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Church Planting 201

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In my last post church planting 101, I wrote about some of the basics that I have seen work and some that have failed miserably. In this post I want to talk more about what is required in the church planter himself.

In church planting we need Holy Spirit power, sound and practical theology, future planning, church promotion and quality support to make the church plant into a viable and sustainable church. On top of that, a successful church plant needs a legit leader, this is a must.

About ten years ago, I was asked to help a guy start a church in California. He had financial backing, he had front man skills, was a decent speaker…but was an awful leader. Needless to say, the dude quit the plant less than 5 months into it. I didn’t join the team and that church plant fizzled into non-existence.

Now while there are many reasons why the plant didn’t succeed, the biggest reason was that the dude wasn’t a church planter or leader…he was just a guy who wanted to preach on Sunday. Preaching on Sunday is the cherry on the cake, it’s easy. You read, you prepare, you pray, you practice your delivery, you make programs and keynotes, you wake up Sunday and deliver it. It’s simple.

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Church planting is much more complex than just giving a sermon. You are a small business entrepreneur. You are a janitor. You are a counselor. You must become affluent with promotion and fundraising. You will need to understand your demograph and know how to connect with your city. You need to be trustworthy and reliable. You must be a general and also a humble servant. You must learn how to handle extensively troubled people and also learn how to help them without losing your mind. It’s complex.

A church planter must become more than just one dimensional.

I’ve seen plants fail because planters were too one sided. You’re not just a preacher, you are a pastor. You’re not just a speaker, you are a house call medic. You will need to learn when to say no, and when to say yes. You must start thinking like a theologian and living like a missionary. Church planting isn’t done on the side, it takes more than you think and demands your attention. It’s deep.

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As we launch out this year to start two more churches in the Detroit area, there are a few points that our Leadership Team at City Church has been stressing with our guys as we go forward in church planting. I pray they help you in your journey. This list obviously isn’t everything you need, but we see them as the basics needed to start a successful church plant. Some of these keys can be taught, others cannot, if you are planter you should know the difference.

  •  Passion. The church planter must have a passion for the area God has called him to. A burden and desire to plant a gospel center is a must. If a boxer doesn’t have a passion to fight, he will get cold feet when he enters the ring. The apostle Paul had a passion for lost people to meet Jesus. John the Baptist had a passion for the hearers to repent. The apostle John had a passion for the Jewish community to learn of Jesus. This passion will keep you up, help you up, prop you up and can only be fueled by God. Either you have it or you don’t.
  • Theology. The church planter had better know the book. Seminary isn’t a mandatory, but it should be. How stupid is it for someone to want to be a pro baseball player, but doesn’t know what a balk is? It’s ludicrous that some guys want to plant but can’t articulate their faith in a short conversation. Read books. Take some classes. Learn.
  • Entrepeneur. Have you ever started anything from scratch that has lasted? Ever run a lemonade stand? Have you ever coached little league? Have you ever managed a store? Have you ever opened and closed a business? I just described to you what a church planter does. When you start, most likely you have very little to start with. In the early months you will attract people with problems, lots of problems and mostly baby Christians. You will learn to answer questions about concenrs you never thought of before. You will have to balance bills, projects, materials, personnel and quality control.
  •  Fundraising. News flash: church planting cost money. So after you call mom and ask your neighbors for money, you had better have a financial plan to help start your gospel center or else you are done in 3 months. Think about it like this: why should anyone give you money to help you start a church? If you can’t answer it with a thought through financial plan, then you have some homework.
  • Community. Loners can make great people, but not always great leaders. Can you find 3 to 5 people that would drop everything to help you? If not, you might not have impacted others lives as much as you think you have. You don’t go to war with just anyone. The same is true in church planting. You need seasoned veterans on your team and people that will go to bat for you, with you and at you. I’m sorry guys, the days of just doing it yourself are over. Odds are against you already, work on being friendly and make a difference in your close circle…then tackle the circle of church planting.
  • Home. There is no off switch to church planting, but you had better have a safe zone with some backup. If your family isn’t on board, do something else. Church planting, like pastoring, requires a balanced life which includes the home. Your marriage will be tested, your kids will be put on display and your life is now a book for others to judge. How do you expect to give marriage counseling if your marriage is a wreck? How can you get up on Sunday and teach on raising your kids if they are burning your house down? You can you preach on trusting God in your life if you don’t want to go home? Balance guys.

There are exceptions to rules, but church planters shouldn’t be looking for them. Work on personal growth, family development, spiritual leadership, theological soundness, business savvy and developing loyalty. I can’t promise you that if you do all of this you’ll succeed, but I can promise you that without it…you will fail.

-jon

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Church Planting 101 (For Leaders)

Church Planting 101

City Church Canton

For as long as I can remember I have been involved in the ministry in some capacity, especially church planting. As a kid, I grew up in it. My dad was a church planter and from an early age I can remember setting up chairs, passing out invites and entertaining other people’s kids while my parents talked to them. Then in college I was apart of two different teams that helped launch churches in California. Now I find myself as an adult (some would argue that) doing the same thing…starting churches.

I have been apart of so many first days and launches that my mind gets fuzzy remembering them all. I say all that to tell you, I am not an expert nor am I telling you what to do, but rather wanting to put down what I have seen work and not work in my own experiences. Enjoy!

Note: This isn’t comprehensive and it is not a book. Just a few thoughts on the basics of church planting so please don’t send me hate-mail. 

What Works:

  • Teams that have a clear vision and planned timeline for the immediate and long term future. (I have been apart of teams as a kid, intern, assistant, pastor and planter. There must be a plan not just for the day of the launch but for a year after the launch. Have a detailed thought out process on what you want and what you don’t want.)
  • Slow sell soft services (this is where you don’t blow up with lots of people but rather take your time and organically grow the church over a period of time in anticipation of a launch day. Currently we are doing this in Canton. Instead of trying to pack out our small building every week, we are trying to grow the leaders we have there and develop a team so that when we get more people we are ready for them. I’ve been apart of a plant in college where a lot of people showed up and we all celebrated but we weren’t ready for that many people and didn’t know how to assimilate them. We never saw many of them again.)
  • Community Day Events, Block Parties, Life Group Dinners, Kids Bounce Houses and Giveaways. (This is huge for me, church needs to be fun and family oriented. Have a carnival day and be Disney World to your community.)
  • Concerts, Great Bands/Artists, Clear programs and clean print media. (JW’s come door knocking with nice full color handouts, why are you handing out those cheap homemade flyers? Now, I know that I have too have been short on money and used cheap handouts but if its cheap it will get thrown away. Find a way, use good print materials.)

City Church West Campus

What Doesn’t Work: 

  • Special Guest speakers on launch day. (It’s the big day for your church plant, your church needs to see a face that they will see again the next week. The problem I have seen with special guests speakers on a launch day is that people might come to hear someone they know but they won’t stay. The goal of a launch day shouldn’t be just to get a large crowd, but should be for retention.)
  • Being culturally irrelevant to your community. (I was apart of a plant where the community was very poor but the church plant was very classy. It just seemed out of place. I am all for everything being professional, but don’t launch a “Starbucks church” next to homeless people that need blankets and food. Be relevant to your community, not relevant to where you came from or your previous church.)
  • Rambo-style church planting. (You are not that great, sorry to bust your bubble. Call your mom if you want applause, you need people around you that will say no. You need help and others to make the wagon go and keep going. I have seen plants personally fail in my zip code because they did it on their own. If you are going to plant a church, you had better talk to the pastors in the community to see what the needs are and to get a feel for whats working and whats not working. Don’t just ask pastors that are like you, ask some small and large churches and even some of a different faith. Talk to the missions/chapels in the area. Don’t just show up and proclaim yourself “fixing” their city.)

City Church Food Drive

Now while the goal of church planting should be basically understood and appreciated, I have come to see that some don’t fully grasp it. The goal of church planting should be to start gospel centers that help start other gospel centers of Jesus believers and disciples that help their community. Existing churches don’t exist to get bigger, they exist to help the great commission get accomplished. We should be for multiplying churches rather than just increasing numbers in one specific church.

The church is a group of people who come together to worship Jesus, preach the gospel and help those in need.

Jon & Keiki Jackson at City Church West Campus

 

Currently, we are starting two churches and am planning three more launches for next year. My prayer for Detroit is gospel centers that make a real impact in the community and not just have a bunch of church people show up on the weekend. So whatever you do, don’t quit. If God called you to help people, then suck it up, get some help and keep on pushing. Church planting (like starting a small business) might be a science and it is certainly difficult and tough, but for you to succeed it at…#push.

-jon 

Here are some great books to read on the subject:

  • Planting Missional Churches – Ed Stetzer
  • Launch: Starting a New Church From Scratch
  • Church Planter: Darren Patrick

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I don’t look like a pastor…

I don’t look like a pastor…

Detroit Christian Rock Band "Sinned & Saints"  -Jon Jackson (me) -Joe Gibes -Kyle Gross -Joe Nemanis

Detroit Rock Band “Sinners & Saints”
-Jon Jackson (me)
-Joe Gibes
-Kyle Gross
-Joe Nemanis

I get asked quite often questions like most do “What do you do?” My answer normally of pastor & church/mission planter shocks religious people, but to those I hang out with… not so much.  Let me explain with two thoughts: people have a Western Christianity paradigm of what pastors should look like & Jesus should be the example to Christianity, but he really isn’t.

First, many people have a Western Christianity paradigm of what Pastors should look like.

Most people have a view or paradigm of what a pastor should look like, do, and behave. One of the biggest reasons for this is because of our western cultures influence on church and perceived holiness. Most who grow up in church think of a pastor or priest as a holy man, a clean cut gentlemen who studies in an office, counsels, marries and buries people and then speaks on Sunday’s at 11a.

Most people also picture pastors as men in suits, standing behind a pulpit and speaking loudly about subjects from the Bible. Criticism is also prevalent when viewing western Christianity “pastors” as many people immediately think of tv evangelist or faith healers who are out for money and who drive a Benz. (preachers of Detroit anyone?)

Honestly, most pastors are not just a little culturally irrelevant, but they are also about 300 years late to it. Today, people have more respect for people who are like them and are succeeding rather than someone proclaiming a different way to do it from a high and lofty perch.

Secondly, Jesus should be the example to Christianity but sadly, he really isn’t.

When Jesus came to earth he invaded human culture. He did not bring his attire or ways of heavenly doing things with him. He wore the clothes of a normal Jewish boy raised by a single mother. He worked a blue color job and lived in poor Galilee. He hung out with fisherman (low job with no benefits), became friends of drunks, theives, prostititus & traitors (disciples & followers).

Jesus did not impose his culture on others…rather he saw lives transformed by the gospel. If the disciples were around today, most would see them as too dirty to pastor. Most would only see Peter as a hot head who had a rough background who shouldn’t be trusted, rather than the saint most have made him into.

The disciples were hazardous, rebels, dirty and didn’t look anything like “pastors”. Paul was a hired gun who put people in jail, Matthew was a Jew who worked for the Romans, Philip was a dude who hung out with people of a different culture, Mark was a quitter and I could go on.

The gospel transforms you into the hands and feet of Jesus…not into a cookie cutter mold of American culture from the 1900’s. Hear me now, I’m not against peoples culture if it’s old or different…I’m for diversity!

The problem with much of Christianity is that it is too isolated.

We need more color in our Christianity. We need more differences embraced, convictions challenged and preferences pushed aside for the gospels sake rather than a holding onto traditional things for traditions sake. I’ve heard my whole life from “traditional” pastors that we shouldn’t be like the world…but they themselves were just imitating the old world.

I have tattoos, piercings, listen to hip hop & rock…so do my people. I eat at coneys & love “Slows BBQ”…so do my people. I hang out at the gym, the corner store, the cigar bar and the neighborhood park…so do my people. God called me to be his hands and feet in my community to my people. I can do this best by being like those whom I am called to serve.

To be more missional is to be more like how Jesus was when he came to earth rather than being like “how we were taught”, “traditional”, “old-fashioned”, or even “contemporary”. If your people or community looks a certain way, be like them like Jesus did and not like your professor at bible college or like the pastor you worshipped.

I don’t look like a pastor…I look like the guy I talked to on Sunday and like the guy I lifted weights with this morning, and like the Detroit bad ass who needs Jesus and not a “Western American Culture pastor”. I am a representation of Jesus, and if your culture prohibits you from reaching people…ditch your old ways and embrace a missional lifestyle.

Being more like Jesus means you become more like the world around you, not less like the world. When the Bible says “not be of the world” it was speaking specifically of sins and the fake human way of living including religious Pharisees & false cults. Don’t take things out of context, being like Jesus means to be like the people around you and letting the gospel transform them.

If you were raised in a traditional or legalistic church they taught the exact opposite of this. They put parameters & definitions on holiness. They made a suit and tie and a bible under your arm the standard for obedience…when Jesus said “love your neighbor.” Legalism teaches rules and guilt…Jesus said the “burden is light and easy.”

So either Jesus is wrong or the paradigm in which much of Christianity thinks today is off and needs some adjusting. I beg you to be more like Jesus. Embrace culture. Love people. Give more grace. Don’t judge. Forgive often. Hug the hurting. Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked and embrace the orphans.

Pure religion is like this. Legalistic religion is rules and performance. Pure religion is grace to the women at the well, stopping the stoning of the adulterous woman, having dinner and a party with the lying cheats and drunks showing them God’s love. Legalistic religion is human worship, throwing stones by holding signs boycotting & shaming people.

If Jesus was to come to America today rather than Judea 2k years ago he would hang out in Detroit with the drunks, Johns, and low income, blue color working, food stamp card peeps. Jesus wouldn’t show up to church on Sunday like most of Christianity,  the proof is found in his example of what he did. He showed up and the church people got flipping mad over his attire, his friends, his way of doing things and his liberal ways…sound familiar?

I don’t look like a pastor…I’m trying to look like Jesus.

-jon

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What I Learned in Ministry (For Church Leaders) – Ritchie Jordan

Ritchie Jordan is a deacon & life group leader at City Church, a preachers kid and former pastor here in Detroit. She has served in the ministry for over 30 years, has a servants heart, worked very hard in the ministry and loves the Lord. She is happily married to Russell Jordan. This post took courage to write and as her friend I want to thank her for the honesty and insights she shares here in this post. Words cannot express how much she has helped me and our ministry here in Detroit. May these words encourage you, strengthen you and help you in your ministry. I asked her to write a few thoughts down on what she has learned in ministry that would help me and others. The following is her response. Enjoy! -jon 

Ritchie Jordan speaking to City Church in February on "Black History Month."

Ritchie Jordan speaking to City Church in February on “Black History Month.”

The Call

There was a grip on my life like Paul in 1 Corinthians 9. I had to preach the gospel. Reading the word was like breathing. The more I read, the more he gave and made me to want more. I understood things with ease where if I tried on my own I would get very frustrated. I learned to allow God to have His way with me. When Christ enables me then I am strong.

Even when I find I am weak, when I cannot…God can and did.

Before God could use me, He had to bring me to a place where I had to completely rely on Him. I had no doubt it was Him working in my life. I was broken, of no use to anybody. Didn’t feel that I could do anything. I had to declutter my mind and my life by getting rid of things that kept me from focusing on God. I could never trust my common sense when the statements of Christ contradict it. This was a very hard lesson to learn when we are taught to rely on our common sense. For instance, when every thing in me tells me to go and do…Jesus tells me to sit and learn.

I never take anyone, especially myself to be good. Natural goodness always breaks, always disappoints because the heart is deceitful above all things who can know it. Never trust anything in yourself or anyone else that God has not placed there. The only way to know God’s will is to obey from the heart. Ask Him and wait for him to answer.

Ritchie welcoming two new members to City Church after they were baptized!

Ritchie welcoming two new members to City Church after they were baptized!

Knowing God

I have to allow Jesus Christ to manifest in my flesh, not just be an imitator of Him (Satan is an imitator). I had to always allow God to receive glory. It was and is God working in me, not me doing what I think God wants. But me knowing God’s word and being lead by the Holy Spirit to do God’s will. I had to Know who I was ministering to. God helped me to do that. Was I talking with New Christians or mature Christians? Did the body needed to know or be reminded of it’s position in Christ or do they need to know how to go and evangelize?

It was at these times that I gave away more than I received and I didn’t take the time I needed to refresh. I sacrificed family and personal enjoyment. Sometimes I got lied to, lied on and disrespected, tried to be tripped up and had my authority questioned, but I had to learn tolerance and be confident in my call, and above all else put God first.

I could not be quick to judge or criticize. Just because I haven’t experienced it doesn’t mean it is’t real. I never denounce something on which I know nothing about nor do I proclaim things I know nothing about. I don’t try to preach something I heard because it sounds right or good if I don’t know it to be true. This helps me to never forget who I am. What I have been and and what I may become is by the grace of God.

I tried to be available and willing to do his will. Trying to interpret the word of God on my own would wear me out physically, but a concentrated strenuous mental effort that allowed the word to talk to me invigorated me. When I concentrated on what Gods’ word said and allowed the Holy Spirit to reveal what I needed to learn from the word and share with others always worked for me When I felt a block I would take a walk and talk with God. If this didn’t cure than there was something wrong with me. I needed to take ” stock of my spiritual life” find out if there was a break in my relationship with God. What have I done that was not pleasing to God?

Know the word. Read daily, focus and concentrate on what the Lord is teaching. For me and for others, allow His word to soak in. Meditate on spiritual as well as natural aspects of the Word. I had to learn to receive as well as give. You give and give when God sends someone to give to you, be gracious and receive. This is still really hard for me to do. Trust God. Have faith that God is real and not just Bible verses or a catch phrase. I have to trust him in every aspect of my life and ministry. I have to be willing to say I don’t know and then go find out. I could’t try to fake it till I make it. If I didn’t know or was not sure I had to look it up verify what God says about it. Where I found it in the word and what were the circumstances. Then be able to and go back to explain.

Serving. Respect the lead pastor. Respect the office of pastor God has called them to be there for that time. I was taught this. I was taught this, but didn’t learn this until I was disrespected and the office I held was disrespected.
“Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.” No leader can do it all by themselves. There is no success without sacrifice. I have heard it said, “every failure brings you one steps closer to success.” To get there we have to make sacrifices.

I had to be proactive, not reactive not every problem. I needed to go to the lead Pastor. When an assignment is given, learn to work through things to be a help and not an added burden to the Pastor. I read some good books to help me learn and in some cases, phrase thoughts and stimulate my thinking. Take some time out for myself to refresh to take stock and to listen to God. And when it was time for me to leave the ministry,  I tried to walk away with integrity not tearing the body apart.

Ritchie in City Church worshipping with her grandkids.

Ritchie in City Church worshipping with her grandkids.

Hurt and wounded

Being wounded (not just me, but my family also). When my family saw the hurtful way I was treated and the lack of respect I was shown, it made my family to question God as they wanted to know why. They questioned their faith and even their salvation, we had to talk about people and how sometimes they forget who they are representing. The same body that you think loves you, can be the same body to tear you down. A simple disagreement on order of service or praise team vs devotion leaders can be reason for an up raising. The important thing I learned was not to be focused on the issue but to stay focused on God and the assignment He had give me.

Don’t get hung up on the applause. Just because people told me how I blessed them, or how good of a job I did I must always give God the glory for doing good. And when not so good, I would have to go back and find out why. My sensitivities are impertinent. Find a way to renew the Spirit daily.

Taking up my cross. I looked for justice, when I should’ve looked to Jesus. I tried to find refuge in people and other pastors when I should have been finding that secret place of the most high God. I gave way to self pity and discouragement when I should’ve praised God for allowing His strength in my weakness. I allowed circumstances to hinder my relationship with people rather than allow my light to continue to shine for Christ. I learned denying myself really means denying my right to myself not just to things. Having a outpouring of love for Jesus and winning souls for Him.

Ritchie leads a Ladies Life Group monthly and City Cafe (pictured here) weekly on Sunday mornings 10a.

Ritchie leads a Ladies Life Group monthly and City Cafe (pictured here) weekly on Sunday mornings 10a.

Going On

I have learned that fear freezes, pain numbs, but forgiveness frees. Be willing to allow people to be whoever they are and wherever they are. I had to remain teachable as there is always something I can lean. I had to know when I was in pain and know when I was afraid. Sometimes I was so numb I didn’t know how I felt. I had to be willing to forgive even when no one wanted to be forgiven even when they continued to be hurtful and hateful toward me.

I was called into ministry, but I believe that being voted into becoming a Pastor and allowing the people to dictate to me my ministry (even though it was only meant to be temporary) was not the place I was supposed to be. A temporary misstep has taken me 10 years to get over and I am still coming out of it.

I forgot to maintain my personal relationship with God no matter what. Never allow any man, woman or demon from hell to come between my soul and God. Embrace anyone or thing that leads you to know God better. I have known this truth but I have not always done this. Knowing and practicing what you know can be very different things. It is said, “you never know what you would do until you go thru something,” but with God your eyes and mind should always be on Him for direction and strength.

-Ritchie

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Detroit Live Podcast – Episode 10 – Interview with Josh Carter Part 2 – March 17, 2014

Episode 10 – Interview with Josh Carter Part 2 – Detroit Live Radio Podcast – March 17, 2014

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In This Episode:
Jon continues his talk with Josh about life, devotion and books they have read.


Subscribe to Detroit Live via Itunes: http://feeds.feedburner.com/JonJacksonDetroitLiveRadioPodcast

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A Few Observations from a Former Pastor (For Church Leaders) – Chris Armer

On Wednesday, August 14th, I sat down with the three deacons of my church in Sacramento, CA and communicated with them about issues that I felt needed to be addressed for my continued tenure. I no longer agreed with the track the church had taken and continued to take and change was forthcoming. But the church I pastored was an independent Baptist church and the word “change” is mostly a cuss word in the movement.

Chris Armer currently resides in Phoenix, AZ. He served in full-time vocational ministry for 10 years in the various roles of youth pastor, assistant pastor, and senior pastor. He is currently a full-time seminary student at Maranatha Baptist Seminary. You can follow him on Twitter at @christoarmer.

Chris Armer currently resides in Phoenix, AZ. He served in full-time vocational ministry for 10 years in the various roles of youth pastor, assistant pastor, and senior pastor. He is currently a full-time seminary student at Maranatha Baptist Seminary. You can follow him on Twitter at @christoarmer.

Now I wasn’t trying to gorilla my own way upon the people. I loved them and deeply cared for them. I wanted them to realize and experience the amazing grace of God. I was encouraged to hear testimonies from people telling me how focusing on God’s grace rather than man-made standards of righteousness had transformed them. I felt like we made some good progress. But I knew deep down that I would soon face the inevitable with my church. I would soon be leaving. In college we would hear it said about churches, “It is easier to give birth than to raise the dead.” The clear writing on the wall finally came when my changed views toward the Second Coming of Christ conflicted with the church’s Constitution. To be honest with the church, it was essential that I go. So to make a long story short, I stepped away from my pastorate on September 1, 2013.

So I have now been away from pastoring for a little over six months. I am currently finishing up another Master’s degree (this time from an accredited seminary). I am set to finish in July. I have actually enjoyed this journey and have left the future of my ministry in God’s hands. In these past six months I have also relished the privilege of visiting many churches. Some have been great and some have not been so stellar. In each church I observed what seemed to be working well and what probably should be changed. I had the unique opportunity to view things as an outsider.

So I’d like to share some of the things I’ve noticed. The points are not in any particular order of the churches I visited. Of course, these are all my opinions so you can take them or leave them. It is my hope that they can be a blessing to you.

• You might think that the stage prop that has multi-colored lit boxes makes your church look trendy, but it is very distracting as it keeps blinking while you speak.

• A projector with low lumens washes out the colors and makes the text and images hard to read.

• Childcare check-ins with touch screen kiosks that print labels for the children are simple and amazing.

• It’s awkward when your bass player plays without any shoes on. Big white feet are distracting.

• I really enjoy saving half of the song service for after the message. My heart is directed toward God in the sermon and I get to express praise afterwards. It sends the people away with a song of praise.

• If you say that you are going to call someone during the week for lunch, then do it. It reflects poorly on your character when you make empty promises and never communicate any change of plans.

• If you are Reformed, you don’t need a large picture of John Calvin and Martyn Lloyd Jones in your foyer.

• I can understand those who believe a service should be a time of focusing on God instead of others, but don’t use that as an excuse for why your church is cold and unfriendly.

• Broken up matzah bread tastes the best for communion.

• Not having childcare for very small children practically guarantees that one of the parents will be standing in the foyer or outside with their child or children. Two year olds don’t sit well through an exposition of Romans.

• There are still churches passing an attendance book during the service?

• Make it as easy as possible for new people to connect to a small group.

• Friendly greeters are still very effective.

• Don’t make changes to your service schedule without communicating them clearly on your website or voicemail. By the way, when is the last time you checked the info on your church voicemail? It still has the name of the previous pastor.

• You still don’t have a Facebook page for your church? If you have one, is it updated?

• It’s a very nice touch when you personally greet people before a service or as they leave.

• If you take an offering by means of a box in the back, be sure to communicate clearly about it in the service. Otherwise guests who would like to give are not sure how.

• It’s effective if you smile a lot through your message.

• The Baptist Confession of 1689 is not the 28th book in the New Testament.

• If you are still going to have Sunday School or a Bible study before the main service, then make it great. The 70-year-old teacher who didn’t even look over his lesson until that morning reflects very poorly on the church.

• Why are you wearing a gold name plate? Do people easily forget your name? It shimmers from the stage lights.

• Having a competent person do the announcements is imperative.

• There is no excuse for multiple-burned out lights in the auditorium. Get them fixed.

• Communion every week is very meaningful.

• You need to fact check the stories you share. Even though I am not a Joel Osteen fan, he did not start his own religion like you had heard.

• Did you know your piano player looks like she is playing Bejeweled on her cell phone during the announcements?

• The personal note from the children’s director sent to our kids was a really nice touch.

• The portion of your song service that allowed people to come to the front and pray with some leaders while the rest of the congregation continued to sing the worship song was really powerful. I was encouraged to see people praying with one another.

• It is refreshing to hear someone confidently and correctly preach the Word.

I hope these have been a help in some sort of way. I am thankful for you all who faithfully teach God’s Word and pastor His people. I understand the struggles and triumphs. May the blessings of God be upon you and your family.

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Detroit Live Radio Podcast – Episode 8 – “Detroit”

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Detroit Live Radio Podcast – Episode 8 – “Detroit” – February 24, 2014
In This Episode:
Jon talks about Detroit, Gideon’s 300, City Church, World Hope, Updates and Stories from Living in the 313.

Subscribe to Detroit Live via Itunes: http://feeds.feedburner.com/JonJacksonDetroitLiveRadioPodcast 

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