Matt stopped by the bootcamp and shared his replant story with Bob and JimBo on this, another Quarantine edition of The Replant Bootcamp.
When Matt became the Pastor the church had already been involved in Replanting for some time.
When another church approached them about taking on their church and facility in another state, they prayed and followed God’s leadership and moved their entire church, from Alabama to the facility in Columbus Georgia.
Sometime later, yet another church in the north part of Columbus reached out to The Fort and asked them to take their church.
Q: What are you learning as a leader right now during this season of social distancing and separation?
Matt: As a Pastor I’m grieving and missing my people.
One of the great blessings in Replanting is that you get to see Senior Adults get to play a big part in the relaunching of a new work.
One of the most difficult but important lessons I learned in Pastoring is that I needed to learn to love the people God called me to pastor.
Right now, we are focusing in on increasing our Pastoral care of our congregation. We are going to divide up our congregation and begin calling them and checking in with them personally.
Q: What is your advice that you would share with a Replanter stepping into a situation like yours.
Matt: Love your people, slow down, communicate and care for the congregation.
Episode #7 - How NOT to Build a Lasting Elder Team
In a Replant high capacity and qualified leaders are likely to be in short supply.
Don’t let the urgent need for leaders be a primary driving process for your seeking to install Elders.
Do not confuse excitement and enthusiasm as good indicators that you may have found the right person to engage as a leader.
The past church experiences of the leaders you are considering installing as leaders matters, do not ignore conflict that occured in previous churches. Discern the circumstances, issues and let that inform your decision regarding their leadership.
An Elder process is important-develop one and stick to it.
Elders share the load and burden of ministry. It is important to develop leaders/elders who work together, especially when you as a Replanter are needing help or hurting.
Give them some weight to bear-some guys just want to give advice rather than serve.
Never give someone a position of leadership if they are not already serving.
Spend time together as families, dinners, and parties. Observe how they interact with their spouse and children.
Give them an area of ministry to lead, especially leading others.
If you have pause or question regarding an Elder candidate, stop the process.
Pray with and consult with your spouse regarding the candidates you are considering for Elders.
Don’t install an Elder unless and until you have a conflict or disagreement with them and have resolved it successfully.
Episode #4 - When and How to Change Bylaws and Other Documents (Boots on the Ground Question from Wesley Lassiter)
In this episode Bob and JimBo discuss a boots on the ground question sent in by Wesley Lassiter.
When is too soon to change the bylaws and other docs in a replant?
A lot of the answer will depend on the nature of a replant. Often in a replant as a campus or merger the legal documents will change very early in the process. This still needs to be walked with wisdom though.
In a revitalization or a replant from within there is much more to consider. But one of the big issues is to consider if ministry is being hindered by your documents. Mark Clifton addressees this topic well in one of his more recent Mondays with Mark – Is your church governance helping or hindering your replant?
If your docs are standing in the way of getting ministry done then you should consider suspending your bylaws for a season to have some transitional bylaws. There is some more info on how to do that in NAMB’s Associational Replanting Guide that Bob helped write.
Bob makes the point that more important than the bylaws would be a clear and strong church membership process. For this topic and more we would recommend reading through Replant Roadmap by Mark Hallock
In this episode Bob and JimBo start a new segment called, ‘Stupid Stuff We Did and Survived’. JimBo will share a few stories of how he unwisely led facility changes. We invite you to laugh at us and with us during this episode. Hopefully you will be encouraged and challenged as well.
Some things to consider in leading change well
Cast a vision for change, don’t just make changes. When people understand and believe in the ‘WHY’ behind changes it is easier for them to get on board.
Communicate and then communicate some more. You cannot over-communicate.
Have compassion for how change impacts people. (Jeff Iorg does a great job of talking about this in his book, ‘Leading Major Change‘).
Move to a system where everything does not have to be voted on, but you still need to give people a voice in the process.
Create a diverse team of people to help lead change in the church.
What are some of your stories of leading change that didn’t go well?
Episode #2 - Advice for Replanting Residents and Rookies (with Boots on the Ground Guest Jesse Peters)
In this episode Bob and JimBo are joined by BOOTS ON THE GROUND GUEST Jesse Peters from Ebenezer Baptist Church in Henderson, NC. Jesse is helping start a replanting residency at his church and wanted to know what advice we would have for replanting residents and rookies.
Replanting is not easy work, but it also isn’t super complicated.
Visit Everyone in the Church
Make pastoral visits a high priority in your first year to get to know everyone in the congregation. Get an understanding of where they are spiritually, hear stories of the church and their lives. You need to know the sheep in order to shepherd the sheep.
Preach the Gospel
This is about more than your sermons. One of the primary objectives for a Replanter is to align everything the church does with the gospel. We recommend ‘Gospel Driven Church‘ by Jared Wilson as a great resource on this topic.
Reach Out to the Community
Get to know your community. Build relationships with people in the community. Make a difference in the community. Effective replant pastors work hard to move their churches to have a missional focus.
Find Some Men to Disciple
In Reclaiming Glory, Mark Clifton defines success in replanting as a church that is making disciples that makes disciples that make the community noticeably better.
Evaluate the Condition of Your Church
When you walk into a dying church there a lot of things that need to change, and you can’t change them all at once. Start evaluating and making a private list in your prayer journal. Take the initiative to help the church move forward as an organization.
Don’t Forget to Celebrate
As mentioned in the last point, you need to evaluate. But be careful not to let this give you a negative outlook. Find things to celebrate and find joy in celebration. Lead with celebration and encouragement.
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Have fun!! The weight of it all can make you feel like everything is make or break. The church you are pastoring has likely been in decline for a long time – one bad Sunday under your watch won’t kill it, trust us!
Find Some Friends! Encouragers
DO NOT WALK THIS ROAD ALONE!! Replanting is gritty and glorious work. There will be plenty of discouragement, work to build some relationships with people who are encouragers. Find other pastors who are farther along than you to walk this road with you. This is one of the biggest things that helped us survive our first five years.