Tag Archives: leadership
Our friends at euangelion alerted us to an interesting video: N.T. Wright shares his thoughts on hubbub over female bishops.
I like Wright’s anecdote about the cabdriver who told him, “What I always say is this: if God rose Jesus Christ from the dead, everything else is basically rock ‘n roll, innit?” While Wright generally agrees with the cabdriver, he elaborates on his own convictions: “That doesn’t mean that nothing else matters. All sorts of things matter very much indeed, but we have to keep things in proportion.”
sticky teams by larry osborne is out now and available. he will be doing a free webinar with leadership network tomorrow regarding his book (see here for for info). matt chandler, pastor of the village church, has written the foreword for the book and recently recorded a video in which he talks about the impact that larry and his thoughts on uniting your board and ministry teams have had on the village church.
on april 14, the spotlight will feature larry osborne of north coast church in vista, ca. larry will be discussing what it takes to build a healthy and sticky team based on insights from his latest book: sticky teams. the webinar is a one-hour, online presentation that lets participants interact with the presenter in a q&a format. have a question for larry about stickiness in your church? email it to email@example.com — we’ll try to answer as many questions as possible on wednesday, April 14 at 3:00 pm cst. the webinar is free, but you must register to participate, so register now!
no, this is no april fools joke. and yes, this is much better than a $5 footlong. ethnic blends, the newest addition in the leadership network innovation series is five bucks – today only. mark deymaz and harry li serve at mosaic church of central arkansas and have written about mixing diversity into your local church. the book is extremely practical, not only telling the story of mosaic church, but also offering transferable truths that can be applied to any church situation.
a multi-ethnic church is not a nice thought or a helpful suggestion, but a biblical mandate.
here’s what some people are saying about ethnic blends:
For those doing the hard and important work of helping to build the ethnically diverse church, Ethnic Blends offers much-needed encouragement and a road map forward. — Dr. Soong-Chan Rah, Author, and Professor, North Park Theological Seminary
DeYmaz and Li share their vision. But more important, they also spell out for all who want to join them the real-world challenges and the spiritual rewards, as well as the practical steps that can turn the dream into reality. — Larry Osborne, Pastor and Author, North Coast Church
Mark DeYmaz, perhaps more than any pastor in America, has his pulse on what it will take for the Church to find real reconciliation in our generation. - Matt Carter, lead pastor, Austin Stone Community Church
on april 1 only, ethnic blends is available for $5 (plus tax and shipping). simply go to zondervan.com, add as many copies of ethnic blends to your cart as you would like and put the code 980679 in the source code box. hit “apply changes” and the discount will take effect.
today zondervan is launching larry osborne‘s next book, sticky teams: keeping your leadership team and staff on the same page. get the book at half price ($8.49) at zondervan today and tomorrow by using source code 750165. this is a book that entire church boards and/or leadership teams should go through together, so why not pick up a copy at half off for everyone on your team? read a sample chapter here, and watch the promotional video below, but be sure to pick up copies at half off here using the source code.
this week there are a number of blogs that are reviewing steering through chaos by scott wilson. i wanted to share an interview i had with scott regarding his book. scott is the senior pastor of the oaks fellowship in dallas, texas. in the last three years, the church has experienced robust growth–nearly tripling in size–and is now ministering to more than three thousand people. here is the interview:
zonderfann: what are some difficult transitions many of today’s churches are facing?
scott wilson: churches across america are experiencing the chaos of change in several different areas:
a. the aging pastor is a huge transition issue. there are so many pastors right now who are five years out of retirement and they don’t have any plan at all. that’s why you are seeing these succession books rise up all over the place. there are thousands of churches that are about to experience major chaos if these aging pastors don’t get some kind of plan together. the next guy is going to struggle if the baton hand off isn’t intentional and planned.
b. many churches struggling to handle the chaos of financial difficulty. lack of finances means laying off staff, cutting back budgets, etc. if this isn’t skillfully handled and navigated it can create massive distrust, frustration, and chaos.
c. there is still a major transition going on in the smaller churches especially with who is in control of the church. there are still major power struggles out there. and the only thing that is going to get everybody on the same page is submission to the head who is Christ.
d. multiple services, multiple campuses, online worship are all other trending transitions taking place in the church…
zf: what role does the leader’s vision play in helping a church transition?
sw: It is a huge. the leaders vision should drive all the change. the vision is not to be determined by the leader, but by the Spirit of God and the leader is the one who is responsible to discover it and communicate it clearly. the God-given vision is powerful because it paints the picture of the preferable future that God has for the church and it should drive us to make whatever transitions or changes we need to make to see it become a reality.
a God-given vision or assignment can help people give up what they want in order to obtain what God wants for them. this only works when the leader’s heart is pure and is truly seeking the will of the Father. otherwise this can become very manipulative.
zf: What are the keys to transitioning from a “church of yesteday” into a ‘church of tomorrow”?
sw: the relevant church is the spirit filled, spirit led church. i am not concerned about being hip or cool…i am really most concerned about being obedient. i want to be the pastor of a church that is right where God wants us to be so i can be poised to do what God’s called us to do.
the sad truth of being a church that is no longer relevant is this: it’s a church that no longer cares about their God-given calling and purpose. they have lost the missionary spirit of the great commission and think that church is all about them and their needs.
the awakening that a ‘church of yesterday’ needs is a fresh experience with the person of Jesus Christ…a renewed vision of his death on the cross…and a reminder of his resurrection and calling. Jesus said to his disciples in john 20:21 “in the same way the father sent me, so I send you.”
the passion the church needs is for the lost and hurting…that makes you relevant to today…love is always relevant.
zf: What should leaders know about timing a change to produce growth?
a. don’t skip process-first of all, don’t underestimate the time it takes to navigate change in your church. you can’t skip process without getting burned. if you announce major change without your leaders knowing about it…your burned. if you try to do something before your staff and elders have had time to process and pray about…your burned. if you try to take the congregation in a new and “exciting” direction and you haven’t met with the key donors and influencers in the house…your burned.
b. timing is big — you have to always be in planning mode…every strategy has a lifespan…you can never think that the next strategy you implement is the one….there will be another. remember that. you need to be thinking, praying, and evaluating everything you do in the church. is it growing? is it financially taking care of itself? is it a distraction to the overall vision?
c. don’t wait until things are falling a part to make your move.
d. don’t make moves without getting advise from inside and out.
zf: what advice would you give a pastor who wants to instill the value of change into a resistant staff or congregation?
a. read steering through chaos together as a staff and elder board and key leaders. it will spark the conversations that need to take place.
b. call everyone to prayer….we need to hear from God on what he wants us to do.
c. get the key staff and elders on board with you on the change that needs to take place before you go to the whole group.
d. the biggest change that has to take place is attitude….and perspective. we are not here to do church our way for God….we are here to do church the way God has called us to do it…and we must seek him, die to ourselves and become the people he can trust and use.
e. turn the staff meetings and board meetings…into prayer meetings.
this week there are a number of blogs that are reviewing a multi-site church roadtrip, by geoff surratt, greg ligon, and warren bird. as people post their reviews this week, i’ll link them, but until that time, i wanted to share an interview i had with one of the authors, geoff surratt. geoff is the pastor of ministries at seacoast church and is also the author of the multi-site church revolution, and ten stupid things that keep churches from growing. his most recent release is a multi-site church roadtrip and he, greg, and warren profile 15 churches that are exploring “the new normal” of multi-site. here is the interview:
cubfann: before embarking on your “roadtrip”, were you expecting to find more similarities or differences among the multiple churches? what did you actually discover?
geoff surratt: I expected a great deal of similarity in multisite churches. Early on in the movement it seemed that churches were being attracted to a handful of models and were more or less copying each other. What we found is that multisite is taking a wide range of shapes from rural to internet to international campuses. There is no such thing as a right way to do multisite.
cf: what do you see as the biggest challenge for the multi-site/multi-venue movement in the next few years?
gs: I think the biggest challenge is to stay faithful to the vision that God has given for your church. There seems to be a trend to go multisite because that is what all of the larger churches are doing, but that is a mistake. God has a unique vision and mission for each church and it is vital that the leaders stay on the path.
cf: of the fifteen churches you visited and profiled, which one innovation stood out to you exceptionally?
gs: The innovation closest to my heart came from Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the idea of transforming communities by planting campuses. Rather than just showing up on the weekend and inviting people to come to a service, Healing Place moves into communities 24/7. The offer food, clothing, medical help, and education all given freely in the name of Jesus. This concept is catching on across the country as more and more multisite churches are opening Dream Centers of their own.
cf: satellite and preaching via the internet, like lifechurch.tv puts out, is a new concept that intrigues many. being in a technology-driven age, this idea has been growing in popularity. what are the benefits and drawbacks to this idea? what should people be aware of before deciding to use this method as their primary way of “church” worship?
gs: Internet campuses have quickly become a tool that churches across the country are taking advantage. From the very simple streaming of a weekend service to a full service campus such as Lifechurch.tv offers people are connecting virtually with their church and with each other. For some it is a great way to stay connected with their home church and for others it is a great door into church; a place they never really saw themselves going. The key for an internet church, like any church, is that people are actually connecting in life-giving relationships and living as the body of Christ. Just surfing to your church and hanging out watching a preacher on the screen by yourself isn’t living the Christian lifestyle presented in the Bible. But when people really do connect, serve and share amazing life transformation is happening through online churches.
cf: what are the most important components to keeping a multi-site church thriving?
gs: The key to any multisite church is leadership. Choosing the right leaders for campus pastors and other ministry leaders will determine the success or failure of a new campus. Beyond leadership and leadership development, the second thing you have to get right is the funding model. How are you going to pay the bills without sinking the ship? And the third component is structure. How are the new campuses going to relate to each other and the leadership of the church. Every multisite church wrestles with these issues on an ongoing basis.
cf: what advice do you have for pastors of one-campus churches that are considering going multi-site or multi-venue? what should they discuss and weigh before taking the plunge?
gs: As we discussed in our first book, The Multi-site Church Revolution, I believe there are three questions any church considering multi-site should answer:
- What is the driving impetus behind the desire to go multi-site? Is it a to handle growth? To reach a new culture? To go into an area without a life giving church? These are all legitimate reasons to go multisite. What won’t work is to go multisite to get a church to grow. Multisite is not a growth engine. Trying to become multisite without a driving vision is like trying to give birth without being pregnant.
- How healthy is your church? Are you baptizing new believers? Are you seeing people grow in their faith? Are seeing reproduction of believers? If your church isn’t healthy, then it isn’t a good idea to reproduce your disease.
- Is your senior leadership on board? Multisite isn’t like adding a new ministry or just starting a new service; multisite needs to be in the DNA of the church leadership. If the senior pastor isn’t leading the charge for adding new campuses then multisite likely will not be successful at your church.
Geoff Surratt first met Larry Osborne, pastor of North Coast Church in Vista California, at a Leadership Network multi-site church event in 2002. Seacoast was just beginning to dive into the world of video teaching and he immediately realized that Larry was the smartest guy on the planet when it came to leveraging technology to expand the Kingdom. And Larry wears really cool shirts. Over the years Larry has become a friend and a mentor both personally and through his books Sticky Church, Ten Dumb Things Christians Believe and A Contrarian’s Guide to Knowing God. Geoff recently had a chance to get Larry’s wisdom on the role of video, technology and more in the future of the multi-site revolution.
You pioneered the concept of the video venue at North Coast. What do you feel are two or three reproducible keys to your success in utilizing video that other churches could reproduce?
I believe a huge part of our success was our decision early on to only use video for teaching. Many things don’t translate well on a screen (for instance music, drama, and the like). But teaching plays well in almost every geographic and demographic setting.
In fact, the biggest shock when we launched our first Video Venue was that it was so readily accepted by virtually every demographic. We thought our older folks would reject it outright. We thought younger generations might find it inauthentic. We assumed churches in the more traditional parts of the country would be highly resistant.
But we were wrong. It played well just about everywhere.
Looking back we should have realized that teaching is uniquely suited for a big screen. It allows people to clearly see facial expressions and non-verbals – which is why most people in a large facility with a video screen end up watching the screen rather than the little person up on the stage.
The other thing that I believe is easily reproducible is our use of differing music styles and ambiances to broaden our demographic outreach. Both Chris Brown (our other teaching pastor) and I are able to reach a far broader demographic (traditionalists, country music fans, and folks with lots of body art) than we could if we had a one-size-fits-all sanctuary.
How important is it for a church using video teaching to have the very best technology available?
I think the need for the quality technology is vastly overrated. You don’t need the latest and greatest in order to succeed. You can’t be so cheap that your venues are cheesy. The video can’t look like a 1980′s VCR.
At North Coast we’ve always made due with less than the best technology simply because we often can’t afford the best. We’re not a rich suburban church. We’re a blue collar church that meets in an old warehouse. If we felt we couldn’t succeed without the best and latest technology, we’d still be saving up to launch our first venue.
We’ve learned that good enough is good enough when it comes to technology. I always tell the churches we consult to buy the best they can afford. There’s no need to hawk the future for cool technology you can’t afford and there’s no reason to hold off launching a new ministry just because everyone else has better equipment.
North Coast has multiple venues with live worship bands at multiple locations and multiple service times. How do you find enough musicians to have that many worship teams?
The secret to our plethora of musicians goes back to a decision we made long before we started our Video Venues. Because we believe the job of a pastor is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12) our worship pastors have always been judged, rewarded, and paid for rising up other worship leaders rather than creating an all-star band.
I find you always get what you measure and reward. So guess what? Since we measure and reward rising up worship leaders, we get worship leaders. And better yet, once we turned the corner, we discovered that musicians draw musicians. So right now I think we have something like 24 adult worship bands to pull from.
In your book Sticky Church you describe the role of sermon based small groups in the life of North Coast. How integral do you think sermon based small groups have been to the growth of North Coast?
Our attendance was about 120 when we started our sermon-based small groups. They haven’t particularly drawn people in, but they have helped to slam our back door shut – and when the back door stays shut, a church tends to grow.
We’re pretty much a word-of-mouth church (we don’t do any marketing or advertising) so closing the back door has been an essential ingredient of our growth. But the biggest advantage has been the way these sermon-based groups have enabled us to get everyone on the same page – and keep them there. That’s made us a much healthier church not just a bigger church.
What did I not ask that I should have?
You didn’t ask why my books are so much better than yours – at least that’s what my mom thinks. Though my wife, Nancy, isn’t so sure.
Other than the comments about Larry’s books being better than mine (they are, but he didn’t have to bring it up) Larry once again stretched my thinking on what is effective and what is good enough in ministry. You can read more of Larry’s insight at his blog or in Multi-site Church Roadtrip.