Cookie Jars and Church Planters

I love cookies! I love eating them. I love making them. I love the taste of them. I love how they smell when they come right out of the oven. I get excited just thinking about cookies. Can you sense my joy over good cookies?

Recently I’ve been thinking about how making cookies relates to church planting.

As I work with church planters, I’ve seen that many of them are more interested in designing cookie jars than they are in making cookies. They spend a lot of time and effort and money on having great cookie jars. They look at other cookie jars and try to copy the best designs that they can find. They dream of having large, over-flowing cookie jars – Mega Cookie Jars.

Church planting isn’t about the cookie jars – it’s about the cookies!

If you’re not making any cookies, you really don’t need a cookie jar.

Check out my thoughts in this video.

From my perspective, church planters need to be focused on making cookies, not designing cookie jars. They need to be consumed with the process of making cookies. They need to even be obsessed with making cookies!

Yet the focus of lots of the training out there for planting churches and some of the books out there is on the Sunday worship service, not making disciples.

I just want to encourage church planters to focus on making disciples who make disciples. If you’re not making disciples, you don’t need a worship service. When I read the Gospels, it seems that Jesus not only modeled disciplemaking, He sent His disciples to make disciples. He didn’t send them to start worship services.

Design your cookie jar after making some cookies.

Don’t think that designing your cookie jar will automatically produce cookies. You still have to make them.

Today’s Missional Challenge

Make cookies!


Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.
9 replies
  1. Chuck Perez
    Chuck Perez says:

    Totally on target Dave. Were all about "cookies" @ Freedom and we encourage our people to become cookie makers .

    Chuck ps — I love cookies! But fresh outa the oven. Not hard and stale.

  2. Russ Johnson
    Russ Johnson says:

    I agree. As long as the "win" is making cool jars making cookies never will be. We need to change what's celebrated!

    Russ ps — if we make it about making NC BBQ people will get excited. Maybe all we need is to change the illustration? And…the building colors, bulletin, service order, and website feel:-)

  3. carlou2
    carlou2 says:

    This is such a unique way to view church planting and totally true! As I learn more about disciple making, I recognize more and more on how important this really is and how this is really the main mission of Jesus. I definitely want to be more focused on making cookies than the cookie jar (plus I'm not very creative, so designing an actual cookie jar might go really bad!)

  4. davitagruber
    davitagruber says:

    I really like your analogy of the cookie jar, it makes a lot of sence, but I think that you're right, they are so focused on the outward appearance, but what really matters is what is on the inside.

  5. Unknown
    Unknown says:

    I totally agree with Davita, I love your analogy of the cookie jar! And it's true! Like what what you've said in class about how people are so caught up in just starting churches and making sure that they have a cool building and everything. You can't start churches until you have disciples!

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