At North Village Church we are finishing up a season of planning. It isn’t something that happens naturally, but I encourage all pastors to set aside time to work “in the ministry” and “on the ministry.”
By working “on the ministry” we focus on three areas:
- Yearly Theme: We look at the vision and values of our church and we begin to prayerfully consider what will be the focus of our church over the next year. This process has been extremely helpful to shape our sermons, groups, and involvement in the community.
- Month By Month: We look at each month and we ask ourselves, “How are we taking steps this month to point our church family toward our “Yearly Theme.” This process allows us to think through details, obstacles, and plan accordingly.
- Financial Budget: After we have spent months praying about what God wants to do in our church family we begin to see our financial budget coming together. We work on this as elders, and then we submit our financial budget to people outside our church to receive feedback. We have found this process extremely valuable.
In each of these steps we are prayerfully positioning ourselves in a place where we believe God has to show up for our church family to continue. Sometimes I hear pastors neglect the discipline of planning because it might hinder the movement of the Holy Spirit. We completely disagree. We believe the Holy Spirit is moving in our planning and through our planning to maximize the movement of the Holy Spirit.
In the end, we hold all those plans with an open hand. They aren’t our plans. They are His plans, and we desperately need Him to show up so that we don’t look really stupid.
On any given Sunday there are three types of people who show up on a Sunday morning:
- Legal Larry: Legal Larry is self-righteous. He tends to look down on other people, quick to judge, and thinks too highly of himself.
- Loose Louis: Loose Louis errs on grace. He doesn’t really worry too much about holiness, obedience, or Scripture as long as people love each other and get along.
- Lost Lenny: Lost Lenny isn’t sure what to think about the whole experience. He is skeptical, guarded, and cynical from the moment he walks in the door.
In our culture today that question probably sounds like nonsense. We place ourselves as the final authority in life on all matters, however, this isn’t very logical because all we have to do is look back on the last 6-months of our lives to see that our “final authority” isn’t very reliable.
This is why Scripture is so important.
I know there are some objections and concerns so let me respond quickly:
On Sunday, we taught about the importance of North Village Church personally being involved in starting new churches. We identified three primary ways we can participate today:
- We can pray: Pray for God to raise up people to be involved in starting new churches. We are currently supporting two churches financially and helping them get established: Iglesia Biblica de City Bell in Argentina and The Well in Austin, TX.
- We can go: Consider going to help get a new church started. Pray for others to go, and pray about how you can personally lay aside personal comfort to see a new church get started.
- We can give: Right now we are giving 5% of our finances toward starting new churches and our goal is 10%, which would be an additional $12,500. On Sunday, we received $8,200 toward starting new churches and we are praying that we can reach our goal of $12,500 by the end of the week. You can help!
How to give: (Deadline ends Friday at 12pm)
– Pay Pal (Just put Church Plant Sunday in the memo)
– The City (Drop down window: Church Plant Sunday)
– Mail: 8705 Shoal Creek Blvd. Suite 201, Austin TX 78757
Every year pastors all over Greater Austin gather to worship Jesus, confess sin, and pray for the city. It is something really powerful to see and experience.
The average new church will cost $100K to get started, but it doesn’t have to cost that much. Below are a few tips to keep it affordable:
1. Buy used equipment: Buying used equipment is a great way to save money. It doesn’t look as clean and the quality might not be as great, but in our economy today people would rather see a more simple set up rather than experiencing the benefits of top quality.
2. Meet in multipurpose buildings: We meet at a school here in Austin and our weekly rent our first year was $240.
Yesterday our church hosted a garden fair for the community. Why? Because people love gardens and our church just wants to serve the community. It was something fun and simple. We had local vendors from organic gardens, wild flowers, artists, landscapers just come out to create awareness for their business and help educated the community about gardens. You can go to www.austingardenfair.com for more details.