Recently I did some Q&A on Instagram, but the space was pretty limited there. As we come to the end of my church planting blog, I thought I’d take some time to expand on those answers. Here we go…

Insight on building a team, recruiting volunteers (@andrewrael)

Vision, vision, vision. Deep down, people want to be part of something bigger than themselves. People are busy though. Life is hectic. They need to see and feel the impact their involvement will have. As the leader, you are the C.R.O. (Chief Reminding Officer), who constantly reminds them of the vision and honors their service. Leaders are attracted to places where they can be trained and are valued, so create that atmosphere.

Planting vs. revitalizing an existing church with an older population who might be dying off? (@lizdiquattro)

These are two very different animals, each with their own challenges. Just as church planting is a calling, so is church revitalizing. Both require lots of prayer, lots of hard work, and a solid, loyal team to pull it off. Church planting is like jet skiing – in the early stages, it is agile and easier to turn quickly. Church revitalizing is like turning a cruise ship – you’ll have to get your bearings, see where you’re headed, communicate well, get everyone on board, then slowly start turning the ship. Both are important and needed, just make sure you’re called to it.

Concerning pastor scandals and leadership faults: is or should the mega church die? (@christopherpatterson)

Scandal happens in every church; it’s just far more public in a mega church. The mega church is not to blame however; a lack of transparency and accountability is. Both individually and corporately within the church, we have to fight for honesty, openness, and accountability. If you’re the Lead Pastor, build it into the culture of your church. Resist the urge to surround yourself with “yes men,” and instead surround yourself with a team of humble, Godly people who want to do the right no matter what. And most of all, never let your guard down. You too are prone to wander. “Make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lust.” (Romans 13:14)

How to foster a church that is welcoming to people new to church or hurt by it? (@alyssa_beierle)

A church that is not welcoming to people new to church has lost its vision. It’s turned into a social club instead of the body of Christ. It has lost sight of its original mission: to go into all the world and make disciples. Culture is king. This church needs revitalized culture through vision-filled reminders of its purpose. Cast vision, then celebrate it when they get it right. An unwelcoming environment is enabled by its leaders. Put your foot down and refuse to stand for that. If anybody could come to Jesus, anybody should be able to come to church.

How to approach urban areas as an established white male amidst poverty & hopelessness (@prevailer_)

The Church should be all about diversity! Don’t wait around for someone with the same skin color as the people you’re trying to reach. Jesus looked different than plenty of the people He reached. That didn’t stop Him, and it doesn’t need to stop us. You be who God has wired you to be, then take Jesus to anyone and everyone you come in contact with. Do anything necessary to make sure your church is a place where anyone from any culture or background can come and feel welcome. After all, that’s what heaven will be like!

Is growing your church the goal of your church? (@bearingtheseal)

Reaching people is the goal of the church. Growing is the natural byproduct. I didn’t plant a church to gather a crowd; I planted a church to reach the lost and make disciples. Attendance will ebb and flow, but the mission remains the same. The more successful we are in reaching people, the larger the church will become. A giant church isn’t our goal, but if we’re reaching thousands of people, we’ll have a giant church.

What made you decide to plant a church here in Clarksville, Tennessee? (@bass_jackson)

In a nutshell: my wife’s family moved to Tennessee, which led to us vacationing here a few times. As we prayed about what was next in ministry after youth pastoring, through a series of answers to prayer, a couple of dreams, and some miraculous provision, we knew Clarksville was the place. Whether you’re planting a church or pursuing your dream in some other way, trust that God will lead you, then step out when He does. Following God’s will for your life is the best, wildest ride you’ll ever go on!

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