your wife is, her gifting, personality. Is she a sticker or a mover? Backpack or Anchor?"
Russ McKendry
"I can best compare Relaunching a church to a bone marrow transplant."
Scott Thomas
"The only way we can make disciples of all nations is by being and remaining in the presence of Jesus."
"Most people can gather 50 goof ball Christians. Thats not planting, planting is gathering in the presence of Jesus."
Matt Chandler
"God is into contextualisation... He wrote the New Testament in Greek ;)"
"Want to preach? Why the eagerness for a stricter judgement? This is not a game..."
"Fulfill your ministry. You are not Mark Driscoll or anyone else... stupid."

Church Planter Advice - Pastor Scott Thomas

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dr Dan Reiland - Leadership Advice

Yesterday I had the privilege of sitting in on a roundtable hosted by Dr Dan Reiland and His Staff. Here's a nugget I just had to share with you:

At every level you as the lead pastor need to get out of doing the work and spend time with God. It’s like pre-momentum. It’s taking to the time to talk with God to get His perspective on all the stuff that’s out there in the future. The next series, next series, next staff hire, next campus, next plant. Then with this gel-like, vision 'oozing' you come back to the team and lead them into the pre-momentum. They then 'solidify' the vision and lead it out into the congregation. Then the momentum kicks in. “You take the time to prayerfully do the trip with Jesus and then you take it to your team who takes it with the congregation.”

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Church Planter Advice - Will Mancini

Will Mancini has some great advice for church planters and specifically clarification and communication of the unique vision God has given you within His Great Commission.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Financing the Mission

One of the key things that I’ve learnt during the first seven months of my church planting residency with Churchplanters.com and Mountain Lake Church is: when it comes to planting a church it’s going to cost more money than you think. Ps David and Ps Shawn even go so far as identifying being able to “Finance the Mission” as one of five key factors of ‘successful planters.’ They put it like this: “The mission you write is the mission you underwrite.” Financing the mission is the lead planter/pastors job. It isn’t something you can ignore or delegate. Confront it, deal with it and get on with it. By the way Ps David Putman has put up a post today about this, check it out here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Church Planter Advice - Pastor Nelson Searcy

Hey one of the great things I've been able to do over the last 6 months whilst interning with Churchplanters.com has been to connect with Nelson Searcy and his team at The Journey Church NY and at his Launch Conference. I've also had the privilege to be a part of one of the Church Leader Insights coaching networks. If you're a planter or considering planting make sure you get to Nelsons March Launch Conference. Here's some advice he shared with me at the recent Churchplanters.com Conference.