14 Feb 2014

Your Church Can THRIVE!

I am a cup half full kind of guy. Ithrive road sign illustration design believe every problem can be solved and nothing is ever as bad as we think it is. Don’t get me wrong, I am also a realist. We must have a clear understanding of our present realities if we are to experience our preferred futures. This combination has served me well as a Church Leader.

 I realize the church is not perfect and in many cases is unhealthy. But the cup is not half empty. There is hope for every church to THRIVE. Despite history, tradition, and current situations, there is always hope. I believe your church can THRIVE.

  • Transformational – Every church has the ability to be transformational. I believe this is true because I believe the message of the Gospel is transformational. It changed my life and I’ve seen it change countless others. Your church and community can THRIVE when you recognize the possibilities you possess for being transformational.
  • Holistic – Our culture is looking for answers to questions regarding every area of their lives. The Church has these answers. We are in the discipleship business. Serving the whole person: mind, body, and spirit. Your church can be a holistic ministry that impacts the lives of the whole person. We are a nation of broken people. Through Jesus and the Word, your church can help others THRIVE.
  • Relational – The Church is a laboratory for learning how to build relationships. Too often we have been the cause for broken relationships. But despite our personal failures, the Church is still the best place for strengthening your relationships with God, others, and yourself. Your church can be a place where relationships THRIVE.
  • Intentional – The word relevant gets overused in churches and conferences. Relevance has nothing to do with music styles, people’s preferences, and cultural whims. What makes something relevant is that it matters to me. It applies to my life…right now. This is why I prefer the word intentional over relevant. The best way for your church to be relevant is to be intentional. Do what you do on purpose.  Going through the motions as a church only provides a slow death. If your church want to THRIVE…..you need to be intentional.
  • Vibrant – The church should be creating a vibrant atmosphere of excitement and energy. I’m not talking about worship services that are loaded with technology and loud music (even though I personally prefer both). I am referring to an atmosphere created by people who are passionate about serving Jesus and have joy. Too many churches are set up to rob people of their joy. If you want your church to THRIVE…allow passion, excitement, and energy to be vibrant.
  • Experience – I’ve stated one of my personal missions as a pastor this way… I am in the business of providing others with new experiences. A church will not THRIVE if the majority of its people are simply attendees of worship services. To be true disciples we must have experiences others cannot take from us. These experiences come in all kinds of forms: worship services, small groups, mission trips, retreats, serving, and much more. The question is: How intentional are you being about creating experiences? Churches that pay attention to the experiences they are providing….THRIVE.

What do you think? Can any church THRIVE? Is your church a thriving church? What can you do to be more of a thriving church? How can I help you THRIVE?

25 Jul 2012

Book Review – Sticky Church

Getting people to come to church is not nearly as hard keeping them. This has been a huge issue in the American Church and SpringWell is no different. Sticky Church by Larry Osborne tells the story of North Coast Church in San Diego, California and how they have successfully grown to over 8,000 in attendance in the last 25 years. The key has been averaging 80% of weekend attendance participating in Small Groups. This is their strategy to close the back door and keep people sticking around.

Osborne writes, “The most important number to know about North Coast Church is not the weekend attendance. It’s the percentage of adults who participate in one of our small groups.” I found this refreshing compared to so many other churches I hear about that are so focused on the number attending each weekend. I was also challenged as a church leader realizing the growth of SpringWell depends on getting more weekend attendees involved in Growth Groups. This is the best way for them to Stick.

Growth Groups at SpringWell are a big deal and after reading Sticky Church, I am as committed as ever at getting more attendees involved.

23 Jul 2012

Book Review – Exponential

I have read many books that inspired me but very few have provided a clear and simple strategy I could put into action. Exponential is one of those rare books. Dave and Jon Ferguson are leading a church planting movement that focuses on developing the leaders needed to grow new churches. I loved the relational approach that dominates every aspect of their ministry.

The principles they share are simple but profound. They are also intentional and can be replicated. Most churches do not have a clear strategy for developing new leaders. I was personally challenged by this book and felt compelled to evaluate SpringWell’s plan for developing leaders. I am setting time aside soon just for the purpose of developing a SpringWell Leadership Development Strategy. Exponential is a major resource I will use.

Leaders need to reproduce themselves. Jesus was the ultimate example of this principle. I have been guilty of focusing on my own leadership development at the risk of not bringing others on the journey with me. The Ferguson’s provide a clear reminder of Four Relationships Every Leader Needs:

  1. A Reproducing Leader Needs Followers
  2. A Reproducing Leader Needs Apprentices
  3. A Reproducing Leader Needs Peers
  4. A Reproducing Leader Needs a Coach

I encourage you to read this book. If you are interested in raising up new Worship Leaders….the book is worth getting if all you do is read chapter 5.

18 Jul 2012

Book Review – Leadership is Dead

I love the provocative title of this book. LEADERSHIP IS DEAD! The rebel and nonconformist in me just had to read it. Can’t you just see me smile as I say it? Don’t get me wrong….I love leadership. I believe God has called and gifted me to be a leader. I am a student of leadership and have consumed thousands of pages of books to learn how to be a better leader.

In the last twenty-five years, the church has been bombarded with leadership conferences and books. Yet despite the monumental resources available to us….the church still has a leadership vacuum. OK….I can’t just say the church….our world is in major need of effective leadership.

Jeremie Kubicek writes, “Leadership as we have known it is dead because far too many leaders have abused their positions and lost their moral bearings“. He suggests that true empowering leadership can be revived if we are willing to embrace a few core concepts.

  • We must understand what the role of leadership is and what it is not.
  • We must be willing to explore the inner world of leadership—things such as intent, power, and motive.
  • Influence needs to be recognized as the engine of true leadership.
  • Leaders must understand how to influence, not simply how to lead.

This was a motivating book that focuses on leadership as influence and servanthood. The church has leveraged this language as our description for leadership. But far too often we have forgotten the basic truths. Kubicek does a great job through his inspiring stories and practical examples of how to revive leadership as influence. Grab this book and you won’t regret it

%d bloggers like this: