Let’s connect at Exponential East 2017!

If you’re going to be at Exponential East then I’d love to meet you! 

NewThing will be hosting several events for us to connect. Specifically, the House Party on Wednesday, April 26th would be a great opportunity for you and your teams to  hang-out with us. It’s free but we do need you to REGISTER HERE.

In addition, I will also be doing two workshops that I’d love to invite you and your teams to attend.

Here are the details…

Workshop Session 3: How to Start a Network of Multiplying Churches in Your City

What will it take to change the spiritual landscape of your city or region? One church can’t do it alone. But a network of churches collaborating can. Join Patrick O’Connell and Tom McGehee of NewThing for a quick but comprehensive look at how to start a new reproducing network of churches in your city. As the director of NewThing, Patrick has helped leaders in the USA, Europe and Asia start new networks that in turn plant new churches. Tom has helped leaders all over the world and is an expert in collaborative learning. This will be a practical workshop to help lead pastors, networks and church planters work together to do more for the Kingdom.
Time: Wednesday, 1:00 – 2:00pm
Location: Education Building (E1) – Room 315

Session 4: Creating a Leadership Pipeline in Your Church or Multisite

Churches can only multiply if there are leaders ready to lead at new locations. Join Patrick O’Connell for a fast-paced look at how to fill your leadership pipeline so that you’re ready to grow. As the director of NewThing Network, Patrick will join with other NewThing leaders to share ways to cultivate a culture of leadership development and look at the practical skills needed for campus pastors and church planters to shepherd and operate a start-up church.
Time: Wednesday, 2:30 – 3:30pm
Location: Education Building (E1) – Room 316

Our NewThing Team will be hosting lots of other workshops so GO HERE to find out more details.

See you at Exponential!

My Q&A with Exponential

I am excited about the Exponential Conference in April. If you are church planting or want to church plant you MUST attend this conference!

Recently, I did an interview with the peeps from Expo (who are awesome by the way). CLICK HERE to read it.

If you’re going to Exponential, then I’d love to see you at our NewThing events!

For the Kingdom!

More Than Barbecue

Ah, Kansas City. I love it.

I moved there 8 years ago with a group of people to plant churches. My time in that city church planting with my friends was, well – wonderful. We started three churches in 5 years. We also started a NewThing network there. morethanbbq

Then in a twist I wasn’t expecting, God called me back to Chicago to Direct NewThing. I am grateful for the opportunity to play big in the Kingdom. Helping others start things is a heck of a lot of fun.

And wouldn’t you know that God continues to do His work in KC – even without me there! 🙂

That’s why I am so excited about this new eBook written by my dear friends Troy McMahon and Dan Southerland: More Than Barbecue, How God is Creating a City-Wide Church Planting Movement in Kansas City.  They have written about how God is creating a city-wide church planting movement in Kansas City. It’s a remarkable story and a glimpse of what I suspect God is doing in other cities.

What is true of God in Kansas City can also be true of your city. You should read this book to understand the ways you might work together with others to plant more churches and bring glory to God in your city.

Please SUBSCRIBE to this blog for regular updates. (That would be really cool.)

Looking Forward to Exponential!

If you’re heading to Exponential later this month I’d love to connect.

NewThing will have plenty going so check the program guide. We also have a pre-conference and I will be hosting a workshop. If you’re interested in learning more about us, please come to the FREE AfterHours Event on Wednesday Evening. Here are more details.

Here some details.

Pre Conference
Title: Leadership Culture – Led by NewThing 
NewThing is offering a unique event. Dave and Jon Ferguson, co-authors of Exponential and co-founders of Community Christian Church and NewThing, will be sharing their story and practical skills on how to reproduce leaders at all levels. You will also get a chance to hear from Troy McMahon, lead pastor of Restore Christian Church; Janet McMahon, small group director at Restore Christian Church; Bob Bouwer, lead pastor of Faith Church, Jeff Boriss, arts director and champion at Community Christian Church and Patrick O’Connell, director of NewThing and many other leaders who have lived out the principles talked about in Exponential. We will walk through topics like:
• The Leadership Path
• Apprentice: Come Follow Me
• Reproducing Groups
• Reproducing Artists
• Reproducing Multiple Sites
• Reproducing Networks & Movements
Time: Monday, 1:00-5:00pm & Tuesday, 9:00-11:30am
LocationStudent Center – SC 101B

Workshop Session 5: How to Create a Reproducing Culture in Your Church or Church Plant
We talk about wanting to reproduce leaders and churches but exactly how do we do it? How do we create a culture that catalyzes reproducing in our churches? In this workshop we will help you understand three powerful elements of any reproducing culture. And we will explore how you can use those elements to create a culture of reproducing in your church or church plant.
Time: Thursday, May 1, 8:45-9:45am
LocationEducation Building – E2 301E

NewThing After Hours Event at BB Kings!

Then join us for our exclusive After-Hours Event at B.B. Kings Blue Club on Wednesday, April 30th. It’s FREE and it’s going to be a great way for us to connect. REGISTER HERE.

Our special guest will be Michael Frost. Michael is an internationally recognized Australian missiologist and one of the leading voices in the international missional church movement. His books are required reading in colleges and seminaries around the world and he is much sought after as an international conference speaker. Frost is the Vice Principal of Morling College and the founding Director of the Tinsley Institute, a mission study centre located at Morling College in Sydney, Australia.

“Michael Frost is a rare combination of brilliant thought leader and world-class communicator! Every time he speaks I lean in to make sure I don’t miss a word.” – Dave Ferguson

Our After Hours event is intended to be fun-filled night of food, music and relationship building for anyone interested in learning more about NewThing and how we might be able to help you do your thing.


You’re gonna want to ensure you make time for you and your team to attend. This will be your opportunity to hear from visionary leaders, Dave and Jon Ferguson, about our call to create movements of reproducing churches and how you might be part of that. It will be a great opportunity for us to get to know you and what God is doing through you.

We really want to see you there. Our After-Hours Event is FREE and only those who REGISTER HERE will be able to get in.

 See you at Exponential! 

How to Help a Businessman Plant a Church

It shouldn’t be a surprise when a businessman expresses an interest in church planting. If you’ve built a serious reproducing culture then people should be asking you how they can start something new for the Kingdom.Nextsteps

Not long ago a friend of mine invited me to breakfast and told me he was really interested in church planting. My friend is a family man and a business professional and the notion that God would call him to plant a church was unnerving and exciting at the same time.

While he has never been on staff, he contributes in his local NewThing church and has apprenticed as a leader in several ministries.

During our conversation I answered his questions as honestly as I could. He asked great questions and I enjoyed our time together. I encouraged him to keep dreaming and then we prayed.

I wasn’t sure if our conversation inspired him or discouraged him? And then several weeks later he contacted me and said he was ready for another conversation. This time he wanted help discerning whether God was really calling him to plant.

Since our second conversation I’ve been praying for my friend. I am not sure where God is leading him but I am convinced that unless we (and I mean the church planting community) encourage him to learn and explore the Kingdom will miss out. For him to even consider church planting is a HUGE win for the Kingdom.

So here are several next steps I gave him. He’s not ready for formal assessment or residency but he does want to do something.

You might say these are next steps for someone who is interested in church planting but has little to no vocational ministry experience…

  • Pray! I told my friend to pray and make his prayer-time a priority. I also suggested he take a prayer retreat for a day and really try to hear from God.
  • Interview church planters. I suggested he talk to as many church planters as would meet with him.
  • Read books and blogs authored by church planters. I provided him several lists of essential books and blogs on planting and encouraged him to take his time reading them carefully.
  • Lead where you are! In many ways, this is the most important next step. I encouraged my friend to lead strong where God’s got him. It would be a series mistake to want to lead a church without ever having some serious leadership experience. I encouraged him to lead wherever and whenever he has opportunity (That’s why apprenticeship is so important!)
  • Attend a church planting conference like Exponential. This would be a great opportunity to hear from planters, thinkers and practitioners as well as network.
  • Be patient. I encouraged him to be patient with God, himself and the people around him as he tried to discern his next steps. Planting a church is a long process.
  • Talk to his spouse. I reminded him that God calls both spouses to church planting. My coaching was that he spend lots of time talking through his dreams with his spouse and give her space to process it all.

What about you? What advice would you provide a businessman who is interested in planting a church? 

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