What’s the Dream After the Dream?

What’s the Kingdom dream?

  • Maybe it’s just to plant a healthy reproducing church?
  • Maybe it’s to plant a network of churches that change the spiritual landscape of your city?
  • Maybe you want to provide clean water to a village in Haiti.
  • Maybe it’s to equip and send 10 church planters out to plant churches?
  • Maybe it’s to provide every kid in your local school an adult mentor?

Whatever the dream is, we need you to go after it.

But don’t stop there. Because there’s always more. There’s always a dream after the dream?

What’s the big hairy audacious dream that’s not going to happen without a direct intervention from God? What’s the dream that keeps you shaking your head ‘no-way.’ But you keep dreaming it anyway?

  • Is it to plant 50 reproducing churches in your lifetime?
  • Is it to plant networks of churches that change entire cities?
  • Is it to provide clean water to 100,000 people in Haiti?
  • Is it to raise up 1000 church planters to plant 10000 churches?
  • Is it to provide every kid in your school district with access to adult mentors?

I have a dream after the dream. Mine is to see 10,000 people baptized in one day.  I have no idea how to make that happen. I can’t tell where the number 10,000 comes from. (I don’t even think it’s biblical?) But that’s my dream after the dream.

Whatever your dream is…I want to urge you to dream bigger dreams.

Maybe you think it’s silly to dream like this. But I don’t. After all, our God created the universe. This same God created you and me. All reality depends on Him. He raised Jesus from the dead and that changed everything. I think He can handle one or two of our crazy dreams.

Do the Kingdom a favor and keep dreaming after the dream.

So–what is your dream after the dream? Are you going to tell us?

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I am Ready to Find a Leadership Resident But I Don’t Know Where to Start!

So you’re convinced that a leadership resident is necessary for you to start a movement of reproducing churches. Good–I am glad. Because you’re right. findaresident

Most planters I talk to get really excited about the idea of a leadership resident joining their team. But then most admit they don’t even know where to start looking.

The truth is, residents are not going to just show up on your door. (Some will–but most wont.) You’re going to need to connect with others and find them.

Recruiting a resident comes down to networking and meeting with residency prospects.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you find a leadership resident:

  1. Have you clarified exactly what a residency will look like for you and your team? Have you received coaching and input from others who already train residents? Can you articulate your vision and process for a resident clearly?
  2. Are you communicating externally? Are you telling others (church planters, pastors etc.) that you’re looking for a resident. Are you tapping your relational networks and letting them know you’re looking?
  3. Are you communicating internally? Are you casting vision to potential leaders within your organization that you are looking for a resident?
  4. Are you praying?
  5. Are you making space in your schedule to meet with potential residents? Does finding a resident get space on your calendar or not?
  6. Are you pursuing residents you have connected with? Are you following up with prospects that have expressed an interest in residency and making time to meet with them? Or are you letting others meet with them?
  7. Are you asking others (staff, network partners, etc.) to help you connect with new residents through their relational networks.
  8. Are you talking to current leadership residents to find out who they might know?
  9. Are you attending conferences like Exponential and others to build relationships with potential residents.
  10. Are you offering basic assessments to residents to help them understand how they’re wired and whether they might be a good fit for you and your team.

If you’re interested in a leadership residency with my tribe, NewThing, hit me up. I’d love to talk to you.

So what about you? How do you start recruiting leadership residents. What has worked for you that can help the rest of us.

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Are You Building Real Teams That Catalyze Reproduction?

Is your church plant built on teams? If you’re a lead planter, ask yourself the following question:

Have I given teams of people real responsibility to make decisions about effective ways to execute the mission?

If you have, good. If you haven’t, why not? teamreproduce

There is a difference between a team that has real responsibility for he mission and a group of people gathering together to execute tasks. The former encourage reproduction. The later inhibit it.

Think about it: Team-based structures are flatter. There aren’t as many middle-men and everything isn’t dependent on the lead pastor or lead team. Thus team-based churches are going reproduce more rapidly than those that aren’t.

Consider a few of the benefits of a team-based organization:

  • Teams can respond quickly and effectively to change and opportunity.
  • Teams can speed the process along (in this case reproducing) because people can help each other.
  • Teams can help organizations to learn faster and retain that learning longer because more people are involved.

Teams also benefit people:

  • People who work on real teams are less stressed and they have more fun.
  • People learn from each other and thus can more easily share best practices.
  • People on teams report they are more committed to the cause.

Note, building a team-based structure is more than simply increasing efficiency. Efficiency is good. In fact, corporations employ teams of people to boost productivity that increases the bottom line.

But efficiency in church planting is measured differently. Our metric (our bottom line) needs to be reproduction.

The real opportunity for planters is to build team-based churches that reproduce more rapidly and healthy.

What about you? Are you building real teams or defaulting to gathering people around a task? Do you understand the difference? What is the greatest challenge(s) about building a real team?

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10 Examples of Life-Giving Conversations

  • It was during a conversation that he asked me if I was ready to follow Jesus.
  • It was during a conversation that she said she saw “potential” in me.
  • It was during a conversation that he asked me step out of my comfort zone and lead others.
  • It was during a conversation that he asked me to sacrifice big for the Kingdom and move to Kansas City and plant churches.
  • It was during a conversation that they asked if I would be willing to invest in other church planters and coach them.
  • It was during a conversation that I asked him if he was ready to follow Jesus.
  • It was during a conversation that I told her “I see potential in you.”
  • It was during a conversation that I asked her to step out of her comfort zone and lead others.
  • It was during a conversation that I asked him to plant the church God was clearly calling him to plant.
  • It was during a conversation that I asked him to invest in the next generation of church planters to reproduce all of this again.

God speaks to us through people around us. God empowers us through the people around us. conversations

We help God speak to the people around us. We help God empower the people around us.

And it all happens in conversation. Never forget that small conversations lead to great impact in the economy of God.

What about you? How many life-giving conversations have you had this week? What’s will it look like to have more next week?

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How to Find Your Lonely Place

Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed (Luke 5:16).

Jesus had to physically get away from people so he could be alone with God. Lonely was the place away from people where he could be with God. We would be wise to follow His example. lonely place

So let me ask you: Where is your lonely place? Where is the place you go to pray? Where is the place you can be alone and really get to a place where you can hear from God?

Now before you answer take a moment and really think about it. Lots of stuff can go wrong when we don’t spend time with God. Maybe some of the stuff you’re feeling and experiencing today is because you haven’t been alone with God. The truth is, you need God’s direction on some important things and you don’t have it.

  • How to stop feeling so overwhelmed.
  • That big decision you keep putting off because you just don’t have clarity around it.
  • That conversations with a leader that you keep avoiding because you don’t know what to say.

Finding our lonely place to be with God is essential if we are going to remain on mission. Because let’s just be honest, planting churches, starting missional communities and catalyzing movements requires we hear from God–everyday! Otherwise, we’re just making it up.

To be the leader God is calling you to be, you’re going to need to withdraw to lonely places. You’re going to need to make time with God a priority.

And don’t mistake this: getting alone with God is not the same thing as resting. I imagine that Jesus was at his most attentive when he spent time with the Father. Lonely time with God is about being utterly and completely focused on the Father. Resting is another spiritual activity.

Getting to a lonely place with God might sound easier than it’s going to be. 

Chances are if you’re a church planter, you’re more extroverted. You like people. You like being around others. Relationships are important to you. So getting away with God will seem hard–a chore even.

That’s why you need to pace yourself. For example, you might ind that lonely place and stay there for 5 minutes a day. Then the next week add another minute. You get the point.

Here are 5 ‘lonely places’ that you might go to:

  • Your closet.
  • Your backyard early in the morning or late at night when no one is around.
  • A local park.
  • A nearby forest preserve or nature sanctuary.
  • A beach.

There are lots of  ‘lonely places’ to be with God. You just need to find them and go to them. Don’t worry, He’ll be there.

What about you? Where are the lonely places in your community? What is most challenging about going to your lonely place? Please post a comment and let us know.

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