Two church planting related posts by some Vineyard bloggers

jason clarkThought I would share a few church planting related blog posts by some Vineyard folks:

Post #1: “Leading and managing change: lessons from a church planter #1”  by Jason Clark

Author bio: Jason is the pastor of the Sutton Vineyard in London, UK (planted in 1997) and serve as Area Leader. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in theology and leadership, and is currently completing PhD research on the church and culture.

Post summary: Jason outlines the five key leadership areas that he realizes that he has to face up to and grow in if his church is to move forward with God. The five areas are: Vision, Skills, Character, Counting the Cost, and Change.

My thoughts: I love Jason’s honesty and openness about having to change and grow as a leader in order to take the church to the place that God wants it to go. His statement, “what had gotten me here wouldn’t get me there”, is very telling and resonates with me as I transition out of the senior pastorship and into a new currently-undefined role within the local church. To always be growing, always going deeper with Jesus…that is life and it is hard.

dave jacobsPost #2: “If I Planted A Church Again, I Would… Pt. 1” by Dave Jacobs

Author Bio: Dave is a church coach and consultant based in Southwest Oregon. Before that he was a church planter and Vineyard area leader in California. (Personal note: Dave coached me for six weeks a few years ago and was very, very helpful!)

Post summary: Over the years Dave came up with a list of 37 changes he would make if he ever planted another church (he started three of them). Enough folks have asked him about this list that he decided to publish the list in small chucks. The link above takes you to the first six items on the list. The other 31 will be coming out over the next few weeks.

My thoughts: I’m not too sure about a few things on Dave’s list….granted, I know that he has a ton more experience and time pastoring then I do…yet, comment like the following make me nervous:

“I would try to be a humble, benevolent dictator, surrounded by a few people not afraid to get in my face and be honest with me.”

I think I know what he is getting at in that in starting a new church it is good to have someone calling the shots…however, I have seen a rise in team leadership that I feel is healthier for both the church body and the pastor/leadership team. For example, if one is bivocational (which Dave lists as a good thing in point number 2) then being a “humble, benevolent dictator” means long hours and TONS of stress. To me personally, I would rather go with a co-pastor/team-leader structure and try to lower the stress load. =/

What do you think about these two articles?

4 thoughts on “Two church planting related posts by some Vineyard bloggers”

  1. Hi Joshua. Actually I agree with you in regards to ‘team leadership’. However, the smaller the church the less the pastor needs ‘leaders’ and the more he/she needs ‘helpers’. Now…leaders develop out of helpers and eventually, in a more traditional church plant, you would be able to form a team. As my list continues I think you will be able to see how I would not be involved in “…long hours and TONS of stress.” You know me Joshua, I’m opposed to pastors being ‘too busy’ ;-). You’re a great leader Josh and I really appreciate you mentioning me. Let me know what you think of my future posts. Keep up the good/hard work of pastoring.

    Your friend,


    1. Thanks for the comment Dave and I look forward to your other posts. =)

      My original comments were written while thinking about the growing trend among Vineyard church planters to forsake the traditional model of starting a church. Instead of having a central leader/pastor, they are opting for a co-pastor/team approach were things are done by consensus. Yes, it takes a bit longer to get things done and it does require more communications – but it does, at least in my mind, hold some interesting benefits. Specifically, it keeps the focus off the pastor and on the community – something that no matter how good a pastor is at delegating is hard to do. It also allows for more people to buy into the new church, which can be very helpful when the tough times come…

      This model may not work…time will tell…but it is appealing to me as I like the support and ethos of co-leaders versus being the ‘dude in charge.’ Things to think about I guess.. =?

  2. As you know Joshua, I coach a bunch of Vineyard pastors, many of them are church planters. I have not noticed the growing trend you have mentioned. If this is indeed a trend it will be interesting to following it over a period of time to see how it works. I’m just thinking that if you have a house church with…say…six couples, there really isn’t a need for a ‘leadership team.’ If, however, you are talking about a more traditional church model then a team approach could work. Over the years I have known some (inside and outside of the Vineyard) who have attempted the co-pastor/team approach but each time, eventually, it morphed back into a more traditional form of leadership, i.e. the lead pastor with a team. Are you considering going in this direction?

    1. I’ve seen it (or at least thought I’ve seen it) in some of the new churches on the east coast… Steven Hamilton’s new work in Baltimore is one example that comes to mind… I’ve also seen more and more folks talk about co-pastors both on various Vineyard FB forums and in the North-West. Some of these co-pastors are spouses, but some of them are not… I guess it could be that the churches were started by a lead person and then transitioned over to a co-pastor leadership model…

      And yes, I am thinking about the co-pastor/team approach as it seems to fit the concept of spreading out the work of getting something started. Having a co-pastor or a leadership team who has equal decision making weight could, in my mind right now, be helpful for those, like myself, who are still working full-time…. To go the other way with myself as the senior guy would mean that I would have to double check and manage everything (not micromanage – no way!!). But as the dude responsible, there would still be a certain amount of stress and responsible that comes with managing a team. Co-pastoring seems to be a way around this… perhaps not, I can’t say that I have researched the issue to death, but it sounds appealing to me. =)

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