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?


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

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

Case Studies for Church Planters – Intense Work Groups

August 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Working successfully as a team is very important for church planters and I really think the article below demonstrates a great example of how to be successful working in intense teams.   Assembling a core team is intense, finding the right leaders to move forward involves learning how balance tensions while understanding there are no easy solutions.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Delaware

This paper focuses on the relationship between the internal dynamics and success of a population of intense work groups, professional string quartets in Great Britain. We observed three basic paradoxes: leadership versus democracy, the paradox of the second violinist, and confrontation versus compromise. The central findings indicate that the mare successful quartets recognized but did not openly discuss the paradoxes. Instead, they managed these inherent contradictions implicitly and did not try to resolve them. The discussion addresses the study of intense work groups, the forces that drive these paradoxes, and potential applications to other organizational.

Murnighan_dynamics_work group_ASQ_1991

Case Studies for Church Planters – Self-Managing Teams

August 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

This series will be some articles I’d suggest for church planters to read about organizations.  This first article is a classic and focuses on hierarchy, control and institutionalization.  The battle against institutionalization is ongoing and even if your successful in breaking down barriers and achieving organizational change there will always be a tendency for institutional practices to crop back up potentially even stronger.

Marquette University

In this paper, I provide an ethnographic account of how an organization’s control system evolved in response to a managerial change from hierarchical, bureaucratic control to concertive control in the form of self-managing teams. The study investigates how the organization’s members developed a system of value-based normative rules that controlled their actions more powerfully and completely than the former system. I describe the organization and its members and provide a detailed account of the dynamics that emerged as concertive control became manifest through the members’ interactions. This account depicts how concertive control evolved from the value consensus of the company’s team workers to a system of normative rules that became increasingly rationalized. Contrary to some proponents of such systems, concertive control did not free these workers from Weber’s iron cage of rational control. Instead, the concertive system, as it became manifest in this case, appeared to draw the iron cage tighter and to constrain the organization’s members more powerfully.

Barker_tight the iron cate_self-manage team_ASQ_1993

Appropriately Contextualizing Church Plants in a Muslim Context

June 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

The C1 to C6 spectrum as it relates to a Muslim context is as follows: C1 are traditional churches using outsider language. C2 are traditional churches using insider language. C3 are contextualized Christ-centered communities using insider language and religiously neutral insider cultural forms. C4 are contextualized Christ-centered communities using insider language and biblically permissible cultural and Islamic forms. C5 are Christ-centered communities of “Messianic Muslims” who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. C6 are small Christ-centered communities of secret/underground believers

C5 “insider movements” start with an “insider identity” where the believers are not identified primarily as “Christians”, retaining identity as members of their socio-religious community (Richard 26:4,176; Lewis 26:1, 16). A strength of insider movements is that they develop as the gospel flows into neighboring relational networks and it is these relationships that offer an avenue for persuasion (Lewis 26:1, 17; Richard 26:4, 178). A strength of individuals, families and communities claiming to know and submit to Jesus as their Lord and Savior, but refusing to identify themselves as “Christians” is that new spiritual identity is not combined with a change of social-political-religious identity. A biblical example is that Samaritan believers remained in their own communities and retained their Samaritan identity (Lewis 26:1, 17).

A weakness is the potential for changing scripture and losing control of how the gospel is to be perceived (Gill 26:4, 184; Richard 26:4, 178). Another weakness is the necessity to define what is error and what is syncretism, with syncretism having two commitments, such as having a relationship with Christ and Buddha (Richard 26:4, 75; Gill 26:4, 184). Disagreement on what is tradition and biblical exegesis (hermeneutics) allows for a potential weakness of succumbing to a dominant personality to make all the decisions (Richard 26:4, 178). Another weakness is that the insider movement can not have links to traditional Christian mission (Richard 26:4, 179).

I would draw the line as yes to C5 as a starting point, but with a focus of moving down the scale to C4 within a time (Responses to Tennent 2006, 125). I agree with Phil Parshall argues that a convert must disassociate himself or herself from the mosque, though he does make room for a transitional period wherein the new believer, while maturing in his adopted faith, slowly pulls back from mosque attendance. I do not agree with C5 advocates willing to keep all the movement in an Islamic religious environment.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with church planting at Outside the Gate: Gospel & Organization.