Hope you had a great 4th of July-we’re back at it this week talking about something that every Pastor, Replanter and Revitalizer needs to get a handle on: Formal and Informal Permission. What is it? Check out the definitions and discussion below.
Formal Permission: the act of garnering approval via a recognized and agreed upon process for a decision or action. Like these examples below.
Informal Permission: the leadership skill and insight which recognizes the power of influence and influencers and knows that forward progress often moves at the speed of relationships
Every church has influencers, gatekeepers – they are the ones who everyone looks at when a discussion turns to a point of decision or is considering killing a sacred cow.
These aren’t necessarily “problem” people – they are often faithful process oriented folks who have made the hard decisions or assumed the important role of keeping the church legal and alive.
Keep this in mind:
You can’t ignore the processes and expect to have the support of the congregation
You have to know the processes and policies and work within them (even if you want to change them)
You gain the opportunity to change them – by working in them and then suggesting or proposing a better way
Is this decision making structure leading to the accomplishment of our mission?
Is this decision making structure hindering the accomplishment of our mission?
How might we more effectively make decisions on important matters?
Forward progress often moves at the speed of relationship and trust.
Need some help with Bylaws? Check out the Bootcamp EP 92 with the Baptist Bouncer, Craig Culbreth to brush up on your bylaws skill.
Make the decision today to take your church website up to the next level by contacting our great partners at One Eighty Digital. They can have you up and running in no time.
Show notes powered by Descript are an approximation of the verbal content, consult podcast audio for accuracy and detail.
The boys are both in Florida enjoying some vacation time, JimBo rocking it at Universal, Bob is at Sea Side, but that’s not stopping great content coming your way! In today’s EP we’ll be talking about how to structure your time in a way that will help you execute your vision, plan, mission and values. Give it a listen, check out the resources and use this summer to bring some structure into your week.
Join the boys and other Bootcampers at the Replantsummit in ATL, August 29-30, 2022
Get your website on track by connecting with our partner at One Eighty Digital, the professionals there can make your site accessible and helpful to not only the members of your church but also those who live in your community. y
Well, welcome back Bootcampers to the newly minted and freshly labeled, “Leading National Podcast” the Replant Bootcamp. We’re fresh off of the SBC annual meeting and happy to jump right into some great content related to Organizational and Spiritual health of the church.
Here are some of the highlights of this discussion, we’d also love to hear from you. Be sure to drop us a line, email or voice mail your comments.
Church health and Organizational Health
Why are numbers not a good metric to determine church health?
Church health and organizational health are two different things but they do influence each other.
Organizational health does influence and is influenced by church health (and vice versa) but they are not the same thing.
Church health markers
Love, unity, and maturity
Love, unity, and maturity are rightly pursued and promoted from the platform and the table ministries (mentioned last episode).
Love, unity, and maturity result in the Body of Christ loving each other well in biblical community and loving their communities well through gospel mission.
Organizational health markers
Decentralized leadership (Team)
De-personified alignment (Mission, vision, values, strategy throughout the org. not just lead pastor)
Dependable resources (finances, facilities, personnel, systems, and processes)
Don’t confuse having a healthy organization with having a healthy church. The org is only scaffolding for the body, like a trellis is for the vine.
Hey there Bootcampers, thanks for joining us this week. Jimbo’s back with a great report on his sister and her surgery and many thanks for keeping her and his family in prayer this last week.
Today we turn our attention toward something we all need, encouragement. Specifically, there are people in every Replant and Revitalization who stayed the course, kept things moving in the right direction. Fought the hard battles which were necessary to ensure the church had a future. People like that have seen others leave the church, many times even their life long friends.
Welcome back to the Bootcamp! In today’s EP, we get to hear an amazing story about a church merger that took place during the pandemic. Pastor Sam Tunnel, of Immanuel Fellowship stopped by to break it all down. Please remember to pray for JimBo’s sister and their family as she is having brain surgery tomorrow (6/2/22), JimBo will join us once again soon.
Here are some of the highlights:
Prayer is super essential
You need a process to follow, get one, work it and keep going unless God redirects
In every church merger there are challenges: worship style, budgets, staffing, volunteers
Humility is required by both churches in order for a merger to work out
Get help-check out the new revised version of Better Together by Bird and Tomberlin
Thanks for being a faithful Bootcamper! Remember to drop us a line, note, voicemail with your boots on the ground question. And while you’re at it, check out our great sponsor, One Eighty Digital for all your website and branding needs.
Hey Bootcampers, we hope you’re ready for the next episode. But first check out this webinar from our great sponsor at One Eighty 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.
Do you feel like your website is close to its end? Don’t despair, contact our awesome sponsor, One Eighty Digital, they can get you up and running in no time.
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.