How To Plan in a Plant

I’m a strategizer. That is one of the things I love about church planting, there is this big blank canvas and I get to help determine, and sometimes decide myself, where each and every thing is placed, why it’s placed there, what it will accomplish and how it will bring the message of the Gospel to students and kids–and hopefully their parents as well.

The first year of church growth drove me insane. There was not a whole lot to plan. I couldn’t work from a budget because we didn’t have one. I couldn’t decide exactly what method of teaching to use, because I never knew how many kids I would have–or even what ages they would be. I couldn’t “recruit” volunteers in the typical fashion, because everyone was serving in some capacity, and I could close my eyes momentarily and name every single person who showed up on any given Sunday.

Not planning drove me nuts, but it taught me a few things, too.

:: GRACE. I work on the best church staff I’ve ever worked with the best people I’ve ever worked with. They are authentic, and extend grace to me now and then any time I didn’t quite get it right, or missed the mark completelly. In ministry, I have never experienced grace quite like I have in a church plant. Everyone is learning, so no one person thinks they have the best answer, including me. As grace is extended to me as I am learning to do ministry differently, I too have learned how to extend grace to others who need it!

::FAITH Every week on the drive to church is week filled with Faith. I’ve learned to have faith in God to bring everything together on a Sunday morning. Although I may prepare, in a church plant, I never know what to expect! My conversation with God goes something like this now, “Lord, I’ve done all I can, now it’s your turn!:

::QUIET For anyone who knows me, they know I am anything BUT quiet. I am loud, and have an annoying laugh and embarass my kids on most occassions because well–I talk to everyone..all the time, and I always touch babies heads–I know…weird!! But during the first year of church plantng I learned to be quiet. I had to depend on Chrit’s Spirit within me to lead me and show me what exactly HE wants me to accomplish in the ministry. I could not have learned that if I jumped into building a student and children’s ministry with my own ideas, based on experience in other churches. I had to go in, connect with the kids, hear what the teenagers were saying, find out where the parents were coming from. How arrogant of me to assume that i know exactly what to do the minute I walk in the door! Sure I can change the layout of the room, but some order to curriculum, put the right materials in the well-prepared hands…but know which direction to take the ministries required me to be quiet.

So if you are just starting your KIDMIN and STUMIN, I encourage you to be patient with stillness and quiet. It is okay if you don’t have the answers to all the questions, or know how to execute every part of your mission or your values. Take each day as it comes, giving your best to the LORD, and He will give you HIs vision to accomplish great things for his kingdom!

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