Every Church is a "Liturgical" Church

I’m an Anglican priest planting an Anglican church in Indianapolis. Most people who come to my church comment on our liturgy. “I love the liturgy!” or “The liturgy sure is… interesting!” are frequent comments. But to call my church “liturgical” and another church not liturgical is false, I think. Every church is “liturgical” in that we have a pattern to our worship …

Faithfully Pragmatic in Church Planting

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” – good advice from Winston Churchill Looking at the results and making decisions based on how it affects those results is called being pragmatic. It is a process of dealing with things sensibly, realistically, based on practical considerations as opposed to theoretical ones. So should we be pragmatic about church planting? This tends …

How to Measure Discipleship Effectiveness

As a (half-hearted) Indianapolis Colts fan, it pains me to admit that Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks of all time. The interesting thing about Tom Brady, though, is that everyone almost missed him. He was drafted 199th overall as a 4th-string quarterback (hardly any NFL teams have 4th-string quarterbacks). He almost didn’t make it into the NFL! One of …

8 Church Website Mistakes Many Planters Make

You’re a church planter. You’ve been working on your vision documents for months. You’ve been spending lots of money having coffee and meals in your home with potential team members. You finally feel like you’re gaining some momentum. It seems that this is the culmination of a lot of things God has been doing in your life for years, and …

How To Get Out of the Church Planting Celebrity Trap

In a previous post I talked about the subtle but powerful temptation to plant a church with a celebrity fan club culture instead of a missional movement culture. I talked about how to diagnose whether a celebrity fan club culture is creeping into your church plant. Now I want to talk about a few concrete actions you can take as …

Is Your Church Plant Just a Celebrity Fan Club?

To be a church planter, you need to have vision to see something that doesn’t exist yet. You also need to organize your life around the goal of seeing that vision become a reality. There are a million temptations along the way, mostly having to do with trying to take control of the process, attempting to make things happen instead …

What Mark Zuckerberg Can (Accidentally) Teach Us About Church

Mark Zuckerberg recently suggested that Facebook could (and maybe should) become your church. A lot of pastors and Christian leaders are freaking out about this, but Zuckerberg is merely following to its natural extreme an ecclesiology most evangelical pastors and church planters have bought into for decades. (Skye Jethani has a fantastic collection of tweets about this, by the way.) The …

4 Pro Tips for Church Planters Looking For a Place To Meet

For church planters, Where do we meet? is a top-of-mind question. You can start in homes, but eventually most church planters realize they need a public place to gather for worship. When I first started dreaming about planting my first church, I suddenly looked at every place I went with new eyes. I’d evaluate very bookstore, restaurant, brewery, office building, coworking space, …

4 Church Planting Mistakes I've Made

I don’t like making mistakes. I’d rather do things well the first time, and get praised for it. Who wouldn’t? But of course I’ve made mistakes. I’ve planted a couple missional churches where we sought to root our work in discipling people into participating in God’s mission, and then multiplying from there. All throughout this journey, up until this very moment, …

People Are the End, Not the Means

Church planters need to have vision. They need to be able to see a future that doesn’t exist yet and call people into it. But too often the vision becomes a “thing” that we use people to accomplish (rather than calling people to inhabit the vision). One of the greatest temptations you’ll face as a church planter is to use people …