YOUR CHANCE TO MAKE A CHANGE
If God is calling you to plant a church, this might be the perfect time for you to take that leap of faith. If we’ve learned anything from history, it’s that there are never any perfect circumstances for anyone to disrupt the norm.
But it’s 2020… and there is no norm!
We sat down with Danny Parmelee, VP of Church Planting for Converge MidAmerica and host of 101 Questions Church Planters Ask. We wanted to learn why he’s excited to work with church planters right now. And after our conversation, we were all pretty stoked to see what God has planned for those who are willing to follow Him.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re planting a church right now.
YOU CAN BREAKTHROUGH CULTURAL EXPECTATIONS
Church traditions have morphed throughout the years but mainly held to certain cultural expectations. Even non-believers know that church is on Sunday mornings in a building.
Deviations are becoming more acceptable. But, newcomers feel a sense of familiarity with common standards. They also appease a crowd that honors tradition.
When the world shut down, pastors had to scramble to figure out church in an online environment. The structures we all counted on became a hindrance, and many churches couldn’t innovate or adapt quickly.
“I was involved with a church that went online during the pandemic,” Danny said. “And the first weekend they met again physically, forty-one new people showed up! They had only been watching online.”
These church planters realized they had an opportunity to introduce more people to Christ in this new way than with the traditional model.
“The pandemic has broken cultural expectations,” Danny said when we asked him about fulfilling The Great Commission in this season. “What’s become the norm is that there is no norm.” And that means the opportunity to innovate is greater than ever.
Don’t let the fear of breaking cultural norms hold you back. God’s power exists outside of the norm! Church can take on new shapes and forms.
YOU CAN BE BI-VOCATIONAL
The digital church allows for discipleship beyond geographic limitations and societal expectations. Full-time pastoral roles were the norm. However, in a digital environment, you can fulfill your call to preach while generating income from a non-church job.
In a digital church, you can prepare and potentially even record messages whenever you have time. There are challenges to being a bi-vocational pastor, but the reward — souls! — outweighs them by far.
Here are some tips:
Ensure your job is flexible.
The role of a pastor doesn’t always fit neatly into a nine to five box. The needs of people can come at any hour.
While it’s possible to generate income from additional employment, it’s best to make sure there aren’t rigid structures that don’t allow for change.
Establish an understanding with your employer.
Bi-vocational pastors often carry the same load as full-time pastors. Having a conversation with your employer will help you balance it all.
Key Takeaway: The role of any pastor is making disciples who, in turn, make disciples. When you have a non-church job as a pastor, you break down the spiritual/secular divide and show people they can do the same.
YOU MUST BE AUTHENTIC
Your audience knows an outsider when they see one. You have to get to know the culture where you plan to serve.
For example, a person with a deep-southern accent may have a hard time reaching people in New York. The systems and culture are different. New Yorkers want to connect with someone who knows what life is like for them … their struggles, dreams, and fears.
Here’s another example: If you run a ministry, you will always have to spend significant time fundraising. But pastors often struggle with asking people for support!
To make it authentic, stop focusing on the need. Instead, look at it as a vision-casting opportunity.
Like this: Receive God’s Call → Cast the Vision → Invite Others to Participate
According to Danny, on average, church planters need to raise approximately $250 - $300,000. That number may cause you to need a shock from the defibrillator.
However, if you find between sixty-five and seventy people who commit to give between $50 and $100 monthly, you’ll reach your goal in about three to four years. Slice it that way, and it becomes attainable.
Key Takeaway: When God places a group of people on your heart, take the time to get to know them. At ArtSpeak, this is part of our branding strategy.
You will reach more people and find the support you need when you connect authentically with your audience.
YOU CAN AFFORD TO BE RISKY
Following God’s call to plant a church can be scary, especially during a pandemic. We’ve all had to adapt to a new normal. And church planters face a whole new set of challenges.
However, this is an excellent opportunity to plant a church, take the risk, and watch God do what only He can do!
The call is the beginning of an arduous journey. But, you don’t have to go it alone. We’ve helped church planters build effective messaging and marketing strategies. We’ve worked with churches who wanted to break free from burdensome cultural expectations.
We help life-changers reach people, and we would love to help you!