EPISODE #68 - HOW COVID CHANGED THE INTERNET FOR CHURCHES
Happy New Year from the boot camp boys! We hope it’s off to a great start for you and your church. In today’s episode Wesley Lewis, owner and creative director of OneEighty.digital (our exclusive, illustrious and awesome podcast sponsor) stops by to explain how COVID19 has changed the internet. And….you’ll also learn a couple things about the boot camp bros…
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.
OneEighty Digital is a team of design, development, and marketing experts that love working with churches big and small, and they’ve just launched two awesome new products to help churches, plants, and replants. The first is called Launchpad, it’s an all-in-one custom branding and website bundle developed specifically for planters, replanters, & revitalizers who need to get things moving quickly. The second is Church Quicksite. It was created for churches working with tight budgets and can help get them an amazing new church website in as little as 1 week at a really affordable price. Check out OneEighty.Church to learn more about these special new offerings and how OneEighty can help your church Move Forward!
Episode #15 - Dealing with Depression and Discouragement with Special Guest Mark Clifton
Mark Clifton, Sr. Director of Replant of the North American Mission Board, stopped by the bootcamp and dropped some great knowledge and advice about how to deal with discouragement and depression as a Replanter.
How can a Replanter stay encouraged and healthy?
Unfortunately many don’t.
Pastors operate wounded and then wound others-spending $20 on a 10 cent problem.
Satan’s number 1 tool against a Pastor is depression/discouragement.
The weight of ministry creates a cycle of discouragement and depression that often creates a victim mentality and a context in which operating with emotional intelligence is difficult.
If you find your purpose, joy and meaning in how well your church is doing–you’ll be feeding off the congregation and not feeding them. And you’ll always be searching for Joy.
Find your joy in Jesus alone.
Talk to yourself, instead of listening to yourself.
Should a Pastor admit struggles and weaknesses?
You need to be vulnerable as a Pastor, but you also need to be cautious about how and with whom you are vulnerable.
Find a group of Leaders (Other Pastors, Director of Missions, Associational Missional Strategist, Elders) who you are living in community with and be vulnerable with them.
Be wise about your struggles with the congregation during your preaching.
We must remember that we have the Gospel-our trust is not in ourselves but in Jesus.
Use your weaknesses and inadequacies to point to the cross instead of using them to garner sympathy.
What are some other sources of encouragement for a discouraged Pastor/Replanter?
Read the Scriptures
Read the Puritans
Listen to good sermons (Spurgeon, Martin Lloyd Jones)
Episode #6 - Preparing for The Call to Replant - Boots on The Ground Highlight w/ Evan Skelton
The guys welcomed Replant Pastor Evan Skelton to the Bootcamp to talk about preparing for the call to Replant a local church, Replant Residencies and failed Youth Internships. Buckle up, grab a snack and settle in for this slightly longer (than usual) but super important episode.
How do you prepare for the call of Replanting?
Review the call with your wife
Consider the cost-Replanting is hard and difficult
Be willing to serve in any capacity “ugly ministry”
Be equipped and trained in a residency
Serve, watch and pray and see what God can do through a local church Replant
Connect with other men who are seeking to replant churches
Encourage and cheer on your peers
Be scrappy financially: flexible jobs, raise funds
How does a Replanter find a church to serve?
Careful examination of opportunities
Networking with other Pastors and leaders
Visit your local Association
Connect with local Churches who need help, serve there willingly
Attend and serve at an ordinary church
Advice from Evan
Get some exposure and experience in an ordinary church
Center yourself on the Gospel until the glory of God matters most
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.