5 QUOTES TO CHURCH PLANT BY
I sat down with the manager of the athletic complex we hoped to use as our first worship venue. He asked me, “So, why do you want to start a new church? I mean, don’t we have enough churches already?” Immediately, my brain went straight to the influential C. Peter Wagner quote, “Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.”
With this quote in the back of my mind, I told him that new churches reach new people and that’s why we’re starting this new church. As a proper evangelical, that seemed to satisfy him.
That wasn’t the first time a quote guided my steps in the church planting process, and it certainly wasn’t the last. In fact, as we’ve launched ACTS Church Leander, there are several quotes that continue to guide my steps.
Here are my top 5.
1) Hold your models loosely and your Gospel firmly. -Ed Stetzer
People came to faith in Jesus before anyone heard of a “seeker service.” People became disciples of Jesus before Mike Breen ever drew a triangle. And people will continue to know and follow Jesus regardless of whatever new models we come up with and new books we publish. Planting a new church isn’t about using the newest model, it’s about proclaiming the gospel of Jesus into whatever context God has placed you in.
2) Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. -Jesus
There is always a tension in church planting between the traps of superficial pragmatism and extraneous appeals to the past. Jesus’ words here help to navigate that tension as you seek to make wise and faithful decisions in pursuit of his mission. If you find yourself at a fork in the road just ask yourself, is this a wise decision? Does it make sense? Am I using God’s first article gifts well? And then ask yourself is it innocent? Am I honoring God in this decision? Am i being faithful to my call? Then pull the trigger and go for it!
3) Culture eats strategy for breakfast. -Peter Drucker
You can have the greatest vision in the world. You can lay out every possible detail for a ministry action plan. You can have incredible goals to shoot for as a church, but… if you’ve got the wrong culture as a church none of it will happen. So, always be asking yourself, what culture are we creating? Is it a culture of generosity? Is it one of risk-taking? Is it one of deep love for people and for Jesus? Before you do anything, figure out who you’re going to be.
4) A good manager doesn’t fire people. He hires people and inspires people. … People, Ryan. And people will never go out of business. -Michael Scott
Generally speaking, I don’t recommend following Michael Scott’s leadership principles. But, Dunder Mifflin’s legendary Regional Manager is on to something here. People. It’s all about people. And of course this seems like a no brainer, but the reality is, in the midst of planting a church you can get so focused on vision, budget, new ideas, marketing, or just simply trying to survive that you lose sight of the people God has placed right in front of you. So, don’t lament the people you don’t have yet. Invest in the people God has given you now. Don’t spend more money on a projector and sound system than you do on the person leading you in worship. Don’t plan elaborate outreach events, but neglect actually getting to know your neighbors. You cannot possibly invest in people enough.
5) Do your best, then take a nap. -Larry Osborne
About 6 months into my church planting venture I sank into a deep depression. I was overwhelmed by the task before me and my inabilities as a young leader. It wasn’t long before depression led to anxiety and insomnia. I’d stay up most of the night only to get up to a panic attack the next day. In addition to some chemical imbalances, what happened was I placed way to much weight on myself. I forgot that the reality is, Jesus is taking care of his church. And that’s not just a nice platitude. It’s the truth. He doesn’t need me. He doesn’t need you. He will accomplish his mission with or without us. And yet, we are called for this time and this place.
So, do your best. Take a nap. Trust it’s in his hands. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Gabe Kasper is a pastor and church planter with the ACTS Church Network in Austin, Texas. In his spare time, Gabe enjoys playing soccer, reading books, listening to punk rock, and cheering on his beloved Green Bay Packers. He and his wonderful wife Melissa have one son, Titus. You can follow him on twitter @gabe_kasper or check out actschurchleander.com.
BY GABE KASPER
A companion piece to Bill Woolsey’s Seven Steps To Start: A Sacramental Entrepreneur’s Guide To Launching Startups That Thrive. For the most part this 8-week study was written to make the idea of starting something new to reach new accessible to non-church professional people of varying ages and backgrounds.