Archives For church philosophy and methods

change_your_churchYou know it is a dirty word. Some of your people probably even hate to hear it come from your mouth. That word is “CHANGE.” In fact, so many churches have avoided this word that they have ended up becoming little more than country clubs or short-term “pit-stops” for people that get their feathers ruffled a bit at their previous church (who will only be at your church until their feathers get ruffled again). In many churches there is no relevance of its mission to day to day life of the people that attend. It becomes little more than something to check off the list of “spiritual duties” to perform for the week. And this is only one symptom of churches that do not change: they become isolated, consumer driven and self-seeking individually as well as corporately. I love what Brad said in the chapter “It’s All About Delivery.”

Jesus revealed the Father’s love to those who were broken, guilty and far from God. He didn’t isolate Himself from them, nor should His followers today.

I appreciated the way that Brad approaches and lays out the process of change that he took his church through. Thought there were times of uncomfortable confrontation and even losing some people who could not see the vision, Brad was still very sensitive to the nature and speed of change that he led his church through. Brad’s desire to change was tempered by a Biblical view of the church and the mission that it assigned. The change he took his church through was also based on Scriptural principles and a desire to remain theologically centered. Another thought that Brad shared that really impacted me was this:

By aligning our vision to God’s eternal principles rather than specific practices, we can stay the course even as we continue to change many of the ways we do ministry.

Change can be difficult. Especially if a church does not have a culture of change established. Change is not to be feared, but embraced so that we have the greatest opportunity to make an impact for the Gospel in the day we live in.

I would highly recommend this book to any pastor or church leader that is looking to lead effective change in their church.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Thomas Nelson Publishers with the request that I give an honest review.

Session 5 was the Arts Mash-Up.  Awesome presentations from all 3 churches!

  • Every new term that comes out tells us we’re doing church wrong. So “Missional schmissional and Attractional Schmactional!”
  • 40% of people are attracted to and will come to the “box,” and that number is shrinking.  Tim says that the number holds true for Granger and its community.
  • Granger did not exist 25 years ago, and now it runs over 5000.  But has it made a dent on the statistical number of unchurched in the area.
  • Granger does not have all the answers, but here is what we know at Granger right now:

o   We must begin reaching the 60% of people that are unchurched in the area

o   We must reach more of the 40% that will go to church

o   We must help the 40% reach their 60%

  • In the past we wanted to get the community into the church, in the future,, we want to get the church into the community
  • In the past church was defined by the weekend service, in the future, church is defined by where you are
  • In the past, it was primarily centralized, top down structure, in the future, it is a decentralized, organic structure for quick growth
  • In the past, there was no designated giving, in the future,, there are lots of ways to give to your passion
  • In the past, people have come to the building to do their ministry, in the future,, ministry isn’t confined to a building. It happens everywhere you are.
  • In the past, buildings  served the church, the community is invited to join, in the future, buildings serve the community, the congregation also meets there.

The community at large should no longer look at the church as a last resort, but the first place to go for hope and help!

  • People who say they have no religious affiliation has doubled in the last 10 years.
  • Missional people + Multiplying churches = Missional movement

Creating a culture for missional movement

  • Ordain every Christ-follower. Live the priesthood of believers.
  • Lead with a “yes”. Allow others to live out their dream.
  • Make heroes of everyday people.  Tell people’s story. When people see everyday people doing something it inspires them and releases them to do what God has birthed in them.

This was used as the opening video for The AND Conference.

We’re plagued by the curses of the vs. They are all around us – including in how we think we have to do church.

Before we were plagued by the “curses of the vs.” but now, we’re opening up a can of the Power of The AND. The thought process that church doesn’t have to be missional OR attractional – it’s the power of AND instead of OR.

(Session 3 was a breakout session)

  • Matt says he is not yet ready to totally throw out the attractional model of church because it is still able to reach some people that will not be able to be reached otherwise.  It is also able to do some things that smaller gatherings are unable to do.
  • But, there is something missing in the attractional only model.  There is a growing restlessness among the church laity.
  • For far to long, we have told the masses to come to us and we will fill your needs, we will feed you, we will make you feel comfortable.
  • The laity is restless wondering when they get to get in the fight.
  • We can grow another 3000 people as a church, but if we do that, nothing really changes in the city.  We do not make a difference there.
  • What if instead of growing 3000 more people, we release 3000 people to leave the church and go to the city.
  • Jesus was not make a very good mega-church pastor.  Every time he drew a croud, He ran them off.  It was not His ministry style to gather people, but to work with 12 and send them out.
  • What if it is possible to both attract people and send them out?
  • Matt does it with his church in what they call missional communities.
  • Not just small groups, but groups getting on mission to reach their communities for Christ.
  • They have done three things to make this happen:

o   Change the definition of success for small groups.

o   Train them to be missionaries to their communities.

o   Change the bar as far as what God is able to do through them.

  • After that, you have to let them go to actually be the church.

This is one you have to listen to if it gets posted online at wiredchurches.com!