Coaching planters into navigating common pitfalls in ecclesial startup

By Dan Steigerwald | February 7, 2023

Over the long journey of starting an enduring form of missional ecclesia planters come up against many challenges as we surely know. But there are a host of early startup challenges that are particularly important for us coaches to have on our radar because of their potential to severely cripple a project at the outset. These commonly arise even when we’re coaching very well into our planter-client’s agenda at any given time,…

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Has “Missional” Outlived Its Usefulness?

By Dan Steigerwald | August 3, 2021

I recently had a good exchange with Alan Hirsch on Facebook about what I perceive as the waning usefulness of the word “missional” (not suggesting the movement attached to it is waning at all).  Here’s that conversation. I’d be curious to hear what others think. Alan Hirsch: I have been recently asked to do a short article on whether the missional movement has had its day. I won’t give you my full…

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10 Common Pitfalls in Starting New Churches

By Dan Steigerwald | December 3, 2020

Over the past 25 years I’ve had the privilege of diving deep into church planting on an experiential level leading teams; as an advocate offering practical resources/training; as a mentor-coach for hundreds of church startups, both here and abroad; and, as a networker who dialogues regularly with a good number of leaders of church planting networks. What I’ve noticed along the way is that most teams tend to run into a cluster…

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Adjusting Our Coaching to Match Present COVID-19 Realities

By Dan Steigerwald | August 6, 2020

As one who coaches professionally, I’ve observed how my interactions with clients, most of them pioneering leaders or church starters, have been changing due to COVID-19. Here’s some of what I’ve been noticing that’s proving helpful in many of these coaching relationships, and I’d welcome hearing the thoughts of others who also regularly coach pioneering leaders and pastors: 1. In this cultural moment, do recognize how important it is to coach the…

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Planting Challenge 3: The team lacks capacities to lead forward and steward the outward impulse

By Dan Steigerwald | December 10, 2019

In recent years I worked closely with the leaders of two local planting initiatives. One was an excellent teacher and a strong advocate for justice and compassion initiatives. With those gifts he was able to rally his team to engage various needs in several neighborhoods. The other had a strong relational WOO strength. With warm enthusiasm, she could interact naturally with nearly anyone and get them to show up at parties and…

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Planting Challenge 2: Point leaders define themselves more by what they’re against than what they’re for.

By Dan Steigerwald | July 17, 2019

When’s the last time you caught yourself railing on some church for its faults? “I’d never consider taking my friends into that environment.” Or, “Wow, they’re the most cutting edge 90’s-style church in the city.” Or maybe it was a broader condemnation: “Most churches talk a lot about Jesus without acting much like Jesus.” These kinds of words may slide off your lips too easily if you’re a church planter. And when…

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The quest to be truly human as God intended

By Dan Steigerwald | March 5, 2019

Some years ago, a Work of the People vimeo clip by author Michael Frost caught my eye.  In that clip Frost states that the role of the church is “to help you find another way of being human.”  I wondered back then if it’s maybe better to say the role of the church is “to help people find a better way of being human” (i.e. the way God intended).  Or perhaps, “to help…

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The Lasting Legacy of Lesslie Newbigin

By Dan Steigerwald | February 26, 2019

Like many others, I can’t seem to get enough of Lesslie Newbigin. Ever since reading The Gospel in a Pluralist Society and Foolishness to the Greeks back in the early 90’s, I have an insatiable appetite to revisit his writings over and over again.  From a missiological perspective, Newbigin is arguably just as relevant to the church today as he was when he first began to speak so prophetically to the Western…

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Missional – getting back to the why and what behind our how

By Dan Steigerwald | February 8, 2019

Many of us have fed so long and voraciously on concepts and practices related to “missional” that we’ve lost the appetite to dig in much deeper. I often feel stuffed myself. Such a volume of material, and so much of it only recasting in new language and stories the same beaten paths of application. Don’t get me wrong, I do still enjoy interacting over the latest nuancing of missional theology and praxis,…

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Staying true to the Church’s vocation in the world

By Dan Steigerwald | January 4, 2019

Not long ago I participated in a webinar with some pastors and church planters. We were interacting over how existing and newly-forming churches can grow in their engagement with their respective local contexts. About half way through, I realized we were really talking about how to help spiritual communities sustain that outward impulse into culture. As people interacted, I started scribbling down some thoughts. What would I recommend that leaders do to counter this…

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