Daily, a church planter or pastor asks me for advice on starting a church, building a church, taking a church through transitions, etc. Below I have compiled many of my posts offering such advice.
Four months ago, I stepped down as pastor of Courageous Church. The advice I’d offer you now is different from the advice I would have offered you when I was there.
Here are 4 quick nuggets that come to my mind now.
1. Surround yourself, first and foremost, with people that believe in you AND believe in your vision.
I seriously screwed this up. In the name of wanting diverse perspectives, I regularly surrounded myself with people that didn’t believe in the core ideas of the vision I had. I did this out of the sincerity of my heart, but all it did was create division, chaotic and painful meetings, regular fallouts, etc. The church will always have people that don’t buy in to your vision and disagree with you. Talk to them, win them over, but don’t put them on your board, don’t put them on your lead team, and don’t give them a public platform to disagree with you.
Trust me on this, too. In retrospect, this is easily one of the biggest mistakes I made and is a huge reason why I’m in California now. I gave great people that loved God but totally disagreed with the vision too much space and authority.
Let me clarify something…you don’t need a room full of “yes-men,” but you need a room full of people that love you and the vision enough to keep it real all the time.
Hear my heart – your leaders should be diverse in every way (race, sex, age, economics, culture, etc.), but they CANNOT waiver on the vision. It’s a non-negotiable.
2. Don’t do business with people in the church.
EVER. Advise church people against it as well. It may go well, and when it does, that’s great. However, it often goes wrong (more often than it should and for some really strange reasons I’ll blog about some day), and you will wish you never did business with church folk.
In my 10 years as a pastor, I’ve seen this go wrong time after time after time. Trust me on this. I’m serious, doggone it. No matter how good it sounds, I would seriously consider avoiding doing business with people in the church. The ways it can go wrong outweigh the possible benefits.