• Special guest Matt Shull joins Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee to talk about planting City Lift Church in South Florida.

    0:44 Matt discusses why he decided to plant in South Florida.

    1:42 Matt says his church started in his townhouse, then moved into a community center and launched in a high school.

    2:13 Matt explains how his church has been able to connect with millennials and Gen Zers.

    3:30 Matt discusses the importance of developing community and relationships.

    5:28 Matt talks about how his church took a different approach to small groups called Lift socials.

    7:01 Matt says part of their discipleship process is building friendships and relationships through Lift socials.

    9:08 Matt shares about the challenges he’s faced as a church planter.

    11:41 Matt talks about what kept him going during the fundraising process even though it was hard for him.

  • Bryan Moak, vice president of Church Strengthening for Converge MidAmerica, joins Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee to discuss how your church plant can start healthy and stay that way.

    1:18 Bryan recommends guarding the vision. "We start adding stuff that makes sense at first, and all of a sudden, we’re adding stuff that no longer makes sense to the vision. Once you start something, it is really hard to get rid of it. And things become sacred cows really quickly."

    2:16 Bryan says to be careful about who you put in leadership. "Test leaders well before you put them into those positions."

    3:33 Bryan talks about how a planter should approach a church that is considering replanting or even giving away its building.

    5:44 Bryan discusses how Natural Church Development (NCD) can help you assess your church’s health.

    8:07 Bryan says a church must be committed to prayer to be spiritually healthy.

    8:35 If you take an assessment and then put it on a shelf and say, "Oh, that was interesting" and never doing anything with it, it’s not going to be effective. "What makes NCD effective is when you actually play it out and implement changes with what we say is your minimum factor — that thing that scores the lowest."

    9:22 Bryan says it’s OK to want your church to grow, but you want it to grow in the right way, the God-honoring, gospel-centric way.

    11:05 Bryan talks about holistic small groups as an example of a minimum factor.

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  • The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do church. Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee discuss a new strategy for launching churches.

    1:22 Danny talks about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed his thinking about online campuses.

    3:22 Danny discusses what he sees as potential pitfalls when it comes to just operating as a virtual church.

    4:21 Lee asks, as a virtual church, "How do we get people to take that next step relationally with people that are going to spur them on in the faith?"

    5:29 Lee shares more questions to consider: What does church discipline look like in a virtual church world? How do you do worship? How do you do communion? How do you do children’s ministry?

    6:08 Lee and Danny talk about opportunities that exist when it comes to virtual church planting.

    8:04 Lee points out the need to be good stewards of resources when considering funding a virtual church plant.

    10:02 Danny discusses the skills a virtual church planter will need to be successful.

    11:18 Danny thinks we’re going to see a lot more co-vocational pastors.

    12:06 Lee encourages you to reach out to Converge or Converge MidAmerica if you’re interested in virtual church planting.

  • Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee share their thoughts on what the post-COVID-19 church will look like.

    1:45 Danny thinks even if a vaccine comes out tomorrow, it will take a minimum of one to two years for people’s psyche to calm down and get back to normal, if ever.

    3:38 Danny and Lee talk about how services – in person and online – will be different in the future.

    5:35 Lee says churches have an opportunity to raise up a whole new group of leaders. How do we equip them to carry out neighborhood ministry at the level we need to so it’s not so dependent on just hired staff?

    6:37 Danny says the church has a huge opportunity to scale at a very large level and even go into other communities at a low cost.

    8:38 Lee addresses the challenge of creating community and doing discipleship when everyone is battling screen fatigue.

    10:46 Lee says a benefit of the COVID-19 pandemic is it is forcing Christians not to isolate themselves just among other Christians. Use this as an opportunity to teach your people what it means to love people compassionately and be kind and loving to their neighbors.

    12:29 Danny thinks multiple types of communicators will be needed in the post-COVID-19 church.

    13:59 Lee talks about how his church plant is trying to figure out how to hire social media people and video editors.

    14:44 Lee reminds us that the church’s mission hasn’t changed. Our methodology may change, and that’s OK. God is still God, and he’s still in control of everything.

  • Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee discuss how you can be prepared to relaunch your church.

    1:06 Danny talks about the mentality planters need to have when relaunching.

    1:38 Planters need to have a plan and not think, "We’ve been going for a while, so relaunch means we’re just going to pick up right where we left off."

    3:01 Danny gives his advice on sermon series topics.

    4:11 Lee encourages churches to have a communication plan ready now in prepping the groundwork for when they get to relaunch.

    4:44 Lee shares several questions to think about.

    6:08 Danny says pastors and planters need to be prepared that not everyone is going to respond to reopening the church in the same way.

    7:32 Lee and Danny talk about volunteers.

    9:47 Lee says pastors and teams will need to be flexible for the next couple of years.

    10:10 Lee and Danny talk about how to communicate with people who come back and those who stay home.

    11:28 Converge is praying for you and is here to walk with you as you’re thinking through and creating a relaunch strategy.

  • Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee discuss lessons learned during the coronavirus pandemic when it comes to virtual church.

    1:40 Lee says his church plant, which is about 18 months old, was already having conversations about how to maximize the online church experience before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

    2:16 Lee quickly learned that the quality of recording and sound equipment matters when it comes to keeping people engaged online.

    3:34 Lee talks about the setup he’s using to record his sermons.

    4:38 Lee’s church is using SlingStudio to manage the camera and recording.

    5:57 Lee says it’s also important to pay attention to lighting.

    7:00 Lee talks about how to preach using a teleprompter.

    7:58 Danny and Lee talk more about SlingStudio.

    10:03 Lee discusses how to create a worship experience that engages people at home.

    11:08 Lee talks more about using a teleprompter and how much one costs.

    12:33 Lee says they try to make their services no longer than 45 minutes.

    13:19 The order of service at Lee’s church is a quick host introduction and prayer, two worship songs, a bumper video leading in the sermon, the sermon and ending with the host.

    13:52 Lee has found that participation falls off quickly when sermons are longer than 25 minutes.

    16:08 Lee tells pastors to watch what other churches are doing to find ways to improve. Evaluate every week; how did we do engaging people online?

    16:52 Lee is looking at this as a long-term gift to the church versus being a detriment.

  • Brandon Petty joins Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee to discuss his church plant near Nashville, Tennessee.

    1:07 Brandon talks about what drew him to plant Generation Church in Portland, Tennessee, in 2012.

    2:16 Brandon says Portland has seen an influx of impoverished people since 2008. There’s also a high percentage of divorce, sexual abuse and drug addiction there.

    4:02 Brandon discusses the advantages of planting in a city the size of Portland (population of about 13,000).

    5:41 Brandon talks about the challenges that come with planting in a city the size of Portland.

    7:45 Brandon shares how he developed a launch team and built relationships in the community.

    10:13 Brandon talks about the excitement his launch team had leading up to the church’s launch.

    12:19 Brandon says one of his church’s biggest challenges is finances, because of the demographic it reaches. "Our financial situation is pretty good for a church our age, but not good for a church our size."

  • Hiring a new team member can be a challenging and sticky moment. Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee discuss what they’ve learned over the years to help you through the process.

    1:44 Danny thinks the biggest thing is to be patient and get the right person, not the best person.

    3:00 Danny says it’s important to spend time with a candidate outside of the interview room context, where you get to see how the person operates in real life.

    4:00 Danny discusses hiring pastoral staff.

    4:46 Danny talks about how he decided if someone would be at the director level or pastor level.

    5:28 Danny says his church gave candidates a 25-question theological survey as the first step in the hiring process.

    6:24 Danny’s church posted an opening online and on social media, but the most important thing they did was let people in their network know that they were hiring for the position.

    7:12 As they got inquiries, Danny’s church would send candidates its theology and philosophy of ministry.

    8:04 After that stage, the church chose five or six people to have phone conversations with.

    8:20 The final three candidates would spend the weekend at the church.

    8:41 Danny used three different interview groups (character, competency, culture) made up of pastors, elders and laypeople.

    9:35 Danny says he did an exit interview at the end of the weekend to get candidates’ feedback. He also allowed them to clarify anything they had said and share "any skeletons in the closet."

    11:03 Lee likes to focus internally when hiring because those people are already immersed in the church’s culture.

    12:00 Lee says planters need to know their philosophy of ministry and write it down so that they won’t comprise when hiring or placing leaders into positions.

    13:00 Lee reminds us that, ultimately, any hiring involves risk. "You’ve got to be willing to take the risk to grow the team, but don’t compromise the things that got you to where you were and will continue to move you forward."

    13:30 If you realize that the person you hired is not a good fit; pull the trigger quickly to end it, move on, readdress and try to hire again, if possible.

    14:10 Danny shares two clarifying questions he asked his team: If we saw this person failing five years from now, what would be that issue? If this person is going to be successful five years from now, what is going to be that thing?

  • Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee discuss how to recruit, mobilize and inspire your volunteers, especially after you’ve reached the one-year mark.

    0:52 Lee says it wasn’t difficult to get people from the launch team to serve and give. The challenge came at about the year mark.

    1:28 At the one-year mark, Lee realized the majority of their giving was still coming through launch team members.

    1:47 Only 10% of the regular attenders were regularly serving. Lee says the goal is 40% participation.

    2:14 Lee reminds planters that this is normal as you move beyond the launch phase to being an "actual" church.

    2:30 Lee says it’s important to create the opportunity and share the vision.

    2:38 Lee says there are two ways to share the vision: Focus on the need, or focus on the opportunity and great impact. Don’t go with the need. If you only focus on the need, the need will always be there. You may get people serving for just a moment to fill that immediate need, but eventually, you’ll wear your people out because the need never actually gets dealt with.

    3:23 Lee talks about how he addressed this issue with his church from the stage on a Sunday morning.

    5:12 Lee says it’s important to celebrate the people who are serving every weekend and the lives being changed because of their service.

    5:31 Also, challenge volunteers to find and recruit the next person to come and serve with them.

    6:13 Lee talks about why one of his church’s top givers decided to leave the church six months after it started.

    7:26 Lee says, if you mobilize and inspire your people, you’ve got to have that next step right away. "That’s where I find a lot of guys fall short."

    7:54 Lee talks about the three next steps he gave to people in his church. First, he talked about becoming a prayer partner.

    8:18 Secondly, become a volunteer partner. His church set up tables in the lobby for each of the key volunteering opportunities and invited people to stop by one or more of the tables right after the service.

    9:42 Danny likes that Lee made this part of the service rather than asking people to stay longer or come back later.

    12:24 Lee encourages volunteers to share their story: why they serve week in and week out, what they love about their area and invite people to join them in that process.

    13:02 Lee says the biggest coaching piece was the need for leaders to immediately follow up with each person who signs up in their area of interest by calling or texting them.

    13:42 The next step is to invite them to serve with you.

    14:24 Lee talks about the third way he asked people to partner with his church — financially.

  • Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee help planters think through ministry opportunities and challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    0:56 Lee says one of the good things that’s come out of this is it’s caused local church leadership to realize that leading the local church isn’t something that just happens on the weekend.

    1:50 Danny encourages planters not to think short-sighted — how do I reproduce my Sunday service online? — but instead ask the bigger questions: How do we do evangelism and discipleship? How do we operate as a church?

    2:10 Danny recommends using this time as an opportunity to innovate. “I think this is a time for the church and church planters to be able to explore and experiment. The gospel hasn’t changed, just how we operate as a church in evangelism and discipleship. That definitely in these times has fundamentally changed, but probably will have a long-lasting impact.”

    3:33 Danny says this is the time to go back to the basics and be checking in with people.

    4:04 Lee says that no matter what online platform you use for services, find a way to have a host who interacts with people, so there’s a relational connection.

    4:47 Danny talks about a church plant in Arkansas that did a great job of interacting with people during its online service.

    5:48 Lee discusses creative ways he’s seen church plants engage their community during this crisis.

    8:06 Lee talks about the benefit of having a social media calendar.

    9:36 Lee says planters need to figure out ways to stay connected to their people. His church plant is posting a video devotional from a key church leader every morning.

    10:24 Lee says planters need to have at least a 90-day giving strategy. Make sure you set up online giving/text to give.

    10:53 Lee thinks churches will see a rise in mental illness, domestic abuse and personal grief in the next 3-6 months.

    12:03 Lee says this crisis shows why it’s important to be part of a tribe. Who do you have as a local pastor to be able to lean on and share ideas and resources with?

    Go to converge.org/coronavirus for more resources.

  • In the midst of an election year, Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee discuss what you should — and shouldn’t — say about politics from the pulpit.

    1:09 Danny says planters cannot completely ignore politics because it is such a cultural issue. It can be a discipleship issue of teaching your people how they ought to engage culture.

    2:09 Lee says it’s important to remind your people to address political issues from a biblical standpoint. "What does the Bible teach? Try to allow the Bible to be your grid as to who you’re going to vote for and don’t just focus on one small snippet, focus on the whole."

    3:04 We have freedom of speech, but as Christians, we don’t have the right to be mean. "Don’t lean so hard into your liberties of what the nation does that you lose sight of what it means to be a Christian witness in the midst of this season," Lee said.

    3:34 Danny says sharing your political views can cause you to lose your opportunity to share Christ with someone. "What’s more important for me to proclaim? Is it to proclaim Christ or to proclaim the candidate or party that I am a part of?"

    4:25 Lee says part of the discipleship process is helping people understand social media — be careful what you post and how you post it.

    5:29 Using your church building as a polling site provides a great opportunity to be able to connect and love people and allow them to walk into your building and see what you’re doing.

    6:06 Lee says, looking back, he backed away from some social justice issues that probably would have been more appropriate for him to say something. "I do think that there’s a moment where pastors need to speak up for those that are facing some of the injustices that exist in our world. But there is an appropriate way that you can address those conversations and not alienate everybody."

    7:18 Danny and Lee share their thoughts on bringing public servants or candidates in to pray for them.

    9:26 Lee talks about how to deal with someone from your church who is running for political office.

  • Many declining or dying churches are partnering with church plants. Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee discuss what to do when a church wants to give or sell their building to you.

    1:05 Danny says in Converge MidAmerica three churches have chosen to do a restart with a church plant or to gift their building. He’s seen this happen with the launch team he is on.

    1:25 Lee discusses three scenarios when it comes to existing churches allowing church plants to use or have their building.

    2:39 Danny says sometimes churches give up their building with no strings attached, while others opt for a restart where they give up all control. Either way, the big thing is that there is clarity of expectation for everyone involved.

    4:03 Lee says it’s crucial to have things in writing and to get lawyers involved if necessary.

    4:28 Danny says it’s essential to follow the existing church’s constitution and bylaws so that the gift can’t be contested in the future.

    6:12 Danny talks about how the church plant he’s a part of was given a building. It came about because the church planter built a relationship with the church.

    7:42 Danny says at first he was skeptical of the pastor’s motives for giving away the building. The pastor is part of the church plant launch team, serving in the parking lot.

    8:13 Danny says a downside is that most older church facilities were not built for community and kids. His church plant invested about $150,000 in renovations, and over half that amount was for the kids’ space.

    9:07 Danny says another drawback is that the church is a smaller facility, which required them to launch with three services.

    10:40 Danny talks about three things to consider if you have the opportunity to be given a building.

    12:48 Lee’s last piece of advice is to pay attention to the location and the past. How have people in that community viewed that location and that church? Do you have the ability to change, or are you going to be absorbed by whatever the past reputation was of the previous church?

  • As a church planter, you want to maximize your financial resources. Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee help you avoid some purchasing pitfalls they’ve seen over the years.

    0:54 One of Danny’s biggest pet peeves is haphazard marketing, including misusing mailers and radio ads.

    2:37 Danny talks about how many mailers you need to send out to see a return on your investment.

    3:54 As an alternative to mailers, Danny recommends spending money on your church website and social media ads.

    4:46 Lee and Danny discuss the dangers of being a "conference junkie."

    6:23 Lee’s biggest pet peeve is spending money on staff positions that could be filled with volunteers.

    9:06 Danny shares his thoughts on paying for musicians or using volunteers.

    10:53 Lee warns about investing too much of your resources into technology and neglecting the development of your volunteers and culture.

    12:19 Lee talks about how a consultant helped his first church plant save a lot of money.

    13:58 Danny says his church plant invested a lot of money in a church management system that they used for a couple of years and then had to start completely over.

  • Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee are joined by Don Willeman to discuss some of the challenges he’s faced planting in the Northeast.

    0:29 Don planted his church 20 years ago in Hanover, New Hampshire, home to Dartmouth College.

    1:33 Don talks about how God has given his church an open door "in a place where people said it was impossible to plant a church."

    2:48 Don’s church has met at Hanover High School for the past 20 years.

    3:29 Because of outdated zoning laws, his church has been unable to get permanent space in town.

    4:35 Twelve years ago, the church initially tried to build in a commercial district but was told it was not allowed. The zoning laws say the building has to be in a residential neighborhood.

    4:57 Three years ago, the church purchased a 9-acre parcel of land to build on. They’ve been before the zoning board for the last 2 ½ years and still don’t have a resolution.

    6:16 Don discusses doing setup and teardown for 20 years as a portable church.

    8:33 Don talks about how they’ve tried not to have an antagonism against the town or its residents.

    12:23 Don encourages planters who are facing similar challenges "to take a big step back and make sure you see this through the big picture."

  • Lee Stephenson, executive director of Church Planting for Converge, talks with Randy and Amy Moore of Revolution Church, McKinney, Texas, about how to protect your marriage as church planters.

    1:14 Amy says the No. 1 thing is making sure your marriage is healthy. She recommends going to counseling to work on any issues you might have in your marriage before you start to plant.

    3:35 Randy says, "We know that God’s called us to our marriage first. Before he gave us this call [to plant], he gave us that call."

    4:44 Amy talks about the importance of designating a date day with your spouse.

    5:27 Randy discusses the emotional stress he and Amy endured after decided to plant their church, including the loss of her father.

    6:38 Amy and Randy say that it’s invaluable to have relationships with people you can genuinely trust and pray with.

    8:58 Lee asks Randy and Amy about what it’s like working on the same staff together.

    9:48 Randy says a huge thing for couples is to realize that your biggest cheerleader should be your spouse.

    11:09 Amy talks about how she felt called into ministry before meeting Randy.

    12:34 Randy says one of the initial challenges they faced was him not giving Amy a voice during staff meetings.

  • Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee discuss how to improve the preparation and delivery of your sermons.

    1:10 Danny says the most important thing is allowing God’s word to speak to you first.

    2:26 Danny spent more time studying than writing.

    2:59 How can I help them the most, not just give them the most information?

    4:20 Often, we stop at the information level, and we miss the practical application.

    5:05 We have to help tell people: This is what it means. This is what you do with it. Now do it.

    6:24 Figure out the one main point and then have everything else support it.

    7:13 Lee talks about the "I-we-God-you-we" communication technique.

    8:29 You need to know your audience.

    10:10 You’ve got to figure out based on where you’re at, who your church is focusing on, who you feel like God has purposely placed you to reach, who you can best connect to, and go after that.

    11:05 Danny discusses three types of preachers — king, prophet and priest.

    12:07 Danny talks about the importance of having a teaching team and having other people critique you in your preaching.

    13:20 Don’t overdo the amount of time you spend in your office studying and neglect important relationships in the early days of your church plant.

    14:12 You need to have people critique your sermon before you preach it.

    15:49 Don’t fill your sermon with quotes from other people; personalize it.

    16:42 Lee and Danny talk about their sermon planning process.

  • Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee discuss baptism and communion. How can you incorporate and maximize these moments in the life of your church plant?

    1:05 Danny’s church plant had baptism services even before it launched for people who came to Christ during the launch team phase.

    2:03 Danny’s church celebrated baptisms in the waters of Lake Michigan, which meant it could only baptize people during the summertime.

    3:01 Danny talks about the positive and negative aspects of doing outdoor baptisms on a Saturday. He says the church eventually started doing baptisms in the service, as well.

    4:02 When Lee’s first church plant started, it did baptisms on Sunday night at a pool.

    4:27 Lee found that including baptisms in the Sunday worship experience was very powerful.

    4:49 Lee decided to make the entire day about baptism, including the teaching time. Those baptism services "were our best services of the year."

    6:30 Danny required people to have a written testimony, which the church approved ahead of time.

    7:33 When lots of people were baptized at one time, Danny’s church showed a video of shortened versions of their testimonies.

    7:55 Lee says everyone baptized at his church recorded a video testimony, but not all of the testimonies were used in the service.

    8:16 After the testimonies video was shown, Lee invited people to trust Jesus or get baptized.

    9:31 Danny’s church provided people with baptism T-shirts.

    9:54 The conversation turns to communion.

    10:25 Danny’s church celebrated communion once a month.

    10:58 Danny’s church practiced intinction, receiving communion by dipping the bread into the cup.

    12:24 Danny always gave a clear gospel presentation and invitation before communion and reminded people that communion is for believers.

    13:17 When Lee’s first church plant started, it celebrated communion as a separate service on Sunday evenings.

    14:30 His church eventually moved communion to Sunday mornings, once a month.

    14:46 Lee advises planters on what to say to nonbelievers in the room.

    15:50 Danny and Lee share their thoughts on celebrating communion in a small group setting.

    16:32 Danny talks about inviting a second person to participate in a baptism.

    17:56 Some of Lee’s favorite baptism memories are of baptizing multiple family members at the same time.

  • Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee discuss the essential items you need to buy to start your church.

    0:43 Danny says it’s important for church planters to know ahead of time some of the funds they’re going to need to raise so they can communicate that to their launch team.

    1:47 Lee says if your church is portable, one of the first things you’re going to need to purchase is a trailer. He recommends buying one that is at least 20 feet long and has a ramp.

    2:35 Danny and Lee advise against putting the church’s logo on the trailer for security reasons.

    3:27 If you have a large trailer, you’ll also need a vehicle large enough to pull it.

    4:12 Danny says buying a bounce house is a good investment.

    4:53 Danny talks about musical equipment. He says to be wary of purchasing another church’s equipment.

    5:57 Lee thinks it’s worth spending a little extra money to bring in an audiovisual specialist to give you an estimate on what you need to buy to have quality sound and lighting.

    7:02 Danny talks about what musical instruments the church should buy.

    8:54 Danny and Lee discuss lighting costs. Are you going to use Facebook Live? Are you going to record your sermons?

    9:46 Danny and Lee list some children’s equipment you’ll need.

    11:54 You’ll need something to collect people’s tithes and offerings, like buckets or a giving box.

    13:04 You’ll also need to think through the ordinances (baptisms, communion) and put some money into that.

    13:38 Danny says he’s on the launch team of a church plant that will probably spend $50,000 to $60,000 on sound and lighting equipment.

    14:46 Lee and Danny encourage planters to go ahead and step into the next level when purchasing AV equipment.

    16:02 Lee says plants launching at a larger level will probably invest $75,000-$100,000. With a smaller launch, you can probably get by with $25,000-$50,000.

    16:48 Danny and Lee talk about things you can buy to control the size of a room or cover up unused space.

  • Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee discuss the highs and lows they’ve experienced as church planters.

    1:01 Danny says the fear of the unknown is one of the hardest parts of church planting — but it’s also part of the thrill.

    1:41 Danny and Lee talk about what their biggest fear was.

    2:55 Danny says the lack of resources is a double-edged sword — it is challenging, but it forces you to depend on God.

    4:02 Lee says it was tough seeing people leave the church.

    5:30 Danny says one of the best parts of church planting for him was being able to start something from scratch.

    6:51 Lee found it hard to deal with the "weird" people his church plant attracted.

    7:19 Lee talks about the boredom factor he wrestled with during the pre-launch and post-launch phases.

    8:39 Lee says one of the best things was seeing God provide in crazy ways (financially, people, opportunities).

    9:15 Danny says a highlight for him was the friendships he developed.

    10:21 Lee says you have to remember to slow down and celebrate how God is showing up.

    11:18 Danny says preaching was always a blessing and a challenge for him.

    11:57 Lee encourages planters not to give up. "Stay true to the course of what God has called you to do. He is faithful."

  • Converge church planting leaders Lee Stephenson and Danny Parmelee continue their discussion on choosing the right facility to launch your church plant. In this episode, they look at renting space from other churches, industrial space and storefronts.

    1:04 Danny talks about his church plant renting space from an old Presbyterian church.

    2:29 Danny says his church starting meeting on Saturday nights and then moved to Sunday nights because Sunday mornings weren’t available.

    3:20 Danny says the church gave them a terrific deal on rent.

    4:22 Danny says unchurched people feel more comfortable meeting in a church building.

    5:46 Danny talks about a church planter who started meeting in a church’s fellowship area and now has moved to the sanctuary on Sundays.

    6:44 Lee says using a local church during the pre-launch phase was helpful.

    7:36 Danny talks about two established churches that recently gave their buildings to church plants.

    8:45 Lee and Danny shift the conversation to industrial space and storefronts.

    9:02 Danny says industrial space can be expensive and parking can be difficult.

    10:13 Lee talks about a church that is growing and needs to find a new facility, but it can’t because it’s locked into a long-term lease.

    11:34 Lee encourages planters to find some businessmen who are familiar with commercial lease situations to read through the contracts or get help from a commercial real estate agent.

    13:08 Lee talks about how he’s never had an office in the church building and discusses off-site office space options.

    16:43 Lee recommends keeping your rent under 20% of your overall budget.