I recently read a quote from Santana Moss of the Washington Redskins related to Robert Griffin III’s leadership ability. Santana said “Everyone lines up behind him and says, ‘Take us to the Promised Land'”. If you consider yourself a leader, ask yourself if people are lining up behind you to follow you to the promised land.
I always appreciate the concise way Seth Godin puts things. This brief post (below) from his blog says a lot about Vision Casting. I find that many church leaders think of themselves as “visionaries” but can’t figure out why people aren’t standing in line to follow their vision.
I might not know about your better, because the world is so noisy I can’t hear you.
I might not believe it’s better, because, hey, people spin and exaggerate and lie. Proof is only useful if it leads to belief.
The perceived cost of switching (fear, hassle, internal selling and coordination, money) is far higher than your better appears to be worth.
Your better might not be my better. In fact, it’s almost certainly not.
I just read an excellent post from Steve Sjogren entitled “12 Lies Church Planters Tell Themselves” on the Churchplanting.com blog http://tinyurl.com/d6kd8d8. 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 www.startchurch.com 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.
I’m writing this in the air, on the way home after spending several days with the great team from Converge Worldwide. We had the always difficult task of assessing if people are wired to plant churches. I am worn out! Those guys have been doing this for quite some time and have really developed a comprehensive set of tools to help guide this process.
There are some very specific things assessors look for in a candidate. A lot of this is based on the pioneering work of Charles Ridley http://tinyurl.com/c4je9ok in this field. The most often repeated truth that Ridley discovered is that past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior. People who are wired to start things from scratch tend to be more successful at starting a church from scratch.
Personality type is also a big part of the picture. This particular Assessment Center utilizes three different tools (a form of the DISC profile, Golden Personality Portrait and Strength Finders). All of these alone are good tools, together they give an amazingly accurate profile.
The process also involves several scenarios in which candidates are placed in group settings and given a task or problem to solve. The candidates are also tested on evangelism skills, Biblical knowledge and have the opportunity to preach a “mini-sermon” and share their philosophy of ministry. Spouses participate in all but these last two exercises.
So if you have ever wondered if you have the stuff to be the point person in a church plant, this is a great way to find out.