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The First Year of a Church Plant - Jeremy Cook

Key Strategies for the first year:

1) Vision

· Be clear in your mind and heart.

· Use simple easy phrases.

· E.g. “We are focused on people who have never been to church.” Or “We believe in the truth of the Bible and the Power of God today.” Or “We are here for the least, the lost and the lonely.”

· Don’t use religious jargon.

2) Meet and invite people

· Set a goal to talk to people each day. There will be some amazing conversations.

· Create events to invite people to.

· Remember there will be disasters as well as successes.

· Keep meeting new people, keep gathering.

3) Identify and train leaders

· It will make life easier if you can do this.

· Identify and bring them into your life.

· Be deliberate about how you spend time with them.

· Again there will be some disasters and some successes.

· Give them tasks and see what their response is.

· E.g. Why don’t you try leading the Bible study next week?

· Why don’t you come with me when we go to visit the homeless people?

· Do you have time for a chat over a coffee/ beer?

4) Finances

· Talk about the vision and remind people that it requires resources.

· Be transparent with this.

· Set up a legal organization.

· Set up a bank account.

· Give regularly. Model generosity.

· Explain how the money will be used.

· Teach your people about giving.

· Have priorities for what you will do with your money.

1. 1 – Give to the poor.

2. 2 – Hospitality/ evangelism (tea/ coffee/ cakes/ books/ Bibles etc)

3. 3 – PA equipment for sound

4. 4 – Funding for the pastor (in Jeremy’s case this started after the church was 2 years old).

· Find someone who can be an accountant, try not to deal with any cash yourself – give the Church’s bank account details.

Most importantly!

Most importantly - don't forget that all of this should be done within the context of a life of prayer, and also a life of love; serving those who you are leading!

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