Church Planting – Interview Questions

November 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

1.  Was there a specific strategy/philosophy/model that guided your church plant?  When did you plant the church(es)?

2.  If you were starting over today, what would you do the same?

3.  In an ideal world, what would you do differently?

4.  What was the most difficult thing you encountered during the process?

5.  What was the most unexpected thing you encountered during the process?

6.  What did you learn from a cross-cultural perspective?  (e.g. importance of knowing target audience)

7.  What help did you need that you wished you would have had?

8.  What role did your spouse/family play in the process?  Any suggestions for involving families, or helping them through the process?

9.  What did you learn from your church planting experience?

10. What was/is your favorite part about your church planting experience?

11. What resources or books were the most helpful to you in the process?

12. What words of advice would you give to prospective church planters?


Developing Vision and Mission Statements

October 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

a. Write short phrases to describe each of the three elements in your vision statement:

  • the name of your group
  • your product/service offering
  • the target markets you plan to serve

b. Combine these phrases into a single sentence

a. Write short phrases to describe each of the following elements of your group

  • What your group will do
  • Its market focus, niche, or particular image
  • Its planned location and geographic market served
  • How growth of the growth will be achieved
  • Your sustainable uniqueness or distinguishing characteristics

b. Combine these phrases into short linked sentence


  • Have each person involved write 5 values they hold important

4. DEFINE YOUR OBJECTIVES (the group vision will be achieved when the following objectives have been attained):

  • a. Objective____________________________________________________
  • b. Objective____________________________________________________
  • c. Objective____________________________________________________
  • d. Objective____________________________________________________


  • WHAT is/are my TEAM VISion/goal(s)?
  • WHERE do we want to be?
  • At the end of the course, what do we (team members) want to KNOW?
  • At the end of the course, what do we want to POSSESS?
  • When we walk out on the last day, what should we be able to DO (with that knowledge)?

It should be one to three sentences max.


  • HOW will my team get to our VISION/GOAL?
  • What must we DO (what steps must we take), specifically, to get there?
  • HOW must we (team members) INTERACT in order to reach the VISION/GOAL?

Should be longer than the vision, but no more than ten sentences or phrases

Case Studies for Church Planters – Managerial Sensemaking

October 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Church planters should continue be helping their flock work through mixed emotions and seeming paradoxes.  Paradoxes involving addressing conflicts or moving forward with the work, directing versus letting partners gain experience, managing or letting others manage, expression versus silence, talk or wait for others to take initiative, unity in teams vs member differences, and change vs stability, anticipating the new vs mourning the old.  This article gives a great example of how one company used managerial sensemaking to work through paradox.

Clavis Consultancy
University of Cincinnati

As change becomes a constant in organizational life, middle managers charged with interpreting, communicating, and implementing change often struggle for meaning. To explore change and managerial sensemaking, we conducted action research at the Danish Lego Company. Although largely absent from mainstream journals, action research offers exceptional access to and support of organizational sensemaking. Through collaborative intervention and reflection, we sought to help managers make sense of issues surfaced by a major restructuring. Results transform paradox from a label to a lens, contributing a process for working through paradox and explicating three organizational change aspects—paradoxes of performing, belonging, and organizing.


Case Studies for Church Planters – Cross-Understanding

October 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

The purity and the unity of the church are two important concepts a church planter needs to be aware of as they gather a group of people that is going to bond together to form a “church”.  Corporate solidarity is a term used for the mindset of the people of Israel concerning the oscillation and reciprocity between the individual and the group.  Jesus’ ministry on earth was a great example of this corporate solidarity.  I find this article on cross-understanding to be of great benefit particularly to pastors attempting to bring people of diverse backgrounds together to live out the Gospel as a missional community.

University of Texas at Austin

In this paper we articulate the cross-understanding construct, a group-level compositional construct having as its components each group member’s understanding of each other member’s mental model. We describe how the cross-understanding construct explains particular inconsistencies in the groups literature, how it provides explanations for specific group outcomes and processes beyond the explanations currently in the literature, and how different levels and different distributions of cross-understanding affect group performance and learning.

Cross-Understanding. Implications for Group Cognition and Performance

The Intentional Church – Book Review

October 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

I. Presuppositions Concerning The Intentional Church

A. A Healthy Church Must Be Intentional About:

·      Making Disciples (unbelief to belief)
·      Training Disciples (belief to maturity)
·      Developing Leaders (maturity to leadership)

B. To Be Intentional About Taking People From Unbelief to Maturity Requires a Plan to do so

·      A Ministry Plan
·      A Pathway Plan

C. There Are at Least 7 Building Blocks For a Healthy, Growing Church.

·      A Biblical Theology & Polity
·      Spiritual Renewal Dynamics
·      Spiritual Discerning and Gifted Leadership
·      Spiritual & Ministry Oriented Laity
·      Adequate Facilities
·      Adequate Financial Resources
·      Effective Ministry Plan

D. There Are at Least 10 Components of an Effective Ministry Plan:

  • A God-Honoring Purpose – Why do we exist?
  • A Faith Oriented Commitment – In what ways will we demonstrate a faith commitment? 
  • A God-Given Vision – What are we seeking to accomplish?
  • Well-Prioritized Values – What is important to us?
  • A Well-Defined Mission – How do we plan to accomplish our vision?
  • Biblically-Based Job Descriptions – Who is responsible for what in accomplishing our vision? 
  • A Strategically Designed Infrastructure – How will we structure our organization so as to accomplish our mission? 
  • A Culturally Oriented Strategy – How will we accomplish our mission? 
  • Well-Documented Goals – How will we know if we are accomplishing our vision and mission? 
  • A Time-Bound Schedule – What is a reasonable timeline of specific tasks that must take place in order to accomplish our goals?


II. Concerning Developing Leaders

A. Leading a church is ultimately about developing leaders, understanding that every Christian is called by God to be a leader.

·      Informal, Non-public Leader, Call & Character
·      Formal, Non-public Leader, Call, Character & Competencies
·      Formal, Public Leader, Call, Character, Competencies & Charisma

B. Developing spiritual leadership for a church is not accomplished by merely establishing a leadership training class, but rather by creating environments in which “called people” realize their God-given potential and maximize their impact with that potential.

·      A Missional Environment
·      A Spiritual Growth Environment
·      An Equipping Environment

C. The ideal way to raise up leaders is to begin with a clean slate (called non-believers) and working with them until they become mature and equipped followers of Christ.


III. Concerning Making & Training Disciples

A. A believer is not successful in training a disciple unless that disciple is to effective at both making and training disciples.

B. Our churches will not be highly effective at making and training disciples until we who are pastors become faithful in our commitments to both.

C. A church which becomes effective at training disciples will be effective at making disciples.

D. A church will not become highly effective at “training disciples who make disciples” without:

  • A church culture of disciple making.
  • A specific and effective plan for training people to make disciples.
  • Accountable structures to encourage believers to identify and build relationships with non-believing people.

E. Both making and training disciples becomes far more effective when engaged in life-on-life laboring in other’s lives

Top 10 Accountability Questions for Men

October 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

Top 10 Accountability Questions for Men

  1. How often have you spent time in the Bible and prayer this week?
  2. What have you done this week to spend quality, relational time with your family?
  3. What did you do this week to maintain your joy in spite of life’s daily circumstances?
  4. What did you do this week to take care of your body (exercise, diet, and rest)?
  5. What steps have you taken this week to guard yourself against lustful thoughts, actions, and/or materials?
  6. How have you shaded the truth this week to make yourself look better to others?
  7. How did you give your best this week (at work, school, etc.)?
  8. In what ways have you been above reproach in financial matters this week?
  9. Who have you shared your faith with this week?
  10. Have you answered these questions truthfully?


Case Studies for Church Planters – Coping with Discontinuous Change

August 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Helping people cope with change and move through change successfully is a key success factor for church planters.  I find the following article to be a great benefit as it demonstrates how newspaper companies dealt with the dramatic changes facing the industry.  I think planters being sent out from existing churches or with a core coming from a more traditional background will find this article most useful.

Harvard University

I work to unbundle the structure of inertia into two distinct categories: resource rigidity (failure to change resource investment patterns) and routine rigidity (failure to change organizational processes that use those resources). Given discontinuous change, a researcher’s failure to recognize these distinctions can generate conflicting findings regarding effects of threat perception on inertia. Using field data on the response of newspaper organizations to the rise of digital media, I show that a strong perception of threat helps overcome resource rigidity but simultaneously amplifies routine rigidity. I develop an interpretive model exploring mechanisms for overcoming these divergent behaviors.

Gilbert, C.G. 2005. Unbundling the structure of inertia Resource versus routinerigidity. Academy of Management Journal

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