Building your church planting team can be a puzzle. There are so many pieces and they all have to fit together just right. I hadn’t done a puzzle in years, but this last Christmas I was given a jigsaw puzzle as a gift. My family gathered around a table and we began working on it together. It was surprisingly fun and I was reminded of a few church planting truths in the process.
Start with the border pieces
It is so much easier to fill in the other spaces when you know the area you are working within. As a church planter, you are a border piece. Know your own gifts and strengths first. You are called and gifted to lead and are the one outlining the parameters of the picture that God is bringing together.
Focus on and know your strengths. With your strengths in place, you can look for people who will bring complementary strengths to your team and also those who will bring in gifts and strengths that you do not possess. You will need people on your team that will fill in the gaps; look for and recruit those people.
Don’t force pieces into place
There were some pieces of the puzzle that were so close to fitting. Yet, they didn’t quite snap into place. I could force them into the picture, but I knew later that would cause me problems. It’s the same with people. You want the right people in the right places.
In order to do this, you need to know which gifts particular positions must possess. What does a worship leader look like? What about someone who will lead children’s ministry? Our challenge is to have our eyes focused on gifting and calling and then identifying which person has those qualities so we can fit the right piece into the puzzle without forcing it to make it fit.
A few notes of warning: search for people with godly character and specific gifts. We can be overly impressed by a person's giftedness and miss something in their character and that will not only hamper their leadership but hurt the overall church planting vision and ministry.
When looking for people to fill the roles in your church plant, pay more attention to gifts than gender. Too many times we inadvertently think of certain positions being filled by certain genders. Don’t fall into that trap. Gifting qualifies over gender.
See the big picture
Focusing too much attention on one section of the puzzle made it difficult for me to see the big picture. All the pieces started looking the same and my eyes were getting blurry. What I discovered was that I had to quit looking at the section on which I was so fixated and get up and move to another part of the table to get a fresh look at the puzzle as a whole.
Take time to step back and see what is coming together in your church. A great way to get a fresh perspective is to take some time in solitude and ask God to help you see how your church and team is growing and get his vision for its future.
Church planting is not a race. You have time to step back. Take some time to look what is coming together. You just might find one of the pieces you are looking for when you look from a different perspective.
Remember always, this puzzle is a gift from God. He has gifted you with this amazing opportunity to put all the pieces together and make a masterpiece that showcases His Son. Have fun as you piece this all together!
Take The Next Step
Are you ready to take the next step with your plant?