EPISODE #41 - SHOULD OUR CHURCH REGROUP AND RELAUNCH?
This episode has the guys answering a question from Pastor Gary: Our church (7 to 11 members) has decided to stop meeting publicly and wants to regroup in my home-they are also considering a name change and a move closer to town-what advice or wisdom can you offer?
Listen in as the guys have an awkward start, talk Covid19, break it down, and consider some of the options in stopping, restarting and moving a church to another location for greater missional effectiveness.
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As a Pastors’ kid, I was able to watch a pastor who was a great shepherd.
When you meet a pastor whose staff knows more about the church than he does he is not a Pastor Shepherd.
My father was a great example of a Pastor/Shepherd.
One of the best lessons I learned is that I was never an interruption to my dad, even when he was busy. He loved me and modeled for me what it was like to be a great pastor and a great father.
As a kid I never felt like I was in competition with the church. There was never a time where I didn’t like the church.
My dad showed me how to not live in isolation as a pastor-he demonstrated the value of connecting with other Pastors who are ministering in my area.
New Orleans DictionaryGris-gris: voodoo, a powerful spell put on something/someone.
The Idlewild Story
Trinity Baptist Church was dying and located in a changing/transitioning area, the youngest was 60 and they were down to eight people.
The Neighborhood was 60% African American, 30% White, 18% Hispanic.
50% of the neighborhood was aged 18 and younger.
I was not looking to Replant, I was happy serving where I was.
Idlewild was intentional about hiring a person of color.
The congregation had determined to give the building to Idlewild for ministry.
In January 2014 Idlewild began a ministry called “Adopt a Block” where they regularly entered the neighborhood to meet and pray for the people. They provided connection events and opportunities to reach the community.
Pastor Ken Whitten shaped the approach with this philosophy; “We didn’t just want to go to them, we want to grow among them.”
Advice for Replanting in a multi-cultural context
Be intentional from the very beginning
It’s best if the Replanter is already engaged and active in multicultural relationships.
The people drawn to our church were not drawn because we have multicultural worship, they were drawn to our church because the church was intentional in the approach to reach the community-both white people and people of color were actively involved meeting people in the community.
People bought in even before they came to attend a worship service.
We gave opportunity and value to a variety of styles in worship as a natural expression of who we are.
Episode #7 - How NOT to Build a Lasting Elder Team
In a Replant high capacity and qualified leaders are likely to be in short supply.
Don’t let the urgent need for leaders be a primary driving process for your seeking to install Elders.
Do not confuse excitement and enthusiasm as good indicators that you may have found the right person to engage as a leader.
The past church experiences of the leaders you are considering installing as leaders matters, do not ignore conflict that occured in previous churches. Discern the circumstances, issues and let that inform your decision regarding their leadership.
An Elder process is important-develop one and stick to it.
Elders share the load and burden of ministry. It is important to develop leaders/elders who work together, especially when you as a Replanter are needing help or hurting.
Give them some weight to bear-some guys just want to give advice rather than serve.
Never give someone a position of leadership if they are not already serving.
Spend time together as families, dinners, and parties. Observe how they interact with their spouse and children.
Give them an area of ministry to lead, especially leading others.
If you have pause or question regarding an Elder candidate, stop the process.
Pray with and consult with your spouse regarding the candidates you are considering for Elders.
Don’t install an Elder unless and until you have a conflict or disagreement with them and have resolved it successfully.
In this episode Bob and JimBo start a new segment called, ‘Stupid Stuff We Did and Survived’. JimBo will share a few stories of how he unwisely led facility changes. We invite you to laugh at us and with us during this episode. Hopefully you will be encouraged and challenged as well.
Some things to consider in leading change well
Cast a vision for change, don’t just make changes. When people understand and believe in the ‘WHY’ behind changes it is easier for them to get on board.
Communicate and then communicate some more. You cannot over-communicate.
Have compassion for how change impacts people. (Jeff Iorg does a great job of talking about this in his book, ‘Leading Major Change‘).
Move to a system where everything does not have to be voted on, but you still need to give people a voice in the process.
Create a diverse team of people to help lead change in the church.
What are some of your stories of leading change that didn’t go well?
Episode #2 - Advice for Replanting Residents and Rookies (with Boots on the Ground Guest Jesse Peters)
In this episode Bob and JimBo are joined by BOOTS ON THE GROUND GUEST Jesse Peters from Ebenezer Baptist Church in Henderson, NC. Jesse is helping start a replanting residency at his church and wanted to know what advice we would have for replanting residents and rookies.
Replanting is not easy work, but it also isn’t super complicated.
Visit Everyone in the Church
Make pastoral visits a high priority in your first year to get to know everyone in the congregation. Get an understanding of where they are spiritually, hear stories of the church and their lives. You need to know the sheep in order to shepherd the sheep.
Preach the Gospel
This is about more than your sermons. One of the primary objectives for a Replanter is to align everything the church does with the gospel. We recommend ‘Gospel Driven Church‘ by Jared Wilson as a great resource on this topic.
Reach Out to the Community
Get to know your community. Build relationships with people in the community. Make a difference in the community. Effective replant pastors work hard to move their churches to have a missional focus.
Find Some Men to Disciple
In Reclaiming Glory, Mark Clifton defines success in replanting as a church that is making disciples that makes disciples that make the community noticeably better.
Evaluate the Condition of Your Church
When you walk into a dying church there a lot of things that need to change, and you can’t change them all at once. Start evaluating and making a private list in your prayer journal. Take the initiative to help the church move forward as an organization.
Don’t Forget to Celebrate
As mentioned in the last point, you need to evaluate. But be careful not to let this give you a negative outlook. Find things to celebrate and find joy in celebration. Lead with celebration and encouragement.
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Have fun!! The weight of it all can make you feel like everything is make or break. The church you are pastoring has likely been in decline for a long time – one bad Sunday under your watch won’t kill it, trust us!
Find Some Friends! Encouragers
DO NOT WALK THIS ROAD ALONE!! Replanting is gritty and glorious work. There will be plenty of discouragement, work to build some relationships with people who are encouragers. Find other pastors who are farther along than you to walk this road with you. This is one of the biggest things that helped us survive our first five years.