5 skills to help church planters

Practical church planting tips from the ARC Ireland Leadership Conference held in Ballymena on October 7 - 8 2014.

VOX magazine was LIVE at the ARC Ireland Leadership Exchange Conference in Ballymena this week, exploring church planting in Ireland (establishing and developing "life-giving" churches across the island of Ireland).  Here we bring you some of the practical teaching from Peter Haas, pastor of Substance Church in the US:

These are five skills that will help you thrive in church planting:

 1)   Learn the art of recruiting - every leader has to spend more time recruiting a team.  You need to spend time working on the ministry not just in the ministry.  How good is your team at recruiting people?  Are your team good party throwers?  We don’t want people just to do a task but we want to make sure that the people leading a ministry are able to throw a party... provide hospitality… promote fellowship… and build a team!  

2)   Learn the art of gracefully firing volunteers - a lot of pastors are afraid to move someone aside.  There are certain people who will not change.  Many ministries are one tough conversation away from a breakthrough. In churches we are so afraid to prune people.  Healthy growth always requires pruning. Avoid making political decisions instead of strategic decisions.  Don’t be co-dependent on those you are leading.  

3)   Learn to slay the monster of Sundays - the Sunday service can be so time consuming.  For a lot of church planters the services are a distraction.  If you are spending all your time writing a sermon you are not out there recruiting.  I turned to sermon videos from time to time- asking my people to recommend great sermons they had seen and playing the video.  Rather than trying to preach a mediocre version of what he did, I played his video.   I redeemed the week to do leadership development .  Think creatively about how to slay the monster of Sundays otherwise you will struggle building or growing your church. 

4)   Always have four to five ministry mentors - find great friends who you can do this with, who can come in from the outside to critique and mentor you.  Find people who can give you feedback.  Teach-ability is the ability to re-learn that which you already know.

5)   Don’t compare your church to other churches - God’s timeline for your church is going to look different.  When you compare you despair.  Most overnight successes were 10 years in the making and you just didn’t hear about the previous 10 years.  God is more interested in building you than building your church.  Your current devastation could be the greatest thing that ever happened to you.  The fact that it is taking you a little longer than it does other churches could be the greatest thing that ever happened to you.  You cannot compare because you are not God!  You don’t see things as He sees things.  You need to say, “God I trust you no matter what.”