By Stan Granberg - Orginally published 10/06/2016
Is that a bold question to ask? Why do I think I know so much that I can assume your church is not planting new churches? I do it with 97% certainty.
Before I answer the question here's a quiz for you to take:
Over the past eleven years Our Kairos team has talked to hundreds of churches in our fellowship of the Churches of Christ. The good news is that across those eleven years over 160 churches have contributed in some way toward planting new churches through Kairos Church Planting.
That's 1.3% of our current 12,260 congregations.
The bad news is that we are losing far more churches than we are planting and we can only expect the rate of decline to accelerate. Thus the question,
Why is my church not planting new churches? Here are five common answers we hear.
Our church isn't growing, how could we start something new?
For over twenty years now the general research is that 80% of American churches are declining or plateaued. The result is that when a church is not growing, it's difficult to imagine that growth of any kind is possible. Planting new churches is our research and development. New churches can help us learn how to grow again.
It's not a good time for us.
I've heard this reason many times. When I've followed it up with "When would be a good time?" the typical answer is 10 years. But what will be different 10 years from now if we do not make the decisions to change?
Can we control a new church?
What we mean by this statement is we want to make sure a new church will look, act, and think just like us. Yet, can we defend the idea that our existing churches are perfect? Have we truly made a perfect church?
New churches are engaged in a deeply creative process to engage our dynamic culture in faith. The best control we can offer is the trust that those we have raised in faith will pursue their task with humble obedience to God's word.
We don't know how.
Twenty years ago our knowledge of church planting was limited and individualized. Today, however, there is a great deal of information available.
Kairos has identified three seasons of planting, each with five critical tasks that will help a new church successfully come into being. Our challenge is not really knowing what to do, it is learning how to execute what we need to do. Contact Kairos for your first steps.
We can't afford it.
Individually, few churches can afford the cost of planting new churches (approximately $250,000 over three to five years). Yet God has not left us without resources.
First, what if we worked together with several churches forming a support group? By distributing the costs it becomes much more affordable. Second, we need to faithfully close many older, dying churches that have finished their course in order to plow those resources back into the future.
by Stan Granberg. Originally published 10/26/16
How many ministry job descriptions does your church have written?
Whoa! That’s a boring topic. My experience is that few churches have job descriptions written for more than their hired staff. But spending the time to write job descriptions for all your ministry leaders may be one of the best investments your church can make for your sanity, health and the well-being of your church.
Because churches are volunteer organizations we suggest using the name role descriptions over job descriptions. This name change helps people understand the volunteer idea a little more clearly.
The role description is your basic blueprint for success for every important, ongoing job that you want to get done. Here’s five ways that Ministry Role Descriptions will help your church:
You can download Writing High Quality Role Descriptions from the Kairos website. Throw a “writing party” for your ministry leaders to involve them in writing their own role descriptions. Add some food and fun to get the work done!
Have you noticed? The ministry of worship has changed considerably over the past twenty-five years.
This is particularly true in Churches of Christ where a cappella singing has been a defining characteristic, and even litmus test of faithfulness. Here’s the short-hand version of our change. Our tribe lived for a century with the presence of a song leader, someone who selects the songs, pitches them appropriately, and gets us started. After that, we’ll do the rest. Now we are recognizing that there is a far greater depth to the role of song leader. What many churches are looking for now is a worship leader.
What’s the difference between a song leader and a worship leader?
A song leader worked in a clipboard environment of worship planning. In the church of my youth we actually had “dear brother deacon” who stood at the back of the auditorium with a clipboard. His job was to check off everyone participating in the worship presentation—which included the song leader. If the song leader was ever late, brother deacon got mighty nervous. The key person in the worship experience was the preacher. The song leader was ancillary. In fact, as long as there was preaching, the worship event could be successful. Singing and music could be left out.
Today, the worship leader ministers in a richer, more expansive environment. In fact, the worship leader functions much like the conductor of an orchestra. The worship leader sets the stage, develops the atmosphere, and directs the people through the movements of the worship experience. The preacher appears on stage much like the featured soloist. We look forward to and applaud the soloist, but it is the conductor who has created the experience. That is what the worship leader does today.
Cole NeSmith, co-pastor and creative director at City Beautiful Church described the worship leader’s role this way: The true goal is to recognize, create, and amplify a culture of worship unique to where you are.”
Right now, I now of five churches looking for worship ministers. All of the them are a bit “angsty” about the fact that worship leaders are so hard to find. As we’re going through that search at our church, here are five criteria that stand out when hiring a worship leader.
I pray these reflections are useful to you as you consider your church and the ministry of worship.
by Jared King, Missio Church, Seattle
I am not much of a handyman. In fact, my wife is the handyman around our house. But even I know that having the right tools makes building much easier. And it certainly is true of building a church. The difficulty in church planting is that there are more tools now than we know what to do with. It seems like every week someone comes out with the new “latest and greatest” tool to help you form teams, lead people, disciple leaders, and raise funds. The hard part is discerning the tools that are right for you in your season.
The 5 Capitals
Mike Breen’s 5 Capitals is the tool that has been most useful to us during our groundwork phase of church planting in Seattle. It is a tool to help you understand the nature of connection between yourself and individuals, organizations, nonprofits, churches, ministries, etc. It’s easy to form relationships and connections that produce little substance. The reason most of our connections produce so little fruit has less to do with the heart of the connection, but, rather, a lack of understanding the nature of the connection.
Breen outlines five different capitals that we are in charge of stewarding for God’s Kingdom as disciples of Jesus. What are the 5 Capitals?
Any business owner or church planter knows to invest in making connections. This tool helps to clarify within relationships how two partners can work together to advance kingdom work. It changes conversations from, “Hey, we should get together more often to encourage each other,” to “Please use our copy machine whenever you need to print anything. And thank you for babysitting our kids last week!” Building anything of substance requires all 5 Capitals. You can either try the uphill battle of growing your own capital, or, identifying where you can invest in others and how others can invest in you.