Jordan Peterson set off a trend with his book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.
Everyone is doing their own “12 rules for life” now. Malcolm Gladwell just devoted an entire podcast to it. The only problem: He only has one rule for life. (It’s worth a listen.)
We may not have twelve rules for life (yet), but we do have ten commitments. Consider this our 10 Rules for Church Planting: An Antidote to Hurry.
In a series of leadership meetings over the winter (2017-18), we have sought to envision and define a healthy church culture. We asked the question, “What type of church culture will give us the best chance of continuous fruitfulness generation after generation?”
The following ten commitments reflect the culture we envision and describe the commitments required to sustain our vision (a Grace centered church that Loves one another and promotes the Renewal of the community). The commitments also provide a “code of conduct” for our leaders and members to embody.
1. We Are Family.
We are relational beings, made in the image of the triune God. Relationship is our deepest longing and greatest need.
We put others first. We begin and end with grace. We don’t gossip, and we don’t have to have the last word.
2. We Are Not in a Hurry.
Soul work is slow work. We move slow and play the long game.
Church planting is normally fueled by hurry, caffeine, and adrenaline. Hurry is, by definition, an unsustainable pace. We reject the mantra of “faster, bigger, better.”
3. We Honor God by Enjoying Our Lives.
Life in Christ is the ultimate gift. We live in a state of joy and gratitude because of God’s grace.
The pressure is off. We have nothing to prove and no one to impress. We can even have fun!
4. We Promote Our City’s Renewal.
We love Columbia and its surrounding towns. We don’t live for ourselves but for the good of our neighbors.
We reach people, build them up, and release them back into the world to make a difference. We’re not building a dynasty. We are a leadership greenhouse: We cultivate leaders.
5. We Make Room for Outsiders.
We don’t exist just for who’s here but also for who’s not here. We remember what it feels like to be an outsider. All decisions consider the empty chair.
We believe beauty is unity in diversity; we fight for diversity and celebrate it.
6. We Lead as a Team.
We can go faster alone, but we will go further together. We are quick to praise and slow to criticize. We keep our faces soft.
We don’t use people to grow our ministries; we use our ministries to grow people. We reject celebrity-culture, platform-building church consumerism.
7. We Expect Constant Resistance.
We are in a spiritual war. The battle must be fought anew every day. We don’t complain or get bitter.
We receive life’s challenges with gratitude and grit. We let pain and suffering soften us, rather than harden us.
8. We Trust the Process.
God works through process; he takes his people the long way around.
We carry life’s complexities with empathy. We receive what’s given.
9. We Give It All Away.
We are recipients and stewards of all we are given. Our posture is abundance, not scarcity.
If our leaders go on to do great things, and we won’t get the credit, we will have succeeded.
10. We Celebrate Every Season.
We celebrate the valleys, the peaks, the plains, and the wilderness.
We rest well because we’re not in charge. We enjoy regular Sabbaths, retreats, and sabbaticals.
There are our church planting commitments—our antidote to hurry.