#9 Mix Up The Tool
For me it has been vital to have different tools in my church plant toolbelt. What do I mean? It is tempting for me to read, study, interact with only those who belong to my tribe. I love the reformed groups like Desiring God and Acts 29 but from time to time I need to hear a word from someone who doesn’t theologically land exactly where I do. Hear me, I am not saying go listen to people who are abandoning the faith.
It is good for me and the church that I am leading to get biblical understanding from several streams that love Jesus. For example, I really wanted to go to The Gospel Coalition National Conference. I love everyman who was on that stage and it would of been a great learning opportunity, but I didn’t get to go. I started looking for something else to take our church plant team to and one of our guys, Chase Davis showed me The Word Conference. I have heard of most of the guys who will be teaching but you usually don’t see them at many of the conferences or events I normally go to. What I do know is that these men love Jesus and his word. Because of their love for Jesus and his word I will go and listen to them and hopefully by God’s grace become a better pastor.
In Acts 15:36-41 we have a disagreement between Paul and Barnabas over who to take with them on their missionary journey. Ultimately they separate and go their own ways and the church spreads. You see we do not have to agree on everything for the church to grow. God can send us different ways and still use his church. What we do need to hold fast to are things like the death, burial, resurrection of Jesus, the virgin birth, ascension of Jesus, the trinity, and salvation by grace through faith.
Don’t just have a tool belt full of the exact same tools. Mix it up from time to time. It is fine to have a tribe. All I am saying is listen to others who truly love our Lord. It will make us all better pastors.
This blog series will highlight the top 10 things that have been extremely helpful for me in planting The Well in Boulder, CO. By no means is this list complete or exact, but I think it will be helpful for some. Enjoy.
#10 Counsel For Christian Workers by: C.H. Spurgeon
To be honest this book could have gone just about anywhere on my list. It has had a profound influence on me and how I lead. C.H. Spurgeon asks many questions that are a great test for all about to follow Jesus into church planting.
I especially love the chapter entitled, “Workers Who Are Successful”. Success is a weird thing in ministry. Spurgeon gives great insight into what it means to be successful in ministry.
Here is a taste of what I am talking about from the book:
“…According to Christ’s laws, every Christian is to be a minister in his own sphere; every member of the church is to be active in spreading the faith which was delivered not to the minister, but delivered to the saints, to every one of them…”
There are many other great insights but this one has been very helpful for me. Buy it and enjoy it.
Being a part of Fellowship Associates you get to meet some guys that are doing an amazing job of reaching the mission field in which they are called. Eric Mason a former Fellowship Associates resident and current pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia is one of the best. Here is a great message from him on Holy Spirit Empowered Ministry. Great Stuff.
Just click the link here Holy Spirit Empowered Ministry. The video is hosted on The Resurgence.
A few weeks ago Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock Commissioned/Ordained me to plant “The Well” in Boulder, CO. I thought I would share the video from that service with anyone out there interested.
My wife Ari and I have been married for almost 4 years now. It wasn’t that long ago, so all the things leading up to our wedding are still fairly fresh in my mind. For the most part it was great, except for one thing. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why so many people wanted to tell me only about the difficult parts of marriage and why very few people wanted to share with me the joys of marriage. I am not making the case for one over the other, I am simply saying a little balance would of been nice.
What does this have to do with church planting? I think everything. It is difficult to come by an encouraging word on church planting. It seems to me that the heavy focus is on the difficulties.
I cannot tell you how many times well meaning people who find out I’m planting a church only want tot talk about the difficulties found in church planting. Honestly, it is a bit depressing after awhile. I truly believe that a deep holy fear must be in the heart of every church planter but there must also be a deep sense of joy that God almighty is letting you join Him in His mission to redeem the world. That is why I love to surround my self with great leaders. Leaders who are willing to share the difficulties of church planting and give the encouragement needed to overcome those difficulties.
There are many out there that are doing a great job of bringing both sides to church planters. For example, I have met many pastors in the Boulder area that have been extremely encouraging as well as willing to share the difficulties involved with it.
There are two men that stand out in my mind that have modeled this amazingly for me. One is the lead pastor of Fellowship Denver, Hunter Beaumont. Since day one of this church plant journey, he has been great at telling me how difficult this will be, but then following that up with a reminder that the Spirit of God will strengthen me and guide me as long as I stay true to His word. The second man is Steve Snider, President of Fellowship Associates. Steve is a coach and he may be one of the most gifted men I have ever met at telling you how hard something is going to be and then convincing you that you are exactly the right person to do it.
Church planters, find mentors that will share the difficulties of church planting with you as well as provide the encouragement needed to be successful. Mentors, keep making sure us young church planters have a holy fear about us but also make sure our fear does not become debilitating.
Like marriage this will be very difficult and trying at times but I would not trade if for the world.
Video from Matt.
It may not look like a link but click on the link Video from Matt to watch Matt Chandlers video before he went in for his surgurey. Just another reason why I love this guys ministry.
For the past several months I have been involved in a process of getting our church approved to become a church planting church by the Acts 29 Network. Last night I found out that we did not get approved. Most of the time when you find out that you did not get approved for something that you applied for you get upset, but not this time.
This process has been one of the most edifying experiences our church has gone through. It is no secret to those of you who attend Bethany that there have been tons of changes around here and for a good part of it we (Pastor & Elders) have been just trying to do what God has placed on our hearts. The Acts 29 asessment process has been a catalyst to the leadership changes that are taking place at Bethany. Mainly biblical eldership has moved to the forefront of how the church will be run in the future. This has a been a great thing for this church. Since Acts 29 has got us thinking this way we have become much more intentional in how one becomes a leader in the church. Primarlaly we are making sure that any elders/pastors meet the 1 Tim. 3:2-7 & Titus 1:6-9 qualifications.
This may seem silly to some, but as we have studied deeper the call to local church to have qualified men leading it is of utmost importance.
We did not get accepted by the Acts 29 network because or leadership is not where it needs to be and that is fine. Thanks to the Acts 29 Network we are closer than we have ever been to having Godly Leadership guiding the church. We plan on reapplying to the network in the future, but for now we are going to work on being the church that God has called us to be. I am excited to be part of a church that takes the Gospel, Jesus, the mission, and Godly leadership very seriously.