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August 13, 2016

Shaped By The Rhythm of Community

By Todd Korpi

Not that long ago I had a conversation with someone who told me about a new app that was out for mobile devices called “Doctor On Demand.”  Basically, it allows a person to see an insurance-covered physician about an ailment right from a mobile device rather than scheduling an in-person visit.  The idea that I could get the answers I needed within minutes from someone who was qualified and experienced (without the possibility of contracting some rare Siberian Tiger Flu while at a doctor’s office) blew my mind.

Church Planting Reveals How Much You Don’t Know

As a church planter, I often find myself in immediate need of answers from qualified and experienced people.  One epiphany that planting a church brought to the forefront for both my wife Tara and me is the in-your-face, larger-than-life, rent-an-ad-in-Times-Square reality of how much we don’t know.  We became hungry for the input of people who are farther down the church planting road than we.  We’ve come to love the truth and growth produced in relationships with qualified people that, as Greg Surratt says, “love [us] but aren’t impressed by [us].”

You need those sorts of relationships in your life to grow as a leader and, in turn, to grow as a church (both in depth and in numbers).  Church planting is the very tip of the spear in the battle against the kingdom of darkness and, because of that, you and I need each other.  Church planters face some of the most unique, seemingly “no-win” scenarios (a kobayashi maru, for all the Star Trek fans out there). 

Is it possible that someone else can identify with what it’s like to clean up a soda-laden weave left behind after service in your theater church?  Could it be that there are other church planters who have had to cover up a nude graffiti drawn on the wall of a facility rented for a discipleship meeting?

The answer, believe it or not, is yes.  Well, maybe not those exact things. But I’ve found that by doing community with other church planters I’ve discovered that most have equally surprising stories. By listening to them, I can learn and grow as a leader by hearing how they handled it and I find encouragement along the journey.

Join The NewChurches.com Plus Membership Community on Facebook

Like Doctors On Demand, NewChurches.com offers this kind of resource on Facebook for it’s Plus Members.  Generally, when one thinks of a NewChurches.com Plus Membership, the modules, behind the scenes content, and webinars from leadership and church planting experts comes to mind.  But one of my favorite perks is the ability to form relationships and learn from a group of over 200 church planters and get advice, wisdom, and prayer in a matter of minutes. 

For instance, a couple months ago, Dylan Dodson, who is launching New City Church in Raleigh next year, posted some question that I remember having before we launched The Cathedral here in Flint:

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 12.41.13 PM

Because Dylan is a Plus Member he has had a boat-load of NewChurches.com resources available to him.  But one of those best resources is what followed Dylan posting his question to our Plus Member Community page on Facebook.  Within 20 minutes, Dylan had the first response to his question and by that evening there were a flood of comments from folks like Lee Peoples in Pearland, Texas and Lorenzo Smith in Los Angeles.  He got examples of things to emulate as well as potential pitfalls to avoid.  In other words, Dylan was able to be, as Ruth Haley Barton describes, formed by the rhythms of our community [1], and experiencing wisdom to help his soon-to-be-newborn church.

Click here to see all the feedback Dylan got about his questions on the launch planning process.

Examples like this and others in our community help our churches be shaped through the shared experiences of others in the family.  This means that, in turn, the overall health of the Church is strengthened as it’s leaders become wiser and healthier, while the local church increasingly becomes a vibrant, healthy, and life-giving place to spiritually grow.

There are a lot of great resources available to Plus Members but one of my favorites is the community that comes with it.  Doctors On Demand may provide the answers to that unsightly rash on your foot, but the NewChurches.com Plus Member Community on Facebook provides solid answers to maximize the impact in the city in which God has placed you as well as the supportive community to walk with you as you carry out the mission of God through your church plant. 

Click here to see all the benefits of becoming a Plus Member.

 

[1]Barton, Ruth Haley. 2012 Pursuing God’s Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups.  Downers Grove: IVP Books.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Todd Korpi

Todd Korpi (@toddkorpi) and his wife Tara planted and pastor The Cathedral, a life-giving church in Flint, Michigan and is a homiletics researcher for the Docent Research Group. Todd and Tara live in downtown Flint with their three daughters and a golden retriever named Karl Barth. He has a B.S. in Church Ministries from Evangel University and an M.A. in Global Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary. His debut book, "The Life Giving Spirit: The Victory of Christ in Missional Perspective" is scheduled to be released in 2017. Find out more about Todd and The Cathedral at www.thecathedral.is

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