What You Can Learn

A couple of times a week, we get an e-mail from a church planter or a future church planter asking for advice.  We’re happy to answer that (and that’s why we started this blog), because we do the very same thing.  We don’t have all the answers…we’re still making up a lot of stuff, but we’re happy to share our successes and failures in church planting.

One thing I always tell church planters is to visit as many church plants as they possibly can.  And when they get there, ask the leaders questions.  Find out what worked for them and what didn’t work for them.  Take notes on what looked good and what stunk.  Every church does something well and something bad.  It’s good to read blogs, but there’s nothing like visiting these places in person.

The second thing I would do is go to conferences.  I’m going to the churchplanters.com conference in a couple of weeks (actually, I’m leading a breakout called "Launching Large".  I’m taking some of our team to Unleash up at NewSping, a church that is just knocking it out of the park.  I always come back from a conference with a good idea, message idea, key thought, or new relationship.  I would go to as many conferences as you can, and meet as many people and ask as many questions.

Third thing I would do is read a lot of books.  There are 1 or 2 good church planting books, but I recommend that you read books on business, marketing and leadership.  You’re going to do a bunch of that as you launch a church.  Read BuzzMarketing, The Tipping Point, and Corageous Leadership.  I read Andy Stanley’s Next Generation Leader every year.  Starting a church is a spiritual endeavor, no doubt, but there are some leadership and business things that will help you.  Read books from people that you disagree with, too.

I want to keep learning and growing as a leader.  We’ll never arrive.  We’ve got to keep stretching ourselves.

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