Coaching Network Set

Tracy emailed 11 people to let them know they were accepted into the coaching network that’s beginning this fall. I am excited for each and every one of these guys, and the potential that they have to change this world for Christ. I’m looking forward to investing in their lives and teaching them what we’ve learned so far.

Guys are coming from Texas, Ohio, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia to be a part of this network. That blows me away! Our first session is in August, and we’ll meet once a month for six months.

If you missed out on this network, we’ll probably do another one later in the year or in January.  Stay tuned.


Changes Coming


Heads up.

This website is going to change. It’s going to be absorbed with a new site with a new focus: (which should be up this week).

Launch and Lead is going to focus on providing advice, resources, networking and coaching to people interested in starting churches. All of the posts here will be transferred over to the new site, and new goodness will be added.

Follow launchandlead on twitter for updates.


On my blog, I wrote a few tips for keeping things simple. I think this principle is true for every church, but it’s especially criticial for a church plant. As a church planter, you’ll be tempted to try and do it all, or offer everything that your sponsoring church does.

In reality, you should probably focus 90% of your energy on the weekend services, since that’s when most people will encounter your church for the first time. Behind the scenes, you should build your team…the people that will lead your ministry in the future.

If I was going back and doing it all again, I’d spend less time trying to create catchy core values and messing with the website, and more time on the services and on developing leaders.

Final Coaching Network Update

We’ve received applications from all over the country, and this week is the deadline to apply. I’ll be reading through all of the amazing applications and narrowing the list down to about 12 church planters or leaders.

If you’re interested, but haven’t applied, this is the last call. You can learn more about the network here, and the first session is in August.  If you’ve already applied, look for an email next week.

Job Descriptions

Here’s our job descriptions.  If you want ’em.  A few of them are being revised and tweaked, but you’ll get the idea.

Saying Thanks


Our volunteer leaders gathered last night for a quarterly leadership summit. The goal of last night was simply say thanks for serving. I reminded everyone of just how crazy our mission is, and thanked them for being a little crazy too. We do this four times a year, and each one has a different focus.

1. Vision
2. Appreciation
3. Worship
4. Celebrate

So we say thanks at all of them, but in August, I focus more on the vision for the coming year.

As a part of the night, I gave out the first two Leafys. These are custom made awards to recognize special service. We gave them to two volunteers that just go over and above the call.

Saying thanks is something that I have to keep working on, but it’s like fuel. One of the reasons we don’t have a volunteer problem is that I think we’ve done a good job of creating a volunteer culture. It really means something to be a volunteer leader at Oak Leaf Church.

Job Descriptions

One of the most common things we’re asked for is copies of job descriptions. We’re revising them all slightly as we ramp up to six-month-evaluation time, so check back next week and I’ll post updated versions of everyone’s job description.

Why Oak Leaf is Growing, Part 2

Here’s a few more reasons why I believe Oak Leaf Church is growing.

6.  I take my job very seriously. I work hard, and I expect those around me to work hard.  Church planting is not a part time job, a side thing or a hobby.  I meet with other pastors, go to conferences and stretch myself as a leader.  I understand that this church will never grow beyond my leadership lid.

7.  Volunteers, volunteers, volunteers. We have incredible volunteers, and watching them in action inspires me.  I think about half of our adult attenders volunteer somewhere every single weekend.  We’ve created a culture of volunteers.  We empower them, appreciate them, and realize that we couldn’t do what we do without them.  They are awesome.

8.  We are different.  This goes back to #2, but we aren’t like every other church in town.  Now we may not be all that different when you look at the innovative church lists, but we’re different for our area.  We do things differently and say things differently.

9.  We are bold in our advertising and marketing. We put out signs that say “Chuck Norris Loves Oak Leaf Church.”  Our graphics and postcards look good.  Random people in the community often tell me, “hey…your stuff always looks so good.”

10.  We learn from our mistakes. We are not perfect…far from it.  And we have a long way to go.  We’re still reaching less than 5% of our community, and that’s not good enough.  But when we mess something up, we ask hard questions and keep moving forward.

Coaching Network

The deadline to turn in your application for my upcoming coaching network is June 15. We have about 10 or 12 solid applications in so far, and I am limiting this group to 12 people maximum. The network begins in August.

Successful pastors will tell you that coaching is one of the keys to effective leadership and growth, so I’m honored to be able to pour into a group of guys who are going to change their cities as they plant churches.

Again, get your application in quick if you’re interested. It’s affordable and I really believe you’ll be challenged. I’ll load you up with tons of documents and forms as well.

Send an email to and she will hook you up with an application or answer any questions you’ve got.

Hungry for Learning

I am seeing coaching networks pop up all over the place, and they are filling up quickly!

This is a good thing.

It’s interesting that people are spending lots of money (in a down economy) to put themselves in a relational learning context. I mean…there is no shortage of books on any particular topic. There are conferences. And Google will find anything that you want to know.

I believe one of the reasons that networks are so popular is not because people need information, but precisely because there is too much information. We need someone to process the information for us. We need someone to interpret the data.

I think it’s a good move to add something like coaching to the regular diet of books and conferences. It’s a different way to learn.