Sunday, April 20, 2008

Chapters 7 & 8

Chapter 7: The Growth Barriers
Growth barriers in the church are glass ceilings that are reached and need to be shattered. At each one it takes a different kind of team and leadership to break through...at the 200 you have to help change the mindset to move people forward beyond, we like our small, comfortable little church to- let's reach out and invite everyone we know to church. Three statements leap forward- Pastor, "if we grown anymore, we wont' know everyone", "all you seem to care about are the unchurched, don't you care about us anymore", "how can we go after more people when we can't take care of the ones we have". I have honestly heard those statements from God fearing, God loving people. Small churches are nice because we do know everyone, but is that a core value of the body of Christ....? Did I miss that in the Bible where it says, "we should all remain small in church size...or are we supposed to go therefore and make disciples of ALL NATIONS (all people). The next big barrier is 500, which is what we are below right now. This is where the church culture and pastoral leadership style have to change to move the church forward. Staff also is greatly beneficial as a church moves forward, because they can help carry the message, facilitate change, and take some of the burdens and responsibilities away from the pastor. The next few they talk about are the 900 and 1500 barriers. Here, small groups, Children's ministry, Youth Ministry, Music Ministry, Visitation, etc all have to be hitting on ALL cylinders to make it work. Questions for this chapter include- What have you personally done to bring new people to Christ? Is your pastor overworked and burned out? What do we need to allow your pastor to do more of so that their time might create a bigger impact?
Chapter 8- Staffing the Church for Explosive Growth
The Bill's here show us that there are 5 things we need to do in staffing to help us grow.
1. Shift from paid staff who lead volunteers to paid servants to equip and coach unpaid servants.
2. Paid and unpaid servants to fill vital roles
3. Lead pastor seeing the entire congregation as their flock, to seeing key staff positions as their flock.
4. Diviersity in staffing- teams, non-profs, part-time, bivocational, etc.
5. Raising up leaders as opposed to hiring professional clergy.
Finding the right servant staff in any church can be difficult. It's a mix of calling, personality, leadership, skills, gifts, graces and just fitting the culture of the church. The staff at Grace right now is a wonderful mix of gifted and skilled people who understand our values, mission and purpose. I continually hear amazing comments from people about the high quality of our many different ministries. One common thread I hear throughout all the comments are the excellent experience people have as they worship with us. That comes down to being focused on the right things, and having the right people in leadership.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Chapters 5 & 6

Chapter 5- Double Your Vision
Here we see the Bill's sharing the 5 Keys to Explosive Growth
*Lead as if your church is twice it's size
*Ask for explosive growth to happen and position yourself for it to happen
*Bring in lots of new people from outside your church
*Retain the lion's share of those new people
*Equip and motivate the new people to invite their networks
Sounds pretty simple, but if it's simple, why do 80% of UM churches in Missouri decline in attendance every year?
Ways to reach people outside of the church-
#1 Word of Mouth #2 Direct Mail #3 TV, Cable #4 Web Sites #5 Radio #6 Newspaper
Out of all of those other than #1 because it's overly obvious, which one works the best in the Lee's Summit area?
One of the things that I do is call every visitor who signs in and gives us their phone number. Most people are happily suprised when I call. We have added services these past few years, and both of them are effectively reaching people within our walls, now it's time to reach those outside of our walls, which we have plans in place to do that in August. As you read through this chapter, what things come to mind in regard to our size of church...oh, right now we are worshipping around 330 and close to 600 members. Is there something burning in your heart to reach out to those who are far from God? What is one thing you would like to see the laity of the church do more of?
Chapter 6- Preparing to Break the Growth Barriers
First of all, do you agree with the growth barriers (200, 500, 750, 1000, 1500)? Alot of this chapter focuses on developing a team of leaders working toward the same goal. As they do that, we begin to watch the moving averages..and if you look at the 9:15 am service, you see that many Sundays we are 80% full. At the end of this chapter, they share a few areas for us to focus on. As you have been apart of Grace and seen the growth over these past few years, have you sensed a need to grow in your own spiritual walk? And, if the church were to double in the next year, what would you miss and what would you rejoice in?