Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Why Do People Need Your Church?

One of the questions we've come back to again and again about starting Compass Church is this: "Is there a need for this church in this place at this time?" It's not the only question that every church must ask itself, but it is a foundational one.

Jason Bishop is planting The Journey, a missional church plant in Lubbock, Texas, and he was asked this question in a public setting today. His response goes to the very heart of the matter and clearly and simply puts things in perspective.

Read his answer here.

Why do people need your church?

Update: You never know where a conversation can take you. Read Jason's comment and check out the link : Lubbockfunclub

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Tonight's Turnout

Tonight was cool. We met some new people, reestablished some friendships, and generally had a great time talking, eating snacks and enjoying the holiday atmosphere.

Who stopped by:
Neighbors from around the corner (2 adults, 4 kids) - moved here in July
Neighbors from across the street (2 adults, 3 kids) - moved here in September
Neighbors from across the street (2 adults, 4 kids) - Friends from a sponsoring church
Neighbors from around the corner (2 adults, 4 kids) - Acquaintances from the past year or so
Friends who have been interested in our church (2 adults, 1 kid)
Team members (2 adults, 1 kid)

So at the end of the evening, there were 29 people (not including our family) at my house tonight.

Your results may vary... :)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Old School Outreach

I have now personally placed over 300 door hangers inviting my neighbors over to my house tomorrow. My feet and shins are killing me and I have an allergy headache, but I'm hoping for the best. I really wanted to put out about 600, but I'm just running out of time. I suppose if we have a 1% return on those 300, we'll meet 3 new families. I'm ok with that.

I think we've been lousy neighbors while we've been trying to "reach" people in the area, mostly because I personally know so few in my own neighborhood. How does that even make sense?

I am praying for significant relationships and friendships to form as a result of this. At the very least, more people in my neighborhood should now recognize Leona and me, just because of the door hanger.

Maybe it'll make it easier to talk with people later.
Maybe we'll have a house full of people tomorrow.
Maybe we'll have just my family.
I really have no idea. But I feel good about making the effort in a specific, measurable way.

It's old school outreach, but in a good way: feet to the pavement, personal and relational - but without being obnoxious or overly confrontational. Just neighbors meeting neighbors. Could it get any more old school than that?

If you are one of my neighbors and reading this, I hope to see you tomrorrow afternoon - and don't worry - there really will be no presentations or selling. Just drop by and say hello.

I'll post something tomorrow night with hard numbers: good, bad or ugly. :)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Do you know your neighbors? Text Copy

In response to my friend, Jason, here's a text copy of the "door hanger." And I use that term loosely because it's regular paper with a hole punched through the top and fastened with a rubber band. Pretty simple production by design, by the way - I want my neighbors to know it's from a neighbor, not a company. It's crisp, clear, sharp, but not glossy.

Here's the text:
Hi, We're Your Neighbors!

and we're not selling anything.

...not that there's anything wrong with that.

My name is Johnny Leckie and this is my lovely wife, Leona. We’ve lived in Harvest Ridge along with our 3 kids for a long time, but we still
haven’t met many of our neighbors.

So we thought we’d invite you over.

We’re having a Holiday Open House
This Sunday , November 20th,
from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
just to meet our neighbors before the holidays kick in and no one has any time to do anything.

We live at 1xxxx Blah blah Drive.

Leona is an elementary school teacher in Keller ISD, and Johnny is the Pastor of Compass Church, a new church that will be meeting at the new Roanoke Recreation Center in January. (www.compasswired.com) Our kids go to school at Bear Creek Intermediate, Keller Middle and Central High.

No need to RSVP. Just show up and stay as long or as little as you like. It’s come and go. We’ll have coffee, cider, and snacks.
There’ll be No selling and No presentations.
Just drop by and say hello!

Feel free to give us a call:
Anyway, who knows? I'll give you the run down on how it goes. Hopefully, many people will recognize us from the many events we've been a part of or led in our neighborhood. It certainly can't hurt, and at least most of my neighbors will learn who we are and can go to the website if they're interested in our church.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Do you know your neighbors?

Leona and I have decided that we just don't know as many of our neighbors as we'd like, so we're inviting them all over.

We'll have info about our church displayed prominantly if anyone is interested, but we hope to just have those conversations happen naturally as we meet and talk with people. No hard sell. We get a lot of invitations from neighbors who are selling things, so we thought we'd take a slightly different approach.

I created a simple, unpolished "door hanger" and I'm spending the next 2 days walking through my neighborhood, meeting people, and putting these on doors.

Our neighborhood is interesting, because there is a hunger for community and friendships, but crossing paths with neighbors here doesn't happen easily. People get home from work and go straight inside, and it's usually dark now by the time people get home. To meet most of our neighbors, we have to go knock on their door and introduce ourselves. No big deal for people on our block, but to meet people 3 blocks over, that's a little awkward.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Do you know your neighbors? How'd you meet them?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Update: God big; Johnny small.

I guess that's not really an update, is it?

First, let me just say, "Thank you." Leona and I greatly appreciate all of the prayers, comments, emails and phone calls. It really means a lot to us. Your prayers have been greatly sensed over the last few days, and have made an incredible difference.

So, what the fat is going on, you ask?

Well, that's a little hard to describe, really. Basically, on Friday I was at a really low place, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Discouragement has hit Leona and me from a variety of angles over the past few days: From finances to health issues to changes in our team to some important deadlines that were missed to a number of other things,...well, it's been a little rough.

Frankly, when I posted the request for prayer, I had just had it and essentially I felt like giving up. I hate that. "Give up" is not really in my vocabulary. My pride almost kept me from posting the request, but my smart and beautiful wife said, "Just post it. We need people to pray for us."

She was right, of course.

There were too many things hitting all at once, too many burdens, too little margin, and all at a time that seems too close to victory. But that's the way growth happens sometimes: Darkest before the dawn; pain before the breakthrough; struggle before freedom.

I am convinced that through that process the enemy is also determined to frustrate, discourage and bring down any and all who would seek to follow the Lord's call. He always attempts to stand between us and God and point fingers and accuse. Being the burning sticks we are, plucked from the fire as it were, God rejects those accusations and in spite of it all offers to cover us in fresh new clothes. [Zechariah 3]

Hope is a sweet and powerful thing. When it seems to disappear, it's a bitter bite.

This is not exactly a news flash. It's part of the journey. A journey that is definitely not meant to be traveled alone.

And that's why your prayers and encouragement have been so important to me and my family. It's humbling to ask for prayer, to disappear for a few days, to hope people really are praying and then to come back and try to explain the scoop in vague terms with words of thanks. But I know it's important.

Of course, I've always known this, but I do realize now more than ever before how much I need a vast and fervant prayer team to accomplish the task before me - how much our church needs a vast and fervant prayer team to accomplish the task before us. All of the challenges have not gone away. There are still some big ones ahead, but we have them a bit more in perspective, now.

God is a big God. He very much knows what He's doing, even when I sometimes don't.

We're ok. We're still standing. We're still going forward. We still need your prayers.

And now with eyes wide open, we're also praying more fervently for you.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Would you pray for us?

Would you pray for me and my family, tonight?

As a church planter I've faced obstacles, difficulties, hardships, and made sacrifices. I've always needed the prayers of friends and family along the way. And I'm generally a pretty upbeat guy.

But tonight, perhaps more than ever before, I really need your prayers.

If you'll pray, would you mind giving me a comment to let me know? Thanks.

I'll give you an update, soon.

Grace & Peace,


A little mystery solved

It's been a mystery since February. Now it's solved.

Read the words in red in this updated post: Some Great Lines...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A Few Lessons Learned from Church Planting HKU*

There are really far more lessons that I am learning personally as we have been on this church planting adventure, but here are a few that are helping shape how we are preparing for the launch:

* The Importance of Relational Evangelism

* The Importance of Community Connections

* The Importance of a consistent, constant and well recognized meeting space.

* The Importance of the “Come Back” event.

* The Importance of excellence and creativity with available resources.

* The "StarGreens" or "Walbucks" Principle (Starbucks & Walgreens): The Importance of being ubiquitously and conveniently present. (This will be a post all by itself)

* The Importance of simultaneous Relational Evangelism and Strategic Marketing

* The Importance of making clear connection points and natural follow up with outreach events.

As I said, there are many more, like the importance of creating a buzz, the importance of being a hawk about the stats, and the importance of a well structured day that accomplishes one major goal that moves you forward and allows for interruption. "Reversing" the percentages of how I personally invest my work time for greatest effectiveness is also a future post in the making. Heck, maybe I'll post more about each of these in more detail later.

Take what you can use. Chunk the rest.

...Oh wait. That's another one.

*HKU - Hard Knocks University

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Little Digital Balance

Just to even out this post: "Analog Amenities" and this post, "Un-Wired-er Analog PDA Mindmap," here is a great article by Kevin D. Hendricks of "Think Personality.com," "Church Marketing Sucks.com" and "MonkeyOuttaNowhere.com."

And also because, as many who know me well already know:
"Time is my enemy, and technology has been recently out to get me."
So this article offers help on both fronts.

Check it out: Top 7 Technologies That Can Save You Time

By the way, Kevin is interviewed along with Brad Abare by Terry Storch on the Blogging Church.com podcast. Listen here.

Don't always fully agree with these guys, but really love the way they challenge stupid notions about what is and what isn't church marketing. Also glad that there's someone out there holding the church accountable for how they communicate the life changing message of Jesus Christ to a lost world.

Cause it's not always very pretty, out there. And yes, I realize that there are way too many links in this post...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Professional Christians

I read a great article, today by Dan Reiland, the "Pastor's Coach" from Injoy Ministries on dealing with "professional christians."

Check it out here: http://www.mmiblog.com/monday_morning_insight_we/2005/11/dear_god_please.html

I think that there are a lot of well meaning people in some churches who just veered off course somewhere along the way. And now they're in a strange land, miles off the original course, with the great potential of being grumpy about it.

And they don't really understand why that's the case.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Being Missional in a Postmodern World While Trying To Emerge Past Modernity

Ok, so it gets a little complex, sometimes.

Or does it really?

First, a quote from Lucy to Charlie Brown:
"I think we'd better pinpoint your fears. If we can find out what you're afraid of, we can label it."

Some of you have no idea what I'm talking about in the title, and you are the ones I want and need to spend time with. Some of you understand it very well and are already forming your arguments and trying to pinpoint where I land on a variety of issues - and you're the ones who are spending way too much time talking to the wrong groups people.

"Moderns and postmoderns," "Emergents and submergents*" don't really need each other's permission to change the world, do they?

Unless of course, the moderns are funding the postmoderns, and then things get kind of surreal...

*"Submergents" is not a term or label that you are likely to find in many discussions. I came up with that one all by myself.

Analog Amenities

Turns out that my "Un-wired-er analog PDA Mindmap" reveals I'm on to something. And I just thought it was because I am poor...

Fast Company magazine recently pubished an article that brings me a bit of validation with an article about moleskine notebooks. Check it out: The Anti-PDA.

Man. Now even in analog, I need an upgrade...

[links via Scott]