Learn to Finish Well!

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace (Acts 20:24).

In any transition, learn to finish well.

In case you hadn’t heard, I have transitioned from Restore to that of NewThing Director. It’s crazy. I am humbled by the opportunity. You can read more about it here.

Indeed, it has been a season of transition for me. I love my Restore team and it was very hard to get my head around the fact that God was calling me to start a new chapter with NewThing. But once I did I wanted to honor them by finishing well. Runners Falling Over

Let’s face it, transitions are a way fo life in church planting. God is at work in our lives and orchestrating the details. People are going to transition into and out of our teams. In Kingdom work, we cannot hold on to each other too tightly. God is always shuffling the deck.

And transitions can be either positive or negative. Choose to make a positive transition by finishing well.

Finishing well helps your team continue their work with minimal disruption and ensures that the relationships you have with your team endure. This honors God.

So what does finishing well look like?

Determine what your team needs for you to finish well. Ask your team what they need you to finish. Once you know what they need, keep asking. Check-in with them throughout the transition to ensure you’re meeting their needs.

Focus on your 15%. Don’t assume everyone know what you did on the team. Approximately 85% of what you do on your team, anyone can do. But there’s that 15% that is unique to each of us. Spend most of your time helping people understand the 15%.

Write it down. This should be obvious but your team isn’t going to have you around to answer questions after you leave. Ensure you’ve set them up for success by writing it down. And I am not talking about a few notes on a Post-It Note. Write down processes and procedures so that they know the details.

Spend time with people on your team. You are more than what you did for the team. This is still all about relationships isn’t it? Ensure your transition plan includes enough time for you to meet with people on your team to talk shop but mostly to tell them how much they mean to you.

Train the new people. Spend lots of time investing in the person(s) who is going to take over your roles and responsibilities. Ensure that you go above and beyond to help them be successful.

Remember, wanting to transition well is up to you. But if you don’t, you’re just going to mess up the race for everyone on your team.

What have you learned about transitioning well that you can share with the rest of us? 

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Don’t Forget About the Kids! (Guest Post from Tiffany Mills)

Tiffany Mills, Kid City Director
Tiffany Mills, Kid City Director New City Church

Tiffany Mills is Kid City Director at New City Church in Shawnee, Kansas. She has a passion for families and mission. I asked her to GUEST POST on Mission Glue because of her unique perspective. She is a strong advocate for church planting and equally committed to helping us disciple our kids. 

One of my favorite quotes is from Craig Groeschel is:

“We often overestimate what we can do in the short-term, but grossly underestimate what God can do with a lifetime of devoted service to Him.”

Planting a church that has a strategy for reaching un-churched families and teaching the adults AND children to trust in and live like Jesus is our best opportunity to create lifelong followers of Jesus.

When we launched 18 months ago I had no idea how to create an effective kids ministry.  We had a lot of support from other churches and I had a lot of past church experience to draw on, but in hindsight, I recognize some things that we did  that really helped our church launch with a heart for kids.

Here are 5 things about kids I’d recommend planters keep in mind:

Launch with a plan for Kids. From your first pre-launch gathering, plan to make it easy for people to participate by providing a safe environment for their kids. For us that meant paying for childcare workers and providing a space where the kids could play and hang while the meeting was going. (Fruit snacks and juice boxes are essential) Also, cast vision for your launch team that reaching and training kids is going to be an essential part of your church plant.  Ask your best leaders to consider using their gifts in your kids ministry.  If the top leadership views kids as a priority, everyone will.

Plan for Diversity. Many of the families at New City are single parent households which means we must provide childcare for almost every event we want people to participate in.  This can often add $100-200 from the budget but it is worth it to allow people the opportunity to go on mission with us.

Research and Identify Curriculum to Meet Your needs. I’ve heard of many church plants that plan to write their own children’s curriculum or don’t plan for curriculum at all.  I think this is a bad idea. There are so many quality curriculums available that it is easy to find one that will meet your needs.  I truly believe that any time I spend creating curriculum or programming takes away from the time I have for the true ministry of building relationships and investing in families. Also look for a curriculum that can grow with you.  We went from 20-100 kids in 6 months and our curriculum was easily scalable so we could multiply our programming with minimal effort. (we have found www.whatisorange.org to be great)

Provide Ongoing Discipleship and Training for Leaders. I think kid’s ministry is the BEST place to grow a Jesus follower and leader. Children’s classrooms are an awesome place for new followers to learn the basics of the faith.  I have had leaders decide to fully commit to following Jesus for the first time through their service in Kid City. I have also had many leaders go on to lead in bigger roles in the church, at their workplace, and in the kingdom using the leadership principles that they learned in Kid City.

Make it Fun. My favorite thing to hear from a parent is “my kid begs me to come to church every week” Your program doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you create an environment where kids know that they have been planned for and they know people care about them, they will want to come.  I get so excited thinking about a whole generation of Jesus followers being launched from our church plants, and I know that a lifetime disciple will have a HUGE impact for the kingdom.

Tiffany blogs at Crisis of Mission.

You can read my interview with the lead planter of New City, Matt Miller, HERE.

If you are a children’s leader in a church plant and have something unique to share with us, please contact me. I’d love to talk to you.

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See, I am Doing a New Thing!

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland (Isaiah 43:19).

I love that God is creating. He hasn’t simply created—he is creating. God is always doing new things. Our job is to prayerfully discern the work he is calling us to join Him in it.  newthing_logo

Indeed, he’s done something new in my life. In the early summer it became apparent that He was calling me to step-away from Restore Community Church and become the Executive Director of NewThing. It’s a strange season for me. I am very sad to be leaving my Restore team and our mission in Kansas City. And yet, I am excited to have the opportunity to play big in the Kingdom.

To say that I NEVER saw this coming is an understatement. In fact I never imagined that I would plant churches or be a pastor or help others plant churches. I never thought I’d be a Christ-follower for that matter!

I guess that’s why I am so passionate about NewThing: 

  • I found my back to God at a New Thing church…
  • I was baptized in a NewThing church…
  • I started apprenticing in a NewThing church….
  • I led small groups in a NewThing church…
  • I was discipled in a NewThing church…
  • I helped plant NewThing churches…
  • I baptized friends in NewThing churches…
  • I taught others in NewThing churches…
  • I have discipled people in NewThing churches…
  • I helped others plant NewThing churches.

plant-growing-from-desertNow I am excited to help others plant MOVEMENTS of reproducing churches.

So if you’re involved in Kingdom work of any kind, I want to say thank you. Thank you for believing Jesus and sacrificing for His mission. I want to encourage you—keep at it. Guys like me really do find their way back to God.

If you’re part of NewThing or attend a NewThing church, I want to offer a special thank you. Thank you for joining with God to plant new and healthy churches that go on to do the same. Thank you for your prayers and support of our movement. Not only are your collective efforts helping people find and follow Jesus, you are helping guys like me see their own Kingdom potential. Thank you for trusting that God is a God of new things!

Please continue to pray for our movement.

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How Do You Prevent Burnout? Thoughts from Wayne Cordeiro

I think you’d agree, it’s way too easy to burn out in ministry. And yet, it happens all of the time. We love what we do and so we work ourselves into a frenzy that leads to at best to burnout, or worse to moral catastrophe.

So how do prevent burnout?  leadingonempty

Yesterday, our NewThing tribe had the privilege to hear from Wayne Cordeiro on this topic.

Boy, did I need that.

In fact, Corderio’s book, Leading on Empty helped me navigate a tough season in ministry. I had left the business world for church planting. While I loved the new season of my life, I was burning out. Leading on Empty helped me learn to fill my tank and set guidrails in my life to prevent it from happening again.

Cordeiro’s New Thing talk both inspired me and challenged me. I thought the topic so important that I took notes so I could share them with you. Leading on emptybook

Cordeiro outlined three points to help us:

  1. Recognize the signs of burnout. Like rumble strips on the roadside we need to recognize the early signs of burnout. These can include being overly emotional, easily angered and frustrated and most importantly losing joy in the things that we love. Recognizing the early signs of burnout will prevent you from hitting the guardrails—or worse.
  2. Plan rest before you work. Cordeiro advocates that we plan our rests ahead and then stick to it. We can’t expect to rest well if we aren’t intentional about resting. Put your rest on your calendar. Create a plan and stick to it.
  3. Know what fills your ‘emotional’ tank and know what drains it. Cordeiro warns that a depleted emotional tank leads to anxiety, emotional exhaustion and finally a nervous breakdown. He advocated we create a list and identify all of the things we do that fill our emotional tanks (gives us pleasure, joy etc.). Additionally, he urges us to identify the things that drain our tank. We need to learn to limit and/or delegate the things that drain us. Next, he exhorted us to share this list with our spouse. And then allow your spouse to share their list. Then, without judging, pray over that list for God to fill your spouses tank.

Cordeiro reminded all of us of the dangers of depleting our tanks without filling it. Burnout. And that hurts us, our families, the people around us and ultimately the Kingdom.

I love that my tribe, New Thing, offers these monthly broadcasts on a diverse array of topics. If you want more information about New Thing, click here.

What about you? What are the indicators that you are leading on empty. What fills your tank? What drains your tank?

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