In this episode the guys talk about closing out the year and opening up 2021 with some intentionality and turn to considering what the irreducible minimums would be for leading the church in 2021. Don’t forget to drop us a line with your question or sign up for the next Replant Bootcamp black ops hat giveaway.
Here are six things that every Pastor, Replanter or Planter can focus on in the coming year. Anyone can do them, anywhere. As you consider leading your church in 2021 we recommend these six irreducible minimums.
Pursue first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness
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!”