When you’re planting a church, there are four key questions people are sub-consciously asking as you interact with them:
1. Do I like him? Is he someone I can hang out with? Do I like his family? Is he trustworthy?
2. Does he know where he is going? We used to say that you lead with vision. But not any longer. The first question is the personable one. But that doesn’t mean people don't care about where you are going. They do. What is your vision for the future?
3. Does he have what it takes to get us there? This is an ability question. You may have great vision, but if they lack confidence in your leadership ability you will not have many followers.
4. What does he want from me? What is my role? After figuring out that they really like you, that you have a compelling vision for the future, and you probably have a good idea of how to pull it off, they will want to know what you want from them.
Networking can be hard work, especially when you’re in an area that is filled with skeptical and wounded people. Here are some ideas on gathering your first 50 people(referenced from Coaching Church Planters by Steve Nicholson & Jeff Bailey):
o Seek a “Fishing License” from the mother church or sponsoring churches in the region to ask members of their churches to become ‘missionaries’ to your community. A Fishing license allows you to drop a line into their membership and take new mission minded Christians on your journey.
o Ask the Spirit to go out before you and open doors of opportunity with people. Ask Him to send you to people he has been preparing.
o You have to go out and get people. This is the most important thing. You can’t wait for them to come to you—they won’t. Your preaching, as good as it might be, is not going to be the gathering tool you think it might be.
o Do everything as humanly possible to make connections, re-connections with people you have networked, and build relationships with them. Be creative.
o Put all your time and energy into gathering people you have “Networked.”
o To get to your first 50 people, you must prioritize your time almost exclusively on gathering. Plan for those meetings, large or small.
o Write down how many people you can meet in a week. Pray for contacts and for favor with them.
Once you have your first 50, you can cut your time in half. Use half of your time to care, teach, train some of them to gather and manage whom you have and the other half to go out and gather the next 50.
Remember, you are personally responsible to gather the first 50 people. When you get them, you are responsible for the next 50 people too!
The primary goal is building relationships with people—spending time together, laughing, enjoying life together, answering questions they may have, eating, playing games, going places together, etc. Do NOT use people to accomplish your goals!
Need to know who to talk to in your community? Download your FREE Community Networking Guide today!
Interested to know more about Networking? Download the Chapter 1 eBook--Networking & People Gathering—from the Church Planter Field Manual: Exploring for just $5 today!
Looking to learn more about the entire Church Planting experience? Order your copy of the Church Planter Field Manual: Exploring and the Church Planter Field Manual: Climbing from Amazon today.
Remember, you don’t have to plant a church alone!!
At CMM, we believe every pastor, church planter, ministry leader, and missionary is created to thrive in ministry. We suggest getting a C.R.O.S.S. Gospel Coach to help walk with you through the challenges you’ve never faced before. A C.R.O.S.S. Coach will help encourage and equip you every step along the way.
Learn more about C.R.O.S.S. Gospel Coaching for Church Planters today!
Dr. Tom Wood
I've been in the Church Planting business my entire career. I want you to know, you don't have to plant a church alone!