Church Planting

Ben Pilgreen on The Nuances of Urban Church Plants

“If you don’t value team, and if you can’t build a team, it’s going to be lonely, and it’s going to be limiting.” Meet Ben Pilgreen, founder and lead pastor of Epic Church in San Francisco, CA. Today, we get to hear a unique perspective from Ben on his experience planting a church in the urban setting of San Francisco. Discover with us the core church planting elements that stay the same along with the nuances that come with a large, urban context.

The “Who” - The Top Characteristics I Should Look For In A Staff Team

“Whenever God does a ‘what,’ He first finds a ‘who.’” Today we are tackling what could be considered one of the most important aspects of church planting–the “who” of your staff team! Mike and Andy remind us there are few “lone rangers” in the Bible. But cultivating a team can be a daunting task when you want to launch a sustainable church plant.

Brent Storms on the "Where" of Church Planting

“Perseverance is an underrated characteristic of people who succeed.” Meet Brent Storms, President of Orchard Group, an organization that helps leaders plant churches. In today’s episode, we’re getting practical with the “where” of church planting. A few crucial shifts in the way you approach a planting location can infuse your church with longevity and set it up for success.

The Where - 5 Questions Before Choosing A Place To Plant

“So much of our journey is discovering what God has in mind.” Questions are powerful. Asking the right question with the right heart posture can be used by God to take your church plant far. Oftentimes, as church planters, we come with ready and willing hearts, but we lack the understanding of where God is leading us practically to plant a church.

Derwin Gray on the Pastor’s Role in Planting Churches of Holiness and Unity

“Planting a church doesn’t start with the people you want to reach. It starts with the God who reached you.” Meet Derwin Gray, speaker, author, and Lead Pastor at Transformation Church. In today’s episode, Derwin gives encouragement to church planters by informing the key characteristics of a New Testament Church, reminding us of the right posture for a church planter’s heart, and challenging us in the areas the church falls short.

The What - 5 Decisions To Shape My Church Planting Vision

“...the more it’s clear the kind of culture I’m trying to create, I’ll attract people that also have similar values…so it’s so good before I go to that building phase to start getting some of this stuff super clear in my heart–one, so I can communicate it, but two, so that I can attract the right kind of people and I’m not having to work so hard to get people convinced about my vision.” On today’s episode, Andy Wood and Mike Hickerson share five key decisions to shape and clarify the vision for a church plant.

Church Planting Year One–the Mistakes and the Miracles

“A growing church is always led by a growing leader. And whenever a leader stops growing, the church starts dying.” Meet Ron Sylvia, founding pastor of Church @ The Springs. In today’s episode, Ron shares the realities of year one in church planting–especially as a pioneer church planter when there were not too many resources and advice at the time. Ron’s encouragement to new church planters is to listen to the voice of God and stay grounded in the vision and calling. As a church planter, you’re on the front lines of what will be your legendary days…

The “Why” - 7 Good Reasons To Plant A Church With Andy Wood & Mike Hickerson

“Church planting is not an easy sport, it’s an obedient sport.” There are good reasons and bad reasons to plan a church. The difference between the two is almost always tied to motivation. On today’s episode, Andy Wood and Mike Hickerson unpack the 7 good reasons to plant a church and share personal stories from their own experiences in church planting.

Mike Breaux and Gene Appel on Church Planting Before it Was Cool

“Back in that day, we didn’t have any church planting resources, any church planting organizations, books on church planting, nothing. So we just prayed.” On this episode we’re joined by Gene Appel, Senior Pastor of Eastside Christian Church, and Mike Breaux who serves on the teaching team of multiple churches throughout the country. Between them, these two ministry giants have over 60+ combined years of church planting wisdom, ministry experience, and encouragement for the next generation of leaders.

Andy Wood on Defining a Successful Church Plant and Leading a Team By Examining Character, Passion, and Shaping

What defines a successful church plant? Am I wired to lead? Do I have the right team in the right roles? On today’s episode of The Unfair Advantage, Andy Wood and Sean Morgan unpack both the qualitative and quantitative elements of a “successful” church plant.

Being Good at Home and Leading Well in Ministry Together with Andy & Stacie Wood

“Ministry and family is not an either/or. It’s both/and. But there’s certainly a priority. And if you get to the place where the family is not your priority, eventually you might have to make a choice.”

Slowing Down To Plant Well With Mike Hickerson

“Why would you waste your life right now, in the prime of your ministry, to go teach a couple hundred people at a movie theater in California?” Meet Mike Hickerson, Lead Pastor & Planter of Mission Church in Ventura, CA. In this episode, Mike shares he and his wife Jodi’s personal story as church planters and unpacks some great advice for planters that he wishes he had ten years ago.

Understanding Your Growth Gap

“If we don’t pay attention to the season of planting, it’s too late to try to manufacture a harvest that we didn’t plan for or plant for.” Meet Steve Stroope, Founding Pastor of Lakepointe Church in Rockwall Texas. Packed with wisdom from the moment they press record, Andy dives in deep with Steve to better understand what he calls the Growth Gap and how to create leading indicators rather than focusing on goals that come from lagging indicators.

5 Questions to Ask Before Planting

Over the last 20 years I have had the opportunity to be deeply involved with church planting. My wife Stacie and I have planted two churches, Breakthrough Church in Arlington Texas while attending seminary and the other being Echo Church which launched in 2009 in the San Francisco Bay Area.

If the Tomb Is Empty with Joby Martin

Few aspects of Joby Martin’s ministry journey have been predictable. His first sermon was an impromptu talk at a youth camp, thanks to a coach who believed in him and tossed him into the deep end. He planted a church almost without realizing it. On Mondays he prepares sermons while hunting, tucked away in the woods, or poised quietly in a tree stand. He rarely plans sermon illustrations beforehand一they just sort of come to him in the moment.

LILR 050 | The Best Of Leaders in Living Rooms

For just over two years, you’ve been invited into the living rooms of over forty leaders; getting privileged insights into their life that few others have access to. Today’s show is a podcast milestone, marking the fiftieth episode of Leaders in Living Rooms! To celebrate 50 episodes, we’ve compiled seven of the top highlights and learnings from our guests. We invite you to listen in on the “cliff notes” from topics like leading your board well with Jud Wilhite to leading on empty with Wayne Cordeiro. You will be encouraged by all seven of these leaders as they speak incredible words of wisdom over the next generation of church leaders.

Simple Prayer with Charlie Dawes

In the latest Craft & Character podcast, Steve Carter interviews Pastor and Author Charlie Dawes. Charlie and his team planted Hill City Church in the greater DMV ( DC + Maryland + Virginia) area. Steve and Charlie talk about how prayer plays a crucial part in the sermon prep process. Charlie wrote a fantastic book a few years ago called “Simple Prayer” about learning to speak to God. Charlie speaks candidly about the practice of prayer, not needing to hype up moments but rather how to stay wildly open to the burning bush moments that occur all around us, shaping us and the messages we get to preach.

LILR 031 | Dave Ferguson on Staying Optimistic and Innovative and the Future of the Multisite Church

Pastor Dave Ferguson is the author of Hero Maker: Five Essential Practices for Leaders to Multiply Leaders. Among Dave’s many talents are his natural optimism and his innovation in church planting and the multisite model. In this episode of Leaders in Living Rooms we learn how he maximizes his strengths while ensuring the leaders around him still have room to thrive as they operationalize and execute ministry.

LILR 029 | Andy Wood on Self-Limiting Thoughts

Andy Wood is our guest this week on Leaders in Living Rooms, where he and Sean Morgan talk about the dangers of limiting ourselves with self-doubt. In his roles of church planter, pastor, and podcaster, Andy has experienced the mind-games that can reduce our capacity for what God has called us to do, and he has suggestions for overcoming them. He and Sean also discuss building better teams and empowering them to perform at their best—which often requires us to grow first.

LILR 027 | Wayne Cordeiro Talks Transitions and Leading on Empty

Long-time minister at New Hope Church, Wayne Cordeiro has led through incredible circumstances over the years. Sharing wisdom from the heart, he recounts a long and inspiring trajectory of growth and multiplication. He also recalls a challenging time in his 50s when his multi-faceted ministry was interrupted by a heart attack that forced him to make significant changes to his health as a leader.