If I planted again…

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1.25.14a

So this is the last in a seven part series about what I would do different if I were planting a church again. In case you didn’t know, Ellen and I planted three out of the five churches we pastored before I retired and became full time leadership coach. A few of the ways I’d do it differently are actually repeats of ways I did church in the past, but most of them represent a new approach to ‘church’. And remember, my list is in no way a criticism of how you do church or how others do church.

If you have questions then post a comment and I’ll reply. Also, this list was not in any order of importance, it’s just what came out of me as I began writing. Ready? Here we go.

If I planted a church again…

#32 We could show honor and respect and appreciation for all denominations and expressions of the church, regarding our ‘experiment’ as one way, not the best way, and a way that may, over time, prove to have failed.

#33 We wil love all people and regard all who claim Jesus as Lord and the Bible as the word of God to be our brothers and sisters in Christ.

#34 Teaching on Sunday mornings would be exegetical book studies.

#35 Members would be encouraged to have their ‘pastoral needs’ met by one another rather than expecting them to be met by the pastor. This does not mean the pastor would never be involved in meeting pastoral needs members might have.

#36 Certain decisions effecting the church will be made communally or democratically. These type of decisions will be determined by the pastor.

 

1.25.14a

Each part of this series contains five or six ways I’d do it different if I were planting a church again. I’ve already done it (planted a church) three times before retiring and becoming a full time leadership coach. A few of the ways I’d do it differently are actually repeats of ways I did church in the past, but most of them represent a new approach. Also, my list is in no way a criticism of how you do church or how others do church.

If you have questions then post a comment and I’ll reply. Also, this list is not in any order of importance, it’s just what came out of me as I began writing. Ready? Here we go.

If I planted a church again…

#27 I would be responsible for and the authority over the church, but I would not be responsible for or the authority over the individual members who make up the church.

#28 Submission to me as pastor would be voluntary, rather than expected or enforced as it relates to the individual participants in our church.

#29 I can add or subtract to this list as I see fit.

#30 Should there be a need to begin another home group we would do so and plan to have regular gatherings of the different home groups for fellowship.

#31 We would not have as a goal to ‘grow’ our groups. If groups grow they will do so organically through relationships instead of programs.

What are your thoughts?

dave

Each part of this series will contain five or six ways I’d do it different if I were planting a church again. I’ve already done it (planted a church) three times before retiring and becoming a full time leadership coach. A few of the ways I’d do it differently are actually repeats of ways I did church in the past, but most of them represent a new approach. Also, my list is in no way a criticism of how you do church or how others do church.

I’m not sure I will elaborate much on my list, maybe a little, but not much. If you have questions then post a comment and I’ll reply. Also, this list is not in any order of importance, it’s just what came out of me as I began writing. Ready? Here we go.

If I planted a church again…

#21 Members would be encouraged to make opportunities to be together between Sundays but there would be no pressure or expectations to do so.

#22 Our Sunday gatherings would typically include a meal.

#23 We would expect personal offenses to occur but also expect love, forgiveness, and reconciliation to result. Members reluctant or incapable of reconciling would have to leave. Members leaving for this reason would leave with a blessing from the group.

#24 The ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ (Gal.) would be the evidence of spiritual maturity.

#25 People joining our group would be asked to sign an agreement to this list.

#26 If, after a period of time, an individual proves incapable of, or no longer wishes to, live thy this agreement they will be asked to leave the group with a full blessing from the group.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Photo on 2010-10-08 at 13.04 #2

Each part of this series will contain five or six ways I’d do it different if I were planting a church again. I’ve already done it (planted a church) three times before retiring and becoming a full time leadership coach. A few of the ways I’d do it differently are actually repeats of ways I did church in the past, but most of them represent a new approach. Also, my list is in no way a criticism of how you do church or how others do church.

I’m not sure I will elaborate much on my list, maybe a little, but not much. If you have questions then post a comment and I’ll reply. Also, this list is not in any order of importance, it’s just what came out of me as I began writing. Ready? Here we go.

If I planted a church again…

#15 Participants would be responsible for their own walk with God and spiritual growth.

#16 The church would be pastor-lead but member-driven.

#17 Worship in our meetings would not be limited to or dependent upon musical instruments or singing. We would have an expanded understanding of what worship is.

#18 There would be a focus on learning and practicing the spiritual disciplines.

#19 This whole approach to ‘doing church’ would be regarded as an experiment that might not work. We will be fine with it if it does not work. We would be comfortable with closing it down if need be.

#20 We would share our possessions with one another with the understanding that they be returned within an agreed upon period of time and in the same or better condition then when they were borrowed.

What are your thoughts? Which of these do you think would work and would not work? Which of these resonates with you the most? Leave a comment.

dave

I made a list of everything I would do differently if I started a church again. I came up with 37 changes I’d make. A few of my clients said they’d love to see my list so I thought it might make for a good blog series and possibly generate some interesting conversations.

Each part of this series will contain five or six ways I’d do it different. A few are actually repeats of ways I did church in the past, but most of them represent a new approach. Also, my list is in no way a criticism of how you do church or how others do church.

I’m not sure I will elaborate much on my list, maybe a little, but not much. If you have questions then post a comment and I’ll reply. Also, this list is not in any order of importance, it’s just what came out of me as I began writing. Ready? Here we go.

If I planted a church again…

#12 Our Sunday meetings would be more liturgical.

#13 We would not have a typical Children’s Ministry program. Children would be present with the adults.

#14 Any community outreach we chose to be involved with would be a partnering with already established organizations such as; local elementary schools, convalescent homes, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, etc.

#15 Excommunication would be practiced for unrepentant gossip, slander, or rebellion towards spiritual authority. This action would be decided upon by a select group of lay-leaders overseen by the pastor.

#16 All differences of opinion (political, theological, philosophical) would be allowed and encouraged unless held and communicated in a mean, disrespectful, judgmental, divisive way. Such behavior would be grounds for excommunication.

There ya go. What do you think? Which one resonates with you the most? Which one the least? Leave a comment.

dave

A while back, I can’t remember what prompted this, I made a list of everything I would do differently if I started a church again. I came up with a long list of changes I’d make. A few of my clients said they’d love to see my list so I thought it might make for a good blog series and possibly generate some interesting conversations.

Each part of this series will contain five or six ways I’d do it different. A few are actually repeats of ways I did church in the past, but most of them represent a new approach. Also, my list is in no way a criticism of how you do church or how others do church.

I’m not sure I will elaborate much on my list, maybe a little, but not much. If you have questions then post a comment and I’ll reply. Also, this list is not in any order of importance, it’s just what came out of me as I began writing. Ready? Here we go.

If I planted a church again…

#7 Offerings collected would be used to support the needy within our own group, with emphasis upon the needy elderly, those struggling to pay their own bills, and needy single mothers. If there were no people like this in our group we would then, and only then, seek out such people outside of our group to support. Support would not be limited to financial support.

#8 The Sunday morning ‘teaching time’ would be much shorter (15 min. max) in order to make more time for group participation such as: sharing, prayer, mutual encouragement, and the practice of certain spiritual disciplines.

#9 Sermons would be more interactive, i.e. followed up and interspursed with questions, discussion, and comments from the members.

#10. (Keep in mind that this list is not in any order of importance.) This model of ‘dong church’ would not be a good fit for everyone. Those for whom it is not a good fit would be encouraged to leave early on rather than later on.

#11 We would not invest time or money in ‘outreach’ or ‘evangelistic’ events. Instead we would strive to fulfill the ‘Great Commission’ relationally, one-on-one, seeking to be a positive influence in the lives of our unchurched friends, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers.

So…what do you think? Which one of these points do you like the most? Which one do you like the least? Leave a comment.

scared

Let me say from the start…I have no intention of planting a church again. However, I’ve said that before, only to end up planting a church again. But really, Ellen and I planted three churches and that seems enough.

Occasionally I’m asked, “Dave, do you think you will ever plant a church again?” First, I start out by laughing, and then I say something like, “No, I’m quite convinced that what I am doing (coaching pastors) is what God has for me now.” In case you missed it, I pastored for almost thirty years and then retired in 2006 to begin Small Church Pastor. I’ve been coaching/consulting full time ever since.

A while back, I can’t remember what prompted this, I made a list of everything I would do differently if I started a church again. I came up with 37 changes I’d make. A few of my clients said they’d love to see my list so I thought it might make for a good blog series and possibly generate some interesting conversations.

Each part of this series will contain five or six ways I’d do it different. A few are actually repeats of ways I did church in the past, but most of them represent a new approach. Also, my list is in no way a criticism of how you do church or how others do church.

I’m not sure I will elaborate much on my list, maybe a little, but not much. If you have questions then post a comment and I’ll reply. Also, this list is not in any order of importance, it’s just what came out of me as I began writing. Ready? Here we go.

If I planted a church again…

1. I would try to be a humble, benevolent dictator, surrounded by a few people not afraid to get in my face and be honest with me.

2. I would continue my coaching practice and therefore be bivocational.

3. I would meet in the home and multiply home gatherings if necessary but not because of a plan to multiply home meetings.

4. If multiple house churches eventually developed I would be a ‘circuit-rider’ and visit each house church once a month.

5. We would have minimal operating expenses.

6. We would not be a 501c3.

That’s all for now. Leave a comment, tell me what you thinking.