Episode #24 - ?Jason Rumbough Boots on the Ground Highlight?
**Show Note** Early Wednesday morning East Nashville TN was it with a severe tornado. Many business and homes in the area were impacted, 24 lives were lost and the community is in great need. Jason’s church, Hope Church was undamaged yet just blocks from the church the damage was severe. Pray for Jason and his church as they provide much needed support, care and the hope of the Gospel to those impacted by this storm.
Episode #23 - Using the Fourfold Panorama with Keelan Cook
Keelan Cook, of the Union Baptist Association stopped by the bootcamp to give us some great insights on how to understand your church and its context.
It is important for Replants and Revitalizations to know themselves and their communities-one of the reasons why they are in decline is that they no longer understand themselves and their context.
Every church needs to understand
The Biblical Mission
The Congregation itself
The Context in which it exists
The church usually understands the Biblical mission, they may have blindspots in knowing themselves and knowing their community.
The Fourfold Panorama seeks to help churches understand themselves and their contexts from the view of the insiders and the outsiders.
A lot of churches are “nose blind” to their condition.
What is one reason why churches are in decline? They put their own preferences over cultural engagement.
An important question to ask: Do the activities of your church match the needs of the community?
A community is more than a geographical location-it is also a moment in time. Instead of a rock in the field-think a rock in the current of a moving stream.
If we struggle to gain traction-we may be aiming at the wrong target (meaning our understanding of the community)
What are some of the initial core actions we need to take in order to use the Panorama window?
Data Discover (ACP, Demographics)
Churches often suffer from “aspiration bias” believing they are what they wish they were.
Can you do this assessment by yourself? What are my best next steps?
Most often it’s best to get someone outside the church to facilitate the process
Association staff, area pastors.
Build a team of influencers (a leadership team) inside the congregation.
Conduct the work and then unpack the information for the congregation in ever widening circles.
How do you handle the reality of people pushing back and disagreeing with the data of the discovery process?
Typically, if the church team is the one who presents the data their relational credibility and influence often help the rest of the church accept reality.
In some cases when you have someone on the team who disagrees or rejects the realities-discover the real reason behind their disagreement. It’s usually something related to control, preference or fear of change.
Treat this as a discipleship moment; “Help me understand…” asking why they are having a difficult time hearing the report.
Are there people who shouldn’t be on your Panorama Team?
You want the team to be diverse in perspectives and social circles
Use caution in choosing “gatekeepers” and “stakeholders” who may want to be guardians of the present and their preferences.
Consider saying; “If you are not able to consider ideas or opportunities outside of your preferences-this may not be the team for you.”
Often, fear mitigation is an important part of this discovery process. Communicating that the initial steps in this process are devoted to trying to understand the realities of the church and its condition and that recommendations will follow may help.
Call the congregation to understand the beauty of the Great Commission-help them rekindle a love for the mission of the church. When that happens fear often subsides.
Key Resource: Pick out a key third place ( a coffee shop, a restaurant etc.) and get to know the people in that space and learn about them and the community. Engage them through conversation and relationship.
Episode #22 - Leading Senior Saints in Missional Engagement w/ Boots on the Ground Guest Cory Davis
Joining the guys today is Cory Davis, Pastor in Eastview Baptist Church in Kilgore Texas. He is definitely a Resourceful Generalist-he drove up to a member’s home and jumped on their internet to take the call. Thanks for joining us Cory!
Q: How do I lead our senior saints to engage our community missionally?
Remember, your senior saints are not an obstacle to ministry-they are your ministry.
As your people age, they are not able to do what they used to do in terms of ministry-they have to go about engaging the community in a different way.
Prepare the hearts of your people through biblical preaching-get them ready for the people God will bring into your church.
Help your existing members move from gathering and sending things only and explore adding personal interactions with those whom you are seeking to reach.
Explore “built-in” opportunities that already exist in your community where senior adults can have an impact. (volunteering at the hospital, library, schools etc.)
Help your people see that God has called them to demonstrate and declare the gospel-equip them to share the gospel and their faith story.
Most senior adults love to go out to eat. Encourage your people to become “regulars” at the coffee shop or diner and get to know the staff. They can offer to pray for servers, tip well, and encourage the staff.
Cast vision and build up your senior adults-they are important and needed and necessary for the body and God’s kingdom.
Help your senior saints realize their value as prayer warriors. Schedule cottage prayer gatherings during the day.
Wisdom from Jimbo: “If you can still fog a mirror, God still has a mission for you!”
Episode #16 - Rebranding and Replanting with Special Guest Rodney Richardson of Rare Design
When NBA, NFL teams, and other major sports franchises want to rebrand they call Rodney Richardson at Rare Design. Rare Design also helps a lot of churches and Rodney is a lay elder at The Church at 4 Points. Rare Design and 4 Points help support and manage Ddembe Ministries in Uganda. Rodney has served in various forms of lay leadership in local churches – including one replant. The combination of his ministry experience and professional expertise give him a unique and valuable perspective on replanting and rebranding.
“Branding” is about much more than good looking images. “When I use the word ‘brand’ it is synonymous with story. It is your story.”
We need to understand who we are. Where we come from. Our heritage. A lot of times we forget why we got into things in the first place. So much about replanting and rebranding is remembering. Remembering the story of the church. Embracing the story and the legacy of the church.
A vital characteristic for a replanter is a Respect for a Church’s Legacy – “A pastor with Respect for a Church’s Legacy knows how to love and build off of a church’s past without allowing people in the congregation to idolize it in an unhealthy way.” This requires a posture of humility.
Replanters need to recognize that God planted the church they are pastoring intentionally. Each church is a unique place in the world. No other church has the exact same story.
Sometimes when looking into the history of the church you are pastoring you might find things you wish weren’t there. We have to be honest about the past and approach it with grace. We have to recognize and repent of things like this when we find them. Sometimes there are things that must be dealt with. Sometimes there are wounds and there has to be a healing process. Part of replanting is facing the ugly stuff. “If we don’t know it, if we don’t admit it, then we can’t know how to deal with it to move forward in right ways.”
Ecclesiastes 4:12 – Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
The three strands of any organization are:
The Story – Vision, Mission, History, Beliefs, The Stories of Who We Are
The Culture – Systems, Structure, Personnel, Processes, Protocols, The Daily Living of Who We Are
The Expression – Identity, Marketing, Public Relations. The Outward Expressions of Who We Are
The story is the most vital. We need to build our structures and expressions according to our story. When all 3 strands converge, your entire organization will come into alignment, positioning you for success.
People aren’t coming to your church because they want a cool logo and/or website. People are hurting. People are looking for connection. They are looking for real relationships. They are looking for real answers as to who they are and who they are created to be.
It is important to discover who God has wired you to be as an individual and as a church. When Jesus called the disciples he called a tax collector, a zealot, a doubter, and an impetuous guy who just said whatever came to his mind. Each of these men served God through their personality of who God wired them to be.
Replanters need to figure out what the personality of the church is. Effective replanters have a good sense of Organizational Awareness – A replanter with Organizational Awareness is adept at understanding how power dynamics work within the church, anticipating how changes would be received, recognizing where change may produce friction, and showing an awareness of how current practice and changes affected their position within the community in which they served.
At Rare Design we challenge people to practice the law of asymmetry – dare to be different. You have permission to be who God has called you to be. Don’t measure against the “crowd” – don’t fall into herd mentality. Be empowered in who God has called you to be as a church. You don’t have to be cool and trendy – you have to be who God has called you to be.
When we say we want a good logo or branding usually we are saying we want good expression. But you can’t express what you don’t know.
We are always story telling. Let’s make sure we are telling the greatest story ever told.
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