August 27, 2007

Planting Missional Churches – (Ch 8) Involving Lay Leaders

Everyone knows that we do church together. It's not a super-staff kind of thing where you pay people to do the ministry while the rest of the members of the church sit on their butts. But in a church plant, that becomes even more magnified. Everyone has to pitch in, otherwise the future of the plant is in doubt.

In Chapter 8, Stetzer spends a significant amount of the book talking about involving lay leaders and which leaders are the most critical as you get started. He issues a stark warning however: "Take care not just to put a warm body in a spot you need to fill, a common mistake I see church planters making".

He then lists what he believes are the five indispensable leaders in a church plant that should be in place before the first public service:

  1. New Member Assimilation (Small Groups)
  2. Network Evangelism
  3. Spiritual Gifts Mobilization (Servant Teams)
  4. Children's Ministry Team
  5. Worship Ministry Team

Here's a great paragraph:

It may be unfortunate, but an old adage worth paying attention to claims that the top three qualities people look for in a church (whether consciously or subconsciously) are good parking, nice women's restrooms, and excellent child care. The reality is that, as planters, usually we can only control one of these: child care.

Stetzer is idealistic, but practical. He advises starting with just pre-school ministry in the early days. Then build your children's ministry as more volunteers come along. He gives some very practical policies and procedures for safety in your children's ministry.

He then offers potentially two other leaders that he feels are critical:

  • Welcome Coordinator
  • Financial Organizer

He then ends the chapter with the following good advice:

"Pick leaders wisely – or suffer the consequences later"…

That should be a proverb or something…

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