Archive for Church Planting

Reaching Millennials (1 of 5)

There is no magic to reaching the Millennial generation.On the other hand, if we hope to get them, we simply need to do and be what God’s word has called us to be about all along.

Sometimes working with the millennial generation is about as frustrating as nailing Jello to a tree. The truth is they are not just a gift to your church. They are even the strongest booster rocket you can desire.

They call us to think through what we want to see. As you look this over realize a couple of matters. These are descriptions of the sorts of churches that the millennial generation will consider joining.

As you read these over, resist the trap of “Cognitive dissonance” – that is, the tendency to assume the best about what we are doing, even when our image is far from reality. This confusion is more prevalent in the church world than any other.

When we begin to make changes those already in our church usually resist – even to the point of threatening to leave or even worse, to stir up others to leave because all of the sudden “My” church has changed to a different direction.

1. Be Generous with Money

 

In the eyes of many of the millennial generation, the church seems to exist mainly to for self-perpetuation. More than their predecessors, they live out the line “Put your money where your mouth is.”

To reshape that assumption, let’s be known for our extravagant generosity. Let’s even go so far as to be willing to nearly “Squander” money on the world around us. All hyperbole aside, let’s drop any caution and now define ourselves as incredibly giving without being overly concerned with that self-interest mindset.

The Orthodox Jewish Bible uses the word “Generous” to describe one of the marks of the fruit of the Spirit in Ephesians chapter 5. When we show generosity, we establish credibility. As we go into the community to give away bottles of water at a stoplight, sometimes people ask how we can afford to pay for all of this.

“Oh, we pay for it out of our offerings. We can’t help but spend a lot of money in our community to bring the same love that Jesus showed in his day.”

“But how do you cover all the expenses your church needs if you give so much away?”

“We see the city is worth investing in – worth showing love by serving. We believe that if Jesus were walking around town today, he’d being doing this sort of thing.”

As we loosen our grip on funds, our reputation as a giving church will begin to spread like a life-giving tsunami. As it was with Jesus, when we get into the community “Advertising” will take care of bringing all the attention we need to notice and experience God’s tsunami, his love, attention, and acceptance, they will start to “Gossip the Gospel.”

When we start to flow with God’s generosity, we are merely opening the door for our people to do what has already been in their hearts.

When it comes to outreach to the needy, pantries are good, but don’t let that be the limit of your outreach. Sometimes those with the greatest needs can’t get to any pantry without a lot of difficulties. Jesus reached out to the poor in a variety of ways. The most common way Jesus reached out was to meet needs as he ran across them.

Invest a given percentage of the congregation’s income back out into the community. A smart way to begin is to commit to percentage giving. If you already have required portions, you are expected to pay – tithes to the denomination, the denomination’s requirement to foreign missions, etc. You can negotiate those percentages.

Coming soon: 2 – 5

#1. The senior leader is the primary mentor of evangelism.

10.5 Ways To Overcome Fear of the “E Word”

God’s church goes forward numerically only as she gathers Newcomers unto herself. Yet it is becoming increasingly difficult for leaders, much less the regular church rank, to embrace the notion of evangelism. There is a lot of baseless fear that is associated with the ineffectiveness of the church in her outward trek. Let’s look at a number of key insights that clear the way for us to think—and act—differently toward not-yet Believers.
1. The senior leader of the local church is the primary mentor who guides the way in all things related to evangelism. A local church will rarely grow beyond the skill and passion level of her pastor. As that person does, so does the local church, for better and for worse. It is a heavy burden to bear but it is the reality of life. Most of the time, not surprisingly, the pastor of the local church is not naturally gifted at evangelism. The key word is “naturally.” He is usually more introverted and oriented toward speaking and teaching gifts. He would rather spend time studying than out with people trying to actively lead them to salvation. That’s okay. God can take a person like that and bring about exciting change. Remember this important principle: as a pastor changes so changes the local church. God isn’t interested in a pastor’s natural gifting. God tends to use us most profoundly in the areas where we lack a natural inclination. It is there we lean the most into God for strength and results.
To the degree the senior leader owns his responsibility in leading the way for evangelism God will be able to break through and do something significant. Until the senior leader owns this role little will happen. Tell God you are willing to step up. He will impart his desire. Then step out.

It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.

— Somerset Maugham

Words of Love That Follow Deeds Of Love

One of my ongoing frustrations in Servant Evangelism has come in seeing people verbalize the Good News. The tendency of human nature is to speak little in the context of serving others. It is rather easy to recruit people onboard with the serving part of equation (the “S”). The evangelism (the “E”) is more challenging. Works of love are powerful in themselves, but without an accompanying verbalization of WHY we are doing these things we are cutting things significantly short. In other words, we need to live out a capital S and a capital E lifestyle.

Setting Sail

Missouri Is Happening

I just got back from a trip to Missouri – I was in Springfield and Columbia. The kingdom is alive and well in both places. People are excited about extending the kingdom in big ways. I am thrilled to be included in what the Father is doing these days. I grew up in Kansas – in the Wichita area. I was inclined to think that the people who live in Missouri – and who follow Missouri sports teams especially – were a little off kilter. Such categorical thinking goes with the territory of growing about anywhere I guess.

Today God is on the move in a big way in good ‘ol Missouri. It is exciting to meet people who have been persevering in serving, praying and connecting with their community. I mentioned during one talk that I have planted several churches and, “who knows, maybe I will end up here in Missouri one day.” Four people came up to me after I finished talking to further inquire about my church planting plans. I was making a comment in passing, but it certainly was encouraging to hear the hearts of a number of people who are looking for cool spiritual things to happen in the Show Me State.

ServeCoach.com Registration Is Open!

ServeCoach.com is live and open for registration!

Head over to http://www.servecoach.com to try and snag one of those Fast-Mover Bonuses!

See you there!

Steve

ServeCoach Video Walkthrough + Launch Updates

VIDEO WALKTHROUGH
We just posted over at ServeCoach.com a video walkthrough of the new website that is going LIVE tomorrow, May 6th! This 8 minute video will show you exactly what you get with a ServeCoach.com membership. Head over there right now and watch this video:

ServeCoach.com

LAUNCH UPDATE

ServeCoach.com goes LIVE tomorrow at 4 PM Eastern / 1 PM Pacific. I’ll be sitting down with Lance Ford, from Shapevine.com, to answer several last-minute questions and explain some important aspects of this training. Make sure you’re on this webcast with me tomorrow at 3PM Eastern / 12 PM Pacific! The webcast will be live at ServeCoach.com. Immediately following the webcast, ServeCoach.com will go live.

BONUSES

Fast Mover Bonus #1 – First 50 Only

Ok, this is a biggie…

For the first 50 people who join ServeCoach.com, I will schedule a one-on-one strategy session where we can discuss your ideas and how you should proceed.

And if you don’t think we can get much accomplished in 30-minutes, think again!

Prior to our first call, you’ll fill out an information sheet where you’ll give me all the details about your ministry. (NOTE: You’ll find the mere act of filling out this info sheet to be valuable all by itself.) This way I’ll be able to prepare for our call ahead of time and fully maximize the time that we have.

Value: Priceless

Fast Mover Bonus #2 – First 500 Only

When we were cleaning out the vault we found my original presentation on servant evangelism on the church satellite network. Though the clothes and hairstyles of the audience will have you laughing, the content has never been needed more. It’s just as appropriate for you doing ministry in 2009, as it was fifteen years ago in 1994.

This 3 hour training seminar has been broken down into 6 lessons and includes PDF notes for you to download, print out, and fill out as you watch the videos.

Value: $99

OK, now you know about the bonuses being offered, so make sure you’re ready for the launch tomorrow at 4 PM Eastern / 1 PM Pacific!

Steve

P.S. – We have a large number of people on our list, visiting the blog, and leaving comments. All of this has come without much “publicity” – this is all from our own internal list.

I have no way of knowing how many people will register for ServeCoach.com, but I DO know that the first bonus will go very fast.

So if you want to grab one of those spots, then be ready tomorrow when we open.

44 Hours and Counting…

We are less than 2 days away from the launch of ServeCoach.com – so if you want to join me in this powerful, outward-focused coaching venture… then you MUST do two things:

1) Visit ServeCoach.com Wednesday at 3 PM Eastern / 12 PM Pacific for the LIVE broadcast that I will be doing with Lance Ford from Shapevine.com. I will be sharing more about ServeCoach.com and what it entails, as well as answering a few last-minute questions before we go LIVE at 4 PM. If you are interested in ServeCoach.com, then I highly recommend you bookmark the site, put the date and time in your calendar, and join us at 3 PM.

2) Sign up for the ServeCoach.com email update list, because I am going to send something you DEFINITELY are going to want to see. It’s also going to include bonus updates and launch information that’s important.

That’s all for now… keep walking in the outflow!

Steve

The Mike Slaughter Interview

Mike Slaughter shares his heart as it relates to over 30 years of solid ministry at Ginghamsburg Church at Tipp City (Dayton), Ohio. Slaughter reflects upon how his initial church growth strategy misfired. He had to get a vision from on high.

The Mike Slaughter Interview

His pathway has been marked by moderate but consistent growth ever since. That same growth has been repeated year after year as he has sought to disciple small numbers of people in his span of care – never more than a dozen people at a time though. Hear how that simple approach to outward care continues to transform the lives of his leaders and his city today.

He shares thoughts on the makings of the church that is destined for outwardness that leads to health. It is an exciting perspective that will lift your heart and mind.

How Much Money Is Needed to Start Servant Evangelism?

A number of readers wrote in to us, sharing their desire to reach people in their community, but frustrated due to a lack of finances. I hope this video helps you move forward, no matter what your financial situation:

How Much Money Is Needed to Start Servant Evangelism?

Also, you will want to check the ServeCoach blog this Thursday to watch my interview with Mike Slaughter, pastor of Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, OH. We’ll be talking about how it’s time to rediscover our apostolic DNA and become the church Christ intended us to be.

Keep walking in the outflow!

Steve

PS – I hope you are as excited about May 6th as I am! Please let your friends know by pointing them to ServeCoach.com!

Do You Know What’s Coming May 6th?

In my last post I asked you to mark down May 6th on your calendar as a very important day, and I wanted to let you know why I’m asking you to do that. Go watch this video right now:

What’s Coming May 6th

I’ll also be sitting down soon with Mike Slaughter, pastor of Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, OH and we’ll be talking about how it’s time to rediscover our apostolic DNA and become the church Christ intended us to be.  Look for that interview online late next week.

Keep walking in the outflow!

Steve

PS – You are definitely going to want to know what’s coming May 6th!