Monday, May 25, 2009

Worship - Another Piece of the Puzzle

Praise and worship in the Start-up Church

Besides the lead pastor, the worship leader is probably the most important part of the staffing puzzle. This being said, don’t be too quick to jump on the 1st person who comes to you with a guitar.

Here are some tips in selecting a worship leader:

Beware of the big-head: Being a musician typically means having some ego. After all, it takes some self confidence to perform. What you don’t want is a worship leader who thinks he or she is the reason everyone is at the church. I call this a case of the big head.

Bible School Students: This can be a good source for finding a worship leader. The downside to this is the person may be temporary – staying only a few months. I wouldn’t worry too much. In most cases, God has someone on the way to you, in order to pick up where the other left off and take it too another level.

Online Classifieds: I’ve been involved in church planting for almost 10 years now and utilized this method….once. My experience wasn’t the best to say the least. It seems that many of the big-heads responded to my advertisement. I believe this can work however if the lead pastor uses discernment. I would even recommend getting a second opinion in the event the lead pastor is not musical. I know of one experience where a pastor who was tone-deaf hired a worship leader who was…tone-deaf. He didn’t know until people in the church started to talk.

Plan B

Use musical tracks / song tracks for the service. Tracks are music and background vocals and can be purchased from your local Christian bookstore as well as online sources. You will need someone to sing the melody line. I suggest you record the selected songs onto one CD. Don’t forget to use a combination of praise songs and worship songs. It may be helpful to think in terms of flow. It would flow better to have faster songs and then slower ones

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Church Identity

We've been working on some logos for the new church plant in Manila - Open Arms Revolution Church. Here are two of the proto-types:

Monday, May 11, 2009

5 Ways to Engage Non-Believers

1) Eat with non-Christians. Doing lunch is always a great idea and it doesn’t take a lot of time! After all….we all have to eat!

2) Develop relationships with co-workers. Start viewing your job as the missions field….not just a 9-5 grind. Start praying for them today!

3) Walk or bike around your neighborhood. Start getting to know those around you by name.

4) Be a “regular” at your local coffee shop, convenience store, barber or beauty shop etc…

5) Talk more! Guys are probably the worst. I know that when I go shopping, I’m on a mission. I buy my items and get out. Instead of that routine, we should take some time and talk to those around us. Even a cordial greeting can make someone’s day

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What if Starbucks Marketed Like A Church

It's amazing how we can sometimes think we are doing something cutting edge without giving much thought to how it appears to others. Checkout this clip from

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Let's Be The Solution

Just read an article that said, “America is a less Christian nation than it was 20 years ago, and Christianity is not losing out to other religions, but primarily to a rejection of religion altogether.

Why is this? Why are we a generation or two away from being a pagan nation?

Has Christianity lost its relevance? The answer is a bold NO WAY!

Why? Because Jesus is relevant!!

Matthew 9:16-17
“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

Here is the point: God loves His bride - the Church. He cares about those older traditional churches (old wineskins) but He cares about the latter generations as well. I have friends in PA who were reaching a young group of kids. My friends didnt intend on starting a church. When they tried to bring the kids to the local church however, they didnt seem to fit. They felt uncomfortable and were quite honestly... bored and didnt see any significance in church attendance. This was the delemma at hand and they could 1) force the issue and continue bring the kids to a church they didnt like or 2) they could start something new - "a new wineskin".

When my friends thought this through, they realized that they were putting "new wine" into "old wineskins" which wasnt healthy for either. This has nothing to do with age per has more to do with a mindset....a resistence to change.

Here is how Patrick J. Griffiths summarized one of his blog entries:
"New wine must be poured into new wineskins,’ not accommodated to those comfortable things in our lives with which it is basically incompatible. The message for disciples is to be uncompromising about our faith and the work of the Spirit in our lives. If our honored customs and habits, and the structures of our society must adjust to that, then so be it.”

To that I say Right On!!

Dont be afraid to try something new....something radical. Not the "oh no those people are fruitcakes" type radical ...but the "wow those people are making a difference" kind of radical : ) God has called you for such a time as this!!! When people see that you are real...when they see you want to make a difference....when they see that you are doing more than "playing church"....we can change their minds about Christians and Christianity.

Gotta go...I have plane to catch!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Leadership and Communication

I heard John Maxwell once say that "everything rises and falls on leadership and leadership rises and falls on communication."

Communication with regards to church planting has many facets:

1) Leader to the Team - Leaders should be consistent, clear and courteous.

2) Team to the Leader - 2-way communication is a must. In the same way God has given you (the primary vision carrier) a calling to start the church.... your team also has a calling - to help the vision become a reality! Remember that you are not the only "anointed" one in the group.

3) Amongst Team Members - Team members should be able to communicate, encourage and help one another afterall this is a team. The one analogy I give when training up a team deals with a field.

Imagine 3 fields....actual fields or tracts of land. Field "A" belongs to you. You can do anything you want to do in this field. You can plant a house....ignore it....whatever you want! Field "B" is a field that you lease. A lease typically spells out the terms of the agreement. If you lease the field for the purpose of growing corn.....thats what you do. If you raise cattle in Field "B" or build a house on it, you are breaking the terms of the lease and will probably be asked to leave. Field "C" is not yours....and you dont lease it for a specific purpose. If you are on this land...You are trespassing since you have no business on it.

You see, its ok to help and encourage but we need to be mindful that we dont trespass into anothers "field". The team will function properly when we stay on mission : )

4) Team to the Public - I recommend we use every bit of technology that is at our disposal. Again - consistency, clarity and courtesy is a must!

In the weeks to come, we will go into more detail in these 4 areas, giving church planters some practical ideas in which they can implement right away.


I have a real estate broker's license. In obtaining the license, I was taught that real estate is local in nature...with every area a bit different then any other. I believe that churches are the same way. Each is different... each located in an area which will be different then any other, with different customs, education levels, employment rates etc... With this in mind, each church plant will have its very own "thumb print". It will be unique.

The reason I share this is because so many times as church planters, we will try and mimick a method that worked in other areas without first evaluating what our area is like and the needs of the community. I saw this first hand when people jumped onto the G12 bandwagon. This method works great in Bogata, Columbia. Will it work in your area? Before you look at the "numbers" in Columbia, pray and ask God what is His plan for your area.

God used the mega-church to reach Korea. God used the house church movement to grow in China. We need to hold our models loosely and hold onto our mission firmly! and your church is unique and has its own thumb print. As the leader, it's your responsibility to discover it!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Base of Operations

We have located a building that will serve as our base of operations in Antipolo - on the outskirts of Manila. The building will serve several purposes:

1) As our headquarters - the launch team will meet here to make plans and prepare for the upcoming launch as well as future outreaches.

2) As our church planting school - We believe in sowing into others therefore we will be teaching others to plant effective churches. The school is 100% free of charge. Interested? Send us an email to setup an informal interview.

3) As an outreach center - We will serving the community through servant evangelism.

4) As a gathering place - Prior to the official church launch in April 2010, we will hold informal Bible studies at our HQ.

5) As a guest house for short term missionaries. We have a group coming in August to help with the church plant. If you desire to help or are looking for short term mission opportunities....shoot us an email!