Remove This Time Waster from Your Church Plant
Are You Staring in ‘Home Alone’?
With Christmas just around the corner, our TV sets are soon to be filled with classic Christmas movies like Home Alone. If you haven’t seen it, you’ve got bigger problems than this email can address… you’re not human.) Often planting a church can leave you feeling like you’re the main character in the movie, especially when it comes to tasks requiring technical knowledge. After all, you are a church planter not a member of the Geek Squad.
So when it comes time to figure out things like online giving, email hosting, your church website, domain names, monthly supporter updates…you are left feeling sheepish and ignorant. You start to ask yourself “Am I alone in this?” It’s one thing getting folks to show up to a neighborhood barbecue. It’s another to get a group of knowledgeable experts excited to help you setup your podcasting or figure out a plan for the 8 million social media options available to you.
As a pastor and entrepreneur, I understand the daunting task of trying to keep up with technology and which options best fit my needs. I have had the joy of working with close to 30 churches and church planters as a leader, pastor, or consultant.
Here is a simple plan to help you stop wasting time on technical tasks and keep moving forward with your church plant.
A Plan to Kill Technical Time Wasters
- Find a trusted resource internally or externally. From the minute you feel called to plant a church, be on the lookout for one or two places you can turn to for technical help. This could be`an online resource or a core team member on your church plant. Ideally, you want someone who understands the unique challenges and needs you’ll face at the early stages of your church plant. While there are some similarities to starting a business, there are important differences like revenue, staffing, volume, giving, volunteers, etc.
- Shut out other competing noise. Once you have identified a trusted resource turn down the volume on other voices. Otherwise, you may find yourself frozen by too many choices. For many of the technical tasks challenging you, there are numerous ways to solve them. Pick one or two trusted voices and don’t worry about the rest.
- Follow the expert advice and execute the plan. Just do what they tell you to do. Will you mess up? Maybe. But don’t let “perfect” be the enemy of good and functional. As long as you got received advice to begin with you should be good to go.
Once you find a trusted resource, turn down the volume on other voices, and follow the advice, you will find yourself wasting far less time and feeling far less frustrated. Along the way you will enjoy picking up some technical tips, gaining some technical knowledge, and feel the support and hope of having a trustworthy partner who understands your plight.
Don’t be stuck trying to be the technical expert for your church plant. You will end up wasting time, losing momentum, and not giving your best energy fulfilling your primary calling.
I was recently talking with a church planter about some of the common technical struggles he and other church planters face. When it comes to figuring out websites, domain names, and the like, planters and pastors are met with two common temptations—expediency and money. The temptation of expediency says, “take the path of least resistance and you will be happiest.” Just get the website…any website…done. The temptation of money or finances says, “You are never going to have the finances necessary to do this right so take control and find the cheapest way to do it NOW.” I have given into these lies too many times.
Even though Jesus never wrestled with domain names, podcasting, websites, or support emails as part of his public ministry, he was faced with the exact same temptations of expediency and money. Satan boldly promised him the crown without the cross and riches without trust or sacrifice. Jesus—weak, empty, and starving—chose to say no to temptation and yes to the Spirit even though the circumstances and Liar screamed otherwise.
In the maddening frustration of technical tasks which must get done, Jesus understands and his Spirit is with you. Let him remind you of the closeness of the Savior’s empathy and power, the trustworthiness of the Spirit’s leadership and love, and the abundant provision of the Father’s love for you as his child (not his church planting cog in the wheel of kingdom expansion).