Tag Archives: sticky church
This week the Zondervan team was blessed to host Pastor Larry Osborne for a day hear in Grand Rapids. Though the ugly weather and biting wind made him miss his home in San Diego we tried to show him a good time.
You might remember that Larry is the author of a few books with Zondervan: Sticky Church, Sticky Teams, and the forthcoming book, Sifted (co-authored with Wayne Cordeiro and Francis Chan). While we were discussing the marketing plan for his next book (hint, hint…more on that coming soon) I was reminded that Larry and his staff at North Coast Church are true innovators.
Larry doesn’t like to toot his own horn, so I’ll do it for him: He and his staff pioneered the whole idea behind multi-site churches and the sermon based small group model. These two formats for doing ministry are almost commonplace now, but 20 years ago they sure weren’t. In Sticky Church Larry unpacks how the team at North Coast uses the sermon based small group model and explains how to implement it into your ministry. This Baptist Press article also credits Larry with this model, and discusses how another church has altered the way they run their Sunday School classes.
Does your church use a sermon based small group model? If so, name one or two specific tactics you use to try and make this work.
(i.e. how do you resource your small group leaders to make this happen?)
Last week Monday and Tuesday I was blessed to be able to attend the Sticky Teams 2.0 conference in Vista, CA (just north of San Diego). The conference was held at North Coast Church where Larry Osborne is the lead pastor, and is named after his book Sticky Teams. This year’s theme was “growth changes everything.” The main stage speakers were Larry Osborne, Mark Driscoll, Gene Appel, and Chris Brown.
If you ever have a chance to take your ministry team out to this conference you will not be disappointed. It’s totally worth it. It was the most enjoyable conference I’ve been to all year (and I went to a lot of conferences this year) – and not just because it was in southern California (the weather was a bit balmy actually).
The Sticky Teams Blog Tour is this week! All week long bloggers will be posting their thoughts on Larry Osborne’s Sticky Teams: Keeping Your Leadership Team and Staff on the Same Page. I’ll be keeping a running list of the reviews right here. If you didn’t have a chance to join the tour, at least join the discussion. You can read a sample chapter here.
How can we keep our ministry teams on the same page? How can be “stickier” with our ministry partners?
Here are the review links so far:
Larry Osborne’s recent release Sticky Teams: Keeping Your Leadership Team and Staff on the Same Page exposes the hidden roadblocks, structures, and goofy thinking that all too often sabotage the health and harmony of even the best intentioned ministry teams. It’s filled with practical and seasoned advice. Larry shows what it takes to get a leadership board, ministry team, and an entire congregation headed in the same direction, sticking together, unified and healthy for the long haul.
August 9-13 we’ll be hosting a sticky blog tour (no, you won’t get doused with honey or stung by any bees). Sign up with this form [Sorry, sign-up for this blog tour has ended.] and if your blog is approved you’ll be sent a FREE copy of Sticky Teams. Then post your review on Amazon and on your blog during the blog tour days. That’s it. Nice and simple and no bees are involved.
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.
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.
Smallgroups.com is the hub for the “Sticky Church” blog tour! They havet 18 blogs lined up to tackled the different chapters of Larry Osborne’s book Sticky Church, with each blog author tackling a different chapter. Leave a comment below on how you “slam the back door shut” and you might win a copy of Sticky Church. I’ll pick 5 random commentors this week and send them a copy of the book – so leave your email address or twitter handle as well so i can contact you.
recently larry osborne answered some questions about his book, sticky church. you can see his answers below.
1. Your new book has an engaging title! Explain it.
Sticky Church is all about finding a way to keep people long enough to fulfill the second half of the Great Commission, “Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
That can’t be done in a revolving door ministry. We’ve focused on how to open the front door wider. But we’ve paid scant attention to the backdoor – to the point the some of the best front door churches are unaware of their huge back door. Sticky Church is a proven strategy to slam the back door shut and keep it shut.
2. What works best in your own church when it comes to recruiting and training leaders?
Ministry is addictive. There’s nothing like seeing God work through you. That’s why we always recruit leaders by asking for a small, doable, bite-sized step of leadership rather than a big assignment that scares people off. Once someone takes the first small step of leadership, the Holy Spirit takes it from there.
The same holds true for our training of leaders. We find bite-sized training in the midst of their task (an apprentice model) works best. It gives them what they need when they need it rather than overloading new leaders with too much information on the front end of their service.
3. Tell us about the Holy Man myth.
The Holy Man myth is the antithesis of the priesthood of the believers. It’s the idea that the mantle of leadership means that a leader’s prayers and access to God are greater than everyone else’s’. It kills lay ministry and turns the church into a spectator sport.
4. As you interact with pastors and small group leaders, what are they saying about the Small Group Covenant?
Leaders love the covenant because it gives them something to hold people accountable to. Without a group covenant it’s hard to hold the group member who always arrives late, unprepared or otherwise wrecks the group accountable for their actions. The covenant acts as a reminder of what’s expected around here.
5. What other insights would you like to share with pastors and churchgoers?
Sticky Church is call to start measuring retention rates as carefully as we measure signup rates. Ultimately, retention is one of the simplest and best measurements of organizational health – without it, it’s hard to really change people and bring them to full maturity in Christ.