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Curator Kate White
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article
My Top 10 Church Planting Tips
Written by a church planter serving in Chicago, this article offers 10 church planting tips.
book
Ten Most Common Mistakes Made by New Church Starts
This resource is for individuals interested in starting a new church and shows how to overcome inevitable challenges, all while focusing on the most important part --- sharing God's love with others.
book
Launch: Starting a New Church from Scratch
This resource is a good starting point for those thinking about starting a new church --- read about the story of Journey Church in New York City and gain from the experiences of the two pastors who started it.
book
The Nuts and Bolts of Church Planting: A Guide for Starting Any Kind of Church
This comprehensive book is perfect for people interested in starting a church. More specifically, for people who want a step-by-step process that gives the nuts and bolts of church planting, starting with assessing leadership traits to asking essential questions about church identity.
book
Divergent Church: The Bright Promise of Alternative Faith Communities
This resource explores the unique characteristics of divergent churches, examining the how and where they meet, what brings them together, and how their primary concerns shape the practices of the congregation.
For The CRG Created For The CRG
The Unique Experience of Church Planting

Church planting is different than establishing satellites, multi-sites, a new worship service or a separate non-profit. Church planting is establishing a new congregation in a new location. This process is rewarding, yet it requires hard work and a varied skillset.

Below are four things I’ve learned about church planting.

What are the unique challenges for your church plant? Find help you need like data, church planting conferences, coaching and more by looking at our hand-picked church planting resources.

For The CRG Created For The CRG
It’s About Life

A generation ago, congregational observers noted that congregations experiencing growth were those which gave clear-cut, right and wrong, direction about life.

I want to note a subtle correction to this observation.

Vital congregations are those which give more attention to the lives of adherents than the needs of the institution. Congregations which are flourishing are those which provide education, a sense of community, and moments of meaning that help congregants navigate the challenges of life with resilience.

A balance

Certainly, your congregation needs to pay attention to its organizational life. You need people attending to budgets, the condition of the facility, the copier, the agenda for the board meeting and so forth. Yet, if attention to the operations of the congregation subtracts from supporting the lives of members and the lives of people in the community, then folks will sense that the congregation is not doing what it is called to do. The congregation becomes a purposeless community in which only those with a strong sense of obligation will stay engaged.

Paying attention to life

Flourishing congregations are those which pay attention to life. People are praying. They are asking important questions. They are thinking about what it means to be a community. The congregation serves as a resource to its members around any number of crucial matters: parenting, finances, justice, vocation, character building, and of course, one’s connection to God.

My colleague Kara Faris and I were introduced to 12 creative congregations and had the privilege of writing about them for the book Divergent Church. A divergent church focuses on an aspect of life beyond the emphasis on the church itself.

It’s about life. It’s not about the congregation as an end unto itself.

What matters most to you in life?

Let your congregation attend to such matters.

To learn more about the book, Divergent Church, here are two links:

https://thecrg.org/resources/divergent-church-the-bright-promise-of-alternative-faith-communities

https://www.faithandleadership.com/kara-faris-divergent-churches-are-exploring-innovative-ways-congregational-life

You can also read this blog about practices that connect faith and life.

For The CRG Created For The CRG
Starting Well

Are you a clergyperson starting at a congregation? I’m sure you want to start well. It can be a challenge to prayerfully navigate all the demands placed upon you.

Most clergy don’t move often enough to get good at starting, so it’s hard to get it right. It’s like so many important things in life that happen seldom enough that we never quite reach the level of competency we’d like. I only got one chance to care for my mom through her last illness. I hadn’t done that before. Thanks to grace and my mom’s graciousness, I was good enough. Competent? Just barely.

Advice

Common advice is this: Don’t change anything for the first 12 months. In some cases, this is good advice. Don’t claim a new congregational vision to sell the 130-year-old structure, which is still in excellent condition. Your congregants probably won’t go for that. But if the congregation is used to mediocre preaching, then, for heaven’s sake, change that. Preach well!

Learning

If you are a new clergy person, you are going to learn things about the congregation that you didn’t know. Some of it is good. Wow, the music here is wonderful! Some of it is worrisome. Hmmm, the monthly income is a lot lower than I was told.

Working

The clergy leader is the carrier of both the possibility and the sin of the congregation. As the new congregational leader, you are the vessel for that which is unsolved, unredeemed and just plain troubling about the community. During the first 100 days, a primary spiritual task is working out with God how you are going to tolerate whatever uncomfortable you are experiencing.

Is it possible to just sit with this for a while? Actually, you can do more than be still. You can use this time to begin to develop the competencies being called forth. New occasions teach new duties.

Type this into a CRG search: New Pastorate. You will find some helpful resources.

Entering Wonderland is a resource that might be helpful to you on this new journey.

organization
The Church Multiplication Training Center
This organization provides training programs for existing congregations to refocus their mission on making disciples, and for church planters to learn specific strategies for starting new congregations.
organization
National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO)
This association helps congregations find state agencies that offer state-specific information about regulations for new congregations and congregations that conduct charitable activities or solicit charitable contributions.
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