Hey Bootcampers, we hope you’re ready for the next episode. But first check out this webinar from our great sponsor at 180 Digital. “Being a Church Your Community Can’t Ignore” Wesley Lewis shares more about the webinar in this video-check it out.
Jimbo and Bob are back with some updates on life and then they get down to the serious business of talking about Lamenting and the necessity of engaging in it when we experience pain and trouble in life. Listen in and follow along and check out the links below for helpful resources.
Lament: “to express sorrow, mourning, or regret for often demonstratively, to mourn, to regret strongly,” and “a crying out in grief, a wailing, dirge, elegy, complaint.”
Thanks for tuning in faithful Bootcamp listener! Jimbo and Bob break down a few updates (the Bickford dog search-the Stew Crew mock trial/musical productions) and then take a look ahead and talk about summer and provide some encouragement to make your summer count for good.
Here some of the highlights:
Take a break/vacation-if possible, see if you can do a couple of back to back Sundays. Putting together two weekends off really increases the rest you’ll gain and feel as you recharge your batteries.
On your break create some family memories – choose wisely, make sure the vacation destination or activity actually adds value and not stress.
Create some low key church events where you can fellowship around tables, in circles. Ensure that there is good conversation time for those gathered.
Get outside – take walks, find a patio to do sermon prep, ride your bike.
Commit to taking a sabbath – to rest in the Lord, enjoy worship with the church, read the bible, pray, get out in nature, journal, do what adds energy and value to your life.
Whatever you do, make sure you take time this summer to reset and replenish your body, mind, spirit and soul.
Join us in Atlanta for the Replant Summit, August 29-30. It’s all about renewing and replenishment for you in your work. Check out this great event and register now-spots are filling up fast!
Well Bootcampers sometimes your work with a local church can come to an end. And not in a way you prayed for, hoped or expected. When a church chooses to NOT revitalize or replant what are you to do? Listen in as the guys break it down
Here are the highlights
Evaluate your calling to this church, at this time.
Consider your season of life and your future – has the Lord granted gifted you to do another turn-around?
Your role may be to lead a church to the point of decision for its future and then to step back and allow the Church to make its decision.
If you stay after a church chooses to not move forward, shift your focus toward discipleship.
If you do leave, do so with grace and love.
Remember the Gospel brother, ministry is difficult, it is hard. If things have come to an end, remember you are not necessarily a failure, you may have been faithful for this season and this time. If you have evaluated your leadership and the Lord has revealed your mistakes, missteps or sin-repent, learn and grow.
If you’re tired and in need of encouragement check out this year’s Replant Summit, register now as space and free lodging are limited.
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Drop us a line, leave a comment or voicemail and share your thoughts, questions or stories.
I recently read a news article that saddened my heart.https://wset.com/news/nation-world/struggling-church-asks-older-members-to-go-away
The article told of a dying church that did not understand the beauty and importance of the older generation.
In an effort to grow their church younger they asked anyone over 60 to not come back to church for two years while they focused on reaching younger people.
Most churches in America right now are trying to figure out how to reach younger people.
There may be much debate on the best way to reach younger people, but I believe most of us would agree the church in this article has taken the wrong approach.
While we may not be as clear about it as the church in this article, this is still our primary approach in one form or another.
I have observed three primary approaches for reaching the next generation that don’t work well and one biblical approach that is slower but more effective.
Bad approach #1 – Center all preferential decisions in the church culture on one generation. (The older generation in legacy churches and the younger generation in church plants)
Bad approach #2 – Hire a new young pastor and expect him to reach young people.
Bad approach #3 – Create segmented programming where everyone gets what they want, and no one has to sacrifice their generational preferences.
In my role at NAMB I am blessed to be able to listen and learn from church revitalization leaders all over the country.
A pastor friend recently asked me if I have noticed any patterns or trends in struggling churches.
I told him that the primary issue I see in struggling churches is they are built primarily on the preferences of one generation and thus the congregation consists primarily of one generation.
My friend asked me what the solution to this problem would be.
I told him that I believe the solution is multi-generational discipleship relationships.
I believe it because I have seen how it works.
We have covered three bad approaches to reaching younger people, now lets look at the biblical approach.
Biblical approach – Increase affection and understanding amongst generations through intentional multi-generational discipleship.
1 Thessalonians 2:3-4
For our exhortation didn’t come from error or impurity or an intent to deceive. Instead, just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please people, but rather God, who examines our hearts.
We have been entrusted by God with the gospel and it is imperative that we pass it on to the next generation.
The LORD is great and is highly praised; His greatness is unsearchable. One generation will declare your works to the next and will proclaim your mighty acts. I will speak of your splendor and glorious majesty and your wondrous works. They will proclaim the power of your awe-inspiring acts, and I will declare your greatness.
It is more important that we herald God’s greatness to next generation than that they respect our traditions, or we are in danger of making the same mistakes as the Pharisees.
We must be careful not to value our personal preferences over God’s purpose.
Every church makes decisions on preferences.
I live in the south and I have a strong preference toward air conditioning in any church I attend.
If we want to see our churches become healthy multi-generational churches, we need to make and live out a kingdom commitment:
I will place the interest of the church and the Kingdom of God ahead of my own personal desires and preferences.
This is a bigger commitment than it may seem at first glance.
As Bob said in the previous session, “A vital and healthy church denies its preferences, dies to its preferences and does that on a daily basis in order to follow Jesus.”
Bob also said, it is impossible to follow Jesus and stay where you are and stay as you are.
Success in your church 5 years from now will not look like success did 25 years ago.
The church that grows younger is intentional about building affection discipleship relationships.
Instead of diving fully into this commitment there is a temptation choose of the bad options mentioned earlier or make superficial efforts.
1 Thessalonians 2:5-6
For we never used flattering speech, as you know, or had greedy motives – God is our witness – and we didn’t seek glory from people, either from you or from others.
Flattering speech is an insincere effort to gain something you want.
When we are hoping to grow your church younger, we must examine our hearts and your motives.
If our goal is to have younger people just so we don’t feel the pain of our churches slowly dying we are going about it the wrong way and we will not get the results that we desire.
Our motivation must be the glory of God and our affection for the next generation.
1 Thessalonians 2:7-8
Although we could have been a burden as Christ’s apostles, instead we were gentle among you, as a nurse nurtures her own children. We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.
This verse may not seem to be about multi-generational discipleship directly, but it does accurately describe the posture necessary for growing your church younger.
When we sit across the table from someone in a discipleship relationship, we begin to care so much about them that we are pleased to share with them not only the gospel but also our own lives.
The generational differences in a church can often feel like a competition.
But ministry should not be about us vs them.
We have an imperative to pass on the gospel.
2 Timothy 2:2
What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
But this isn’t just about passing things on to the next generation.
This is a gospel issue.
This is about biblically healthy churches.
This is about growing in the only metrics of success the Bible give us.
Biblical Measures of Success
Ephesians 4:11-16 show us these measures of success.
And He himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. 4:11-13
Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. 4:14
But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head – Christ. 4:15
From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part. 4:16-17
Did you see the biblical measures of success in the passage?
Biblical Measures of Success
“It’s not natural for people who have almost nothing in common to voluntarily die to self to live in thriving community. Yet this is exactly what the gospel accomplishes in its building of the church—and this is particularly true of multi-generational congregations. Thriving multi-generational churches are characterized by self-denying humility because they cannot function otherwise. When you bring people together who have absolutely different ideas about what the church needs, you will see members preferring one another’s needs above their own, or you will see the church collapse.” – Sam Parkison
If we want to grow our churches younger, we must choose love, unity, and maturity.
In this choice we have an opportunity to see our churches grow younger and for us to grow in love, unity, and maturity.
I am convinced that the best way to accomplish this is to invest ourselves in each other’s lives.
And the best way to invest in each other’s lives is in discipleship relationships that are intentional and incarnational.
I want to challenge you to consider putting this into application when you get back home.
Begin building a relationship with someone younger than you.
Begin with asking more questions than giving advice.
When you ask questions listen to understand and not correct.
Empower the younger generations to lead and participate fully in decisions affecting the youth.
I am convinced that if we all did this our churches would grow younger.
We would not only grow our churches younger.
We would grow in love, unity, and maturity
The true measure of biblical success.
We also make disciples who make disciples and make the community noticeably better.
Let’s choose love.
Let’s make every effort toward unity in Christ.
Let’s mature in the fulness of Christ.
Let’s put the love of Jesus on display for the world.
The Bootcamp is coming at you from the Big “D” Dallas TX. Jimbo and Bob were on the road along with big boss man Mark Clifton, leading a conference for the Korean Council of Southern Baptist Churches. Our thanks to Dr. James Kang, our translators and the many great Pastors, Staff and leaders we met while there.
Today we get down to the important business of analyzing where your church might be in terms of its spiritual health. Bob opens the discussion-here are some of the highlights.
We often ask one another; “How is your church?” We may not want to answer or have categories to answer. Here are four important areas to examine the health in your church.
Spiritual health: prayer, members are Christlike, demonstrate fruit of the spirit, obeying the commands of God, personal devotion to God by regularly participating in worship, prayer and bible study
Financial health: members supporting the ministry bygiving regularly and sacrificially of their resources to the work of God in the local church and beyond, the church is able to compensate its pastors and staff
Missional health: members of the church regularly engage non-Christians and unchurched people in the community, and communicate the gospel clearly. The Church as a body knows, loves and serves its local community.
Relational health: the members of the church are unified in the gospel, they are not filled with divisions over their differences, they love and care for each other, they meet each other’s needs as need arises. They give, serve and love one another-the testimony to those outside the church creates interest and brings praise to God.
Some important things to note:
Numbers are something-they aren’t everything.
Most Churches, read that-most churches right now have experienced decline – you are not alone.
You can’t define health from numbers alone.
Here are some questions to analyze the health of your church:
Is our love for Jesus the primary motivation for the actions or work of our church?
Where is our love for Jesus leading us to risk and step out in faith to follow him making the gospel known in our community?
What preferences and barriers are hindering our love for Jesus and our ability to follow him faithfully?
What is something that Jesus asking me (and our church) to die to, in order to follow more faithfully?
Bonus Material-The Stolen Slides from Keelan Cook
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Drop us a line, leave a voicemail, remember to like and share with your friends-thanks for being a Bootcamper.
Replant Ninja and Top shelf DOM, Johnny Rumbough, from the Lexington Baptist Association, stops by the Bootcamp and talks about the important role of the Transitional Pastor in setting a church up for Replanting Success.
Here are some of the insights Johnny shared about his experience in Replanting local churches.
The Church has to be ready
They have to be willing to take everything off the table (preferences, biases etc.)
They have to submit their desires to God’s desire for the local church
An Interim Pastor is in the unique position to assist a church to take steps toward its future
It doesn’t necessarily take a long time to get a church ready if they are willing to take the right steps to pursue a better future.
Taking advantage of the opportunity to train Pastor search committees and guide them through a process represents a great opportunity to help them move forward.
I learned to use the word “Futuring” rather than Revitalization and it helped resistant churches say yes to the consultation process.
We’ve been able to recommend pastoral candidates to the churches we take through the “Futuring Process”
In working with the churches I’ve developed a process of having everyone who will participate to join in a small group to do two things:
Tell their Jesus story
Share their church story
Johnny mentioned the Associational Replanting Guide, you can download a copy here. If you are an Associational leader, pastor or want to help churches in their futuring process we invite you to join us early 2023 for the Replant Practitioner training, held in Atlanta GA. Watch here are the bootcamp or go to churchreplanters.com for details in October regarding registration. Also, sign up for the Replant Collective and hear about all the great events via a twice monthly email.
We would love to hear your Replant story. Drop us a line, voice mail or leave a comment in the show notes! Thanks for being a Bootcamp Listener!
The boys are back in their normal domiciles and in today’s EP they break down an important subject related to developing the ability to cultivate passion in your work as a Replanter.
Passion is white hot flame and red glowing embers.
Here’s a quote to kick us off: “Light yourself on fire with passion, and people will come from miles to watch you burn.” — John Wesley
Our good friend Mark Hallock adds this: “People long to follow passionate leaders in the church, in the same way that heat-seeking missiles follow fire. . . As for those of us called to revitalize a dying church, passion is a priceless aspect of our leadership.”
This exhortation from Romans 12:11; “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord”
Know the difference between contrived passion and cultivated passion.
Passion is contagious
Passion inspires hope
But we have to be passionate about the right things
What do you do when the Passion is gone? How do you cultivate passion?
Get Clarity-is your season of ministry in that location over? Is God calling you to continue?
Cultivate and nurture your soul by getting into God’s word, praying and practicing solitude.
Get an outside opinion and perspective from a trusted friend, mentor, leader.
Take something off of your plate, you might be out of energy from overwork.
We love our great sponsor, One Eighty Digital. They’ve helped us and they can help you make sure your web presence conveys who you are which helps you connect you with your community. Drop them a line, give them a call, let them know you’re a bootcamp listener!
The Bootcamp boys continue the ATL Bootcamp series and are joined by none other than Pilot Mountain’s own, Walker Armstrong. Walker serves as the AMS Leader for the Pilot Mountain Association and is one of the leaders who helped create the Replant Practitioner Training. Listen in as they discuss what it takes to be healthy as a Pastor serving in a local church.
Staying Healthy is challenging when:
Pastors/Leaders become isolated and alone
When they persist in the hard work of ministry without any breaks
When they don’t have a coach, mentor or friend
When they ignore their own health (physical, spiritual, financial etc.)
What can be done to address pastor health?
Develop a regular practice of “check-ups” and “Check-in’s”
Join a pastors cohort group-where proactive care and focus are given to members
Develop a list of conversational questions aimed at discussing the issues of life, ministry and spiritual growth
Great quote from the episode: “You are only as sick as your secrets.”
Guys, don’t Pastor alone, connect with other Pastors. your Associational Leader or check in with us here at the Bootcamp. Drop us a line, send an email reach out today.
Need help? Pastoral Care Line: 1-844-PASTOR1 is a free, confidential, dedicated help line for pastors. Trained, professional counselors are available every day from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. (ET). Confidentiality is ensured by Focus on the Family.
EP 131 - CULTIVATING DESIRE IN CULTURE CHANGE with Keelan Cook
While the boys were in Atlanta for the annual AMS Replant Practitioner Lab they took some time to record several episodes with some of the plenary speakers. Keelan Cook is OG for the Replant Practitioner Lab and the OG Replant Bootcamp Missiologist.
In the previous episode with Dr. Casey “The Chin” Williams the guys discussed the importance of missions methodology being informed first by right theology and then right missiology.
Theology > Missiology > Methodology
But when it comes to methodology, what is the best way to get people to act on the call we all have to be missionaries? Good information won’t be enough. There has to be a desire, there has to be affection.
In this episode, Keelan Cook helps us think through the integrity of our messaging and the ways that we learn.
Developing desire is the most important aspect of navigating outreach.
Integrity of message:
MACRO-LEVEL — Broadcast level that is most likely to hit the whole church at once. Think sermons, website, emails, etc.
MESO-LEVEL (mid-level) — Smaller groupings of people within the church where much equipping and fellowshipping takes place. Think sunday school classes, small groups etc.
MICRO-LEVEL — Interpersonal interaction. Think the foyer prior to corporate worship, or lunch following the service
LOVE BY DOING
Cognitive (Head) – Knowledge and concepts
Affective (Heart) – Emotional buy-in
Behavioral (Hands) – Activity-based
“In 1964 Leon Festinger’s research led him to advance the radical notion that the knowledge–behaviour relationship actually works the other way around – that is, people are more likely to behave their way into thinking than think their way into behaving” – Shaw, Transforming Theological Education, 2014.
Your website is part of your church’s mission to reach the community-is it working? Connect with our great partner, One Eighty Digital and get their help to make sure your website both reflects who your church is and what you are about.
Drop us a line, send us a voicemail-we’d love to hear about your story in reaching the community God has placed you within.