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Q&A (via Twitter) about Church Planting

So I was on my way to lunch with John Herrington, the church planting director for HCBC.  John's a great guy and full of wisdom, insight and practical how-to's on church planting.  He's the kind of guy you just wanted to glean from over and over again.  So on the way to the lunch I Twittered about going to lunch with John and asked anyone to chime in with their own questions for him.

(By the way - John is doing 2 workshops at our upcoming Leadership Conference.)

Here are the questions I got and the responses from John:

From Jonathan McIntosh: (Alec asked a similar question over Facebook...)

Question:  "What are the Top 5 qualities of a church planter - assuming elder qualifications?"

John's answer:

1. Love lost people: I mean, LOVE lost people.  If you're gonna start a church and you don't like lost people - you've missed the point.

2. Ability to gather people:  you've got to have the ability to gather a missional core who will do this WITH you and do that in a way that's "sticky" too, where people stay with you.

3. Teambuilder: church planters think they need to do it all, but they need to be able to build a team that can help them.

4. Spousal participation: your wife is your partner - you don't work for IBM - WE are church planters doing this together.  Great and growing marriage is a must.  If I see your marriage is struggling with deep issues - you're out - no matter what your talent.

5. Capacity to meaningfully exegete your community: despite our best efforts, most planters are worlds apart from the worldview and way of thinking of the lost... different language... you might as well be speaking Chinese to a Russian.  It's that drastic.  Go to Kazakstan - can you read the signs? No! Neither can you understand the lost until you learn their language and worldview - it's the same principle. 

From Jacob Vanhorn:

Question: "How have the challenges of a full blown residency changed your vision or strategy from its inception?

John's Answer: 

Having 5 guys in a church planting Residency means that I have to think 5 different ways. The tendency has been to franchise and systematize everything and that just won't work. Everything in me wants to tell them what to do, but they are all different guys with different models.  HCBC was originally very model-specific for a suburban strategy.  However, it took 18 years to plant 5 churches. They made the paradigm shift to missional church planting and have planted 15 church in 3 years.

You can keep up with my Twitter updates here.

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