Church Planting Task Management Software.


All of us have overflowing to-do lists. If you are like me, you are constantly trying to manage what is on your list and what you have already done. Complicating the issue are tasks that you share with other co-workers. Often there is as much time spend on sending each other emails about your work as doing the work itself. Group cooperation can be a maddening experience. Its even tougher when you have multiple people that you are assigning tasks too and you want to keep up on their progress without coming off as micro-managing. So how do you overcome the Task Management monster? More importantly, how do you overcome it on the cheap? My hope is that this will be helpful to all you church planters out there trying to lead your emerging teams.

This year we have more volunteer leaders and staff than ever. Our teams at Green Hills Church seem to be continually expanding. Our ministry is growing and we are trying to all stay sane and on the same page. As we have been trying to figure out the group task managing problem I commissioned my Administrative Director, and good friend Ben Stewart to come up with a solution.  What he has presented us is a task management software called Orchestra. You can check out their site at https://web.orchestra.com/#

Orchestra is completely free, has a mobile phone app and is very user friendly. You start by creating an account for each team member. It functions a lot like a Facebook Account. You then can assign tasks to other team members. They can accept or reject the task and you can see their progress. You can remind them to do the task by nudging them (a gentle reminder) or by sending them a note. You can also create subsets of tasks that are not shared globally so you can isolate your tasks to specific teams or even keep some of your tasks private.

The current drawback is that you cant upload and attach working documents and you can’t do file sharing between teams. But it is a great interface to use to communicate tasks and keep communication lines flowing.

Here is a picture of what the interface looks like.  

 

So if you are interested you can sign up at: https://web.orchestra.com/#

If this is helpful spread the word!

Church Size, Does it Matter?

Here’s a great read from Pastor Mark Driscoll as he talks about church size. What was surprising to me was how few true megachurches there really are in America. I had the opportunity to work at one while I was in Seminary and it was a surreal experience. What are your thoughts?

Some Thoughts on Church Size

by: Pastor Mark Driscoll on Nov 10, 2011 in ChurchLeadership

 

 

There are three major variables necessary to understanding a church:

Theology: This is both what you believe and what is emphasized in the teaching and ministry of the church. This includes what topics are regarded as open- and closed-handed issues, respectively. This is where questions such as, “Do we lean Reformed or Arminian?” “Do we baptize babies or not?” “Are we charismatic or cessationist?” “Will we have female pastors or not?” “Do we believe in a literal hell or not?” are answered.

Ministry Philosophy: This is the set of values and practical decisions that determine how you do things. Will you be a missional church engaging culture? A fundamentalist church retreating from culture? A seeker church attracting families with programming? Have contemporary music with a band or traditional music with a choir? Be multi-service or multi-site? Preach through books of the Bible or do short topical series? Etc.

Size: Church size affects nearly every aspect of a church, as bigger churches are not simply larger versions of smaller churches but rather very different organizations. For this reason, sometimes two very large churches that differ in aspects of theology and ministry philosophy have a lot in common simply because of size.

Size affects the number of lines of communication, how an organization stacks or does not stack leadership, access to the senior leader and family, etc. Simply, church size does matter for how a church is run, much like a married couple who some years later find themselves with a dozen children cannot simply organize their life as they did with their first child—everything must change. For those wanting to learn more about the dynamics of church size, Tim Keller has a helpful paper, and Larry Osborne has a helpful book called Sticky Teams.

Also, in my book Confessions, I write the following:

No one is exactly sure how many non-Catholic Protestant churches there are in the United States but the general figures are somewhere between 400,000 and 500,000 churches.[i] So, for purposes of this rough estimate I am assuming that there are 400,000 non-Catholic Protestant churches in the United States. I am also assuming that the reported attendance at these churches is accurate, something that is highly questionable as over-reporting of church attendance is estimated by some to be as high as fifty percent.[ii] Therefore, a rough estimate on the breakdown of weekly church attendance for adults and children in America breaks down as follows:

      • Churches with 45 people or less = 100,000 churches or 25% of all churches
      • Churches with 75 people or less = 200,000 churches or 50% of all churches
      • Churches with 150 people or less = 300,000 churches or 75% of all churches
      • Churches with 350 people or less = 380,000 churches or 95% of all churches
      • Churches with 800 people or less = 392,000 churches or 98% of all churches
      • Churches with 800 people or more = 8,000 churches or 2% of all churches
      • Churches with 2000 people or more = 870 churches or 0.22% of all churches
      • Churches with 3000 people or more = 425 churches or 0.11% of all churches

Summarily, George Barna says, “Four out of ten church-going adults (41%) go to churches with 100 or fewer adults while about one out of eight church-going adults (12%) can be found in churches of 1000 or more adults.[iii]

According to church expert Lyle Schaller, the two most comfortable church sizes are 45 people or less and 150 people or less.[iv] Subsequently, these are also likely the hardest size barriers a pastor has to push through. Practically, it seems that churches under 45 people are large enough to gather for worship and function as a church, but small enough for everyone to know each other and have a say in everything that happens. A congregation of 150 can usually gather in one service and exist as one community, yet have the resources to hire a pastor to care for all the people. These variables may help to explain why the average church in America is reportedly 89 people.[v]

Additionally, pushing through the 350 barrier is often very difficult because it usually requires that the church transition to multiple pastors, multiple services, and become multiple communities.

 

 

You can read the article in its entirety here: http://pastormark.tv/2011/11/10/some-thoughts-on-church-size

 

How To Develop Volunteer Leaders.

 

Every church need to reproduce leaders at every level. However, developing leaders not something that is easy to do. It takes a lot of time and effort to be able to develop leaders. I want to share with you how to develop leaders strategically in order to make a difference in your community.

This week we had a breakthrough Sunday at Green Hills Church. We had several key volunteer leaders who were out of commission. One had a medial condition that kept him from serving, another was on his honeymoon. These were guys who had been carrying the baton of leadership over the last 3 years. Instead of catastrophe we had something really exciting happen. We had several new volunteers step up and fill key roles that they had never filled before! These were not volunteers that showed up and were plugged into roles that they had never filled before, these were young men who had gone through an apprenticing process. It was exciting to see a new set of servant leaders spread their wings! From every ministry area we had new volunteers serving this past sunday.

As a church that depends on volunteers to set up and tear down our church every sunday it is a huge undertaking to do church every Sunday. We get to Cabana Restaurant in Nashville at 7 every morning and turn it from a high end nightclub into a church. We move tables, sweep and mop the floors and set up our sound system and children’s ministry. We can get it done usually in an hour. Over the years we have had certain key lay leaders who have led the charge sacrificially. But recently we have seen that we have needed some new blood to be able to continue ministering with excellence.

1. Recruit Relationally. The best volunteers are those who are your friends. I think the best place to recruit is among people who you are already friends with. Ask your volunteers to invite their friends to volunteer. Also remember that whomever you invite to your team is now a friend. I think many leaders do themselves a disservice by keeping people at an arms distance when they are working together. Many of my closest relationships have developed through serving alongside my volunteers.

The best way to recruit someone is to get to know them personally. Take them to coffee. Get to know their story. Invite them to join you in making a difference. I make it a point to personally recruit people when they indicate that they want to serve on one of the teams that I am personally leading. I have realized that men need someone to invite them personally to serve and tell them why they are needed.

2. Establish Parameters One of the temptations when you are recruiting someone is to be vague about what their responsibilities will be. Its easier to just shoot from the hip when you are dealing with volunteers. Personally I find that to be really lazy leadership. You will not develop or attract strong leaders that way. For every volunteer you need to clearly define what the role will be. You need to be able to answer the following questions for every volunteer you put in place. What will they do? How long will it take them to do it? Who do they report to? How do they request change? How long will they be committed to serve in this position? All these questions should be written down on a job description when you hire a volunteer.

3. Model the Role Leadership is caught more that it is taught. Your volunteers learn by your example. So make sure you set a good example in how hard you work. Set an example in how you deal with stress. Be active and diligent. Do the dirtiest jobs.

Volunteers should never be dropped into a servanthood position cold turkey. We do an apprenticeship for every role at Green Hills Church. We have someone shadow a volunteer at least one Sunday before they start to do the role on their own. Whether that is on our hospitality team or running sound we have people shadowing someone so they can replace themselves. What is so exciting about that is today we have multiple gifted leaders who run sound on a rotation. We have a list of volunteers who serve only once a month in our children’s ministry. We have a rotation of musicians who donate their time and talents to make a difference for the gospel.

4. Develop a community of servants People like to serve alongside their friends. We realize this and are trying to do things on Sundays that develop community while we serve. One of the things we have tried to do is to make sure that we all leave together. We make sure that we have a final time of prayer with our tear down team and then one of our members will close us in a cheer. On Sunday set up often the volunteer team will head out for coffee or breakfast after setting up. All these little things change serving from being a chore to being family.

5. Avoid the tyranny of the urgent.  It is so easy to short circuit a good process of volunteering because you need help today. I think being patient is the most important attribute to have when you are trying to develop volunteers. Often you can rush someone into a leadership position before they have fully committed to the role or before they are ready to lead. This causes more harm than good. Often you will lose other volunteers when your leaders crash and burn. The way you overcome the tyranny of the urgent is by projecting your future needs and sacrificing in the present.

Sometimes you have to do the hard work of sacrificing your own comfort right now so you can develop a great team. That may mean that you as the leader will have to do things you don’t want to do for a season. That is normal and healthy. Every leader has to carry the weight of their responsibility more heavily at times. If you remain patient you will reap a harvest that will pay off.

Projecting your future needs is vital to any volunteering effort. It takes time for people to commit to serving regularly. But developing volunteers is worthwhile. It gives people an opportunity to serve the kingdom and often gives them a platform for spiritual growth unlike everything else.

Feel free to add your suggestions on how to recruit and develop leaders in the comments!

Issue Christians

I thought this was a great post from my friend Ed Stetzer. Very insightful on leadership

Yesterday, I had an “encounter” after services in the line where I shake hands after the service. A well-dressed man came up to me after church, shook my hand, and immediately started a conversation about prophecy.

I listened initially, but within a couple of minutes he had quoted one passage he feels is related to the founding of Israel in 1948 and another about Israel occupying Jerusalem in 1967. “Why don’t churches talk more about prophecy?” he asked.

At that point, I could have redirected our conversation and tried to persuade him that we believe in biblical prophecy and will teach on it another time (both of which are true). Or, since he approvingly referenced both Jack Van Impe and John Hagee, I could have found some ways of positively connecting with each of these men.

In most cases, I’ve decided that “this is not the church for you” is actually the right response for “issue Christians” who are visiting the church.

Honestly, if this person were unchurched and told me they thought highly of Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer, I would have sought a point of contact and encouraged further discussion. I probably would have tried to get together– if they were open– to see what the Bible says about the kinds of things that Wayne Dyer talks about. I would have used the bridge to talk about Jesus.

You can read the rest of it here:  http://www.edstetzer.com/2011/10/why-i-have-no-difficulty-helpi.html

Resources for Staying in Touch Internationally

Many times on mission trips people struggle to stay in touch with loved ones. Honestly one of the biggest spending mistakes I have had happen on a mission trip was on phone calls. We had several devoted husbands on a trip in South America who rang up a $1500 phone bill calling home every night. They were using American calling cards to try to minimize expenses but were calling the US through the hotel’s switchboard and being billed $3 dollars a minute by the hotel. I think we all learned a valuable lesson on that trip about being careful on how different and difficult it can be to communicate while in a different country.

Here are some great options that I have found for communicating back home while abroad.

1. Email, blogs, twitter and Facebook.

I know these are almost no brainers today but I am always amazed by how helpful they are to keep large numbers of people connected with your team while you are abroad. Most hotels have free internet overseas so it is easy to keep people connected with what is going on on the trip by daily communicating through blogs and Facebook. On our last trip to Israel we had several people even tweeting and checking in on Facebook.

2. Skype

Skype allows you to do a couple of cool things. First of all it is free if you are connecting to someone else online either through voice or video. However you can also get a really cheap calling card option through it to call land lines and cell phones. There are other great options like skype out there as well like Face Time, Google Talk and Qik.

3. International calling cards, international phone plans and rent a phones

There are several options for calling cards and international phone plans. Many times you can get a roaming package through Verizon or ATT for about $30. Usually there is a limit to how much information you can download (usually about 20 MG) but you can use your iPhone or Blackberry that way while you are overseas. You can also get some calling cards through other online sites. I recommend http://www.nobelcom.com/ and http://callbacktoday.com/ . One thing I have seen be really helpful too is having a cell phone for use in the country you are serving in. I recommend  http://www.mobal.com/international-cell-phones/. They will actually mail you a phone and assign you a phone number.

How to Practically do Missions

As Christians we know certain truths. God loves the world. God loves people. Jesus commissioned his followers to go to the ends of the world right before he went to heaven.

Although we know these truths intellectually we often struggle on how to accomplish them practically. How do we do missions well? How do we practically go on mission? What pitfalls are out there that we may fall into if we are journeying through the morass of modern missions unaware of our surroundings? Today I am going to lay out an easy step by step plan of how to prepare a mission team in hopes that it will help you go on mission with a game plan that is achievable and reproducible.

Step 1: Pray.

I know this step may seem really intuitive but it is a lot harder than it seems. You need to bathe your mission trip with prayer. You are going on the front lines of the conflict between God and his enemy Satan. You need to make sure you are hearing from God concerning where you should go and what you should do. Start by praying for a burden for a people group and a country. Often we approach missions by trying to do what others have done. That is a poor way to start the process of following God. Every great missionary movement has started by people asking God what they should do and then having the courage to follow God’s calling.

Step 2: Partner

Missions can be a daunting task. If you try to do missions alone you can find yourself  trying to pull off a huge vision with minimal resources. You need to find 2 different types of partners. First you need to find companion partners. That means finding people who will take the task on of going and doing the mission with you. I think it is helpful to have several churches taking on a project or mission together than one church or individual taking on a mission by themselves. Choosing to be a part of a denominational missions organization, church network like Acts 29, or the Impact Church Network allows you to do more in less time. Our church has partnered with the Impact Church Network and the IMB and has allowed us to do church planting and missions at a level far beyond our financial ability as a church plant.

The second type of partner you need to have are your “on the ground” partners. You need to have trusted people that you can serve. Usually these people handle most of the logistics for your team and handle the tasks that you will do. I think a key mentality you need to have concerning missions is that you serve your missionaries and help them. Often churches bring their own vision to a project and try to shoehorn missionaries into that vision. A church will have an idea that they become infatuated with but has nothing to do with what the missionary is already accomplishing. Although the missionary may accommodate their partner church, most mission trips like this are a waste of time and money.

It is really important when selecting a mission partner to know them well enough to trust their character. Unfortunately there are many unsavory characters out there that operate under the guise of being social workers and missionaries. It takes time to really distinguish if someone is trustworthy.

Step 3: Plan

It is really important to have a plan for your trip. If you have no objectives for your team you will likely be doing nothing but wasting your people’s time. It is my personal belief that mission trips should be focused on one of two objectives. A mission trip should be focused on either church planting or ministry to the least of these. You may ask what about evangelism. I believe evangelism should be done in both contexts. Evangelism is the reason for any trip.  If you are on a mission trip that does not share the gospel you seriously evaluate if this trip is worth doing.

Evangelism isn’t just going through the Romans Road or EE with people. There are many aspects of evangelism. I believe that a trip that creates contacts for a missionary or a church plant is a vital part of evangelism. We have had great success in gospel resistant countries by creating events that draw unchurched people into relationships with our church planters.

Mission projects that serve the underserved and do primarily humanitarian service opportunities are great first serve opportunities for people. Some of the projects our people have have done are construction, health clinics, well building, and orphan care. These trips are always really rewarding and usually our people walk away realizing how blessed they really are. I think the trick for leaders to is to make sure that people realize that humanitarian aid is not the end game. The gospel is what is most important. It is very important to teach your people that our good deeds should point people to Jesus. All the help we do for others is not because we are good people but because Jesus has changed our lives.  Matthew 5:16 says,In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Good works are not for our glory; instead they are signs that God has transformed us.

Step 4 Prepare

Preparing your team takes a lot more effort than most people realize. Here are some things you need to do to prepare your team.

  • Interest meeting: Have a couple of these meetings before you finalize your team. Its best to do them right after your church service.
  • Deposit: Sometimes people struggle with committing to a trip. I give people a deadline to sign up and I also ask for a deposit of $200 before they go.
  • Fundraising: your team likely has no idea how to fundraise. You are going to have to teach them how to do it well. A support letter followed by a phone call to close friend is a good way to start fund raising. I operate under the premise that if God wants people to go on a trip, he will provide the finances to go.
  • Deadlines: I like to give teams deadlines to get their money in. These are more of suggestions of when their money needs to be turned in. I like to get enough money to cover their plane ticket in by the end of the first month. That allows us to purchase the tickets at a group rate in advance.
  • Team Meetings: have 3-4 meetings before you go on your trip. Pray for your trip. Pray for the people that you will meet and share the gospel with. Teach your people how to share the gospel. Communicate what you are doing. Personally, when I am leading a trip, I like to host these meetings at my home. It allows me to invite my team members into my life and start bonding our team together.
  • Discipleship: you are discipling people on your trip. Give them stuff to lead. Make them lead a team devotional on the trip. It will allow them to learn how to lead a Bible study in a stress free environment. I also encourage you to give your team some books to read before they go on the trip. A great suggestion is the book “Brutchko” by Bruce Olsen.
  • Logistics:  Plan out your transportation, Plan your meals and lodging. Create budget for all your expenses. Make sure you have money for the airport taxes when you leave the country. Check on visas. Make copies of all the passports for your team. Check on security issues in your country and make sure your register your team with the state department before you leave.

Step 5 Play

Enjoy your trip. I think it is important to have fun on every trip that you go on. Make sure you plan 1 day to see the country that you are serving in. Many times people will fall in love with the country as they are enjoy the culture on the off day. If people fall in love with the country chances are they will return and serve again.

Step 6 Begin the process

Ok, I couldn’t come up with another word that came started with a P. I was on a roll there. The most important part of missions is doing it. It isn’t primarily a process or a plan. It is a lifestyle. I am so grateful to be at a church where God’s people are passionate for missions. A lot of what I do is just get out of the way and let God work in people’s lives. I find that when I serve as a cheerleader and champion for missions, people accomplish far more than I could ever imagine.

 

If you are a man watch this video

If you are a man and love Jesus you need to watch this video.  Then go find a church and give your life away.  If Jesus doesn’t come back in 1000 years, McDonalds wont exist, America will be a memory and every parachurch ministry on the planet will be dust.  But the church will remain. Jesus preserves his bride.  He said, I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnN2PrIQijw&feature=player_embedded

Quiz on your view of God

I found this quiz online this week in my Sermon Prep.  It is from John Piper, one of my favorite teachers of God’s word.  This is a quiz on how you see God.  I am going to put the answers below so don’t cheat.

Q 1: What is the chief end of God?

Q 2: Who is the most God-centered person in the universe?

Q 3: Who is uppermost in God’s affections?

Q 4: Is God an idolater?

Q 5: What is God’s chief jealousy?

Q 6: Do you feel most loved by God because he makes much of you, or because he frees you to enjoy making much of him forever?

John introduces this quiz by saying “I am persuaded that people need to be confronted with how self-exalting God is in this purpose.”  I thoroughly agree.  So often our view of God is that he exists only for our own pleasure.

Here are the right answers to the quiz.

Q 1: What is the chief end of God?
A: The chief end of God is to glorify God and enjoy displaying and magnifying his glory forever.

Q 2: Who is the most God-centered person in the universe?
A: God.

Q 3: Who is uppermost in God’s affections?
A: God.

Q 4: Is God an idolater?
A: No. He has no other gods before him.

Q 5: What is God’s chief jealousy?
A: God’s chief jealousy is to be known, admired, trusted, enjoyed, and obeyed above all others.

Q 6: Do you feel most loved by God because he makes much of you, or because he frees you to enjoy making much of him forever?

How did you do?  I really struggle with Question 6.  I think God is mostly here to do my bidding like a genie in a bottle but I know that is not the case. That is really my personal self-centeredness leaking into my theology.  I must be diligent to be someone who elevates God and not myself.  When I do this, something “rings” true inside of me.  I am able to live the way I was created to be, someone who God has lovingly crafted to be his worshipper.

Here are some passages to consider when you are thinking about God and his purposes from a vantage point that is grounded in the gospel.

•   “He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace” (Ephesians 1:5-6).

•    God created the natural world to display his glory: “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalms 19:1).

•    “You are my servant Israel in whom I will be glorified” (Isaiah 49:3); “. . . that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory (Jeremiah 13:11).

•  “He saved them [at the Red Sea] for his name’s sake that he might make known his mighty power” (Psalm l06:7-8); “I have raised you up for this very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth” (Romans 9:17).

•   “I acted [in the wilderness] for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out (Ezekiel 20:14).

•  [After asking for a king] “Fear not . . . For the Lord will not cast away his people for his great name’s sake (l Samuel 12:20-22).

•  “Thus says the Lord God, It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act [in bringing you back from the exile], but for the sake of my holy name . . . . And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name . . . and the nations will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 36:22-23, 32). “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another” (Isaiah 48:11).

•  “Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy” (Romans 15:8-9).

•  “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again” (John 12:27, 28).

•  “He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:15).

•   “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

•  “I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25).

•   “Whoever serves [let him serve], as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified” (1 Peter 4:11).

•   “Immediately an angel of the Lord smote [Herod] because he did not give glory to God” (Acts 12:23).

•  “. . . when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints and to be marveled at in all who have believed (2 Thessalonians l:9-l0).

•  “Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory, which thou hast given me in Thy love for me before the foundation of the world” (John l7:24).

•  “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).

•   “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the lamb” (Revelation 21:23).

Making sure the Gospel is Clear

This is a great article on evangelism and how we must be careful to be clear on sharing the gospel.  Thought you might enjoy it.  It is a response to Shane Claiborne’s article in Esquire Magazine.  Shane is a great guy, who is big on pre-evangelism, but this is an insightful piece on being clear to not water down the good news.   I love pre-evangelism and try to not make obstacles to the gospel but was convicted when I read this.

Here is and excerpt from the article:

The New Gospel leads people to believe wrong things without explicitly stating those wrong things.  That is, Christians who espouse the New Gospel feel safe from criticism because they never actually said belief is unimportant, or there is no hell, or that Jesus isn’t the only way, or that God has no wrath, or that there is no need for repentance.  These distortions are not explicitly stated, but the New Gospel is presented in such a way that non-believers could, and by design should, come to these conclusions.  In other words, the New Gospel allows the non-Christian to hear what he wants, while still providing an out against criticism from other Christians.  The preacher of the New Gospel can always say when challenged, “But I never said I don’t believe those things.”

READ ALL OF IT HERE:http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2009/11/24/the-new-gospel-a-call-for-discernment/

I found it on Justin Taylor’s blog:  if you haven’t read his stuff it is outstanding.  It is a clearing house for useful information.  http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/

Ministry Tip – Adversity is an opportunity

Yes,  the ministry tip is making a comeback.  No, its not a monday ministry tip but an insight I received this weekend church planting.  

Here is the tip and then I will tell the story.

Tip:  When adversity hits, God is giving you an opportunity to develop your ministry.

The example:

This week I got a call I hate to get late Saturday night.  Brad, who is my best friend and  Co-Pastor at Green Hills Church called me at 9:30 on Saturday night sick as a dog.  He asked if there was anyway that he could sit out set up Sunday and maybe even church.  I told him of course it wouldn’t be a problem so I came over and picked up our sunday gear and trailer so that he wouldn’t have to get out.   Now the problem is this.  Brad is invaluable on Sunday mornings.  When he said that he couldn’t be there my heart sank a little bit because Brad does so much on Sunday to help us get ready for church that I envisioned a rough Sunday morning.  I was preaching and wasn’t looking forward to scrambling all morning and then getting up tired to preach.  On Sunday mornings we do an extensive set up and clean up of the Bar that we meet at.  But then I remembered: When adversity hits, God is giving you an opportunity to develop your ministry.

I decided that God was giving me an opportunity to get some other guys involved in ministry and some of the guys who had been serving already to step up to the next level.  I texted 2 of our guys who don’t serve on Sundays on the set up team and asked them to come the next morning.  I also contacted 2 of my best guys and asked them to come 30 minutes early.  I shared with all of them the reason why I needed them there and to my amazement they were really excited about serving.

Sunday morning was the fastest set up we have ever had.  We were done 30 minutes early and the guys were excited to be there.  Our prayer time before our set up time was electric.  I even had one of our leaders suggest that we figure out how to get the team stronger so that Brad and I dont have to come do set up.  God was at work because of adversity.  

Try it this week.  Adversity makes you come up with solutions that you probably should have implemented anyway.