Update Site

Behind the Leaf is closing, and Launch and Lead is taking it’s place.

Please visit the new site, and update your RSS feeds. All posts have been archived there, and Launch and Lead will continue to be a resource for church planting ideas.

Stuff For Sale

Here’s the last of the stuff for sale. This stuff might work well for your church, and is cheaper than buying it new.

1. 26′ foot UHaul box truck. $4000.  (We paid $5,000 and then fixed it up a good bit).  It’s old, but was a lifesaver for us while portable.  One UHaul works better than three trailers.

2. A cart of pipe and drape from Georgia Expo, kind of like this.  About 50 bases, with uprights and extending cross sections, and the drapes (in portable totes with wheels). $3000.  (We paid about $5,o00)

3. A 16′ double axle trailer. $2500.  We bought it from Tenth Avenue North.

4. A big circle truss. 6 different pieces make about a 30′ circle. $2000.  Kind of like this one.

All funds will be used to pay off some debt incurred from moving into the House of Rock.   If you are interested, email Brian.

Docs and Forms

I’ve heard from several who have really appreciated the docs & forms that are now available. People are saying it’s saving hundreds of hours, which makes me happy. When we moved to Cartersville four years ago to start Oak Leaf Church, I didn’t know anything about churches, and I didn’t have one document. So I’m hoping that this package of documents can really help churches, young and old.

Buy right here for $79, and you’ll soon receive an email with the download link. Here’s just some of what’s included:

Bylaws
Ordination Application
Statement of Beliefs
Calendar Request
Descriptions of Meetings and Retreats
Staff Org Chart
Key and Alarm Agreement
Event Planning Checklist
Facility Use Policy
Facility Use Request Form
Building Procedures
Volunteer Application
Children’s Ministry Policies and Procedures
Children’s Ministry Parent Handbook
Baby Dedication Philosophy
Student Ministry Policies and Procedures
Pro Kids Policy
Counseling Procedures
FTG Follow Up Process
Greeter Handbook
Parking Handbook
Security Plan
Small Group Handbook
New Christian Follow Up Process
Baptism Process
Series Video/Graphic Checklist
Series Planning Timetable
Master Production Checklist
Worship Philosophy
Creative Arts Ministry Manual
Style Guide
Guide to the Giving Talk
Guide to the Welcome
Production Meeting Agenda
Worship Leader Expectations
Chart of Accounts
Spending Procedures
Offering Count Directions
Benevolence Policy
Purchase Requisition
Budget
Budgeting Process
Reimbursement Form
Hiring Process
Employee Handbook
Blank Housing Allowance Form
Employment Application
Checklist for New Hires
Leadership Development Plan
Resignation Agreement
6-Month Evaluation
Staff Job Descriptions

Terminology

It may not sound like a big deal, but it’s important for everyone in your church to use the same vocabulary. Here’s a list of official Oak Leaf terms. Believe it or not, getting everyone on the same page required a good bit of discussion (and some final decision making from me)

  • Volunteer – Not serving group member. This is a person that serves in some capacity at Oak Leaf Church.
  • Volunteer Team -Volunteers don’t serve alone; they serve in a team. Not serving groups. A team is a group with a purpose. Teams work with a goal in mind.
  • Coach – This is a person who is charge of a volunteer team. They coach other leaders.
  • Huddles –  These are short meetings of volunteer teams that happen before a weekend service.
  • VIP – This is the acronym used to guide the Huddle Meeting. Every huddle meeting should contain some vision, some information, and some prayer.
  • Mission Statement –  We are here to lead people from where they are to where God wants them to be.
  • 3 G’s – (Gather, Grow, Give) This is our strategy – how we accomplish the mission. We want to GATHER people on the weekends. Then we want to help them GROW, maybe through a Journey Group or an Oak Leaf University course, or by reading their Bible. Finally, we want them to GIVE… through being on a volunteer team and giving of their finances.
  • Service –  Not experience or gathering. Are you coming to the Saturday night service?
  • Time of Giving The part in the weekend service where people give their tithes and offerings. Not “the offering.” We are going to participate in the time of giving.
  • Receive the offering – We receive the offering. We do not have mafia guys who go through the aisle and take it.
  • Guest – Visitors are usually uninvited, but you prepare for guests.
  • Partnership – This is what we call membership. It’s usually a good idea to say “this is what we call membership” when you toss out the term.
  • Courses – What we offer through Oak Leaf University. Not classes or seminars.
  • Instructor – The person who teaches an Oak Leaf University course
  • Handout – not the bulletin or talk notes.
  • Connection Card – Not communication card.
  • Next Step Area – Not table. If you decided to follow Christ, stop by the next step area after the service.
    Environments – Not classrooms. The air isn’t working properly in one of the preschool environments.
  • Auditorium – Not the sanctuary or the main room. If you have a main room, then you have minor rooms.
  • Invite – We never recruit….we invite.
  • Opportunity – We have opportunities for people to serve, not needs.
  • Message – Not sermon or talk.

Huddle Meetings

Every weekend, all of our volunteer teams meet in huddles, about 40 minutes before the service begins. These huddles last about 10 minutes, and they are a valuable time for leaders to connect with their volunteer teams. I believe short bursts are often better than lengthy training meetings. We adapted the format of these meetings from Newspring. Every huddle meeting contains the following:

Vision – remind people that their volunteer team helps advance the mission of Oak Leaf Church. Tell “mission accomplished” stories

Information – Let people know what they need to know. Talk about things that are changing or improving.

Prayer – Pray for each other, for the weekend services, and for anything specific.

VIP. Pretty simple format to a pretty important weekly meeting.

Classes

Next week, we’re starting a pilot program at Oak Leaf Church called Oak Leaf University. It’s a series of four week courses that will happen on Tuesday nights from 6-8. They cost $20, and include snacks, course materials and childcare.

While we’ve offered Journey Groups since our church began, I think Oak Leaf University will meet a different need.  The courses are short term (four week commitment), meaning that it’s easier for many to attend.  We’re providing childcare, which is easier for parents with children. It’s a little more classroom-oriented, which appeals to a different kind of learner.

The four courses that we are offering in the first semester are Theology 101 (I’m teaching…here’s the student book that we prepared), Introduction to the Bible, Parenting and Finances.  Two “Bible” topics and two “Practical” topics.  So far, we have had 100 people sign up for July, which is about 15% of our adult weekend attendance.

The idea is to run it for one month, with two months back to back, and then take two months off.  That will give us six semesters a year, and we’ll offer different classes.  We are currently working on a course for new Christians, something on Leadership, and a Church History course for the fall.

Volunteer Job Descriptions

As a part of our systems check-up, we’re revising all of our volunteer job descriptions. Most pastors have written job descriptions, but do your volunteers have them? Do they know what you’re expecting from them and how long it should take? Do they know who they talk to if they are going to miss a weekend or have a problem? If you’re trying to get someone on the same page, it’s probably best to have an actual page.  We have a written job description for every volunteer position.  Here’s one for an elementary host.

Opportunity: Elementary Host
Time: Weekend Service and approximately 5 hours during the week.
Reports to: Elementary Host Coach

Each Sunday morning we have a unique opportunity to capture the minds and hearts of elementary aged children. We must do everything we can, on and off stage, to show them that God is relevant to their world.

As a Host, your job is to lead the kids in their 1 hour Sunday morning experience…creating a fun, engaging, Christ-centered atmosphere. Be the mouthpiece and the facilitator, driving home the main point.

[Specifics]

  1. Practice your script during the week. (If applicable, memorize your lines.)
  2. Arrive early, being sure to huddle with your team each weekend.
  3. Do everything you can to engage the kids with God’s truth. Be goofy, funny, silly, serious, silent, loud, and extremely animated and creative.
  4. Communicate to the Host Coach any new ideas, encouraging stories, or concerns.
  5. “Own” the room on Sunday morning. Be in charge of the “flow”…seeing that the hour runs smooth and on time.

Simple for Who

I am a big fan of Simple Church. The book, and also the principle. We don’t want to have a bunch of programs, so we can have good programs. We don’t want to do a hundred things decent…we want to do a few things really well.

But in the fight for simplicity, I think it’s important to consider the reason you’re keeping things simple.  I’m not trying to keep things simple to have less to do or keep things off my plate. I’m not going to allow simplicity become an excuse for us to not do things well.

  • I’m not going to make a simple website because it’s less work…it needs to be simple because that’s what is best for the user.
  • I’m not going to make a theology class simple because I don’t want to wrestle with the trinity or the Image of God, I’m going to keep it simple so people can understand.
  • I’m not going to not have a mid-week service because we don’t want to staff it…we’re going to focus on the weekend so we can make a greater impact.

Simplicity isn’t a ticket out of working hard. It’s not about you anyway. It’s about them.

Calendar Requests

As our church gets larger, we can’t just decide to throw things on the calendar. All events must go through the calendar process.

There’s a Word Doc form (included in the Docs&Forms package by the way), but the form is also online. This gets submitted to our office manager who checks for immediate problems and checks on availability (of the date, the room, the media tech if needed). All calendar requests are approved in our weekly lead team meeting.

By the way, we use Google Calendar for the master church calendar.  Two or three people can add/delete things but every staff member can subscribe.

Documents and Forms

docsandforms

I’m pleased to announced that our Documents and Forms are available for purchase.  This is a complete set of nearly every document and form that we use…it’s like a church in a box.  Budgets, bylaws, policies, forms, handbooks, strategies, charts and more.  It’s taken us years to get this stuff to where it is now, and I would have probably killed for it three years ago.  $79 for the complete set.

Here’s the link for you to order via paypal.

Soon after your purchase, you’ll receive an email with the download link.  Here’s just some of what will be in the zip file.

Bylaws
Ordination Application
Statement of Beliefs
Calendar Request
Descriptions of Meetings and Retreats
Staff Org Chart
Key and Alarm Agreement
Event Planning Checklist
Facility Use Policy
Facility Use Request Form
Building Procedures
Volunteer Application
Children’s Ministry Policies and Procedures
Children’s Ministry Parent Handbook
Baby Dedication Philosophy
Student Ministry Policies and Procedures
Pro Kids Policy
Counseling Procedures
FTG Follow Up Process
Greeter Handbook
Parking Handbook
Security Plan
Small Group Handbook
New Christian Follow Up Process
Baptism Process
Series Video/Graphic Checklist
Series Planning Timetable
Master Production Checklist
Worship Philosophy
Creative Arts Ministry Manual
Style Guide
Guide to the Giving Talk
Guide to the Welcome
Production Meeting Agenda
Worship Leader Expectations
Chart of Accounts
Spending Procedures
Offering Count Directions
Benevolence Policy
Purchase Requisition
Budget
Budgeting Process
Reimbursement Form
Hiring Process
Employee Handbook
Blank Housing Allowance Form
Employment Application
Checklist for New Hires
Leadership Development Plan
Resignation Agreement
6-Month Evaluation
Staff Job Descriptions

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