Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

Staff Structure Chances

We’ve gone through a process of realigning our staff, creating a new org chart and tweaking our structure. I believe this strategic move will allow our church to double in size. I’ve got a series of post in the queue on my blog set for next week.



We don’t have members or membership at Oak Leaf Church. Instead, we have partners. But when we print info or send out emails we still call it membership. Why is that?

Beacuse most people know what you’re talking about when you say membership, and the term partnership might confuse some. We redefine the term when people come to the event, but we start what what they know…with what is familiar to them.

That’s why we call what we do on Sunday morning “services” instead of experiences or gatherings. People in Cartersville know what you’re talking about when you say worship service. Gathering is ambiguous.

Sometimes, I think we get too cute with naming things and make things a little less clear.

Hiring Process

Getting a job at Oak Leaf Church is a big deal.  We all work hard, and our mission is very important.  Honestly, it’s tough to get a job here and I’d say that 90% of people that work at other churches wouldn’t make the cut.  Most of our staff is hired from within, meaning that they are already volunteering, serving and giving before joining the staff team.  Here’s a run down of our hiring process.

1. Create job profile (not job description, but a write up of the kind of person we are looking for)
2. Receive resume and supporting materials
3. Answer preliminary questions via email
4. “Get to know you” chat with someone on staff.
5. Review Job Description and salary range.
6. Ask them to fill out an Oak Leaf Church Application.
7. Interview with supervisor, in person or via phone.
8. Spiritual Gifts Inventory at and Ministry Insights Assessment.
9. In person interview or conference call with Lead Team (or some other team if it’s more appropriate)
10. Executive Pastor checks references.
11. Strengthfinders test
12. Talk to advisory team if it’s a pastor position.
13. In-person visit (includes Sunday morning) and meeting with Lead Team
14. Spouse/Family get together.
15. Tweak job description based on person’s strengths.
16. Counselor evaluation.
17. Background and credit check
18. Review salary package.
19.  You’re hired.

The Welcome

Every weekend, we take about 90 seconds to welcome everyone.  This element in our service has a few items:

– Introduction of whoever is talking (always do this, by the way…don’t assume people know who you are)

– A quick hit on vision, our mission statement.  We try and work in the mission statement.

– Telling people you’re glad they are here and welcoming guests

– Explaining the connection card and what to do with them

– A next step

Everybody Doesn’t Like Mushrooms

Some people love mushrooms. Other people hate them.

Mushrooms in and of themselves aren’t bad; nor are they good. It’s all really a matter of preference.

In the same way, there are people in your church that prefer things to be a certain way. The very thing they love might be the very thing another person hates.

What draws one person to your church might be the thing that keeps someone from attending.

This isn’t bad. In fact, it’s far more dangerous to put mushrooms on the burger one week and leave them off the next week.

When you plan your services, organize your kids ministry, choose a sermon series, and pick songs, you can’t please everybody. Trying to do so will result in a watered down service that nobody will enjoy.

Decide who you want to be, and be that way. You can’t please mushroom lovers and mushroom haters.


Everyone has a different definition these days about what assimilation actually is for their church.  For Oak Leaf Church it’s about making sure that First Time Guests eventually become Partners.  We want Partners to do two things:

1. Group: either be in a Journey Group or a Serving Group.

2. Give: financially support the mission of Oak Leaf Church.

Over the past year we have worked to get better at the process, but as you my have heard the saying, “Get on the same page…” only works if you have an actual page.  We created a page, which shows how the process should work.

Click here to take a look.

Anthony Gratto

Executive Pastor

Sound, Stage and Video Stuff For Sale

Garage sale time at Oak Leaf Church…cleaning out the storage units in time for spring.  Here’s some of what we’ve got that we can sell…


11 pieces of 4’x8′ Stage Right staging (heavy duty, with legs) $5000.

4 pieces of 4’x8′ staging that folds out like a heavy folding table.  $300 for all of it.

39 pieces of 4’x4′ bijax stage decks with various size legs, bracing and parts…$4000 for all of it.

4 pieces of 4’x4′ Road Ready Intellistage with Road Ready case and 18″ fold out legs  $1000

8 pieces of 3’x3′ Road Ready Intellistage with Road Ready case and 8″ fold out legs $1500


1 Yamaha M3000 40-channel mixing console with power supply $2000

1 Macke 8-bus 32 channel console w/ power supply and road ready case $1000

1 Yamaha GA-24/12 24-channal mixing console with built in power supply $500

1 Peavey PV2600 amp $100

1 QSC MX 1500a amp $200

4 JBL SR-X SR4733x speaker cabinets $600 each

4 JBL MR MR935 speaker cabinets $250 each

8 Sonic 18′ folded horn subs $250 each


2 16′ x 9′ stumpfl rear projection screens with cases and stands (actual size is 16×9) $1500 each

How Much Money?

A lot of the questions that we get a lot from church planters (we love church planters!) are about money. What’s an early budget like? How much money did you raise?

From January 1, 2006 – when we got serious with gearing up for launch – to August 20, 2006 (our grand opening service), we spent about $50,000.

We would have spent more if we had it, but that’s all we raised. I tell people that church planting will cost everything that you have. We would have done it with less; we would have certainly spent more.

Our first direct mail was 5,000 pieces…that’s all we could afford. When we got money on Sunday, we’d but the next thing on our list. Our first budgets were, in retrospect, kind of funny, because we didn’t really know how much things cost.

How much will is cost? Everything you got.

Worship Leading Philosophy


I think it’s important for the philosophy of the worship leader to match the philosophy of the pastor and the philosophy of the church service on Sunday. Here’s something I wrote and sent to all of our worship leaders, not as a response to anything, but as a reminder.

– I like upbeat and celebration rather than intimate and thoughtful.  It’s okay to do these kind of songs, but make them the spice rather than the meal.

– I like to get up right after a rockin’ song, not after some prayerful meditation. I typically start pretty light and funny and conversational, so a slow song doesn’t set that up well.

– I love ending the service with something loud and memorable. either a performance tune or a rockin worhsip song. get people leaving on a high note.

– We love opening the service with a popular cover tune. That kind of stuff unfolds people’s arms. If a guest is there and he hears a popular song, he will relax and be more receptive to the message. this isn’t a stand up and sing song.

– We need to program and pick songs with the unchurched in mind. If it would sound confusing to someone who hasn’t grown up in church, we probably shouldn’t do it.

– We like songs for dudes. not necessarily love songs to Jesus about how beautiful he is or how intimate we love him.  That may be true, but most guys don’t talk like that.

– We are rock and roll, and we like it loud

– I like a mix of songs that people will sing and maybe one new or newer tune each week.  If it’s all new, then we will lose people.  if it’s all old, then we will become boring.

– I don’t like it when worship leaders set up songs for 2-3 minutes. The little sentences during intros or quoting a verse during a guitar solo is very cool, but in general, I’ll do the talking and you do the singing.  I promise not to pick up your guitar during my sermon and lead 10 extra minutes of worship if you promise not to preach a sermon setting up a song.

– A worship leaders job is to lead people in worship, not just worship personally.  If a singer has his eyes closed, he’s not engaging the crowd.  you’re a worship LEADER.  if nobody is following, you’re not leading.

– Think of how the words would sound to unchurched men. that’s the filter. If a song has a confusing lyric, we need to explain what it means or skip it.

– It’s nice when the songs fit the theme, but we connect those dots way more than our people do. there are some awesome songs that are just awesome to sing. the song right before the message and right after the message should fit the best…some of the other songs can just be great songs. if they all fit the theme, then that’s great…but an unsingable song that fits the theme doesn’t do much for most people.

– It may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s not…old hymns redone are also connecting points. People in Cartersville have some church background, so reaching back and pulling something that they remember and updating it is a great way to make a connection.