What Should I Be Doing Now?
I had a coaching conversation yesterday with a church planter who is preparing to launch a new church in the spring. The question they asked was this, ‘Am I missing anything? What should I be doing right now?’ In response, I listed four areas of focus that both pastors and planters have to always be thinking about.
#1 – SPIRITUAL DIRECTION
Probably the most important area of focus, that in this era of strategic thinking can often be overlooked, is the foundational idea of all church leadership. ‘What is God saying to us right now? What are we all praying for? What are we all believing for? When and how are we joining together to fast and pray for God’s purpose to be fulfilled.’ Not only does the leader need to know the answers to these questions, he needs to be communicating, motivating, and mobilizing people toward these ends.
#2 – STRATEGIC SUCCESS
The second area of focus has to do with clear WINS. What are we attempting to do together? How do we measure success? For this planter we talked about two primary wins right now: 1) how many people do you have on your ‘launch team’; and 2) how many solid ‘contacts’ have you collected?
Launch Team members are those who are willing to show up to meetings and are committed to helping in some way to start this new church. Contacts are people with whom you have had a positive interaction (through an outreach, a personal meeting, etc) and from whom you have received permission to contact them again (email, FB, phone #).
#3 – STAFFING
The third area of focus has to do with identifying, training, and releasing key volunteer staff members into leadership. You can’t build without leaders to build through and upon. For a planter, it’s important to get a director for Worship, Children’s Ministry, Media, Hospitality, and Outreach. Then it’s critical to start meeting with them as a team so that they can gel as leaders who will help mobilize and equip others to find their place of service.
#4 – SYSTEMS
The final are we discussed had to do with building the systems necessary to support ongoing function: How will we assimilate guests? How will we disciple new believers? How will we do set up and tear down? How are the services programmed and planned? How will we train new members?
Church planters need to think proactively and continually about all four of these items. In reality, pastors of preexisting churches need to do the same. So which of the four are you most needing to focus upon right now?