When you’re small, you need inspirations to follow, mentors to walk you through the dark alleys and help you solve puzzles.
This thing that we we’re doing right now called church planting, or the more proper term church pioneering — we’re all newbies here. We went through the entire process of launching Grace Place last September 3 with no formal training — from seminaries or otherwise. All passion for the lost. Desire to glorify God and obedience to his vision.
I have to admit though that, while we didn’t have formal church startup training, we didn’t exactly did it on our own. We did receive inspirations from people of huge faith and leadership skills. Spiritual giants like Rick Warren of the famous Purpose Driven Life (his book “The Purpose Driven Church” is our “textbook”) and locally, Peter Tanchi of Christ’s Commission Fellowship (we watched him lead a 10,000+ congregation, was inspired by their humble beginnings at a garage with a handful of people, and received several training on church leadership and small group strategies).
And in the internet age, training isn’t exactly needed to be physical. Aside from these two guys, I personally are being “trained” online through the podcasts, blogs and online forum discussions. Podcasts from Wayne Cordeiro’s New Hope Christian Fellowhsip (Hawaii), Nelson Searcy’s The Journey Church (New York) and Church Leader Insights, Mark Martin’s (former Adventist pastor) Calvary Chapel (Arizona) and Perry Noble’s New Spring Church to name a few — these alone are huge weekly training materials of spoken word. I am also a frequent lurker of Pastor.com’s online forum where I grab cool ideas and strategies that fit ours.
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One huge source of encouragement are blogs. Take for instance Perry Noble’s. He candidly reports what’s happening to New Spring. And recently, God has been showing up in their meetings!
About 4 Sundays ago he challenged his people to bring their relatives and friends to the next Sunday’s service. The result — his church listed 3,814 people to pray for. The next Sunday, he delivered a simple yet powerful gospel message. I heard it over their podcast, and man, this dude rocks! The church is really blessed to have him. The result — 214 received Christ. They reached 8,289 in weekend attendance from only having 4,000 at the beginning of the year. The following Sunday, he delivered a baptism message. The result — 413 people where baptized as a public declaration of their love to Jesus. On the same day. On the same afternoon. After their last service.
Isn’t that amazing how God is working at this particular church? New Spring is no Grace Place. But seeing how God works in a church inspires me to anticipate what God will do to ours!
I am always trilled to read Perry’s blog posts. It’s filled with tips, too! Oh yeah, the “date your wife” trick I got from him (mine is Mondays — been doing it for 6 months now). There’s a lot of things happening at Grace Place right now. All are blog worthy. Maybe I should starting blogging about it too — maybe God can bless others through this.