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Thinking Like a Church Planter

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A Report by Ben Rigsby on the North Texas Planters Gathering

This year the church planter conversation is overwhelmingly focused on the topic of finance. How do we pay to start new communities, or creatively keep old ones in a place where they can actively reach their neighbors. This gathering was hosted by the North Texas Development team and featured several connections with church planters who were all working on a creative strategy for funding new ministry.

Rev. Dr. Mark Deymaz, the author of The Coming Revolution in Church Economics and Disruption, shared his insights into creative ways to leverage the existing resources of a church.  As a national speaker and consultant , Deymaz has his fingers on the pulse of what is going on nationwide. He said if he were to write a post-covid addendum to the book, he would emphasize even more the number of new givers it takes to replace our previously steady givers. His research suggest it takes between six to seven new givers to fill the gap. There are several reasons these old givers are leaving, but our role in leadership is to be more mindful about why people are adjusting their giving so that we can adapt our approach. The approaches ranged from creating more non-profit entities capable of getting government grants, having tough conversations with faithful members, and even leveraging real estate to pay for the ministries of the church.

I wish I could share the positive energy of this conference with each of our clergy. There was an amazing amount of hope and optimism in the room. There was innovation in every conversation and an excitement about the impact these young churches are having  on the communities they serve. Annual Conferences nationwide are reaching for new ways to fund the impacting ministries we offer as churches, and we are a part of that conversation.

Simon Sinek (of Start With Why fame) recently wrote The Infinite Game, in which he makes the argument there is no way to “win” the game of life, business, or transformational impact, only the ability to stay in the game. I look forward to having more conversations about creative financing and partnerships that allow our churches to stay in the life-transforming game for the sake of our Savior. We are the church commanded to bring the Gospel to the nations. If we don’t do this work ,who will?

I am thankful for our conference staff who are willing to lead and support such conversations around innovative ministry that makes an impact in our communities.