By Bryan Stevenson
Church planting is a labor of love. Being a part of a new or expanded expression of the Bride of Christ should only be entered into with that focus. Love of the Lord and His word, love for His people, love for the lost, and love for the geographical area that the church is being planted are some of the areas we focus on with a church plant. For many church planters, this love and the various focus areas are the fuel to press on to see the work bear fruit.
Frequently, I’ve been contacted by church planters asking questions more of a logistical nature.
Questions like: “We have a tiny budget, how can we put together a good sound system?”,” How did you adjust to having to set up and tear down every week?”, “Do you have any advice on what equipment we will need when we plant the church?”. It’s been my experience that most church plants wrestle with these types of questions at one point or another. Focusing on logistics and the finances to fund the logistics can burn that fuel I referred to earlier. My goal over the next few posts will be to share my experiences dealing with those types of questions. My stories will (hopefully) make you laugh – they might make you cringe – but I hope they will encourage you above all else.
As a lead worshipper involved in church planting, I have wrestled with these types of questions. I’ve also been blessed to have some success where God receives all the glory – because HE orchestrated amazing solutions. I trust the things I have learned will help those who are currently wrestling! Many things have changed since I first stepped out into church planting, but the struggle to balance the logistics, finance, and all the other focus points have largely remained unchanged. What came to my mind was four ways to look at this essential part of the church plant conversation. There is an old adage from Victorian England that goes, “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue and a sixpence in her shoe.” I don’t have much to say about the last bit. Usually, having something in your shoe is just annoying! But I do have some stories and suggestions regarding:
Is there anything wrong with using slightly outdated equipment? Is there a benefit in asking established churches if they have anything they would like to donate? Can older equipment be saved from the “junk pile”? In the original saying, something old was a tie to the past. It allowed the bride to remember fondly those who had walked down the same road (or aisle) as they were getting ready to do. We will explore these questions and more in the next post: “Something Old”.
Should I buy name-brand items or go with the off-brand? How big do I have to go? Are there some items that we can cut corners on? The original saying was a recognition that the bride was entering a whole new chapter…much like church planting! The post titled “Something New” will take a look at options of new equipment that will help guide you in the right direction as you wrestle with logistics.
Should the sending church allow some equipment to be loaned out until the plant is established? Is it wrong to ask established churches to barrow expensive equipment? Should individuals on the worship team ask friends/fellow musicians to borrow equipment? When it came to the old saying, something borrowed was a sort of “investment” into the happiness of the new bride. Keep your eyes open for a post titled “Something Borrowed” that will consider this further.
This post just might save a life…no, seriously! The original saying was a reference to love, purity, faithfulness, and modesty. “Something Blew?” will be more of a connection to ignorance, neglect, bravado, and stupidity – sure to be a real crowd pleaser!
Will you consider joining me on this logistical adventure? The more, the merrier!!
What was your most challenging decision when it came to the logistics of a church plant?
When did you realize you might be in over your head?