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Month: January 2007 (page 1 of 3)

Church Conflict

Speaker: Steve Childers

peacemaker.gif"If you are a church planter, by its nature you are a conflict manager," said Childers.  There is a relationship between the church size and conflict.  The smaller your church, the greater the arena and likelihood an antagonist will be present.  (The people set on absorbing the time and the attention of the church planter.)   As your church grows, it brings change.  People do not like change, so you will also experience conflict.

90% of all people that fail in their life vocation do so because they can't get along with the people.  (source: Carnegie Tech Institute)

Christian conflict of opinions is typically much worse than the secular world.  Christians believe their opinions stem from the Creator God of the Universe.  If you and the God of the Universe are taking sides on an opinion, you will take a firm stance.

Childers gleans s from Francis Schaeffer's The Great Evangelical Disaster and said, "If church discipline is not done Biblically, there will be a loss of purity in the church (of both doctrine/life), if there is a loss of purity, there is a loss of power to change lives and culture". Churches need to expect, prepare for and lovingly deal with conflict.  Thankfully, God condescends to us to teach us very practical steps to resolve conflict.   If you want more, Childers strongly endorses, The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict.

Read David Fairchild's (thorough) post on Conflict Management

Mobilizing Church Planters

Speaker: Dr. Steve Ogne

David Fairchild provides a good summary of the session on Mobilizing Church Planters .  Steve gives a few suggestions for finding and igniting a multiplication movement. What are we looking for when we think of a lighting rod of a man who knows how to charge and take a hill?

1-The leader should engage the culture intentionally not accidentally.
2-The leader can be someone who is effective at disciple-making and can start and multiply a group.
3-The leader may be a pioneer church planter who starts and pastor a new congregation.
4-The leader needs to have a proven track record of being catalytic in his context.
5-The leader may come from an environment where he is the pastor of a parent church who sponsors new churches to begin.
6-The leader may be a coach who empowers and equips church planters.
7-The leader may be a mentor who raises up disciple-making leaders, church planters and missionaries to start and multiply churches.
8-This leader should be an intercessor who prays for others regularly.

Some qualities that an attractive church planting movement possesses:

1-Reputation- We need to know what our reputation is to the city and other churches. What are our distinctives? How would we clarify our theology? How do we articulate our ministry style?
2-Vision- Do you have an attractive vision for church multiplication? Does your movement have empowering visionary leadership?
3-Compassion for lost people- How do you emphasize outreach, compassion, ministry and evangelism?
4-Care- To what degree are you able to provide personal care for church planters and their families?
5-Diversity- How are you prepared to reach the diversity of the harvest and therefore attract a diversity of church planters?
6-Character- What is the quality and character of your leaders, pastors and people?
7-Coaching- What kinds of ongoing coaching, training and resources can you provide to the church planting team?
8-Resources- Do you have reasonable financial resources and benefits to attract the planters your need?
9-Success- Do you have a track record of successful ministry and church planting?

Recruiting Leaders for a Church Planting Movement

"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few…" (Matthew 9:37b)  How do you raise and recruit leaders to change a city?  Dr. Steve Ogne states that, recruiting is NOT a long term solution.  Ogne believes that effective leadership development systems begin with the lost community.  Pastoral leaders have the responsibility to raise up the next generation of pastors, church planters and missionaries from within their context.   This is exactly what we at Kaleo Church are developing for 2007.  Yet, as we seek to not build a church, but change a city we recognize how short-handed we are.  It is Kaleo's vision to plant 15 churches within the next 7 years through a multi-site model.  This February we are launching our third.  (In this same period, we also have a goal of more than 15 traditional parent/daughter church plants in Southern California through our relationship with Acts 29.)  With that said we are in need of people who have a heart for mission, church planting and seeing a city changed by the gospel. 

In particular we need:

Church Planters who want to actively participate in not just one (a site) but a movement, multiple church plants that will occur throughout the city. 

Worship Leaders, musicians and artists who understand the vision/philosophy of ministry where the style of worship is an expression of the local context, yet rich and true in it's theological proclamations. 

Church Interns and others who want want to roll-up their sleeves and see what it means to learn theology while on mission.

Gospel-Centered Counselors who want to join our counseling center to change & counsel people through gospel transformation.  We just launched Kaleo Christian Counseling Center to minister to both people in the church and to the city at large. 

Supporters who have a heart for reaching San Diego and are willing to pray, donate time, finances and other resources to change the city. 

Raising Leaders for Multiplication – Session at GCA

Speaker: Dr. Steve Ogne

Ogne's session presented a framework for raising up leaders in a local church.  One of the thoughts I've had for a month or so (I mentioned it about re-thinking the role of elders that I still haven't posted on yet, but plan to) is:

    Churches tend to primarily raise leaders to serve the internal needs of the church, rather than towards leading/developing others toward mission.

Ogne believes most churches conduct the leadership process backwards.  First they try to train people in a theological competence, only later do they teach them to mobilize/lead others and disciple people. This is something at Kaleo we have thought about.  We take theology very seriously and often want to have this trained-out prior to giving people an opportunity to lead.  Rick Mckinley made a good point to David Fairchild a while back that has caused us to rethink this, "We assume we should teach people their theology and then send them on mission, rather than teaching them theology on mission." (paraphrase).  Theology is best taught in practical application.  Thinking through the theology of suffering is quite different as a logical/theological argument versus counseling a family who just lost a child. 

For more of the actual session, David did a great summary: Raising Leaders for Multiplication

GCA Conference quotes

CHURCH PLANTING NETWORKS 

"Church plants that are part of a network are 400% more likely to succeed."

Ed Stetzer new stats

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

"We've found that if you aim to develop leaders, you'll get what these people can do.  If you aim to develop gospel pacesetters, you will get what only the gospel can do."

Daniel Montgomery (Sojourn Community Church) retelling a quote that Dick Kaufmann (Harbor Presbyterian) gave him regarding developing  leaders.

Ideas from GCA Church Planting Conference – Day 2

church-planting-manual.jpgHere are the sessions I attended today: Developing a Purpose & Mission, Determining Value & Styles (both taught from the infamous 600+ page GCA Church Planting Manual, so I won't quote these) and Redeemer's Global Cities Strategy.  Some ideas from today:

"Church plants are 250% more likely to succeed if they have a good leadership development plan." -Ed Stetzer (from his new research to be released in the book Comeback Churches: How 300 Churches Turned Around and Yours Can Too May 2007)  Of course people also enjoyed his quote, "There is more evidence from scripture for me to go out and get a concubine than to start a denomination." 

Ed suggested church planters to view the free resources at Namb.net/cmr 

 "European cities and the business class are vastly unreached by the Christian church."  – Al Barth Redeemer Church Planting Center.  Al went on to say that it is more strategic for a church planter to go after the educated and the business class, which in the long run allows you to reach the poor and have a greater impact on a city.   Al also said, "One of the most common false notions a church planter has (even if they verbally disagree) is that 'If we build a church that worships God, people will come.  It is rare today to succeed based purely on an attractional ministry model." (Ed Stetzer also stated this model only works in a few contexts and that often mailers don't work anymore.  Who does direct mail?  Does it still work for you?)

Al Barth also stated that Redeemer is looking for men to be involved in these church plants that…

1. Understand the Gospel (read Keller, Lovelace, C.Jack Miller to understand there view of the gospel expressed.) 

2. Transformed lives from the Gospel

3. are able to clearly Articulate the Gospel

4. and can Apply the Gospel surgically. 

Church Planting – Coaching & Network Development

Tomorrow I leave to the North America Church Planting Conference with David Fairchild. "The North America Church Planting Conference is an inter-denominational training event designed to equip church planters, coaches and supervisors to start, grow and multiply healthy, gospel-centered churches that result in the spiritual, social and cultural transformation of entire cities and regions."  Leaders from Acts 29 will attend sessions to map out a network coaching strategy.  This is Phase I of several Acts 29 church planters being trained to be coaches of church planters. 

Phase II is Bob Logan of Coachnet.org coming to Seattle March 21-22 to also train Acts 29 coaches. From Coachnet: "Coaching is fundamental to everything we do in ministry, from discipling new believers to developing new leaders. Dynamic churches and ministries have coaching woven into their genetic code. CoachNet's desire is to see people become intentional about coaching — either in beginning to coach others or in improving the quality of coaching they currently deliver. Everybody talks about it… it's time to start doing it!  CoachNet's Coach Certification program is a specialized, comprehensive process that prepares Christian leaders to effectively coach and develop others."

It is good to be a part of Acts 29 as it continues to grow rapidly, but also mature as men who planted churches 3, 5 or 10 years ago are now coaching others who are just beginning.  If you are a church planter, it is a real opportunity to be coached by people who understand the challenges of church planting and are not so far removed from the process that they speak only in theory.  These relationships are critical to the future of Acts 29 as a church planting network.

Designers, Developers & Progammers Needed by Ministries

Are you a designers, developers or programmer?  MinistryCamp Job BoardMinistry Camp has launched “a listing of design and programming jobs offered by ministries looking for the best of the online industry that loves Jesus.”  One of the benefits of MinistryCamp, is a percentage of the sales is given back into practical Christian ministry determined on a monthly basis. This month MinistryCamp is giving to Campus Crusade for Christ in New Orleans. If you need designers, developers, programmers or others, check out MinistryCamp as a employment advertising option.

The Future of Spirituality and what is after Postmodernism

bright_logo.pngI'm always curious about social trends and the shape of things to come.  It is through this fascination, I've gathered some information and patterns to suggest where the future of spirituality is going and what is after postmodernism.  I believe postmodernism is already dead.  Unfortunately, it will take years (and even decades in some pockets of culture) to unfold the new era of where things are going.  I believe Christians need to be prepared for the challenges ahead as we desire to understand our culture and communicate the gospel to a dying world. 

Here are the shifts that I believe will radically alter the spiritual landscape of the west:

1. The Science of Faith – Science has, in the past steered away from non-empirical areas of faith.  But under increased pressure to explain the unexplainable, scientists are moving quickly to provide a framework of reducing faith to 'scientific' components.  Science must do this to restore the lost power from the rise of postmodernism and rejection of a naturalistic modern progression.  The day will come where issues of faith, belief and spirituality will be considered 0's & 1's that came from evolution.  Science will tell us why we have faith or beliefs and attempt to strip validity of all religion.  [Eg. One such area of study is memetics, an approach to evolutionary models of information transfer based on the concept of the meme.  'Meme ' is a term often used in blogging about the viral transfer of information through blogs but it actually was coined in the biological field prior by Richard Dawkins in his book "The Selfish Gene".]

2. Christianity as a Psychiatric Diagnosis and social ill – Under the 'new' science of the mind, people who are of faith will be considered in need of treatment.  As science enters into the faith equation all religions will be seen as 'Viruses of the Mind' or Faith Suffers as Richard Dawkins writes.  To deal with man's true problems will require treatment to remove the guilt, dogma and false belief structures imposed by religion.  True therapeutic healing can only begin after the Christian rejects the superstition of faith.  Dawkins argues  that religion may be "natural" but like a viral infection Christianity is still a disease that must be eradicated for the good of humanity.   

3. The death of Pluralism & Postmodernism – Religions will be blamed for the wars, prejudices and intolerance in our world.  There will no longer be a tolerance to religious differences.  As all religions are lumped into one malady, no religion will be considered right, except the faith in science & naturalism.  Pluralism and the relativity of postmodernism will be rejected as frameworks that are naive and unworkable.

4. The Rise of the New Atheist – All of these shifts will be aggressively pursued by thinkers who are no longer tolerant of any religious faith.  As described by Wired: "The New Atheists will not let us off the hook simply because we are not doctrinaire believers. They condemn not just belief in God but respect for belief in God. Religion is not only wrong; it's evil. Now that the battle has been joined, there's no excuse for shirking."  (Source: Wired, The Crusade Against Religion Oct 23rd 2006)  Wired claims the three leading atheists are Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett.  Also see the Bright's Net , a collective of this new atheist.  (Logo from their website)  These atheists will not stop until all religion is labeled evil.

"We certainly have been placed in an interesting time.  In fact it is not much different than what Machen was experiencing in the early 1900's.  We have a rise of liberalism within the church labeled as Emergent.  And we have the rise of scientism outside the church labeled as Progess.  Both are trying to regain ground.  One attempts to gain ground they lost to the evangelicals, and the other ground they lost to the postmoderns.  The New Liberalism and the New Science which are not really new at all are they?,"  Tom Moller, an elder at Kaleo Church .

Acts 29 Bloggers

a29.gifFor those who are church planters, I've put together a list of Acts 29 pastors who have blogs.  My assumption is that a lot of these planters will post on issues of church planting and being the church.

David Fairchild (San Diego)

Mark Moore (Dallas & Mark blogs about the International Acts 29 movement)

Mark Driscoll (Seattle)

Michael Foster (Cincinnati)

Bill Streger (Houston)

Pete Williamson (Bellingham)

Tim Wagner (West LA) 

Brent Rood (Bothell WA)

Ed Marcelle (Troy, NY) 

Jonathan Herron (Kent OH)

Ryan Mobley (Springfield IL) 

Justin Anderson (Tempe, AZ) 

duane matthew smets (Pacific Beach) 

Mike Edwards (Detroit)

Who else am I missing? 

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