Exodus Church loves church planting. Since we started gathering in 2009, at least 10% of our offerings have been going to support other planters in the US and around the world. Last weekend, our Exodus Northlake congregation had its first worship gathering. We sent people for the core team and we had lots of families go to help them with their preview service. So, church planting is an important part of what makes us Exodus. We love it.
All of that has got me thinking about people you need on the church planting team. You probably never think about them, but they are incredibly important. There are more than the following, but this will get us started.
- I know everything about audio/visual stuff.
This guy is really crucial. Even if you do a bare bones set up, you’ve got to have someone who knows that the ankle bone is connected to the foot bone. He’s never been assessed for a network. He’s won’t get lots of attention unless something goes wrong. But without this guy…good luck.
- I’ll do whatever needs to be done.
The importance of this gal can’t be over stated. She’s committed and willing and wants to do whatever is necessary for the mission. Really, you need 20 of her, but you’ve got to at least have one of her. She’s won’t get a lot of time at the front, but she’s necessary to what is going to happen.
- I can back a trailer.
Most church plants are mobile at first. Some guys get to skip this phase, but it’s not frequent. So, you need a guy that knows how to handle a trailer. It helps if he can back the trailer, load the trailer and make the trailer look larger on the inside than on the outside. While the pastor is meeting with people after the service, this guy is glorifying Jesus by stacking boxes on a trailer he unloaded less than five hours ago. Crucial.
- I’ll pick up paper after the service.
People are messy. There are always papers, pens, trash—you name it—on the floor after a worship gathering. I’m convinced the “paper picker upper” gets front of the line at the marriage supper of the Lamb. He will never be noticed. Rarely thanked. And always needed.
- I’ll listen when you need it.
Church planting is hard. Planters spend a lot of their time giving and very little time getting. So, for them to have an “I’ll listen” guy around is important. This guy might not be on his team or even in his city. But, having someone who will listen when you need it will talk you off some ledges from time to time. Everyone needs this guy…including pastors/planters.
- I’ll never complain, but I will confront.
There is a difference between negative complaining and constructive, biblical, compassionate confrontation. Planters need less of the negative and more of the constructive. Having a guy on the team that knows the difference is crucial to the team being what God has called it to be. Wise planters keep these guys close.
- I can’t believe what God did.
You need men and women around who celebrate God’s goodness. These are not cheerleaders to puff up the planter. Rather, these people are just amazed at God’s grace and regularly point it out to those around them.
I’ve been so blessed to have men and women like this around me in our five-year journey of planting. God has been so faithful. On Sunday, as we were celebrating Northlake, one of the men from our launch team talked wistfully about our journey, remembering where God had brought us. Hearing him recall God’s faithfulness brought courage and hope to me. We need faithful men and women like that, remembering what God has done and being excited about what lies ahead.
Church plants need qualified planters. But, planters must have a team.