Archive for April, 2008|Monthly archive page

Read my Book

The pre-release version of my book is available in PDF format to anyone who makes a donation of any amount to the 250 project.

About the Book:  It’s my addition to the wealth of information about church planting.  I write openly and honestly about calling, putting on church in portable environments, raising support, hiring staff, and starting small groups.  Once you make a donation, I’ll e-mail you the PDF of the book.

About the 250 Project:  We’re trying to raise $250 from 250 people to launch a second campus on August 17, 2008 (our 2 year anniversary).  You don’t have to donate $250 to get the book (though that would be amazing!).

Here’s a link so you can donate via paypal.  Read more about the campus launch project here.



We are always on the lookout for interns.  Either for the summer for for 9-12 months. If you want to hang out with some cool people and learn a lot about ministry, or if you’re thinking about planting a church and want to learn from an actual church plant, then let us know.

If you’re interested, send us a resume or a DVD or point us to your website.

E-Mail to First Time Guests

Here’s the e-mail I just sent first time guests…

Thanks for joining us at Oak Leaf Church the other day. I hope you had a great time, met a few new people, and learned something. We started the church about 17 months ago to lead people from where they are to where God wants them to be. People are at all different places, and we want to help people take a next step towards God. We want to be a real church for real people…we’re not trying to make a name for ourselves.

If you have a minute, I’d love to get your feedback from your visit. Here’s a link to a short survey that will really help us. Please be honest and let me know what you thought about your experience.

You might also want to consider attending the next partnership class. At the class, you’d learn about the vision and strategy for the church. You can meet people, meet the entire staff, and ask questions if you have any. The next class is May 18. Childcare and lunch are provided – we want to make it easy for you! Let me know if you’d like to attend and I’ll add you to the list.

If you have any questions, just let me know.

Guide to the Welcome

Like most churches, we have a welcome as a part of the program. During the welcome, we do three things.

1.  Introduce ourselves (the person doing the welcome…we put their name and title on the screens) and welcome people.

2.  Talk briefly about our vision OR talk about a next step

3.  Welcome guests and explain the connection card.

Though it seems pretty simple, this is actually a very important part of the service.  I took some time to write an official guide to doing the welcome.  Here’s a pdf of that document for your enjoyment.


A little organization…

I have heard people wonder out loud how Oak Leaf Church is organized. In other words, who makes the decisions, who holds the people who make the decisions accountable, and how is the whole thing led? I am going to try to answer that question in this post.

This is a staff led church. That means the staff must meet the qualification of an elder. It also means they will lead the church without committees or deacons, instead our staff acts as the guiding elders and leads the church to where God wants to take us. The next question is how do you make the decision of where to go? It’s easy, God tells Michael, he tells us and we make it happen. In the uneasiness that follows someone will always want to know who holds Michael accountable? The answer to that is…4 pastors of significant church in the Southeast. They can fire Michael, they set his salary, and they approve our budget.

The greatest benefit of being organized this way is that the vision doesn’t get blurry and we can work quickly to fulfill the mission.

If you want to see what it looks like on paper click here.

Anthony Gratto

Executive Pastor

Church Planting Book Release

For the past six months, I’ve been working on a book about church planting. The book, titled Turn off the Motor and Put up the Sails, will be ready for pre-release in about two weeks. I wanted to offer all the church planters out there the opportunity to get a PDF version of the book, simply by making a donation OF ANY AMOUNT. I’ll pass on everything donated to our campus launch.

So, you’ll get the manuscript for whatever you decide to pay, and the money will go towards church planting. It can’t get much better than that. In the book, I talk about..

  • Building a core group and becoming a launch team
  • Advertising and Outreach
  • Raising support and funding a church plant
  • Hiring Staff
  • Starting small groups
  • Doing Sunday morning well (and on a budget)
  • How to set a budget
  • Teaching and music
  • A lot of other practical stuff

Again, you can get this book by paying whatever you want to pay. If your church wants to make a $250 contribution as part of our $250 campaign, that would be great. If you want to pay $10 or whatever you would normally pay for a book, that’s great. If you want to pay $1, that’s okay by me. Make your donation, and I’ll e-mail you a PDF version of the book within two weeks.

Click here.

Book List

Here’s a link to my amazon store, where I have links to some of my recommended reading.

The 250 Project

On our two year anniversary, we are going back to the movie theater where we started and launching a second campus.  We believe this will allow us to reach more people for Christ.  We’ll do the teaching via video, and everything else will be live.

The reason I’m talking about this on this blog is because I’d like to ask for your help to pay for it.  We’re asking all of our leaders to participate, but I’d love to throw the challenge out to the church world.  We are looking for 250 people/churches to give $250.  That would help us launch the campus without having to use my credit card!  We’ll launch the site on our two year anniversary, and that’s a little crazy.  We don’t really have the money to do it, but we believe God wants it to happen.

We will always provide information, documents, series resources, etc via this blog.  Our commitment is to help church planters.  If your church has gotten any use from this, would you consider participating in this project?  Would your church be willing to leverage $250 to help another church launch a campus?

If you’re interested, you can go here.  We’ve put information about the launch there, and there’s links where you could give via paypal.

Free Sermon Resources

Here’s some zip files containing message notes, keynotes (mac’s version of powerpoint), psd files and other graphics for some of our recent sermon series. Use them at will.

1. Tattoo. This was a one part series (i know, technically not a series) about being marked for Christ. We did this on Easter of 08.

2. Confessions of a Pastor. Contains I don’t most christians, i’m not always a good parent, i hate prayer meetings and sometimes, i doubt God.

3. KidNation. Three weeks on parenting…covers values, what kids need and discipline. I think this one was very well received by our church.

4. Google. Did this in january to talk about some of life’s most searched for topics…fame, money, sex, and politics. Fun topics.

5. Regift. This goes back to last december, where we focused on giving to others what we have been given by God.

6. Dominate. This was four parts on the mission of our church, fueled by the story of the early church advancing and dominating a region with the Gospel.

You can listen to the audio of these via our podcast, or watch videos on our website.

Church Planter Chat Details

What: Chat for Church Planters, guided by myself and our Executive Pastor

When: Tuesday, April 8 @ 2pm EST

Where: Here’s the link. We’ll be using campfire to make it happen. Show up a few minutes early, and bring your questions and feedback. Campfire will also allow the uploading of small documents, and I’ll save a transcript and post it to this blog.