In their eBook, More Than BBQ: How God Is Creating a Citywide Church Planting Movement in Kansas City, Dan Southerland and Troy McMahon reflect back on their experience of starting the network and share 10 specific steps they took to bring churches and planters together throughout the Kansas City area. Below, Southerland writes about the importance of praying for and then identifying like-minded leaders to come alongside you to walk out the vision. Download your copy of the FREE eBook to read all 10 steps.
I’m amazed at how often we make the fatal mistake in church planting of trying to do it alone. Going solo. Giving into rugged individualism is a huge error.
Scripture warns us about trying to live the Christian life alone:
Two are better than one, for if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Eph. 4:9-12, ESV)
I believe this also to be true about planting a church. I know it to be true about starting a church-planting network. And it is ridiculously true about being part of a church-planting movement.
We overestimate what we can do alone.
We underestimate what we can do together.
Jesus does promise the individual Christ follower that we will never be alone. But He promises that when two or more are gathered in His name, He shows up in our midst. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be content with Jesus just being there. I want to see Him show up—and show off!
Before I moved to Kansas City, I had a quick conversation with Dave Ferguson at a conference he and NewThing were leading. We ran into each other between sessions.
“I hear you’re moving to Kansas City,” Dave said. “If you want to plant some new churches, you need to look up my best friend, Troy McMahon.”
“Church planting is in my soul. I will do that,” I told Dave.
That same afternoon, I sent Troy an email in April saying that I would be moving to town in August.
The first week I was in Kansas City, Troy and I connected. I made it an immediate, front-burner priority because I’m committed to church planting and wanted to surround myself with people who shared that passion. Troy is one of those people! He has become my best pastor buddy and my partner in trouble-making and church planting. Troy and I have discovered that we’re much more effective together than we are on our own.
After Troy and I got linked up at the hip, we began looking for a small group of others who were also passionate about church planting. Each of the leaders we found are Kansas City guys who are committed to church planting in Kansas City. We had found like-minded brothers!
Someone in your city shares your passion for church planting. That’s the way God works!
When God begins to do a new thing, He raises up multiple people with the same heart and the same burden. For example, He brought about the Reformation by giving the same burden to multiple leaders across Europe: Luther, Calvin, Know, Zwingli. He brought about the Seeker movement in the United States by raising up men with the same burden: Hybels, Warren, Anderson, Murren. Ask Him to raise up men and women with the burden for church planting in your city—and then find those leaders!
Our group grew from Troy and me to five guys who were all in (to now) 22 different churches. We’re two years old, but God has brought 22 churches into the fold. Go God!
Birds of a feather will flock together.
Leaders with a burden need other leaders with the same burden.
Dan Southerland leads the team’s teaching direction and content, maintaining healthy biblical theology, and communicating a clear vision for Westside Family Church. Having deep experience in developing innovative and high-profile churches, Dan has authored the breakthrough church development book, Transitioning. He earned his Ph.D in education from Southwestern Theological Seminary, and completed post-graduate studies at North Texas State University of South Florida, and Union Theological Seminary. He has shared his church leadership experiences with thousands of pastors worldwide. Dan has a passion for teaching, developing leaders, and sharing Jesus.