PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
“Practice doesn’t make perfect. It just makes you better.” ― Tawa Suleman
For nine years I practiced starting a church without ever realizing it. God was sharpening me while I served as a pastor in the roles and responsibilities that I had been given. I started new youth servant events, new small groups that multiplied, new leadership structures, new worship services with personal testimonies and progressive music, new leadership development efforts, new ways to reach the community using technology… new became my middle name.
I was practicing and didn’t know it.
Practice Brings Confidence
A benefit of having practiced starting things for nine years was the confidence I gained during that time. I learned how to ask people to join a cause. I learned how communication keeps them engaged, especially during the time where progress is slow. I learned how organization allows more people to participate. I learned the power of fun and celebrating the little stuff because lots of little celebrations can offset a large disappointment.
During the startup of CrossPoint and FiveTwo, prior practice meant that often I had seen a similar situation before encountering again during my start. This gave me a sense of how to proceed. By no means had I ever started something as large as those two, but I had led a 20k plus dial-up phone campaign when we started a new worship service in Illinois so I knew the basics of how to do it in Houston. I had started two small group ministries, seen the communal and discipling power inherent in them, so I appreciated the importance of that ministry and knew how to launch it well by involving as many people as quickly as possible. Prior experience helped develop the skills which led to confidence.
Confidence is magical. Just ask any golfer with a new putter he believes in or any golfer who always seems to hit the ball into the water on a particular hole. Confidence flows from skill but resides in the head. While fleeting, it cements into your psyche via practice.
If you find yourself starting up with little to no prior experience, then consider interning under a more seasoned sacramental entrepreneur for a few months. Bring a list of areas you need to grow in. Create your own development chart. Hire a coach.
When learning to swim, I practiced almost every day. Whenever I started new ministries for the first time, I found someone and somewhere to help me practice the ingredients necessary for success.
This helped me gain confidence.
Whatever skills you see as critical to your startup should be practiced. If values don’t result in behaviors, they’re not your values. Practice the behaviors that reflect your values.
This post is an excerpt from the book Seven Steps to Start (available on Amazon).
BY BILL WOOLSEY