We recently took a survey of portable church pastors around the country to find out what was ONE THING they would do differently if they were to start over again, and what was ONE THING they did well when planting their church. Today, we want to introduce you to Tommy Bowman of Mission Church. Enjoy!
Mission Church | Bloomingdale, IL
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In October 2011, a dream was born in the form of Mission Church. A church that would not just be a church IN the neighborhood but a church FOR the neighborhood. This moves them beyond Bloomingdale where the church gathers on Sunday to take action the other 6 days of the week in their neighborhoods. They call these neighborhoods The 10.
Given the experiences and knowledge you have now as a church planter/pastor, what is the ONE THING you would do differently if you were starting over again?
In order to plant a church, you need a compelling vision. However, a church’s vision usually leaves them with a lot of options when it comes to accomplishing their vision. And most of the options are really good. And they’re really good because you have a blank slate, so every strategy that does anything looks like the right strategy. I would set out from day one to pick the one way you plan to take the first steps towards your vision, and stick to that for the first 3 years. Energy and enthusiasm is never lacking in a new church plant. If anythings is missing, it’s focus.
What was ONE THING you did well when planting your church that you would highly suggest to other planters?
We had a full and great team. Most people told us we were over-staffed. Most people told us to start lean and keep costs low. And while I think there’s some wisdom in that, your staff is what will get your church initially off of the ground. We planted with 6 full time staff, and I think it is one of the few key reasons we grew from day one and have never stopped. I know they exist, but I’ve never known a church planter that started with a small budget and a small team that is thriving three years in.
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Tommy is the Executive Pastor at a growing church in Chicagoland. He gets to be a part of redefining church for people in his hometown and the surrounding communities. Everyday when Tommy sits down at his desk, he’s running after a massive, God-given dream. And he can’t wait for tomorrow!