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5 Things I've Been Saying To Church Planters

Over the past few months I have been getting more and more calls from church planters asking about our process of planting.  I get questions from how we handled finances, to how my family handled moving a thousand miles away, to how we handled leadership teams.

But the biggest question I get is something like, "What model are you using?" or it may be asked, "How are you structured as a church?"  Most I've talked to ask this because they are trying to develop something themselves and they are simply seeking to glean some insight from someone that has walked the road a little more than they have.

But I am only three or so years into this.  So here are 5 things I've been saying to preface any conversation about how we are structured:
  1. I didn't have a structure in my head when I moved because I didn't know anyone and I didn't know the culture of Portland.  So our "model" took a solid two years to develop in our minds.  It took even longer to articulate clearly and concisely in a way people could actually understand and carry.
  2. Our structure has just as much to do with the community we live in as it does how we see the people of God organizing themselves in the scriptures.
  3. Our structure is working great right now, but at our size (about 150 adults) any structure could work well.  We really believe we have a skeleton to build on, but we cannot say yet whether or not our "model" is actually going to work long-term.
  4. Our structure is helping us solve some of the "traditional problems" we see in churches.  But we are certainly creating an entirely different set of problems we don't even know exist yet.  This is a reality of living on this side of eternity.  Time will tell of the imperfections and problems.
  5. Lastly, I tell planters that we hold our model with open hands.  After three years we have landed on a few things that we will not change.  But these are principles, not methods.  The bottom line is sometimes we have to adapt what we do, so we don't change.


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