The problem with most of America’s churches (which are declining) is that they’re too focused on empire building and not kingdom building, says church planter Nick Warnes. If congregations would simply take the risk of giving their power away the Church would be a more vibrant, relevant force.
Nick’s intentional church plant with the Presbyterian Church (USA) in L.A, the Northland Village Church, has met with great success because of the way it prepared the soil, listened, and responds to its community. It’s a great story, with plenty to teach people in established churches.
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Nick Warnes’ enthusiasm and love for Christ’s church had me hooked from go as he step-by-stepped me through the start of NVC. This interview has some out of the box ideas that betray his talent as a third generation entrepreneur. Here are my notes:
Prepare the Soil
Nick started with 10 people from sponsoring church, 10 people from his nearby seminary, and ten people from the neighborhood. They went through personal assessments at www.assessme.org, taking the pulse of the community to determine 5 felts needs, and bonding as a community.
Many (most?) churches have become destination churches, where members drive past several congregations to get to theirs. Nick’s community was able to form in the shadow of many other churches because they deliberately pay attention to those who live right there – and have a mission to bring this disparate community closer together.
Make it Contextual
Nick’s context demanded church planting resources his denomination wasn’t able to furnish, so he went elsewhere to get what he needed. The moral is to allow the context to shape your strategy and don’t be afraid to bust out of the institutional mold.
About Nick Warnes
Nick Warnes is the organizing pastor of Northland Village Church and has a passion for seeing churches plant and multiply. Nick has been married to Whitney for six years and they love to check out the latest restaurants in NE Los Angeles together. Nick spends much of his time having conversations over coffee, reading about reconciliation and baseball, and meditating while he bikes through Griffith Park and the LA River Trail on his road bike. If you are interested in connecting with Nick, email him and he will gladly treat you to coffee, lunch or a game of tennis. Nick received his Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, with an emphasis in worship, theology and the arts and is currently finishing his first book, Church Planting: A Move from the Exception to the Norm, due to be out in 2012.
Church Post- If you are looking to improve your church’s communications you’ve got to check out this great email platform. I’ve found it easy-to-use, reliable, and John, Debra and Kim are great to work with.
Wistia – If you’re still hosting your videos at YouTube or another ‘free’ video sharing site you know the drawbacks. Wistia helps me put out great looking videos and see who’s watching for how long. The Wistia staff is easy to work with and very professional.
The Grow My Church Store- Everything from mugs to pens to fridge magnets, this is a promotional products store aimed at helping churches become closer communities, more hospitable, and welcoming. I started this store and shop there often because I couldn’t find anywhere else to go for these products.