Free E-Book: Start a Movement … Plant Pregnant


Plant-Pregnant-Cover-640x1024Josh Burnett was a high school student involved at Southeast Christian Church when the vision for a church-planting church came to him. And at age 17, he began praying for God to move in this way. Fast-forward several years later–through Bible college, an internship with Southeast and four years on staff at New Life Christian Church–and Burnett says he has seen “God come through.”

As he and Sarah began to work on their staffing plan for the church they would plant, the only non-negotiable on the list was a church planter in residence. When they planted Revolution Annapolis in 2010, Scott and Amber Ancarrow were on board, and two years into launching, Revolution Annapolis sent out the Ancarrows to plant The Foundry in Baltimore–at the same time announcing they were now self-sustaining.

In this FREE eBook, Burnett shares his story and challenges planters and established churches to be churches who plant churches and instill that same DNA in the churches they plant.

“If we’re going to actually see a movement of church planting happen in America, then church plants will have to step up and plant pregnant,” Burnett writes. “If you’re part of an established church, you’re not off the hook! If you care about the people that Jesus doesn’t want to see perish (2 Peter 3:9), you also need to be involved in church planting.”

Burnett is honest about the tension that comes with planting pregnant and shares nine of the tensions he encountered, as well as how they continue to wrestle with them. He also offers five learned insights from his journey to plant pregnant. At this time, both The Foundry and Burnett’s church have church planters in residence on board. When those planters launch, Revolution Annapolis will have two grandchildren in less than seven years since they launched.

“If we are to accomplish the mission that Jesus has handed us,” Burnett writes, “we must work toward what so many of us talk about seeing: a church-planting movement that leaves a legacy of disciples.” Download your copy of Start a Movement–Plant Pregnant.

Key takeaways:

  • Why one of the best things planters can do is pray
  • Why stability can be a barrier to multiplication
  • Why leadership requires risk
  • Burnett’s fresh insights into 2 Peter 3:9 and its implications for church planters
  • The essentials for planting pregnant
  • Insights for navigating the potential financial aftermath after a church planter in residence leaves
  • The best time to send out a church planter
  • Navigating the tension of staffing the parent church vs. sending out a planter
  • Navigating the tension of proximity
  • Why you should expect spiritual attack when you’re planting churches
  • How planting pregnant strengthens a church

Download this FREE E-BOOK from the Exponential web site.

Good Data Leads to Good Decisions

By Church Community Builder

Good data leads to good decisions. But what if you’re measuring the wrong thing?

Our worlds have exploded with data, so how can you tell the noise apart from the information that will help improve your church and impact more people? With the increased availability of data, more and more people are suffering from data fatigue, making them simply tune out most of the data available to them. The most effective cure for data overload is to measure what really matters. Below are seven measurements that can help you stay focused on your church’s mission.

  1. Attendance: This is where most churches start, but they often aren’t looking at the right metrics of attendance to give them meaningful information. Sure, how many people were at Sunday services is important, but what about small group engagement, or the church picnic? Measuring participation in areas other than just worship services can yield fruitful information. How many people come to a newcomer’s luncheon but are not attending the church three months later? How many children are there in sixth grade Sunday school and what will that mean when they go into junior high youth group in the fall?
  2. Giving: Most ministry decisions involve some sort of financial implication. Investing in new staff members or expanding to a new campus can either enhance the growth you are experiencing or overtax the budget. If you are not using comprehensive giving reports, it will be difficult to project the right timing of a new initiative and how it will affect the financial security of the church.
  3. Growth: Another very common indicator churches like to measure is their growth. There are many types of growth churches can measure. What is the percentage of people involved in more than one ministry area? Do the newcomers to the church have similar demographics to the larger church? How are you tracking the spiritual growth of people in the church?
  4. Missional Engagement: There are often two common types of missional activities: ongoing ministries and service projects. What can you learn about how people connect with the church by measuring their engagement with service projects and ongoing ministries? Are you able to see someone’s sudden change in involvement?
  5. Digital engagement: We are living in an increasingly digital world. How many people are giving online, and how easy is it for them to do so? Do you know how many people are streaming messages from your site? More and more people are communicating by text and social media. How is your communication strategy making use of these technologies? Do you know if they are effective?
  6. Volunteers: Do you have a clear picture of the volunteers needed for each ministry area? Which areas need more help and which ones have more than enough volunteers? Do you know people’s interests? By tracking people’s interests and engagement in other ministry areas, you can determine volunteer opportunities that fit the person’s unique gifting and invite them to serve in that role. With this data, you can change the message from ‘we need people to help with the children’s ministry’ to “Steve, would you like to help with the auto clinic outreach? That seems like a perfect place for you to serve!”
  7. Attrition: Churches often do not measure their attrition, because it can be painful to face the realities of why people leave. Finding out and tracking why people have left can help us adjust and create a better future.

Good decisions require good data. To avoid data fatigue, begin by identifying what you really want to measure, and then make sure you have the tools to measure it effectively. Churches that have amazing ministry impact are not satisfied with making decisions based on gut instincts. Tracking the right data can validate what you are doing really well and identify what needs to improve. Because this work is important, it is worth tracking well.

How can improving your data and ability to measure the right information help your church take the next step?

Learn more at Church Community Builder.

Inspiration and Leadership Development for Church Planter Spouses


One of Stadia’s top priorities when starting new churches is identifying and preparing the right church planter. That’s why Stadia has a ministry specifically focused on our church planter spouses.

Bloom provides inspiration, encouragement and leadership development for planters’ spouses so they can provide the same to their families, staffs and churches. By helping them embrace their specific gifts, talents and passions, Bloom empowers and resources spouses to be successful.

Bloom creates environments where spouses come together (in person or virtually) to support and encourage one another along their unique journey. Bloom’s offerings include:

Bloom-specific gatherings at Exponential Conferences:

Bloom Feature Oct 2014Web

Church planting spouses at Exponential East 2014

Church planter spouses at Exponential West 2014

Church planter spouses at Exponential West 2014

Virtual Hangouts

Bloom Hangout

Bloom leader Vanessa Pugh hosting a virtual “hangout” with other church planter spouses

Prayer Support


U.S. church planting spouses praying over spouses planting churches in Colombia, South America


“Our spouses laughed, cried, prayed and shared with each other. I’ll never forget the last session as the ladies filed down the center aisle to receive a blessing and commissioning back into Christ service!”

Read more about the 2014 Bloom Retreat HERE.

Bloom Retreat 2014

Church planter spouses “toasting” one another during the Bloom Retreat “sparkler party”


Six Tips for Finding the Right Technology Partner

Newsletter-Image_Stadia2For a long time it’s been perceived the best systems and tools were only accessible to “larger” churches.  This may have been true …but, things have changed. Innovation now allows churches of any size access to affordable, world-class technology. This is so exciting, as it allows any church to provide the best to their congregation.

Pushpay BWIn talking with hundreds of churches across the US, many have indicated that there are 2 pain points in this process. The first comes trying to find the right partner. The second comes once the tools are implemented. So here are our top 6 tips for finding the right technology partners, as well as a FREE e-book to help you keep things simple.

Generosity: Move from “What” to “Why”

From The Giving Church

Phil Ling Pic SquareLeadership is responsible for casting vision but generosity is needed to fuel the vision. When a vision fails to reach its potential, it’s often because of a lack of fuel, rather than a failed vision.

The major challenge in church today is moving from a culture of consumers to a genuine culture of generosity.

Now, more than ever, that requires intentional planning. Whether raising the funds for a specific project or focusing on increasing the generosity participation level of your congregation, The Giving Church is ready to help.

Our mission is to fuel your vision. The project is the “what” but the vision is the “why.” Best vision wins!  Projects that fail usually stumble because the leader spent more time talking about what it was, than why it was needed.

You need to answer how does this project help us move closer to being the church God has called us to be. If you connect me to why – then I will sacrifice to make it happen. If you just talk about what it looks like – you begin to lose me.

Raising money is really more about raising vision than anything else. Ask yourself hard questions. Drive to the core of your vision and then invite people to help you fuel the vision.

Raising a culture of generosity to fuel your vision is our life’s work.

Phil Ling | Leadership & Generosity Coach
Founder – The Giving Church

Starting well: The 7 Steps to an Equipping Culture

From Church Community Builder

CCB Sept 2014 FeatureThere are few verses that speak to the heart of a church planter more than Matthew 28:19 and Ephesian 4:12. The call to make disciples and to equip the saints makes up the core calling of the church.  However, somewhere along the way the perception formed that “professional ministers” do disciple-making and equipping and the rest of the church body watches from the sidelines.

Successful churches begin by creating a culture of equipping and engaging church members to be owners and partakers in the work of ministry. Here are 7 steps to creating an equipping culture in your church:

1. Create a clear vision of discipleship for all your leaders. Without a clear picture of what you are trying to create, your leaders will not be able to pass the culture on to others. Real disciples affect their environments with biblical values and truth.

2. Create an intentional discipleship framework that is measurable and trackable. The sooner you begin tracking engagement on an individual level, the better you will be able to respond with options that are really needed. This must be systematic, or you won’t stick with it.

3. Remember that equipping is about people, not programs. People aren’t looking for something else to do; they are looking for something to do that matters!

4. Build scalable processes that work in a variety of settings. As your church grows and changes, so will the setting of discipleship. This may be home groups, multiple campuses, or off-site engagement. Whatever you offer on one campus should be scaled and offered in all other settings too. Otherwise, you are doing nothing more than loosely affiliating disconnected groups.

5. Develop a leadership training strategy focused on creating the next generation of leaders. Don’t wait until you need leaders to start looking. If you do, you will probably compromise the impact potential of your ministry.

6. Measure more than numbers. If you aren’t tracking ministry effectiveness in the community, life change within groups, and leader development, you are missing the natural byproducts of a discipleship strategy.

7. Tell life change stories everywhere and often. When people see how others are being affected by what your church is doing, they will want to be involved.

What are some of the unique challenges your church has faced when it comes to creating an equipping culture?