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View Church Planting Landmines

Church Planting Landmines

(Mistakes to Avoid in Years 2-10)

Tom Nebel and Gary Rohrmayer
ChurchSmart Resources ©  2005

Landmine 1:  Ignoring Personal Health and Growth

A.  Common Race-Enders
  1.  The Abuse of Finances
  2.  The Abuse of Power
  3.  Pride
  4.  Illicit Sexual Relationships
  5.  Neglect of Our Physical Bodies
  6.  Critical Family Issues
  7.  Plateauing

B.  Enhancements
  1.  Intercessory Prayer Teams
  2.  Disciplines:  Ongoing Life of Spiritual Training vs. Trying
  3.  Renewal Times
  4.  Mentoring and Accountability
  5.  Being a Life-long learner

Landmine 2:  Lack of Leadership Development

A.  Creating a Leadership Culture in a New Church
  1.  Develop a workable definition of what a leader is.
  2.  Embrace the “Apollos Principle” (Acts 18:24-26, I Cor. 3:1-8)
  3.  Identify the emerging leaders in your midst
    a.)  pray
    b.) work
    c.) look
  4.  Equip your leaders holistically (spiritual & character development)
  5.  Coach your leaders intentionally
    a.)  connect
    b.)  clarify
    c.)  commit
  6.  Celebrate your leader’s achievements purposefully
  7.  Multiply by starting with mind of the leader

Landmine 3:  Leadership Backlash

Relationship With Pastor vs. Church’s Values & Vision  

Quadrant 1: + +
These people like the pastor and like the vision of the church.  Work with these people; they believe in you and the mission.  Monitor for signs of erosion. 
Focus on Leaders
Quadrant 2: + -
These people like the church, but are not close to the pastor.  Spend time with these people; looking for ways to build your relationship.
Focus on Relationship

Quadrant 3: - +
These people haven’t embraced the church’s vision, but like the pastor.  Look for ways to inform and educate these people.  Give them opportunities to see the model in action.
Focus on Training

Quadrant 4: - -
These people don’t like either the church’s vision or the pastor.  They can serve as short-term missionaries or on a task.  Be up front about your differences, and perhaps out-counsel them to other churches. 
Focus on Releasing
A.  Develop a way for phasing in leadership over-time with the following considerations:

  1.  Use whatever names you want, and as many phases as you need.
  2.  In the beginning, don’t give away roles, give away jobs.
  3.  Hold onto your principles tightly, hold onto your personnel loosely.
  4.  In the beginning, not all leaders need to come from the church you’re planting.
  5.  Choose short-tem pain and long-term gain.
  6.  Sure you’ll have hassles.
  7.  Take care of yourself and your team.

Landmine 4:  Personal Evangelism Entropy

A.  The church planter has three primary spheres of evangelism:
  1.  The Planter- (Modeling)  people know you and your church
  2.  The Church- (Equipping) people know your people
  3.  The Unconnected- (Marketing) people don’t know you, your people, or your church.

B.  Ideas for Strengthening Evangelism
  1.  Remember that you are a missionary to your community.
  2.  Upgrade your networking skills
  3.  Be available to those experiencing life transitions.
  4.  Share your wins, losses, and blunders continually with the church.

Landmine 5:  Corporate Evangelism Entropy

Urgent and Important within the First Six Months            
  • Pastoral Care needs
  • Logistical problems
  • Launch team fallout
  • Leadership backlash

Non-Urgent and Important within the First Six Months
  • Sermon preparation
  • Strategic evangelism events
  • Follow up process
  • Assimilation plan working
  • Leadership development process

Urgent and Not Important within the First Six Months            
  • Interruptions
  • Popular activities
  • Meetings
  • Expanding ministries  

Non-Urgent and Not Important within the First Six Months
  • Establishment of missions committee
  • Launching new ministries

A.  Equipping: A strategy for Overcoming Corporate Entropy
  1.  Fueling the prayer life of your people
  2.  Train your people to be storytellers
  3.  Train your people to be inviters and includers

B.  Ideas for Strengthening Evangelism
  1.  Worship and Special Events
  2.  Fishing Pool or Affinity Group Events
  3.  Small Groups

Landmine 6:  Inadequate Enfolding Strategy

A.  Discipleship & Spiritual Formation (Matthew 28:16-20)
  1.  Relating – “go . . . nations.”
  2.  Reaching/conversion – “make disciples.”
  3.  Identifying – “baptizing”
  4.  Training – “teaching them to obey.”
  5.  Reproducing – “all I have commanded you.”

B.  Ministry Flow
  1.  First impressions
  2.  Response filtering & Follow-up (i.e communication cards)
  3.  Next Steps (Newcomers, membership classes, etc.)
  4.  Next Steps for Committed Members
  5.  Modular Training
  6.  Empowering Converts through participation in leadership development.

Landmine 7:  Fear of Money

A.  Foundational Principles
  1.  God blesses faithful stewards
  2.  It is not about what the church needs; its about what the Lord wants!
  3.  It’s OK to teach about tithing

B.  Create a Stewardship Culture
  1.  Pledge/Commitment Cards
  2.  Offerings vs. Collection Box
  3.  Financial Seminars, Small Groups, Discipleship
  4.  Bulletin and Newsletter Reminders
  5.  Capital Campaigns
  6.  Seeker Sensitivity

Landmine 8:  Underestimating Spiritual Warfare

A.  Discouragement, distractions, disqualifications
  1.  Sin in the camp
  2.  Physical hardship
  3.  Emotional hardship
  4.  Fear
  5.  Derailment

B.  Counterattack: The God Dependent Church
  1.  Creating a culture of dependence
  2.  Intercession teams
  3.  Specialized Prayer Teams
  4.  Fasting
  5.  Specialized Prayer Meetings
  6.  Prayers for Healing

C.  The Individual Prayer Life of the Leader

Landmine 9:  Misfiring on Hiring

A.  Suggestions for hiring
  1.  Understand the Owner – Employee Tension
  2.  The Youth Pastor Mistake and Shepherd – Equipper Tension
  3.  Settling for What You Can Afford

Churches look for:
  •  Stability
  •  Structure
  •  Subordinates
  •  Saving Money
  •  Someone to shape  

Impact Players Want:
  •  Excitement
  •  Flexibility
  •  Partnerships
  •  Compensation
  •  To shape others

B.  Suggestions for hiring
  1.  Prepare for new staff, “what resources do we have?”
  2.  Plan strategically, “who do we need?”
  3.  Profiling, “what do we expect this person to do?”
    •  What is the desired result?
    •  What are the guidelines
    •  What resources can we bring?
    •  What are our expectations for accountability?
    •  What are the rewards/consequences?

Landmine 10: Delaying Missions Engagement

A.  Reasons to Be a Missional Church
  1.  Our theology requires it
  2.  God blesses generosity
  3.  Obligation and integrity (Philippians 4:15)
  4.  The Need

B. Ways to Maintain Your Missional Commitment
  1.  Plant a daughter church
  2.  Be Generous
  3.  Participate in the Life of Denomination or Sending Agency
  4.  International Missions Involvement

Category:Fruitfulness - Years 2-3