I just read an excellent post from Steve Sjogren entitled “12 Lies Church Planters Tell Themselves” on the blog I always love Sjogren’s  honesty and deep spirituality. Here are a few of those lies (in bold) with my own commentary on each:

If God blesses this plant, we’ll be up and running in no time flat. Steve uses the analogy of growing asparagus to emphasize the unpredictability of these things. I agree. God’s timing is not our timing. There are ways to speed up the process of building momentum in a plant, but ultimately God causes the growth. That’s in his time, not ours. I don’t think this means the planter ought to sit passively waiting for God to move. I’ve always believed the “work like it all depends on you/pray like it all depends on God” philosophy.

Since great preaching is vital from the beginning, I’ll spend quite a bit of time in message prep from the beginning of the plant. Preachers love to preach – I get that! But I have seen way too many planters launch too soon and focus too much on their speaking ability. I’d say the number one reason planters launch too soon is that they want to be “in the pulpit”. They can’t wait to be preaching regularly. The reality is that during the pre-launch phase you have the freedom to put all of your time and energy on things you will never have enough time and energy for once you are doing weekly services. Use that time wisely!

We’ll figure out how to take care of our money accounting details as soon as we have real money coming in. If you are even thinking about planting a church, go immediately to and sign up for their regular emails. These people are experts on all things financial and legal in the church. They will scare the mess out of you with their stories of church plants who didn’t handle these things well. To quote the great Mr. T, “I pity the fool” who doesn’t do this right from the beginning.

These are just a few of Sjogrens Lies. I encourage you to read his full article with his own commentary on these points.


VIRAL: Are You A Gutenberger or a Googler?

I recently read Leonard Sweet’s book “Viral, How Social Networking is Poised to Ignite Revival.” It was an interesting read – as are most of Sweet’s books. He has a masterful way of turning a phrase, and is a brilliant observer of culture.  However, I’m not sure he delivered on the subtitle (How Social Networking is Poised to Ignite Revival).

What he does well is to distinguish between “Gutenbergers” and “Googlers”. Gutenbergers arrived in the 21st century with a history reaching back into the pre-digital age. Googlers are fully citizens of the digital age. He has a fun quiz on pages 4-5 to help you determine which one you are. (Hint, if you read the book in print version you are probably a Gutenberger, if you read it on Kindle you are more of a Googler.) I find that I am somewhere in between. I do have the pre-digital history – and yes, I read the book printed on paper. But I am someone who has wholeheartedly embraced the digital age as well. Hey, I’m blogging about it, aren’t I?

Another descriptive term he uses is TGIF culture. No, he’s not talking about Thank God It’s Friday. He is referring to the culture built on Twitter, Google, IPhones and Facebook. He spends a great deal of the book defining the difference between how Gutenbergers and Googlers function in the world. He believes both groups need each other, but the future obviously belongs to the Googlers.

Here are a couple of interesting quotes from the book:

“As little as ten years ago, half of humanity had never made a phone call and only 20% of humanity had regular access to high speed communication. Today cell phone coverage is available over 90% of the globe, and almost 77% of the earth’s population has a cell phone”

“The Arab Spring assault on (and even collapse of) a number of Middle Eastern and North African regimes is in part a product of the growing gap between the antiquated worldview of Gutenbergers and the cosmopolitan outlook of Googlers.”

“The average mobile phone has more computing capacity that Apollo 13 had.”

There is a lot of food for thought in the book, and he makes a good case for the viral nature of the digital culture. But, as I mentioned, I don’t see that good of a case for Social Networking igniting revival. Certainly, the world is much more reachable through the communication tools we now enjoy. And just like it did with the movable type printing press of Gutenberg, the church needs to jump on these tools in ways we have yet to imagine. But the question is: Will we?