For many months we observed the construction of the MRT1 on EDSA. What a big job! How do you suppose they did it? Do you think the workers just gathered one day and started to pour concrete and fasten steel girders together? Of course not. That kind of approach would never succeed. First, an architect needed to come up with a plan.
It would be very hard to complete any large project without a written plan. But with a plan, even projects as enormous and complex as the MRT can be erected.
This is also true in planting a church. Having a written plan to follow—step by step—is a huge help!
Many church planters find it hard to write a plan to plant a church! Because of this, we have worksheets here to make this easier. All you have to do is fill in the blanks!
Someone has said that a vision without a written plan is just a dream. As you write your plan, your dream will be one step closer to reality!
Suggestion: You might want to skip this chapter now, finish reading through Step 10, and then come back and read this chapter. You will understand the plan to implement all of the ten steps more clearly after you have read about each step.
Make a timeline
One good way to write action steps in a logical sequence is by using a timeline. A timeline will show what to do and when to do it. See the sample timeline on p. 127, which has actually been used to plant many churches.
Step 1- Motivate your church
On the sample you can see that motivating your church is drawn right across every month. That's because this is an ongoing activity.
Step 2- Mobilize a team
One month should be long enough to recruit a team and have them start helping. The time needed to train them isn't included on this sample timeline. So keep this in mind.
Step 3- Set a goal and write plans
Right after the team is recruited they can take part in setting the goal and writing the rest of the plan. This will include selecting your tentative target barangay. Two weeks should be long enough if you get right at it. The leader of the project can just write in the timeline for steps 1-2 on his own, since there probably won't be a team yet.
Step 4- Confirm the target barangay
When you finish writing the plan, including the tentative target barangay, you can then confirm the target barangay. One month should be plenty of time.
Step 5- Make contacts
After confirming the target barangay, we have one month scheduled just to make contacts, from mid-September until mid-October. While you are confirming the target barangay during the previous month, you may also make some contacts, even though this isn't your main activity at that time. That's what the dotted line from mid-August until mid-September means.
Step 6- Open Outreach Bible Studies
Two months are scheduled for OBSes (Outreach Bible Studies), from mid-October until mid-December. But if you make a hot contact earlier, someone very enthusiastic who is ready to start an OBS, huwag pigilin dahil lang sa schedule. Go ahead and start. That's what the dotted line from mid-August until mid-October means.
Step 7- Nurture the new believers
You should only need two months for the Nurture Bible Studies. Let's put two extra weeks into the schedule dahil Pasko na.
Step 8- Form a fellowship
When all the Bible studies are over, we can bring them all together to form a fellowship. On our sample timeline, this is just one week after the end of Step 7, in the first week of March. This is our target date to begin the first weekly joint fellowship. You will notice that the line for Step 8 begins in mid-December. This is to allow enough time for all the things that need to be done before beginning the weekly joint fellowship. These are described in detail in Step 8. When you begin the Nurture Bible Studies, start preparing to form a fellowship at the same time.
Step 9- Continue nurture and outreach
Once you reach this step, nurturing your members and doing outreach are never ending.
Step 10- Formally organize the new church
About three months after the weekly joint fellowship begins you should be ready for formal organization. This gives you time to reach your goal and finish the other requirements mentioned in Step 10.
Notice that the line begins in March and ends in June to provide enough time for this. Before you formally organize, be sure you have reached your goal on the number of new believers who compose the new church. You may not reach this goal when you begin the joint fellowship.
For example, your goal may be 40. Let's say you have 25 when you begin the weekly joint fellowship. That's fine. Then, when the 25 grow to 40, you have reached your goal, and can go ahead with formal organization.
Many church plants reach their goal before the target date. That's even better! If so, you might be able to formally organize sooner. Some church plants even hit their goal right when they begin their weekly joint fellowship! That's great! They can go ahead with formal organization when they finish the other things discussed in Step 10.
On any step, if you are ready to begin sooner than you have on your schedule, go ahead! Don't wait just because of the schedule. On the other hand, try hard to not get too far behind schedule.
The timeline we have looked at is only a sample. Some less experienced church planters react by saying one year is very fast. But do you know that hundreds of churches have been planted using this timeline? Many have even done it in less than a year! Of course, this is only the beginning of the church. Much still needs to be done. But new churches have been started! Magpakasipag nang kaunti. Stick to your timeline. It can be done!
Now, meet with your team and make your timeline. You can photocopy the blank timeline worksheet on p. 131. Fill in the blanks at the top to write your goal. Write in the actual months. Then just draw a line for when you will accomplish each of the steps. You can make your timeline just like the sample, or you can make as many changes as you would like. Just draw in the lines. Simple! (Simple to draw the lines, but not so easy to accomplish!()
When you've made your timeline, you might want to pray with your team, asking the Lord to fulfill the plan.
&Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. (Prov. 16:3)
Written schedules can help us to stay organized as we plant the church. As a sample, you can see the schedule of Femy Roy, on p. 132, who helped plant a church in Dagat-dagatan, Navotas.
With careful scheduling, a lot can be accomplished in one day. In Ate Femy's schedule, Saturday and Sunday afternoons were both loaded with three OBSes. Saturday mornings were for training, team meeting and prayer. Visitation to the OBS contacts was done on Thursday afternoons. On Thursday evenings Ate Femy prepared for her OBSes. Aling Soring, her partner, had the same schedule.
I was also part of this team. I had the same schedule, except I didn't join Ate Femy and Aling Soring on Thursdays. They handled the visitation themselves.
Can a church be planted just on weekends? Absolutely! Our teams have planted many with this schedule! One of the keys is good scheduling. Schedule several OBSes, one after the other.
Fulltime church planters can do so much more! Some church planters are satisfied with just one OBS in a day. Much more can be done!
When you have many OBSes, you can help organize your time with a written schedule. If you are the team leader, it might help you to know the schedule of each team member. A written schedule can also help provide accountability to teammates who may still be developing in their faithfulness and self discipline. It might help you as you follow them up to make sure they've kept their commitments.
You can photocopy the blank schedule on p. 133 and distribute it to your team. OBS schedules usually change frequently as we add new OBSes and drop unproductive ones. It's best to write your schedule in pencil so you can easily make changes.
Write a budget
Before going any further in your church plant, be sure to think about how much the project will cost.
&"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' "
&The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. (Prov. 21:5)
To make this easier we can divide the budget into three parts: Budgets A, B and C.
Budget A- The monthly budget from the time the project begins until you begin your regular weekly worship service.
Budget B- Onetime expenses for equipment needed mainly to set up the worship center.
Budget C- The monthly budget after you have a regular weekly worship service since your monthly expenses will probably increase at this point.
WEEKLY CHURCH PLANTER'S SCHEDULE - Sample
TIME MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY
8:00-9:00 Study &
TIME FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY
9:00-10:00 Team Meeting
10:00-11:00 Team Meeting
11:00-12:00 Team Prayer Time
1:00-2:00 OBS – Noemi OBS - Salonga
2:00-3:00 OBS – Baby OBS - Dasmariñas
4:00-5:00OBS – Mang Hector OBS - Aling Soring
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.
There will probably be things that will happen that you didn't plan for. Because of this, you will need to make adjustments in your plan once in a while. Hindi problema 'yan. It's part of good planning.
To find the money we'll need, let's go on to Chapter 9.
Action planning and discussion
1. What are some of the things you like about the Sample Timeline?
2. Can you think of any church planting projects that stopped because of lack of funds? Did they count the cost before they started?
3. When do you think will be the best time to start taking offerings in your new church?
4. What will you do to prepare the congregation for this?
5. Talk to an experienced church planter about some of the things he has learned about starting the offerings.
6. What are some of the pro's and con's of taking offerings in your Outreach Bible Studies?
7. What will you do to help the new believers feel like the church is "their church" and not "your church"?
8. How long will it be (estimate) until your church is financially self-supporting?
9. What good ideas did you get from the Sample Budget?
10. Were any parts of the Sample Budget unrealistic for your situation? Which? What changes will you make?
The main thing to do now
qFill up the Timeline.
You can photocopy the blank timeline worksheet on p. 131.
qFill up the Budget Worksheet.
You can photocopy the blank budget worksheet on p. 140.
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