Archive for February, 2007


Preaching vs. Speeching

February 28, 2007

thumbnailcali0xtl.jpgDoug Pagitt has given us a great conversation in his book, Preaching Re-Imagined, and I notice a number of new starts working hard to live into new models for communicating.   Some of us are creating and hosting conversation starter sermons that help to shift the experience into a participation mode.   One planter is regularly using the “community preaching” model with midweek interaction around the upcoming weekend text significantly shaping the preachers Sunday message.   This planter is working hard to get away from “speeching”.   Lots of serious folks are thinking about these things.   Opinions on preaching go through predictable cycles that range from “preaching is powerful” to “preaching is powerless”.     Wait around a bit and opinion will change.  Theological reflection  however regularly reminds us of the power of the word…creating, incarnate, inscripturated and preached.    The “word” matters!    So here are some questions…………What are you learning about preaching?   What sermon series are working in your community?   What preparation methods are yielding best results for you?   Log your comments for us all to learn from!


Plate or Box…or Otherwise?

February 26, 2007

thumbnailcaxrhir6.jpgI have yet to find a planter that likes to talk about money.   In fact, some of us do about anything to avoid the subject.   So we dump the plate passing in favor of a box.    You know, the box that sits in the back with a slot on top.   Give it a nifty name…. “joy box”….and it’s tempting to feel we’ve got the money issue covered.   However, could it be we are going sideways, rather than forward, on this subject?  Facts are, the overwhelming witness of effective planters is that they talked about money too late and too little rather than otherwise.   However we collect it, growing a stewardship attitude is a weekly challenge.    The offering is NOT about what the plant needs to survive (that’s our hang up!) but it IS about people growing in the grace of giving.   Where a person’s treasure goes, there you can expect to find their hearts.   Every week  we get a chance to nudge attitudes in a Kingdom direction  but it takes intentional coaching from us, a few thoughtful words at the right time.   Any time we help someone take even a very small step toward stewarding their money in the Kingdom, heart transformation takes place.   Plates, boxes or hats are secondary.      

More on this at the GROWING STEWARDS workshops in April and May….for details see blog entry below.



February 23, 2007

walking_away1.jpgHe just left my office….    One more person with a sense that status quo won’t do.    Alone they might be a curiosity…together with the dozen or more who have surfaced recently they most certainly are not.   The Almighty is kicking up dust in the thots of folks who are supposed to be pursuing  far safer things at this stage of their lives.    This is grace big time for us all and here is why.    I have been reminded recently that where there has been a church planting movement it has usually been a leadership driven rather than a demographic driven experience.    The fact that church attendance rarely goes over 25% in America today (OK, Kent and Ottawa are closer to 28% while Muskegon or Allegan are about 18%) means there is opportunity all around us.  We want for leaders and vision and our prayers are being answered.     So welcome to our little BLOG planter wannabes who have “dust in the air” in their lives.   Their struggle to discern next steps is grace giving birth!



February 22, 2007

 My first call out of seminary and I was parachute planting a church in a college town bivocationally.   Six months in my core group blew sky high with infidelity (this can’t be happening!) leaving a few steady folk…and then just when we began to anchor again two key couples took job transfers.    My back was against the wall.    Panic!   You bet I did alot of praying!!

What’s up with your plant?    Planting is spiritual heavy lifting…it tests every fiber of our being!   Temptation is our shadow…fears and hopes collide…feelings of desperation are familiar…prayer is critical.  Post your comments as prayer requests and know your name and concern is spoken by others before God.

I’ll open….


More Resources!

February 21, 2007

Dear Church Planting Brothers and Sisters,

I’ve added a bunch more resources for your benefit on the right hand side of this page. If you use another resource that isn’t listed here, please email me and I’ll add it!

Chad (

(p.s. If you’d like your own blog site for your church I’d be glad to set it up and/or manage it for you, let me know)



February 21, 2007  You can get Dave’s power points directly at

That’s right! Several of us have been wondering about Dave Olson’s offer to put all his BONFIRE power points in a file for us to use. PRESTO!

Check out his site! Thanks Dave…you serve it up!

UPDATE! You can now go to our discussion page and watch the powerpoint there! (it’s called “Built to Last”)




February 19, 2007

The Great Lakes multiplication movement has been blessed in the past by the Reformed Men Supporting Church Planting (do these guys really exist?).  It’s true…a group of senior saints have been socking away cash for one purpose…to help new churches with their advertising expenses.   Now they have done it again!  Your plant can get up to a $500.00 grant by submitting a one page request detailing purpose, method and projected cost of the advertising campaign.  Your request must cover each of the three aspects mentioned and grants will be distributed based on “case for support” and availability of funds.  Deadline March 1.  Submit that document to and to     And thanks to those generous guys! (do these guys really really exist?)