Category : Church Planting Resources

All, Church Planting Resources, Leadership

Two great leadership resources

Just discovered two great resources for pastors/leaders to continue growing and becoming.



MINISTRYHANGOUTS_MAINSLIDEThe First is called Ministry Hangout.
This is a vidcast hosted by Senior Pastor Greg Surratt. He invites various leaders to come on a talk about their varied areas of expertise. It’s an amazing resource which I highly recommend.

Here’s the link.




The Second is called Advance One Day.

This resource is from Next Level Church who seems to have really gone to the next level recently in offering so many great leadership resources. These leadership talks are good not just for pastors but for any CEO, entrepreneur, and is even applicable on a personal level. Highly recommended.

Here’s the link. (Click on ‘free videos’)

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All, Church Planting Resources, Leadership

Leadership Styles Under Stress


We all have some areas of leadership.
You may not be leading a company but you may be leading your family, your department, your class, and especially yourself.

Overtime I’ve learned there are two things constant about leadership that are always constant: growth and conflict.
They also usually play off each other. One of the best things about leadership development is your ability to assess where you are. It’s impossible to get better on purpose if you don’t know where you need improvement.

What is your leadership style when things are good?
What is your leadership style when things get a little fast-paced?
What is your leadership style when things get stressful?

We can have a pretty good idea about the first two but almost always get the last one wrong.  Below is an excerpt from a website which talks about Leadership Under Stress. There’s also a link to where you can take a Style Under Stress Assessment Test. It’s great.

Here you go:

When the stakes are high, emotions run strong, and opinions differ, we all struggle to stay cool. But more often than not, we clam up for fear that speaking up will make things worse; or, we blow up because we haven’t a clue how to express ourselves honestly and respectfully.

But there’s a better way. The skills taught in our bestselling book and training course, Crucial Conversations, can teach you how to have effective dialogue in even the most crucial of circumstances.

Take the first step to improving your crucial conversations skills by learning your Style Under Stress™. This 33-question quiz reveals your natural tendencies to move toward silence (masking, avoiding, or withdrawing) or violence (controlling, labeling, or attacking) as well as the dialogue skills you use well or need to improve.

  • Identify a Relationship. Before you begin, think about the relationship you want to explore with your boss, coworker, direct report, friend, or family member.
  • Identify a Circumstance. Next, think of a tough circumstance—one where you either stay silent or perhaps lash out with anger, a raised voice, sarcasm, etc…
  • Apply. With that relationship and circumstance in mind, respond to the following statements.


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All, Church Planting Resources, Leadership


This year at ALL ACCESS was probably the best I’ve attended.

The facility was amazing at Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Fl.
The app sessions were amazing. The guest speakers were amazing. It was a wonderful investment of time, finances, and energy.
I was also honored to be part of the first group of pastors to hear from Rick Warren since the tragic death of his son. What a true man of God!
His legacy grows with each year.
Truly a modern apostle fathering a generation of pastors.

There was really so many good things it’s hard to pick one take-away. Instead I’ve listed some of my favorite quotes from the sessions below.

One of the main prevailing themes for the conference was “LIVING WELL” physically, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. That really speaks to me.
I’m a workaholic by nature and it’s so valuable to be reminded to keep the first things first.

Thank you so much to the ARC Staff, Lead Team, and army of volunteers/interns for making this year’s ALL ACCESS something I’ll glean from for quite a while.

Tweet-able quotes I caught this year:

“Unless the church is WELL LEAD and WELL FED it will never reach its potential.” Bill Hybels

“God doesn’t start with details. He starts with obedience.” Herbert Cooper

“Your only a healthy pastor if you have a healthy marriage.” Matt Fry

“Don’t be afraid to be who you are. God made you the way you are for a reason.” -Matt Fry

“Right where you are afraid is usually where you have the most anointing.” Rick Bezet

“God will help you with a lot if things but he cannot stand hypocrisy.” Rob Ketterling

“It’s not your love for that city that’s caused God to send you there. It’s your assignment.”Jo Champion

“Need to make sure you are living in order, living well.” -Jo Champion

“The enemy will send problems in church to see who owns the church.” Jo Champion

“When you make an investment in the kids of your church it pays you back.” Willie George

“You define how you are treated.  If people are not treating you right. Guess who’s fault that is? You define how you can serve people.” -Willie George

“God has sent you to a city to reach people who are tuned to the same pitch as you.  If people leave that’s okay. They’re not your people. They’re someone else’s people.

Your people won’t leave you.” -Willie George

“Building the church isn’t about a building but its about building people and growing their relationships.” Christine Caine

“Just because it doesn’t work the first time doesn’t mean it’s time to quit.” Greg Surratt

“Three things your called to steward: 1. Your time, 2. Your energy, 3. Your money” Stovall Weems


“Our churches should be a leadership factory.” -Mike Murphy


The Recap Video below is actually from last year but the same excitement and impartation was around this year as well.

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All, Church Planting Resources

Must Read List for Church Planters

One of the first things I learned about being a church planter was just how much I didn’t know about church planting. There are so many things unique to this particular type of endeavor it can seem overwhelming. The great thing though is there are mounting resources for planters.

I once read that early in his leadership journey,  John Maxwell would pay an executive $1oo for one hour of his time.  During that one hour, John would ask as many questions as he could.  Through this he gradually learned what it was to be a leader. This is a great idea. However, it simply wasn’t possible for me. So, I discovered the next best thing… books. There are scores and scores of great books about church planting. Here are a few that we really benefited from during our church planting journey and still do.   (These are NOT in order.)

Viral Churches: Helping Church Planters Become Movement Makers    
Ed Stetzer and Warren Bird 


Dave & Jon Ferguson


The Purpose Driven Church
Rick Warren

This book has pretty much become the gold standard of church planting and church growth books.  The paradigm shift Rick talks about is just where we need to be as pastors and church leaders. His idea is profound yet simple. Church isn’t about keeping the sheep happy anymore. It’s about being a resource center for those far from God. Everyone has a purpose in life and that purpose is not to simply breath air. Life is meant to be lived.


Nelson Searcy

Nelson has a growing library not just for the church planter but for post-launch-life as well. This book is the jumping off point. He talks not only about the theory and theology of church planting but also dives head-long into budgeting ideas, scheduling, etc. Great stuff.


Simple Church
Thom Rainer

This book is something for helping you set up the idea of what your church needs to be before it’s even born. He basically talks about established churches being a mile wide and an inch deep. We’re too complicated so in the end there’s a lot of smoke but no fire. Thom encourages us to trim the fat and get back to church as it was in the beginning, simple and effective.


Up the Middle Church
Matt Keller

When our team was in the planting process we went through this book then did it again in post-launch-life. It continues to be a yearly read and study. Matt Keller does a great job at combining the principles of vision with the realities of marketing strategies and a life-giving way of life. Definitely worth reading… then reading again.


The Circle Maker
Mark Batterson

Not as much a how-to book as it is a faith inspiring book. Mark dares you to believe in the impossible which is pretty much the name of the game when it comes to church planting. It’s also great to read his true life church planting success story.


Sun Stand Still
Steven Furtick

Pastor Steven has become a rather polarizing character in the modern church world.  I love him and what God is doing through His life.  When God first spoke to me about planting a church, I was like a fish out of water. I had no idea what to do, where to start, or what to say. I didn’t even know how to articulate what God was doing on the inside of me. People would ask what was going on and I would say, “I don’t know. It’s just different.”
Reading Sun Stand Still changed all that. It gave me a vocabulary for the revolution happening inside my heart. It taught me how to have faith for impossible dreams. I learned this phrase, “If your prayers aren’t intimidating to you chances are their insulting to God.”  Using the lessons from Pastor Steven, my wife and I began to believe for big things and God has not disappointed.


Other honorable mentions are:
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership- John Maxwell
Good to Great- Jim Collins
Courageous Leadership- Billy Hybels
The Seven Characteristics of Highly Effective People- Steven Covey
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team- Patrick Lencioni

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Books, Church Planting Resources

5 Dysfunctions of a Team


Book 3 of 5o in my quest to read 50 books in 52 weeks. (2013)

Whether you are a church planter (pre-launch), pastor, small group leader, business owner, or husband and wife; everyone can gain insight from this great book.

As a pastor and church leader it’s important to realize how teams function and often enough fail to function.
I’ve been in those meetings where everything seemed to be okay but there was this undertow throughout that just screamed “This isn’t working.” Ever been there?

Patrick Lencioni does a masterful job with his unique approach to leadership training. He tells a fable all the while weaving in powerful insights and leadership ideas.

You’ll find yourself right in the middle of his boardroom meetings cheering on the CEO, disagreeing with the direct reports, and maybe even identifying with a few of the personality flaws found in this dysfunctional team.

This is one book I found myself finishing only to turn back to page one and starting over again.


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Church Planting Resources

CP Resources: Church Metrics


As a church planter of a new church, it is huge to have a very accurate idea of exactly how your young church is doing. Just think about it. You wouldn’t check in on your newborn baby every month or so to make sure it was okay. Yeah right! You would be giving that baby your constant time and attention. It’s the same way with the church. It’s important to know exactly what’s happening on a weekly basis.

Enter Church Metrics.

Built by a church for churches. is a new, free web app that gives you the ability to track trends within your church. Using dynamic charts, comparative reports and educated projections, it’s never been easier to keep tabs on attendance and giving patterns in your church.

Not only that but you can also keep up with anything you think is worthy such as connection cards, kids attendance, volunteer participation, etc.

Here’s another blog post for further reading. click here.

Here is another link to various videos on Vimeo to get you started.

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All, Books, Church Planting Resources

Book Review: Making Vision Stick


Book 2 of 5o in my quest to read 50 books in 52 weeks. (2013)

Some books are annual re-reads for me.
Some are ‘one-and-done’.
Some are every six months.
Every once and a while though I come across a book that I read as often as I can. Maybe even once a quarter.

Making Vision Stick is one of the books.
It’s great.
If you have ever lead anything and tried to lead with vision rather than your title, you need this book.

Andy Stanley take the difficult task of communicating VISION and puts it on the bottom shelf for everyone to reach.
You owe it to your team more than yourself to read this book often.

Link to purchase the book.

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Church Planting Resources

Social Media Ideas

When your planting a church, one of the biggest Elephants in the room is… no one knows you exist.
No matter how much you believe in your church, no how great you are, no matter how great your team is the truth is if they don’t know you are there what good is it?

Advertising is reminding. You need constant reminders to remind people you are there and you are doing well.

Here are some ideas to help you get the most of social media.

Which ones to utilize.:

  • Facebook Page
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • LinkedIn

How to use them:
Create a Facebook Page
Create Events like crazy
Friend people from your local area so your posts show up on their feeds
Post something everyday if possible to keep yourself in the feed

Post something everyday if possible
Encourage people to tweet your message quotes DURING THE SUNDAY WORSHIP EXPERIENCE
Make every post link back to your website if possible to continue to drive people back there

Take video of everything: Worship Experience, Team Members, Growth Track sessions, events, etc, etc, etc.
As long as it’s in a positive light of your church video it.
Then you can use it for the other social media venues.
Do a weekly announcement commercial.

Same as YouTube

Check the stats. More than ever social media is how our world connects.
The more available and connectable you make yourself, the better.

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