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September 07, 2006


Chuck M

I totally agree with you. I am a calvary pastor that is going through the planning stages of a church plant and I have a lot of the same issues. Many times I take the approach not as one of God guiding but one of laziness. There is this excitement in announcing a church plant but supporting one after that is boring so you just send it off on its own "in God's hands."
I think we need to start this discussion and appreciate you bringing it up.

Bob Franquiz


The issue also is the type of plant it is. Guys who go into very "churched" areas find that they can "Beat the clock" much easier b/c they attract a bunch of Christians to their church who start giving immediately. But what of the guys who go to areas that are grossly unchurched? "Beat the clock" can't even be an option because many times they won't make it.

People can say, "You've got to just trust God." Fine. But didn't the planter trust God when they uprooted their entire lives to go to an area to plant the church?

So let me just come out and say it: the CC model only works if you attract churched people in the early years. The question is, "Is this success?" Aren't we simply reshuffling the deck?


"Where God guides, God provides" has become a mantra unto itself in the CC movement. I tried a church plant with the same mentatlity. I had no one assisting me in the work, and it failed.
Get yourself some true elders to keep you accountable. If you cannot find some in your church just yet, then get someone! But you need to move into having local elders(in your church) to assist you. This will go a long way to openness with the congregation also. Consider financial openess - talk to your Baptist friends - they get it.
Also, if I can say one thing: Minister to the people that are there, focus on the Lord meeting their needs. Don't getr into the trap of telling them, "people will come as you are faithful".

Bill LaMorey

Thanks for your comments guys. By the way the conversation is continuing over at as someone posted a link to this entry under the comments of their "Much Ado About Nothing" entry. (in case you don't know) is a site not favorable towards Calvary Chapel, but (for that reason) is read by many Calvary Chapel pastors; so this "conversation" may have more legs than I thought it would.

jason berggren

Great post. What also frustrated me in being part of a CC start-up is that the "God Guides..." mentality filtered to all ares of the ministry. So when I would ask someone else who was a little farther along how they did stuff. They would say that phrase, or the ever- popular "trust God, brother" and of course "just teach the word."

That never helped. I was helping start a church. Those were givens. That advice was so annoying because it didn't teach me anything practical about how to do a Children's Ministry, for example.

Bill LaMorey


Sorry no one gave you any practical tips for running children's ministry. Let me correct that now: Just teach exegetically through a Bible book -perhaps Leviticus, and the kids will eat it up like candy.

Luke Layow

I just had a conversation with a friend of mine on staff at a large evangelical Christian institution. We were discussing the application of business and marketing principles to the work of the church. How can the churh ignore common sense business application as long as it can be applied within a Christian context?

To me, that is exactly what the CC movement is doing. What business would send out a manager to start up a new branch office or a franchise with little to no financial backing?

I can speak to this from the perspective of an involved lay-person currently intrenched in this process with Bill in CT. Our church is growing, lives are being changed, and we are being led by a vision that God instilled in our pastor that he has faithfully brought to us. The faith in this can't be questioned. If faith was an issue, Bill and his family would still be living in their cozy South Florida condo, minutes away from their church - a church that is an offshoot of an enormous Calvary movement with endless opporunities and resources. Faith and the reliance on God to provide...these are not the issues.

As a lay-person working hand-in-hand with Bill I have tremendous appreciation for the churches that have been used by our Lord to change his life and to be a launching pad for his ministry. I just have a very difficult time with those churches not having any skin in the game. After all, we are in the "business" of changing lives for Jesus Christ.

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