Archives For Granger Community Church

I just read a post by Eric Geiger, and though I usually post my best links of the week on Fridays, this one needed a post of its own.  It is something that has resonated deep within me for quite some time.

Eric says:

Often I hear deep lamenting from pastors and staff teams about the lack of volunteer engagement in their churches. And often I have discovered that the problem is not with the people but a faulty ministry culture that fosters low levels of volunteerism and perpetuates an unhealthy dependence on clergy. The typical approach to ministry in most churches stands in stark contrast to the biblical approach given to us clearly by God.

In the type of churches I grew up in, you had to have a “Pastor” involved in everything, and if there were too many things going on for one guy to do it, you hired another “professional pastor” to help out. That totally goes contrary to the Biblical model of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry! The church in America many times forgets that everyone within the local church has been gifted to serve, and if they are not serving, the body does not function properly. If we want to see our churches grow and thrive, we need to unleash the members to do ministry!

Now, go and read the rest of the article by Eric!

A couple of months ago I was at Granger Community Church for a couple days of workshops that they were holding.  I took Mark Waltz’s classes both days, and a statement he made in that class has stuck with me and keeps replaying itself in my head (Yes, I hear voices! – JK).  That statement was this, “We are responsible ‘to’ people, we are not responsible ‘for’ people.”

As I have mulled that over in my head for the last couple of months, and used it as a lens in which to do ministry, it has helped to to focus on what I need to do for others, and leave the rest up to God.  As I was reading in Acts this morning, I came across Paul’s goodbye to the church in Ephesus.  As he writes to them, he says in verse 26I tell you today that I am no longer responsible for any of you!” A few verses later (32) he says, “I now place you in God’s care.” He says that after he tells them all of the things he has done to help them take their next steps and after he tells them, “Ok, now it is up to you to go on from here.”  Paul knew he had come to the end of what he could do, and that the rest was up to the work that God wold have to do in their lives.

Many people in churches today have this idea that we must push people along the same route, and that it all takes the same amount of time for everyone to get to the next step.  They treat the journey in Christ like it has a cookie cutter design to it that everyone should follow.  That breeds image rather than true spiritual growth.  It breeds Pharisees rather than disciples.  But that is what happens when we think we are responsible for people rather than to them.

Being responsible for people brings a pressure and responsibility that God never designed into a person’s life.  If someone does not take their next step, then I feel like I have failed.  Being responsible to people means that I am sharing what I have to share, leading people to the table, but they have to make the decision to eat, I cannot force them. That is up to them to decide and for God to work.

Mark illustrated it so well.  Let me just cut and paste here:

  • If we understand that are are responsible to people, then I understand they have a choice… if I feel responsible for people, I think I should choose for them.
  • If we understand that are are responsible to people, then I know they must figure out their next step… if I feel responsible for people, I think I should tell them what there next step is.
  • If we understand that are are responsible to people, then I understand they must bear the consequences of their actions… if I feel responsible for people, I assume the guilt, or worse yet the shame for them.
  • If we understand that are are responsible to people, then I share their journeys, offering encouragement and teaching… if I feel responsible for people, I try to direct their journeys, never allowing them to wrestle or mess up.
  • If we understand that are are responsible to people, then I talk to God a lot on their behalf… if I feel responsible for people, I tend to talk to people a lot on God’s behalf.
  • “If Jesus trusts the Holy Spirit, maybe we should too!”
  • “It is God that does the growing, we just get in the way.”

So, how do you do ministry?  Do you feel responsible for people or to people?  What do you think about the difference?

The last of the interviews I was able to do while attending Granger Community Church’s workshops was with Jeff Bell.  Jeff is the Campus Pastor of Granger’s first expansion site in Elkhart, Indiana that was started six months ago.  Jeff’s passion for GCCE is so contagious!  Jeff sat down and discussed multi-site planning and philosophy.


Interview with Jeff Bell – Campus Pastor of Granger Community Church: Elkhart from Jason Petermann on Vimeo.

Thanks again Jeff for the time you took to talk multi-site! I cannot wait to see where Granger is headed next to reach people and help them take their next steps!  You can follow GCCE and Jeff on his blog.

meyerbook

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I was able to spend some time at Granger Community Church last week.  While there, Kem Meyer (Granger’s Communications Director) was gracious enough to give me a few moments of her time to talkabout her new book,  “Less Clutter. Less Noise.: Beyond Bulletins, Brochures and Bake Sales.”  I loved her passion as she spoke about how churches make things WAY to complicated!  (Sorry for few seconds of fan noise and the phone interference… I think Kem’s new iPhone and laptop were sitting right next to my camera!)


Interview with Kem Meyer from Granger Community Church from Jason Petermann on Vimeo.

Read Kem’s blog here. Thanks again Kem!  I cannot wait to read your book!

Gratitude.

Jason Petermann  —  March 9, 2009 — Leave a comment

grangerpicI had the opportunity to go to Granger Community Church last week and participate in some of their workshops.  I have followed their church closely over the last several years.  The church is right next to my hometown of Mishawaka, so I have had the opportunity to visit it a few times.  That has always been a treat.  But last week, I was blown away by the genuine humility and love that was shown to me and a couple hundred other guests as we attended the workshops.  It is not often that you meet people that are in position to have great influence that are totally selfless and humble about it.  In fact, I have experienced the exact opposite over the last few years.  It was so refreshing to see people that would be considered very successful and maybe even to have “arrived” (in some people’s eyes) to take the time to pour themselves into other people; to take the time to discuss their failures as well as their successes.  Some of them even took the time to meet with me personally.

Over the next few days, I am going to post some of the interviews I was able to do with some of their staff.  I hope you can see the passion that these people have for Jesus and for helping people take their next step.  Thank you Granger.  I am thankful we are on the same team. I am better for spending a few days with you!