2. We learned to begin from where we were with what we had.
My friend Doug met with some church planters all stated, 'We don't have the funding to sow seeds.' Doug was stunned, he then asked what business they were in? He clarified, ‘we are spiritual farmers, we sow seeds it is what we are called to do’
...He then told them about what he did during the early days of the Dayton Vineyard, how he began to care for the community with 7 bags of groceries, and cooking hotdogs on street corners, and how his simple beginning grew into a 1.5 million dollar per year enterprise supplying over 50 other ministries with food and reaching over 150,000 people a year.
The principle, begin where you are...with what you have.
If you wait for tomorrow before you begin to reach out to your community, you may have a long wait, for your tomorrow may never come.
He encouraged them to use what they had, to begin now, to invest in the community, to fling seeds, to invite, to encourage, to challenge the people to do the same, and to experiment with what they had.
Last week I talked to a church planter who is beginning where he is. They went out to a local laundry mat to feed some quarters into the machines and to talk to the people...only problemo...no people...many leaders would have become discouraged and quit...He, being a good leader, led the small group to a coin operated car wash and fed quarters to pay for the car wash...after touching several lives with kindness and having some great conversations. They returned from the adventure encouraged.
Later, when I was asked how can he and his church begin to kick up the volume? I answered, ‘by inviting people to become shareholders.’ I gave a tip...Invite the people to bring outreach items to the weekend meetings...
This month is granola bar, trail mix and packs of peanuts. When you go shopping pick up a box or two of the above items we will store the items for our monthly outreach.
One month ask the question, “Are we a coke church or a pepsi church or a water church?” (I did this in Cincy and we raised 28,000 drinks for a summer outreach.) Encourage the people to bring cokes, or pepsi, or water to the church each can or bottle is a vote...plan a 4th of July drinks outreach...and use the drinks as your outreach items.
3. We learned we needed to be spiritually smart.
What’s being spiritually smart?
Learning that all of life is an adventure.
Learning to take risks and to experiment.
Letting some ideas bubble.
Not chasing fads, or ‘spiritual’ side tracks.
Remaining focused on the main and the plain. (The Great Commission)
Guarding your heart and your talk.
Being who you are… all the time.
Not fixing what’s not broken.
Being humble enough to learn from others…a life long learner.
Not reinventing the wheel.
Understanding your God assigned area /city/regional culture then adjusting your methods to reach out accordingly.
Being consistent in outreach.
Being consistent with the weekend services. No pastor tricks, bait and switch, or being weird on weekends.
Taking the time and the cash to develop a vibrant children’s area.
When trouble comes your way, be honest and explaining/communicating with those who are affected by the issue.
Nurturing a few key worship leaders.
Worshiping the God who is, because He is the God Who is.
Using humor to make a point, or just for the fun of it.
Deciding there will be no more staff mercy hires.
Making strategic in sync staffing hires.
Learning to trust your team, then releasing the team, to do the stuff.
Developing a membership track that works.
Working what works.
Learning to drop certain areas that are not producing according to your vision / DNA or alignment.
Establishing positive consistent energized outward focused traditions.
Encouraging and modeling a lifestyle of serving others.
Inviting and allowing all who want to play in the game, to play in the game at some level.
Taking field trips when life seems stale, or when you want to launch something new.
Encouraging your team to use all of their vacation days.
Understanding your church seasons, energy levels and then plan accordingly.
Not canceling, period.
Learning that God blesses outward focused-ness.
Doing the stuff Jesus did / does.
Not taking yourself tooo seriously.