RSS Feed

Blog-Detail

Everything listed under: Olathe

  • Let me Serve You

    This Thursday night First Watch is dedicating their profits to the Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund and I'm one of the celebrity servers. I'd love to serve you!

    The Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund prioritizes children in the Olathe area by supporting a number of good causes--check out the details and come see me at the Olathe (Black Bob) location:

    First Watch Mayor's Christmas Tree Fundraiser


  • The Gift of Peace

    Last Sunday, December 16, I shared the message, The Gift of Peace, @indiancreek Olathe. Who could have known that although I changed the first ten minutes--the rest of the message was right on especially in light of what happened in Newtown, CT. Here is the link to the Word file: 121612_-_The_Gift_of_Peace--Gary.docx

    Here is the video:   


  • My Worship

    I added the latest message from the Indian Creek Community ChurchMy Church message series, titled My Worship I spoke at the Olathe Campus this last week and as a bonus you can view the worship service that follows. This has been a great series. Please share it with your friends.

  • Leadership on the Fly

    There are times a leadership need or opportunity comes at you for which you don't have a home field advantage. By that I mean it is outside your preparation or expertise. You may or may not have relational equity with the participants and yet you are on the hook to lead. Where do you start? What is the process?

    Recently I've had two situations pop up on my radar that fit this description and got me thinking about leadership on the fly. The first came when our Mayor in Olathe asked me to find Latino leaders to tackle some of our cities challenges in dealing with quality of life issues for Hispanics in Olathe. I appreciated his confidence and trust but where should I start? I had all the deficiencies listed above.

    The second came shortly afterward when a group of 80 pastors in KC felt the need to explore creating a KC Coalition that would draw Christ following leaders from churches, not-for-profits, movements and business together as a working unit for the good of the Church in Kansas City. I was asked to lead this effort. I felt over-matched but there was a sense inside of me that God was in it. What process should we choose?

    Define Reality
    The first job of a leader is to define reality. You may be tempted to go straight to vision but you are wise to gather a realistic reading on both the problems and the opportunities. Assess your position from both a qualitative view and a quantitative knowledge base. Gather objective analysis and subjective discernment before attempting to chart a path. If you don't know where "here" is you can't chart a path to "there". And before you can move people, in addition to vision, you must make it clear why you can stay here. It is dissatisfaction with the present that most often moves people to a new position.

    Gain Vision
    Vision grows most naturally out of need and opportunity. It could be either or both. Vision is the picture of a preferable future. You should be able to use your senses to see the picture in your mind's eye. Feel in your spirit what it would be like to live there. Hear the excitement of the people when they catch it. And taste the sweetness of the outcome which you seek. You need to elicit this sensory process in others in casting a vision. Lead with it and tell stories about what it will be like, or is already like if you have them, to live out the vision. Use your factual data to support the viability of the plan but lead with vision and highlight the way it will affect those you love. Tell stories. People respond to helping people.

    Build Your Team
    You may go further faster alone but you will go farther longer with a great team. Take your time and choose with discernment. This step will propel you forward or potentially cripple your results. Size isn't necessarily helpful here. You don't want to create a congress. You don't have to accept every volunteer. You want people with a bias for action, who will own responsibility, who can both delegate and receive assignments. You are looking for people who are unselfish and don't need to be needed. You want problem solvers. Anyone can find problems, make them or describe them. You don't need them on your team. You will want to create a process to gather their contribution but don't give in to creating a place on the team for them. Seek out a well rounded team of a strategist, a knowledge expert in the field with recent experience, a networker, a thorough thinker, an administrator, someone with wisdom and discernment. You may need to pay for professional assessments. There are times where you will want to find or hire a coach.

    Define the Desired Outcome
    You may be tempted to jump right into creating a plan but that is the work of implementation. First, identify the outcome. Write a Mission statement and take the necessary time to get it crystal clear. Use the strengths of your team so everyone is collaborating in the process. This builds ownership and helps each one feel necessary. Don't get stuck wordsmithing you can make it a living mission and edit as you go. But until you agree on the outcome you don't know where you are going. If you have differing outcomes settle it before you move or you will inevitably pull in different directions.

    Clarify Roles and Responsibilities
    Understand that this is a critical part of team building and needs definition so you know how to relate to one another. People naturally want to know how to contribute and what is out of bounds. If a leader doesn't create consistency and safety in the team environment he or she won't get the best from the team. It is often helpful to agree on a set of values that will guide your teamwork. Here is an example of coaching on values, grant umbrellas of mercy so there are no bad ideas. Move forward with consensus don't feel the need for unanimous approval. Avoid the approval trap. Don't make it personal or take it personal. It often feels like it but you've got to be bigger than the problem. Strive to create a culture that is affirming, welcomes risk, is truthful, encourages pushback, gives equal value to each member and is forgiving.

    Set Goals
    Only now are you ready to go after those good ideas we all have in our pockets. If you don't do the above first you may have a great idea that doesn't hit the true target. Or you might build it in a way that launches with an incomplete design and it is destined for a short lifecycle. There is a lot written today about using S.M.A.R.T. Goals (Google it) but truthfully you don't have to over-complicate the process. Those are good guidelines to be sure but don't get stuck in the mud of detail if you feel yourself losing traction. Goals look at the target from the 1,000 foot level. Implementation is where you will learn some of the final details; as you get your feel on the ground. Create a living document you are willing to amend as you go.

    Form the Plan
    This is where execution and attention to detail come in. From your goals create sequential steps. Add the needed resources and the desired timing. It is possible that the team that got you this far needs others to now pull off the completion of the work. It is best to differentiate the strategists from those skilled at execution. The one really good at one is unlikely to be the best at the other. Invite the execution team leaders to meet with your strategists and then hand off the work.

    Oversee Execution
    Set attainable timeframes to go with your goals and target some quick wins. You need to build momentum. Resist the need to micromanage the execution. Use your team's energy to oversee mission alignment, outcomes, culture, people management and measurables. Keep the work on target and on time. Don't be afraid to intervene to give direction but be careful not to disempower those doing the work. Responsibility must always be tied to the authority to get the work done.

    Celebrate
    Make it fun along the way. Develop a one for all and an all for one team spirit. Encouragement and praise are like oil in the gears of an engine, they keep people working smoothly together. Celebrate the wins. A big job is more like a marathon than a sprint. Ensure that your team forms unity. There is a cliché that says teams form, norm, transform then perform. Do your work in such a way that you not only live to tell about it but you enjoy the journey.

    In Conclusion
    This is a thumbnail sketch of what it takes but the good news is you don't have to be an expert in every field to get an excellent result if you form the right team and go after your mission in the right way. By the way, both of those teams I mentioned are doing well, progressing toward the outcome and enjoying the journey. Sometime in the future it will be fun to tell the results.


  • The Big C Church

    When Belinda and I moved to Olathe to launch Indian Creek, we didn’t expect other pastors and churches to be excited we were coming. But we were surprised at the sniping and cold shoulders we received. A lot has changed since then. I am thrilled with the progress in KC. There is a fresh new wind of not only cooperation but collaboration in the churches of Olathe and Kansas City. In the rest of this note I want to talk about the kind of attitude and activity that is necessary to bring about the body of Christ working together in a mature and coordinated way. You, even as a planter, can be at the center of this kind of movement. In fact, you can have a central role because you are new.

    First, think Big “C” not little “c”. God is building His Church; He calls it the Body of Christ, in your city. You and your plant are an important part. You are one part of the larger body. You might be a hand in the Church of your city—and here’s the good news--because of you the Body is better equipped than ever to reach your city. In your position you are going to have multiple opportunities weekly to speak about who you are and what you are doing. You will be tempted to focus only on your plant. And no doubt this is a time to cast a clear mission and vision. Of course you can describe what makes you unique. But at the same time you have a great open door to talk about the Big “C” church. If you quickly speak well of the other churches and talk about how you are just one part of many serving God, you set the stage for building unity in the body. Your voice will be timely and strategic to send the right message. It may even serve as a beneficial correction to others who want to focus on our differences.

    Build the kingdom of God not your own kingdom. You will be tempted to play up your distinctions, and I hope you are conscious of the value your plant brings, but even as you invite others in--make it clear you are out to build up the whole Body. You are one part of the whole. The way God sees it there is one Church in your city and one Leader, Jesus Christ. The rest of us are under-shepherds stewarding our congregations and our city under His leadership. It will take all of us to reach our city. Your church could take off and reach thousands and you still couldn’t reach your city by yourself. It is going to take a concerted, collaborative effort to reach our city and it starts with the way we think about who we are.

    Learn to measure more than nickels and noses. We aren’t winning in our cities until the rate of those finding their way back to God outpaces the population growth. It is great that you are a new plant but the reality is in most cities more churches are closing than launching. In most cities the divorce rate is equal to the marriages. Homelessness, run-aways and suicides are at epidemic proportions. These things are unlikely to change unless the churches in a city work together. Where you find unity, love, cooperation, corporate prayer, collaborative and intentional efforts among churches and not-for-profits you will see the light push back the darkness. I suggest you keep track of more than just your own statistics. Learn what the needs are in your community and team up with other churches to make a transformational difference. What happens outside your services is every bit as important as what happens inside your ministries. Team up with others in your city and community to serve your schools, to meet real tangible needs and watch God take care of your needs in divine ways.

    You can do this if from the beginning you have a missional mindset. Think like a missionary moving into your city. Take stock of the kingdom assets around you and work together to avoid duplication. When you see a gap work with others to meet that need as God leads you. You don’t have to do everything. In fact it might be more strategic and purposeful to find one place you can make a difference and use it like a beachhead of transformation.

    Tithe your time to ministry in your city outside your own plant. Get to know the other pastors in your city. Take them out to lunch and buy. Compliment them and learn from them. Promise to speak well of them and cast a vision for One church working together in a coordinated and mature way. Psalm 133 says, Where brothers dwell together in unity God commands a blessing. Pray for the other pastors and churches in your city especially when you are praying with your own team. Invest time in getting to know city officials. Ask the principals of the schools around you how you can serve them. Attend citywide prayer times or concerts of prayer. Join efforts where the churches in your community work together to do serving projects. Make it clear you are there to help the Bride of Christ look more beautiful than ever.

    Avoid the pride that can come when you grow and others are not growing. Enjoy the growth and give God credit for it but realize some of what is at work is others are checking you out from other churches. Don’t give in to comparisons and don’t fall for it when people act you are the best thing to ever come to their city and then they tell you about the failings of others. These church consumers will leave you too and often a trail of destruction in their path when they go. Remember the words of Jesus, Beware when all men speak well of you (Luke 6:26). He also refused to take compliments to heart because He knew what was in the hearts of men (John 2:25). Some of the same ones that cheer you now will speak negatively about you later. Strive to grow by winning people to Christ and making new disciples. And if you are blessed with growth be sure you are also looking to equip people, release them and send them out to expand the work of God beyond you. We are called to reproduce and that means new groups, new missional communities, new campuses and new churches.

    God will honor your efforts and He may even use you and your plant like leaven in your city. There will be a rise of the healthiness and life of the whole Church because of you. Since you are new, you have a unique opportunity to lead. The eyes of many will be on you. God is looking for leaders who are not just looking out for themselves, but for His greater purposes. You have an opportunity to bless the very nature of God and the Church in your city by the way you lead your plant. Go for it!


    When Belinda and I moved to Olathe to launch Indian Creek, we didn’t expect other pastors and
    churches to be excited we were coming. But we were surprised at the sniping and cold shoulders we
    received. A lot has changed since then. If you are interested in that story click over to my blog on What

    Will it Take?

     

    I am thrilled with the progress in KC. There is a fresh new wind of not only cooperation but collaboration
    in the churches of Olathe and Kansas City. In the rest of this note I want to talk about the kind of
    attitude and activity that is necessary to bring about the body of Christ working together in a mature
    and coordinated way. You, even as a planter, can be at the center of this kind of movement. In fact, you
    can have a central role because you are new.

     

    First, think Big “C” not little “c”. God is building His Church; He calls it the Body of Christ, in your city.

    You and your plant are an important part. You are one part of the larger body. You might be a hand in the
    Church of your city—and here’s the good news--because of you the Body is better equipped than ever
    to reach your city. In your position you are going to have multiple opportunities weekly to speak about
    who you are and what you are doing. You will be tempted to focus only on your plant. And no doubt
    this is a time to cast a clear mission and vision. Of course you can describe what makes you unique. But
    at the same time you have a great open door to talk about the Big “C” church. If you quickly speak well
    of the other churches and talk about how you are just one part of many serving God, you set the stage
    for building unity in the body. Your voice will be timely and strategic to send the right message. It may
    even serve as a beneficial correction to others who want to focus on our differences.

     

    Build the kingdom of God not your own kingdom. You will be tempted to play up your distinctions, and
    I hope you are conscious of the value your plant brings, but even as you invite others in--make it clear
    you are out to build up the whole Body. You are one part of the whole. The way God sees it there is
    one Church in your city and one Leader, Jesus Christ. The rest of us are under-shepherds stewarding
    our congregations and our city under His leadership. It will take all of us to reach our city. Your church
    could take off and reach thousands and you still couldn’t reach your city by yourself. It is going to take a
    concerted, collaborative effort to reach our city and it starts with the way we think about who we are.

     

    Learn to measure more than nickels and noses. We aren’t winning in our cities until the rate of those
    finding their way back to God outpaces the population growth. It is great that you are a new plant but
    the reality is in most cities more churches are closing than launching. In most cities the divorce rate
    is equal to the marriages. Homelessness, run-aways and suicides are at epidemic proportions. These
    things are unlikely to change unless the churches in a city work together. Where you find unity, love,
    cooperation, corporate prayer, collaborative and intentional efforts among churches and not-for-profits
    you will see the light push back the darkness. I suggest you keep track of more than just your own
    statistics. Learn what the needs are in your community and team up with other churches to make
    a transformational difference. What happens outside your services is every bit as important as what
    happens inside your ministries. Team up with others in your city and community to serve your schools,
    to meet real tangible needs and watch God take care of your needs in divine ways.

     

    You can do this if from the beginning you have a missional mindset. Think like a missionary moving into
    your city. Take stock of the kingdom assets around you and work together to avoid duplication. When
    you see a gap work with others to meet that need as God leads you. You don’t have to do everything. In
    fact it might be more strategic and purposeful to find one place you can make a difference and use it like a

    beachhead of transformation.

     

    Tithe your time to ministry in your city outside your own plant. Get to know the other pastors in your
    city. Take them out to lunch and buy. Compliment them and learn from them. Promise to speak well
    of them and cast a vision for One church working together in a coordinated and mature way. Psalm
    133 says, Where brothers dwell together in unity God commands a blessing. Pray for the other pastors
    and churches in your city especially when you are praying with your own team. Invest time in getting
    to know city officials. Ask the principals of the schools around you how you can serve them. Attend
    citywide prayer times or concerts of prayer. Join efforts where the churches in your community work
    together to do serving projects. Make it clear you are there to help the Bride of Christ look more
    beautiful than ever.

     

    Avoid the pride that can come when you grow and others are not growing. Enjoy the growth and give
    God credit for it but realize some of what is at work is others are checking you out from other churches.
    Don’t give in to comparisons and don’t fall for it when people act you are the best thing to ever come
    to their city and then they tell you about the failings of others. These church consumers will leave you
    too and often a trail of destruction in their path when they go. Remember the words of Jesus, Beware
    when all men speak well of you 
    (Luke 6:26). He also refused to take compliments to heart because He
    knew what was in the hearts of men (John 2:25). Some of the same ones that cheer you now will speak
    negatively about you later. Strive to grow by winning people to Christ and making new disciples. And if
    you are blessed with growth be sure you are also looking to equip people, release them and send them
    out to expand the work of God beyond you. We are called to reproduce and that means new groups,
    new missional communities, new campuses and new churches.

     

    God will honor your efforts and He may even use you and your plant like leaven in your city. There will
    be a rise of the healthiness and life of the whole Church because of you. Since you are new, you have
    a unique opportunity to lead. The eyes of many will be on you. God is looking for leaders who are not
    just looking out for themselves, but for His greater purposes. You have an opportunity to bless the very
    nature of God and the Church in your city by the way you lead your plant. Go for it!

    When Belinda and I moved to Olathe to launch Indian Creek, we didn’t expect other pastors and
    churches to be excited we were coming. But we were surprised at the sniping and cold shoulders we
    received. A lot has changed since then. If you are interested in that story click over to my blog on What

    Will it Take?

     

    I am thrilled with the progress in KC. There is a fresh new wind of not only cooperation but collaboration
    in the churches of Olathe and Kansas City. In the rest of this note I want to talk about the kind of
    attitude and activity that is necessary to bring about the body of Christ working together in a mature
    and coordinated way. You, even as a planter, can be at the center of this kind of movement. In fact, you
    can have a central role because you are new.

     

    First, think Big “C” not little “c”. God is building His Church; He calls it the Body of Christ, in your city.

    You and your plant are an important part. You are one part of the larger body. You might be a hand in the
    Church of your city—and here’s the good news--because of you the Body is better equipped than ever
    to reach your city. In your position you are going to have multiple opportunities weekly to speak about
    who you are and what you are doing. You will be tempted to focus only on your plant. And no doubt
    this is a time to cast a clear mission and vision. Of course you can describe what makes you unique. But
    at the same time you have a great open door to talk about the Big “C” church. If you quickly speak well
    of the other churches and talk about how you are just one part of many serving God, you set the stage
    for building unity in the body. Your voice will be timely and strategic to send the right message. It may
    even serve as a beneficial correction to others who want to focus on our differences.

     

    Build the kingdom of God not your own kingdom. You will be tempted to play up your distinctions, and
    I hope you are conscious of the value your plant brings, but even as you invite others in--make it clear
    you are out to build up the whole Body. You are one part of the whole. The way God sees it there is
    one Church in your city and one Leader, Jesus Christ. The rest of us are under-shepherds stewarding
    our congregations and our city under His leadership. It will take all of us to reach our city. Your church
    could take off and reach thousands and you still couldn’t reach your city by yourself. It is going to take a
    concerted, collaborative effort to reach our city and it starts with the way we think about who we are.

     

    Learn to measure more than nickels and noses. We aren’t winning in our cities until the rate of those
    finding their way back to God outpaces the population growth. It is great that you are a new plant but
    the reality is in most cities more churches are closing than launching. In most cities the divorce rate
    is equal to the marriages. Homelessness, run-aways and suicides are at epidemic proportions. These
    things are unlikely to change unless the churches in a city work together. Where you find unity, love,
    cooperation, corporate prayer, collaborative and intentional efforts among churches and not-for-profits
    you will see the light push back the darkness. I suggest you keep track of more than just your own
    statistics. Learn what the needs are in your community and team up with other churches to make
    a transformational difference. What happens outside your services is every bit as important as what
    happens inside your ministries. Team up with others in your city and community to serve your schools,
    to meet real tangible needs and watch God take care of your needs in divine ways.

     

    You can do this if from the beginning you have a missional mindset. Think like a missionary moving into
    your city. Take stock of the kingdom assets around you and work together to avoid duplication. When
    you see a gap work with others to meet that need as God leads you. You don’t have to do everything. In
    fact it might be more strategic and purposeful to find one place you can make a difference and use it like a

    beachhead of transformation.

     

    Tithe your time to ministry in your city outside your own plant. Get to know the other pastors in your
    city. Take them out to lunch and buy. Compliment them and learn from them. Promise to speak well
    of them and cast a vision for One church working together in a coordinated and mature way. Psalm
    133 says, Where brothers dwell together in unity God commands a blessing. Pray for the other pastors
    and churches in your city especially when you are praying with your own team. Invest time in getting
    to know city officials. Ask the principals of the schools around you how you can serve them. Attend
    citywide prayer times or concerts of prayer. Join efforts where the churches in your community work
    together to do serving projects. Make it clear you are there to help the Bride of Christ look more
    beautiful than ever.

     

    Avoid the pride that can come when you grow and others are not growing. Enjoy the growth and give
    God credit for it but realize some of what is at work is others are checking you out from other churches.
    Don’t give in to comparisons and don’t fall for it when people act you are the best thing to ever come
    to their city and then they tell you about the failings of others. These church consumers will leave you
    too and often a trail of destruction in their path when they go. Remember the words of Jesus, Beware
    when all men speak well of you 
    (Luke 6:26). He also refused to take compliments to heart because He
    knew what was in the hearts of men (John 2:25). Some of the same ones that cheer you now will speak
    negatively about you later. Strive to grow by winning people to Christ and making new disciples. And if
    you are blessed with growth be sure you are also looking to equip people, release them and send them
    out to expand the work of God beyond you. We are called to reproduce and that means new groups,
    new missional communities, new campuses and new churches.

     

    God will honor your efforts and He may even use you and your plant like leaven in your city. There will
    be a rise of the healthiness and life of the whole Church because of you. Since you are new, you have
    a unique opportunity to lead. The eyes of many will be on you. God is looking for leaders who are not
    just looking out for themselves, but for His greater purposes. You have an opportunity to bless the very
    nature of God and the Church in your city by the way you lead your plant. Go for it!

    When Belinda and I moved to Olathe to launch Indian Creek, we didn’t expect other pastors and
    churches to be excited we were coming. But we were surprised at the sniping and cold shoulders we
    received. A lot has changed since then. If you are interested in that story click over to my blog on What

    Will it Take?

     

    I am thrilled with the progress in KC. There is a fresh new wind of not only cooperation but collaboration
    in the churches of Olathe and Kansas City. In the rest of this note I want to talk about the kind of
    attitude and activity that is necessary to bring about the body of Christ working together in a mature
    and coordinated way. You, even as a planter, can be at the center of this kind of movement. In fact, you
    can have a central role because you are new.

     

    First, think Big “C” not little “c”. God is building His Church; He calls it the Body of Christ, in your city.

    You and your plant are an important part. You are one part of the larger body. You might be a hand in the
    Church of your city—and here’s the good news--because of you the Body is better equipped than ever
    to reach your city. In your position you are going to have multiple opportunities weekly to speak about
    who you are and what you are doing. You will be tempted to focus only on your plant. And no doubt
    this is a time to cast a clear mission and vision. Of course you can describe what makes you unique. But
    at the same time you have a great open door to talk about the Big “C” church. If you quickly speak well
    of the other churches and talk about how you are just one part of many serving God, you set the stage
    for building unity in the body. Your voice will be timely and strategic to send the right message. It may
    even serve as a beneficial correction to others who want to focus on our differences.

     

    Build the kingdom of God not your own kingdom. You will be tempted to play up your distinctions, and
    I hope you are conscious of the value your plant brings, but even as you invite others in--make it clear
    you are out to build up the whole Body. You are one part of the whole. The way God sees it there is
    one Church in your city and one Leader, Jesus Christ. The rest of us are under-shepherds stewarding
    our congregations and our city under His leadership. It will take all of us to reach our city. Your church
    could take off and reach thousands and you still couldn’t reach your city by yourself. It is going to take a
    concerted, collaborative effort to reach our city and it starts with the way we think about who we are.

     

    Learn to measure more than nickels and noses. We aren’t winning in our cities until the rate of those
    finding their way back to God outpaces the population growth. It is great that you are a new plant but
    the reality is in most cities more churches are closing than launching. In most cities the divorce rate
    is equal to the marriages. Homelessness, run-aways and suicides are at epidemic proportions. These
    things are unlikely to change unless the churches in a city work together. Where you find unity, love,
    cooperation, corporate prayer, collaborative and intentional efforts among churches and not-for-profits
    you will see the light push back the darkness. I suggest you keep track of more than just your own
    statistics. Learn what the needs are in your community and team up with other churches to make
    a transformational difference. What happens outside your services is every bit as important as what
    happens inside your ministries. Team up with others in your city and community to serve your schools,
    to meet real tangible needs and watch God take care of your needs in divine ways.

     

    You can do this if from the beginning you have a missional mindset. Think like a missionary moving into
    your city. Take stock of the kingdom assets around you and work together to avoid duplication. When
    you see a gap work with others to meet that need as God leads you. You don’t have to do everything. In
    fact it might be more strategic and purposeful to find one place you can make a difference and use it like a

    beachhead of transformation.

     

    Tithe your time to ministry in your city outside your own plant. Get to know the other pastors in your
    city. Take them out to lunch and buy. Compliment them and learn from them. Promise to speak well
    of them and cast a vision for One church working together in a coordinated and mature way. Psalm
    133 says, Where brothers dwell together in unity God commands a blessing. Pray for the other pastors
    and churches in your city especially when you are praying with your own team. Invest time in getting
    to know city officials. Ask the principals of the schools around you how you can serve them. Attend
    citywide prayer times or concerts of prayer. Join efforts where the churches in your community work
    together to do serving projects. Make it clear you are there to help the Bride of Christ look more
    beautiful than ever.

     

    Avoid the pride that can come when you grow and others are not growing. Enjoy the growth and give
    God credit for it but realize some of what is at work is others are checking you out from other churches.
    Don’t give in to comparisons and don’t fall for it when people act you are the best thing to ever come
    to their city and then they tell you about the failings of others. These church consumers will leave you
    too and often a trail of destruction in their path when they go. Remember the words of Jesus, Beware
    when all men speak well of you 
    (Luke 6:26). He also refused to take compliments to heart because He
    knew what was in the hearts of men (John 2:25). Some of the same ones that cheer you now will speak
    negatively about you later. Strive to grow by winning people to Christ and making new disciples. And if
    you are blessed with growth be sure you are also looking to equip people, release them and send them
    out to expand the work of God beyond you. We are called to reproduce and that means new groups,
    new missional communities, new campuses and new churches.

     

    God will honor your efforts and He may even use you and your plant like leaven in your city. There will
    be a rise of the healthiness and life of the whole Church because of you. Since you are new, you have
    a unique opportunity to lead. The eyes of many will be on you. God is looking for leaders who are not
    just looking out for themselves, but for His greater purposes. You have an opportunity to bless the very
    nature of God and the Church in your city by the way you lead your plant. Go for it!