Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ten Things I Know Now that I Didn't Know Before

I’ve been in the ministry since 1985, pastoring two churches prior to planting PCC. I’ve learned some lessons as a CHURCH PLANTER that I didn’t know before:

1. People who show up one time and act like they are God’s gift to the church, who sign up for everything on the list, and talk about how they are called into the ministry ARE THE ONES WHO WILL NOT LAST LONG. Happens every time.

2. People will not do what you EXPECT, they will do what you INSPECT.

3. Casting the vision over and over again is very important. Volunteers do volunteer work BECAUSE OF the VISION, not because they need something else in their schedule.

4. Small groups are hard work and need constant supervision. But when they are working right, almost nothing is greater.

5. I’m not afraid of losing people. While I don’t like to see people leave, I now realize that sometimes they need to – both for themselves and PCC.

6. The people who I work closest with must be people whose friendship I enjoy and who I can get along with. If I can’t get along with you or you with me, we’re not working together.

7. TRUST is absolutely essential for all staff, elders, trustees, officers, ministry leaders & directors, and small group leaders. Disloyalty in any form is cause for immediate removal – no questions asked.

8. CONFRONTATION is INEVITABLE. Church plants draw people who are looking to create a church that fits what they think church ought to be. Bad people will cause problems that will not end quickly. Key leaders will buck the vision and take others with them. Confronting these people is necessary to keep the church on track.

9. When we were smaller people would show up who had UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS about what our church was going to be like for them, what I would be like, and what my relationship with them would be like. But when they ran into the full force of our vision and the decisions necessary to accomplish it, they decided it was not their vision. They may have said “yes” to the vision when they first arrived, but deep down they never meant it. They said yes to GET CLOSE and on the INSIDE TRACT.

10. Church plants, when they are small attract control freaks who want to be the BIG FISH in a SMALL POND. i.e., They want to be on the church board, in control, a decision maker, and pull the pastor’s strings. Guess what? The pond got bigger.