Four Helpful Questions For Church Planters

by | Jul 18, 2011 | Church Leadership, Church Planting

For the past two years I have been using a very helpful tool that was developed by Tom Patterson and is a part of a life planning process I went through.  This tool has helped me in many situations, it is simple but profound.  It is easy to use because all it requires is a napkin or a sheet of paper.

The Life Planning Process that I went through focuses on the totality of our life.  It divides our life into five domains:  The personal (encompassing spiritual, psychological, and physical), our family, our work/vocation, our church and our community.

The interconnectedness of these domains is often underestimated.  When we are whacked out physically (a technical term), it affects not only the rest of our person, but also our family, our work, our church and sometimes even our community.  (That’s a subject for another post)

So, here are the four helpful questions.  My prayer is that they will be as helpful to you as they are to me.

The Four Helpful Questions

1. What is right? (I need to Optimize)

  • Personal
  • Family
  • Work
  • Church
  • Community

2. What is wrong? (I need to Change)

  • Personal
  • Family
  • Work
  • Church
  • Community

3. What is Missing? (I need to Add)

  • Personal
  • Family
  • Work
  • Church
  • Community

4. What is Confused? (I need to Clarify)

  • Personal
  • Family
  • Work
  • Church
  • Community

I use this matrix of questions every January as I watch the Rose Bowl and evaluate my life. I have used these questions to evaluate a ministry and a department within a ministry. In short, it is an invaluable construct to help form your thinking when you are confused and under pressure.

The discipline of writing this out helps to focus the fuzzy thinking in our heads.

In your next church planting crisis, jot down the four questions and spend a few minutes answering them and you’ll be amazed at how smart you really are. Or, when you meet with your “First Touch” team or leadership team, pull out this sheet or jot it on a tablet and they’ll be amazed at how perceptive you can be.

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Marcus Bigelow

Marcus Bigelow loves church planters. He planted a church in 1984 and since then has helped over 230 planters in their plants. His passion is to provide the best possible care for church planting couples and to nurture and empower the next generation of church multiplication leaders. Read More About Marcus Bigelow At His Author Page

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