What folding flats say about church planting

I spent the day with my wife Erin yesterday away from our kids for our 10th anniversary. We wasted some time walking through a store of trinkets called The Cotton Gin. One of the things they were selling was a purse that contained two foldable shoes. For whatever reason, this caught my attention. You see, someone realized that the elastic around the foot on these type of flats caused the shoe to bend and bow up. Knowing that the clientele would not be interested in wearing shoes that look funny in the closet next to the rest of them, this person decided to turn the negative into a positive. This shoe is different from any other in the closet. Now it's unique. Now it's different. Now it's a shoe that you can carry with you in a small purse and go dancing after a formal dinner. It's brilliant.

Church planters have to figure out ways to turn negatives into positives as well. Let's face it, limited resources, personnel, and time are always obstacles in church planting. Here are a few ways I have learned to make the flip.

1. Ridgeview- the Sunday after thanksgiving was always poorly attended. We turned it into a brunch where people brought their thanksgiving leftovers to church. Turned into a very special day.

2. theWELL- the VFW had a huge bar that we couldn't put in a closet or hide. We covered it in candles of all shapes and sizes, and used it to set the worship environment. Candles of all sizes are still a huge part of our environment.

3. Ridgeview - We didn't have a building for Christmas eve services. Our agreement with the school only included Sunday mornings. We rented an old red barn, and transformed it into a worship center. Shady electrical outlets and all. Christmas eve at the red barn has become a staple in the blue ridge community.

4. theWELL - Christmas is on a Sunday. Do we have church? We decided not to have services at 781 Maple, but sent home a DVD experience for families to share before they opened presents. We also encouraged them to share it with their extended families. The impact was far greater than any service that we could have had at our building that morning.

5. Ridgeview and theWELL - assembling a full worship experience every week can be a pretty big task. Often, we are short a drummer, a sound guy, or lose a key piece of equipment like a bass amp, a speaker main, or a projector bulb to equipment failure. An acoustic set, a media free sermon, or bottled water instead of coffee are all changes that happen from time to time when things go wrong. The key is flipping it from a negative to a positive.

Think about it. What ways are you transforming your limitations into advantages at your church? What makes you different is what makes you different. Use it.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Milo! Seacoast Church in Charleston was denied a permit for more land for expansion when they ran out of space- negative into the multi-site positive. Keep up the great work!