Ongoing training is necessary as a church planter in process, but there are thousands of books and resources to choose from. How do you decide where to start? Below are some of my favorite resources. They are, in my opinion, the skills and training you don’t want to miss if you are planting a church.
No matter who you are, you have been wounded. The devil has attempted to take you out, to sabotage your biggest gifts and core identity. In stress, these wounds, especially ones from our childhoods, often come out and affect how we show up in the world and can result in the destruction of our teams.
Investments into our emotional health through healing prayer, coaching, and training will grow us into non-anxious and self-differentiated presences in our teams through even the most stressful work.
I suggest reading “The Leaders Journey” by Jim Herrington and Trisha Taylor, “Surrender to Love” by David Benner, and “In the name of Jesus” by Henri Nouwen. All of which give clarity for how our woundings can affect our leadership.
Another of the most lifegiving resources you can engage with personally is a process called Emotionally Focused. These courses marry together spiritual discipleship processes, emotional intelligence concepts, and actionable practices to help you identify your woundings and make changes to live with more authenticity, integrity, and obedience. More info can be found at at emotionallyfocused.org.
EDLD – Discipleship
The work of the church is based on a continuous cycle of Evangelism, Discipleship, Leadership development and “doing it again.”
One of the most practical things you’ll need to learn before planting is how to disciple a person all the way from being unchurched into leadership. Sorting out your own discipleship journey, giving that away to someone, and then developing them into a leader is the key training every church planter must have.
The first 150 people in your church will most likely be gathered by you alone, and this is the key task you’ll be doing over and over. Then you’ll need to be confident in training those around you in doing the same work.
Before you plant, pick someone in your life, a senior pastor, a small group leader, or an accountability partner, who will ask you about this and keep you accountable to this primary task.
See the Vineyard resource on EDLD or a simple start-up guide from Intervarsity here about the critical elements of this movement.
Another great way to jump into EDLD is to focus in on evangelism with help from the Alpha course. Leading one of these courses is fantastic training for leading all kinds of groups with all kinds of people. Their ALPHA leader training has simple and helpful pieces about group dynamics, welcoming unchurched people, the 5-step prayer model, baptism, the filling of the Holy Spirit, and more.
Going through this as a launch team is a great way to unify your team around the core values, beliefs, practices, and priorities of your church. Learn more at ALPHAUSA.org
The Church is the most important organization on the planet. It is the way God has chosen to reveal his own body to the world. Leading followers of Jesus to prioritize the church in their finances is a critical skill to have.
Though, money is often one of the most taboo topics for pastors. Planters must learn to talk about healthy financial discipleship. At the end of the day, we need to be confident enough about God’s Church to make big asks of people around us.
You can find more on the connection between tithing and financial health here or a Vineyard USA’s Financial Wellbeing library here.
The concepts in all of these materials are some of the most helpful I’ve encountered. Whether you’re in the pre-stages of planting or already in 10 years of pastoring, I encourage you to evaluate yourself in these areas and pick an area to dive into!
About the Author
John Aureli was on staff at the Sugar Land Vineyard for 3 years as an associate pastor leading compassion ministries. John and his wife Arleta planted the Mission Vineyard in 2011. Their desire is to send out 17 churches by 2035. John is also involved in Vineyard church planting in Argentina. John and Arleta love spending time with their two kids and do their best to adventure to Maine or Padre Island National Seashore for vacation.
Training doesn't stop here.
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