Friday, June 23, 2006

10 things to do differently

Bruce Chant church planter at Northshore Church in Perth, Australia, blogs about 10 things he would do differently, with the benefit of hindsight.

While his list is about church plant situations, I believe it also applies to any church that it going through times of change/transformation. There are some good things here that apply not only to us who serve as pastors, but to all leaders in God's church - it is his church.

1. Pray more
- Jesus is the one who builds the church, not me. The more you pray the more to expose your heart to the truth that you can’t do it, but only Jesus can. You can’t pray enough, I reckon.

2. Care less about pleasing people
- let’s be honest, caring more about people than God is an idol for a lot of pastors. Life is just too short to worry if everyone is happy. What about Jesus? You don’t need to be harsh or abusive - but being up front, honest and forthright helps everyone.

3. Invest in people who are on board
- people who on mission with you, regardless of gifting, are golden to a church planter. If you are not what someone is looking for, or they have another agenda, that won’t change.

4. Enjoy the ride
- yes it’s a roller coaster. Praise God in the highs, see the lows as the grace of God of shaping and moulding you for the road ahead. Run to Jesus and enjoy the adventure.

5. Have more lead-in / launch team time
- or in my case have SOME lead-in / launch team time. I think building the team, getting everyone clear on the distinctives and then infecting others would’ve been invaluable in hindsight.

6. Spend less time looking deconstruct
- if things don’t pan out immediately my inclination is to blow it up and start again from scratch. History tells me tearing stuff down to rebuild is not as often the way to go as I might like it to be. tweaking, refocusing and training are usually way better options.

7. Don’t define anything by what you are not
- there is a crude saying about opinions which I won’t repeat here but would very easily apply. So long as stay in deconstruction mode, you will never see anything happen for the kingdom whilst the community goes to hell. As Michaelangelo is to have said “critique by creating”.

8. Pay more attention to how things are, not how I’d like them to be
- You need to be attuned to the needs, values, culture, strongholds of the people / community to which you’ve been sent. Copying “cool” is a waste of time. You need vision, but you also need to know where you’re starting from firstly and foremostly.

9. Accept other people will not love the church as much as you
- or care for it as much. It’s your call and your job and one you’ll be accountable for. You need to set the tone with this, if someone else is you could be in trouble.

10. Pray more
- Yes, I already said this one. But it’s worth repeating. Seriously.

But don’t be put off, we need more men willing to lay it on the line to win souls in this nation. If ever you were looking for a challenge, this is it!

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