By Dave Whitehead
I’ll never forget planting a church in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, NY. It was an exhilarating, exhausting, and terrifying experience. The pressures that accompany urban church planting can be crushing, and no leader should face those pressures alone like I did in those early years.
Whether in an urban, suburban or rural context, helping the leader manage the constant pressures of church planting is what motivates me as a Gospel Coach for CMM. Every leader who is pioneering church work needs a person who understands the dynamics of church planting, yet who is not intimately involved in the details of that particular project. The turbulent waters of change can easily cause a church leader to lose sight of the goal of their plant.
This is also true for leaders who are stepping into times of church transition. Renewing an established church requires different skill sets than church planting. Succession of church leadership is often filled with challenges that can derail even the best-laid plans. Leaders become aware of their insufficiencies in these circumstances and that’s why Gospel Coaching is vital to help them stay true to the vision that God has given them.
Gospel Coaching can expose the leader to perspectives that are critical to the health of the church and the leader’s personal life. I have found that Gospel Coaching is a key element in the ability of any church leader and their network to stay spiritually vibrant while they maintain their forward motion.
Because of CMM, church leaders now have access to a trained Gospel Coach who can help them succeed in their endeavors. To me, Coaching is a good strategic move. Now leaders don’t have to face the struggles of their vision alone. They have someone who can help them see the next step forward while staying centered in the gospel.
Because it’s not how we start that counts as much as how we finish.
At CMM, we believe every pastor, church planter, and ministry leader 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. You don’t have to plant a church alone. A C.R.O.S.S. Gospel Coach will help encourage and equip you every step along the way.
By Dave Whitehead
We don’t know who made that statement, (though it’s been erroneously attributed to Peter Drucker), but there is a profound truth that the culture that we create has a dramatic impact upon any strategy that we try to implement in our organization.
This principle is commonly seen in the church world. Stories abound of pastors experiencing massive resistance to change even though a congregation may be in decline or even on the verge of shutting the doors. The culture that the church has embraced will not allow any attempts at change to happen. This often results in painful conflicts within the church that can deeply wound well-meaning people.
What if there was a way to bring the gospel into a community at the grass root level that can bring new life into congregations? Instead of looking at ways to adjust the church organization, what if we could let the gospel adjust our hearts so that strategies could be processed with the influence of the gospel?
That is what Gospelling Life Together is all about.
We have found that churches need to experience the change that only the gospel can bring before any changes can be implemented in the organization. This is key to renewing communities of faith.
Gospelling Life Together trains local leadership in how to apply the gospel to each other in an easy to use and practical way.
So before you try to bring change with another strategy, infuse the culture of your church with the gospel. Contact CMM to learn more about how Gospelling Life Together can help you congregation.
Also, please enjoy this FREE eBook, "Leaders: Attract, Equip, Employ" today!
Many people have said — and I fully agree with the reality — that it’s very possible to plant a church and not make disciples of Jesus Christ. Many churches have been started as (primarily) a Sunday morning event and success is measured by how many people attend weekend services.
The same can be said of leading an established church. It is possible to pastor a church, even have a wonderful Sunday morning worship experience; engage the community in deeds of mercy; have a Nickelodeon type children’s ministry with live music and puppets; and still not be creating intentional paths for people “to hear the call of Jesus, respond to that call by repenting, believing his good news and following him in all that entails (“From S. Smallman, The Walk, p. 26).
No matter if you are planting a new church or pastoring an existing one, if you commit yourself to making disciples, you will grow a church. This must be the new metric we use in discerning if God is working. Are we involved in his call to make disciples?
I suspect that much of your disciple-making approach is being done by either (1) exactly following the method by which you were discipled (or by reaction against how you were discipled) or (2) you have no disciple-making intentionality whatsoever, perhaps because you have had no experience in any intentional approach.
Let’s assume you need to begin or continue the work of creating a discipleship process for your church. What do you do if you either don't have any experience or do not value what you had? You might, like many, default to a pre-programmed disciple-making course or you might continue to meet with a small group of guys to “talk about life.”
But, what if there could be a different way? Something with intentionality yet, not pre-packaged?
I understand that Jesus calls specific people with specific abilities, affinities, and aptitudes for specific ministry contexts. Not all contexts, cultures, or times are the same. But we can agree that God’s calling is God’s enabling, and his call is for you, as a leader, to be intentional in inviting others to turn away from their self-saving strategies, believe in Christ’s saving Strategy (the gospel), and follow after him, allowing him to conform them into their original design.
A Different Path to Develop a Process of Discipleship
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!