"No battle plan ever survives a Battle"
One of the best take aways I had from my time spent with Geoff Surratt at the Multisite Journey Group was our first draft of our battle plan for starting a campus in a new community. We were encouraged to draw up our church's battle plan, to the best of our abilities at that time; to make plans and decisions within our control at that moment. Here is what our battle plan, complete with milestones, deadlines and "who's responsible" looked like when we left:
We decided that there were 3 big goals that we needed to identify, give each one some milestones to help us reach them and know who was responsible to carry it out. You can easily see what our goals were and it is pretty cool to see that while there may be some tweaks to our plan, we are trending pretty spot-on and laying a strong foundation for our future goals.
Goal #1 Identify Ministries and Leaders
This one still has some holes in it, but we're hoping that in a few days we'll be able to have more of the question marks filled in with names. We're also believing that once we have our vision night in June laid out, some of the key lay-leaders will also have their names on our list to help us launch it
Goal #2 Secure Facility by August 2014
We have a list of possible spaces, and have contacted a realtor to take us on a tour of a few commercial spaces this Wednesday. You'll see that we're a few days ahead of the "what must be done" list for "contact realtor." Hopefully, after this Wednesday, we'll have some real traction with what option we will go with.
Goal #3 Run 3 Community Connection Points
Because we're entering into a new community, we have to be very proactive in connecting with the community through ministry programs. Our first community connection point is to host a MOPS (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers) group. Other points include beginning house church (what we call our small groups) hosted by a Neepawa resident and the final one being hosting a kids day camp.
Have you ever set long-term goals this way? How do you do it? Tell us your stories on planning in the comments section below!
So, I've researched and planned the beginning of our rural multisite adventure so much so that I'm at information saturation and really, it's time to actually put some plans into action. If action isn't taken, I'll simply become an expert on theory with zero experience in the matter.
So, how do you actually get your church fired up and on board with multisite in a rural context?
Here's how we're planning to do it: Create a communication strategy
Most people are dying to be a part of something significant and bigger than themselves. What we're finding is that there is a LOT of interest in our congregation about what our new location will be like. We need to find a way to fire up our people about the mission, engage the people and create easy on-ramps into the mission. The biggest obstacle for us in doing so is communication.
If you communicate poorly, you may end up turning away the people that you're trying to engage! It's been written about in various leadership books, and I've experienced it first hand, the best people want to be on the teams with the best people*. I need to work at being strategic to leverage the life-giving mission of the church with the opportunity for the right people to join in.
To do so, we've come up with a tentative 5-step plan that we believe will engage the hearts of our congregation.
No one could ever accuse me of not doing due diligence when it comes to venturing into multisite. I've read, been coached, talked with, interviewed and listened to almost every resource on multisite churches that I can get my hands on. I've heard enough experts and talked with enough people who know a lot more than me on this matter that I am starting to hear a LOT of the same information being repeated.
This gives me optimism because it means that we are starting to get at the core of what it means and looks like for a church to go multisite and the essential principles associated with it.
This is both a really good thing for me and also a frightening realization! It's good because I feel that I have really done a great job and accumulating and sorting through the information regarding multisite and I feel confident with our current plans and research. It is frightening because now it means that it is go time!
I know that my tendency is to listen, ask, research, network, connect and meet with people and that I always need to make sure that all of that is balanced with, if not over-powered, by actual movement and implementation!
Some people, with hindsight, will look back on projects and goals and think, "I really should have spent more time planning that out," while I sometimes get stuck in the over-planning and R&D stage - fine tuning plans, systems and scaling things far beyond the scope that I need to work with right now. We're at that point now with our multisite journey - time to get this thing moving!
I've reached the saturation point when it comes to information, and now it is time to start putting it into action. For our church, this will mean forming a "Launch Team" for our multisite. Details on what that will look like will follow and I hope that it is something that inspires your church to take the first step in moving from 'information stage' into action!
What areas are you spending too much time researching and not enough time executing? Comment below!
We're almost done for another year at #OC14, but I've assembled another batch of tweetable material from the mouths of some of the best in the world of Orange!
Andy Stanley/Reggie Joiner
Thursday is always a really tough day at Orange Conference - there is so much content to absorb with 2 main sessions and 4 breakouts = drinking from a fire hose! Throughout the conference, I was unable to live tweet, both because my phone's battery wouldn't make it through the day and because the content came fast, frequent and was so good, I didn't want to miss any of it.
Instead, I jotted down all the tweetable quotes from speakers throughout the day. Here are some of my favourite quotes from the first two days of Orange Conference! I've done my best to give credit where credit is due and some may be paraphrased from my notes - tweet away, fellow OCers!
Ron Edmondson @ronedmondson
Reggies Joiner @reggiejoiner
Mark Batterson @markbatterson
Andy Wood @andywood
Darren Kizer @darrenkizer
Jon Acuff @jonacuff
Jeff Foxworthy @foxoutdoors
Derwin L. Gray @derwinlgray
I am a pastor in rural Manitoba that is passionate about the church, leadership, coffee and bicycles.