After each service we have a debrief meeting with the team to go over every detail of the service, from renting the Budget truck to preaching. We ask 2 questions: “What went well?”, and “What can be improved?”. It’s really amazing what comes out of these meetings. In a sense, we feel that everything we’re doing is a big experiment. Most church activities during a service are not sacred, they are merely the traditions of men and/or the church (see the book “Pagan Christianity”). So we recognize that it’s alright to tweak the format of our service so that we can most effectively impact as many people as possible. I can’t imagine doing this alone without the team that we have. There is so much collective wisdom in the room that I feel like we could conquer the world if we wanted to! One of the things we are going to do is chronicle the set up of each room with photos and a manual so that any volunteer can help and not have to feel as if they don’t know what they’re doing. This was a brilliant idea (of Jamie’s) and one that will allow us to grow and include as many people as possible in serving. This will be one of those tools that will also be helpful in our first church plant out of RCC Missoula. These meetings are allowing us to incrementally improve each service that we do, so that when we reach our launch date things will flow smoothly. It’s amazing how smoothly the services have already gone, but the setup could always be improved. I would love to get it down to 1 hr setup and 1 hr breakdown. That’s our goal.
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We had a total of 58 people at our second service, with 19 of those first time visitors! WOW! We had such a great time. Everything went so well it was amazing. The stress level was 90% lower than our first service. The amount of effort it took to set up and break down seemed really low due to the numbers of people that helped us. It was awesome to see visitors helping out and breaking down! I love it! We met some great people and got to hang out with them at the BBQ afterwards. We definitely made some connections with people that will be long term.
Our team is so encouraged right now. We feel that we have some momentum building and that it can’t be stopped! It’s like God is bringing a huge wave and we’re just riding the whole thing out. I believe that RCC is going to impact Missoula in a huge way. I can’t wait!
It’s 11pm and I’m just sitting here thinking how blessed I am to be living in Missoula, Montana with my family and friends. Our 2nd preview service is tomorrow and the anticipation is killing me! I love to gather together with large groups of other Christ followers and worship God with everything I have. I just love it. I also love getting together with smaller groups, like our new Thursday night dinner group. We’ve had all kinds of different people come, mostly neighbors, and others that we’ve met throughout Missoula. But there is just something about coming together in a corporate setting for the primary purpose of making God famous in a big way. I don’t think I’d make it in a house church. For me, a house church is 80% complete, but that missing 20% is really important. The Sunday service is like going to a football game with 30,000 other people rooting for the same team. There’s an awesome energy there that can’t be duplicated with just 4 of your buddies huddled around the big screen!
I’m really praying for a good turnout tomorrow. We’ve made some great contacts, and I’m believing that God is going to bring just the right people to our service. We’re in a time of building our team right now, and we are meeting key people in Missoula that are going to be a part of this team. I love it!
Andrea posted pics and commentary from our first preview service here!
I’ve come out of hiding since the service last week (went fishing up the Bitterroot) and I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for doing an EXCELLENT job! I think it was quite an accomplishment to pull that off with no major hitches. I know it took an immense amount of work, but I think it was worth it. We have several people/families that are interested in becoming a part of RCC.
Now, if we had to do it that way every week I would last about 1 month before I burned out and had to go to counseling. I’m sure most of you would feel the same way. I know that it was stressful at times, and that we’re all tired. The good news is that the next time we do it, it won’t take nearly as much effort. I’m sure we’ll get more efficient and that it will become second nature after a while.
I think this exercise brings up a good question though. How do we as leaders keep from burning out like so many we’ve known? Is that really God’s will for our lives, to work our butts off for His kingdom until we’re totally exhausted and can’t do anything more? I doubt it. In my opinion, most leader burnout can be avoided. Most of the time, it’s our own fault for burning out. Here’s why.
I see the mission of Christian leaders as one purpose, but two tiered. As Christians, the first tier of our mission is to make disciples of all nations:
Matthew 25:18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
This doesn’t mean that we personally disciple every person that walks in the door of River City Church. We are each to disciple a handful of people who in turn will do the same, just like Jesus did. So, as church leaders the second tier of our mission is to raise people up so that they will do the work of the ministry (i.e., make disciples):
Ephesians 4:1It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
In other words, it’s not our job to do all the work! We’re supposed to raise up people to do the work. We’re the coaches, the trainers, the mentors, whatever you want to call us.
The reason I’m bringing this up is that the reason most leaders burn out is that they are not good at delegating and making disciples. We often try to do everything on our own. I know I’m guilty of this at times. Why? Sometimes we’re perfectionists and we aren’t willing to give others the freedom to do things “the wrong way” and make mistakes. Other times we just don’t know how to make disciples. I can’t help you with the former, but I think I can with the latter.
Really, our job with this church plant is to recruit people to do our jobs for us. There are lots of ways to recruit people, you’ll just have to be creative about it. You definitely cannot recruit people if you are not actively seeking out people. This I know for sure. Some of the recruiting will happen during our services, but I think that most of the recruiting will happen outside of “church” during our regular lives. As we live in community with one another and others we will have the opportunity to meet people and eventually take them under our wing. Imagine if each of us found just one person to mentor, and taught each of these people to mentor only 1 other person. Can you imagine how fast RCC would grow, and in a healthy way?! We have to be intentional about it though.
Let’s truly try and be creative about how we do things, rather than just work harder. There is no doubt there is going to be sacrifice on each of our parts. A church plant doesn’t happen without some good hard work. But this sacrifice of time should only be temporary until we can find others to come along side of us and share the load.