A Current Glance at the Multisite Movement

I borrowed this  infographic from UNSEMINARY.  It points out many interesting stats on the exploding multisite church movement.  As a staff pastor who will be transitioning into a campus pastor role with a new satellite launch this Fall, I can personally attest to most of these numbers.

Multisite_Movement_Inforgraphic_2014

Source: Leadership Network/Generis Multisite Church Scorecard

Are you a multisite pastor?

Where do you see your campus situation in the above stats?  Comment below.

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Launching a Satellite Campus

Just after Labor Day of 2014, our church will be going multi-site.  My wife and I will be heading up this work with a volunteer staff team, which has led me down a path of discovery.  A path I never saw myself traveling before.

The more I dig, the more I learn.  Here’s what I’m talking about.

1.  There’s not just one model that works for everyone.  Every multi-site church I talk to does it differently.  Some differences are subtle, and others are quite noticeable.

2.  There’s no such thing as doing enough research.  I learn something new the more I look.  I’m discovering aspects of doing  satellite church that I love….and some that absolutely will not work for our community and church culture.  This is so valuable.

3.  A gradual transition from staff pastor to campus pastor is easier said than done.  There are days when I find myself multitasking between my current responsibilities and the essential planning components of launching a satellite campus.  It’s in these moments that I am so thankful for the staff and leadership I work with.  I am not doing this alone and others are coming around me to help.

4.  Other campus pastors are very passionate about what they do and are very open to sharing what they know.  As soon as our Lead Pastor asked us to give leadership to this new campus, I was all over Twitter.  I created a list of Campus Pastors to follow.  That list consists of about 47 currently, and I’ve connected with a significant number of them already.  The encouragement I’ve gained from some of these guys has been priceless.

5.  An implementation plan is a must-have.  We are leaning heavily on the expertise of those who have done this…and done it well.  Seacoast has some great resources, as well as books on multi-site by Geoff Surratt.

I’m quite confident that after we officially launch in September this list will continue to expand.  I am so very excited and honored to be a part of growing the kingdom work through Christ Community Church.

If you’re a Campus Pastor, what would you add to this list?

Join the conversation, leave a comment below.

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Solo Leadership = Short Leadership

Those who insist on leading on their own don’t last long.  They get burned out sooner than others.  They also tend to become frustrated and confused quickly when a situation does not seem to go the way they expect.

overwhelmed

We’ve all been there at least once or twice.  I know I have.  Still today, I have a tendency to ‘own’ my work load and just want to get things done.   But when things become heavier than usual, that’s when we need to lean on the support of others the most.   Take a look at this prime example with Moses.

But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side.  So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.   Exodus 17:12

What if Moses had said to Aaron and Hur, “Hey, back off.  I’ve got this.  I’m Moses.  God has called me to this task.”  Joshua and the Israelites would have surely lost that battle.   Now, when God calls us to accomplish something for Him, yes….we are responsible for ensuring that it gets done.  But unless the Lord specifically instructs us to ‘go it alone,’ what could be better than sharing that charge and victory with others?

Please don’t get me wrong.  Yes, God does call some believers to larger tasks than others.  That does not mean that we shouldn’t allow other gifted, willing, and faithful believers to come along side us and help.   Personally, I am in one of those seasons where I am constantly relying on the support of my staff team and volunteers.

What about you?  Do you struggle with accepting help with what God has put you in charge of?  If so, just recognize it.  Try making a list of all the tasks you have before you that are weighing you down.  Then pray over them and ask the Lord which tasks you could empower others to do.  Then consider who you could ask.  This was a huge step for me over 10 years ago, so I know it isn’t easy at first.  But trust me.  It gets easier the more you do it and it will make you a better leader.

What are you waiting for?  List…Pray…Empower.

Join the discussion.  Leave a comment or share this with someone else.

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Is God Asking You to do the Illogical?

Doesn’t Jesus know we’re professionals?  When we’ve tried something a dozen times the RIGHT way without positive results, why does He often insist that we do something illogical?

I thought of this after reflecting on the account of Luke 5 recently.  You’ve heard this one before.  Peter, the professional fisherman, makes it clear that they have worked hard fishing all night.  They caught nothing.  It just didn’t make sense to cast out again…..and on the opposite side of the boat.  But they did out of simple obedience to Jesus.

Guess what?  Overwhelming results!

Why?  Not because of their hard work, knowledge or experience of fishing, or great ideas.  No.  The enormous blessing came because they did precisely what Jesus instructed and exactly when He said to.

That’s it.  His ways and reasons often appear to be highly illogical to us.  That is where faith comes in.  If we truly believe in God and that His ways really are superior to ours, then why is it that His requests often cause us to question His reasoning?

Are you in ministry?  If so, you are likely to encounter at least one moment (if you haven’t already) where God proposes a method, vision, or event that sounds like He is totally off His rocker…..or throne.  When this happens, you have two choices.

1. You can roll up your nets and call it a night.

- OR -

2. You can give the creator of the universe the benefit of the doubt and try it His way.  It may seem crazy, unorthodox, or even impossible.  But if it came from God, well…..you’d be crazy NOT to give it a whirl.

As always, comments are appreciated.  

Two key points in this passage.

1. We do ministry the way Jesus tells us to.

2. We have one overarching purpose…..to point the attention of others to Jesus.

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When You’ve Hit Your Limit

This is a guest post on the topic of Student Ministry.  Dan Cooper has been a youth ministry volunteer for over 11 years, and started Ten Years Young out of a desire to share the lessons he’s learned, to learn from others, and to encourage other youth ministers.  He lives and works in Milwaukee.  Be sure to check out his blog.

I’d like to tell you that I am the most patient person you will ever meet. I’d like to tell you that I never run out of patience with a student; that I always love them like Jesus does, that I never come anywhere close to losing my temper with them, that even when they’re being incredibly difficult, I love them and gently correct them. I’d like to tell you all of those things, but I’d be lying. And the Bible has a few things to say about that, which is a totally separate issue (and a separate post).

Let’s face it: if you’ve been in youth ministry (or any kind of ministry, for that matter), paid or volunteer, for any length of time, you are going to have encounters with students that are going to try your patience. And it will likely be when you are away from home, on a trip with your students. And you will have one student who will make you want to turn to them and say, “there are seven trillion nerves in the human body, and you have managed to get on EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.” (7 trillion is an estimate. I Googled it). I know. I’ve been there. And what I’m going to tell you next isn’t anything you don’t already know, but it’s something that we all need to be reminded of (me especially): flying off the handle at a student (or students) is NEVER, EVER, EVER a valid option. You run the risk of causing emotional and psychological damage not only to the target of your wrath, but to any and all students who happen to witness the event, not to mention the potential for long-term, or even permanent, damage to the Kingdom. Truth be told, this applies just as much to whatever area of ministry or leadership you are in. Losing your cool will do far more harm than good.

I’m not going to tell you I have a solution for you when this problem arises. (If I did, I’d publish a book about it and make an insane amount of money). I will tell you that you need to do whatever it takes. Remove yourself from the situation if at all possible. Take deep breaths. Vent your frustrations to a trusted fellow youth worker in a safe place (where students will not hear the conversation), or with a fellow minister/leader. Hit the gym for some laps or some weights; the iron won’t mind your venting (but the gym management might, depending on where you train and how forcefully you vent). Even video games can be a good outlet; Halo used to be a form of therapy for me. If you must address the issue with the offending student/person, only do so once you have cooled down. But whatever you do, don’t take out your wrath on a student.

Bottom line:  Keep your cool, no matter what it takes.  The damage done in a moment of anger can take years to repair, if it can be repaired at all.

Thoughts?  Experiences?   Leave a comment below.

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“Taking the Church’s Biblical Pulse”

(This is a continuation of an  article I wrote for Light and Life Magazine’s January issue)

photo by: urbanchristiannews.com

photo by: urbanchristiannews.com

Most Churches have a degree of illness in them.  It’s to be expected…Church is comprised of flawed people.  Now, we really can’t talk about Church health without utilizing the Bible.  I know we ‘say’ that, but do we regularly compare our Church health to Biblical principles?  Let’s take a look at what I believe to be 5 key issues that make up the foundation of a healthy Church.

1) People Before Task Lists -  Jesus instructed us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:39), not to put our ‘To-Do’ lists before people.  Life gets busy for all of us.  Tasks and errands affect everyone.  If we are not careful, however, we will get all of our boxes checked off but miss the hungry soul that crosses our path and not even know it.  This is what I normally refer to as Spirit Awareness.  I am constantly finding myself praying daily for the Holy Spirit to grab my attention when I am about to have an opportunity to plant a seed for the Kingdom.  If I do not ask for this I am typically not going to look for it.

2) Scripture Before Comfort -  This one is so uncomfortable, yet singlehandedly kills Churches.  When a fellow believer needs to have an unhealthy aspect of their life addressed, Ephesians 4:15 encourages the Church family to speak the truth in love, not ignore it in hopes that the issue will magically disappear (because it never does).  And if there is an offense or sin between believers, Matthew 18:15-17 clearly tells us how to go to the individual and take care of it.  Note, texting or sending them a direct message on Facebook does not count.  Trust me, even if Jesus had an iphone in his day I am pretty sure he would say what he had to say to your face and not drop subtle hints on your Instagram account.

3) Lord Before Pastor -  I realize this one might be a bit sensitive for some folks,  but it is right there in the Ten Commandments (Exod. 20:3).  We are to have no other gods before Him.  Did you know that the use of ‘gods’ here could translate “person of greatness or power?”  Lead Pastors are in this category.  This does not make them bad people, but Churches often place their Pastor on a pedestal so high (unintentionally) that they become the focal point of who is leading the Church instead of God.   Here is a tough question.  If your Pastor left your Church (circumstances aside) would it continue making an impact for Heaven without skipping a beat, or would it completely implode?

4) Sabbath and Prayer - There are seasons when we simply must rest.  Jesus modeled this with his disciples saying, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” (Mark 6:31)  This applies to us as individuals as well as to the Church.  Might I suggest that it is O.K. occasionally for the Church to shut down ministry for a week of prayer?  Our church does this three times a year.  During a week of prayer we strongly encourage (all but mandate) all Bible studies, groups, student ministries, and outreach events to cease.  We then ask the congregation to join us in prayer and worship each night at the Church.  

5) Keep everything in the light - In other words, do not lead the Church via top secret Board meetings and ‘off record’ one-on-one talks with people who have personal agendas.  Likewise, avoid ignoring problems of gossip, infidelity, and other compromises of the faith within the Church.  Address these issues head on and with everyone involved once you become aware.  When evil is brought into light it cannot thrive away from darkness (Eph. 5:13-14).

Healthy Churches make greater impact for the Kingdom of God.

Is there anything you would add to this list?  What are some examples of solid Church health that you have seen?

Comments are welcome below, or you can leave me a voice message HERE.  God bless.

* Credit:  The majority of these principles come directly from our Operational Values at Christ Community Church, compiled by Rev. Keith Cowart.

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Filed under Accountability, Complaining, Gossip, Integrity, Leadership

Best Posts of 2013!

Thanks so much to all my readers & subscribers.  I hope for 2014 to be even better, so comment even more and give me feedback.  I would greatly appreciate it.

In order starting with the most popular, here you go.  Which ones are your favorite?

Where’s Waldo…I Mean Jesus?

8 Favorite Leadership Blogs

22 Reasons I Love My Wife

Team Appreciation is Important

Don’t Stop Moving

5 Tips to Having a Good Day of Rest 

Humanity in Unity…While Very Separate

Leadership Lesson from ‘Gangnam Style’

Lady, You’re Holding Up the Line!

Stay True to Your Call 

The Church is NOT a Bully

Where are the Miracles Today?

We’re Going to Skin Our Knee on Ministry Work 

Don’t Be Vain in Your Work

Comments are welcome below, or you can leave me a voice message HERE.  God bless.

 

 

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