Planting incarnational, locally-engaged, mission shaped churches presents significant challenges heretofore not encountered in traditional church plantings
There are challenges of leadership. Because mission demands teams of leaders, we often need experienced coaching on how to work together in mutual submission, leading out of our strengths and giftings, and in concert mutually submitting to our co-leaders and their giftings. How do we lead while submitting one to another? An additional common issue is bi-vocationality. Because mission demands long term sustainability (average 10 years), leaders will require coaching on the rigors and hazards of bi-vocationality, what having a vocational job/career might mean to their identity and life rhythms, and how to integrate work, life and ministry so one does not take over the other.
There are challenges of shaping a community’s gathering spaces. Each community must discern how to be present in the neighborhoods and the other intersections of life. It will need to discern how gathering for worship shapes a community for life in mission. Leaders must lead their gathering into all the spaces of life, worship, neighborhood, being with those hurting, struggling, and/or outside Christ.
There are challenges of how we practice being God’s people on His mission. Being on Mission shapes the way we preach, worship, reconcile conflict, be with the poor, be with and teach our children, lead together, and even how we pray together for and in the neighborhoods. We will learn what it means to evangelize anew amidst the new cultures. In the process we will learn how to be present in the various cultural challenges we face, including other religions, alternative sexualities, multiple kinds of social injustice. These are the new opportunities for mission.
I’ve spent over twenty-five years in church planting efforts of some kind. My wife and I started the church plant Life on the Vine, in Long Grove IL. I’ve worked with (and am ordained in) the Christian and Missionary Alliance USA. I’ve traveled United States and Canada and observed and met with church plants in various stages. I’ve written on church plantings via www.missioalliance.org for 9 years on these challenges. I have taught congregational formation at Fuller Seminary, Northern Seminary and Regent College Vancouver among other places. I love to coach new beginnings of God’s people in His mission.
Every year I take on three church-plant coaching relationships. Each one of these relationships include:
- A 2-2 1/2 hour Skype call consultation once a month.
- On call 24/7 where I am available for a 10 minute debrief/feedback moment.
- On site visit once every 6 months.
- 2 workshops a year. Where we meet for a Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 in the afternoon, doing 3 One hour and 15 minute sessions and a lunch. Held at Westmont Commons Westmont IL.
- 2400 dollars a year. One year commitment.
My missional diagnostic (which is always being updated) can be found here.
If you are interested, please e-mail with INTERESTED IN CHURCH-PLANT COACHING in the subject heading.
Look forward to hearing from you!