5 Best Practices For Mobilization
Before becoming a pastor I spent a few years coaching college football – recruiting was one of my main responsibilities – so connecting with high school athletes and sharing why my college was the best investment of the next four years of their lives was a regular part of my week. Since becoming a pastor, mobilization has been one of my main responsibilities – so connecting with church members and sharing why joining a church plant is the best investment of the next several years of their lives is a regular part of my week. College recruiting & church mobilization are very different, but there are five best practices I’ve developed along the way that I hope can be helpful to you as you work to get your people off the sidelines and into the game (yes….that was a bad sports pun).
1) Marinate in your mission: I have to believe the vision I’m calling other people to join. My ability to mobilize is strongest when it comes from an overflow of my heart – when I’m overwhelmed by the glory & goodness of God I have no problem capturing the affections of others. When my heart is cold to my Creator and my affections are stale it’s hard to get others excited about His mission. So I need to soak in God’s mission, devote time to personal reflection & devour resources that ignite my passion for mission. It fuels my ability to mobilize.
2) Major on the majors: Getting lost in the details is one of the easiest mobilization mistakes for me to make. But when was the last time you moved your family across the country because you heard a really thorough explanation of a church’s small group model? Details are important but in the initial stage of mobilization I’m telling a story – really the story of God’s plan that began thousands of years ago and will come to completion when Christ returns. I’m inviting people to join their King in redeeming His creation. I’m inviting them to invest their lives to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. I’m offering them an opportunity to show their kids just how valuable Jesus is to them. That, more than details, moves people.
3) Address objections: We all have objections to joining the mission of God – some are legitimate, some aren’t – as mobilizers it’s our job to think critically about major objections and address them head on. Sometimes the objections are things only God can deal with – but by bringing them up we show people we care enough to think about their objections.
4) Make the ask: After we share a compelling vision it’s our privilege & responsibility to invite someone to join the vision – so we have to ask them! And we need to have a clear way for them to take a next step. Whether it’s an interest form, an upcoming event or a personal introduction to a church planter if we don’t provide an accessible ‘action step’ we’ve not capitalized on the vision we just shared.
5) Seek the Spirit: A 20+ year missionary once told me, “(don’t forget) church planting is a spiritual work.” As we work to become better mobilizers we can’t forget that prayer is the most important aspect of mobilization. The Holy Spirit can overcome in a moment an objection that we never could. It’s the Spirit that makes Jesus so beautiful to a family that they are willing to walk away from comfort and security to follow Him. So whatever our mobilization strategy we need to saturate it in prayer.
Are you a church planter?
If you’re passionate about mobilizing believers to join the mission of God you may be a church planter. Summit Network is a partnership of churches that share one vision of planting 1000 churches in our generation. Through training, coaching, support, and funding, we aim to equip pastors to steward their gifts to plant healthy, thriving churches. If you sense God is leading you to church planting, I’d love to connect further and be a resource through the process. Summit Network is currently accepting applications for our 2016-17 Church Planting Residency. For more information or to apply visit TheSummitNetwork.com/#plant.
Josh Miller (@joshmiller0604) is the Associate Church Planting Pastor at The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC. He carries out most of the day-to-day operations of Summit Network, including overseeing the assessment of prospective church planters.