primary difference between two types of small churches
50 people- as a pastor you can be there for everyone
150 people- you are pushed more to equip others; you can be main provider of ministry but you have to have trained others
most of us are “chaplain-ing” (does ministry for people & bring ministry to people) our churches and not “pastoring” (equip people to do work of ministry) our churches.
recommended book: “Dirt Matters” Jim Powell
Pastor in rural Indiana who had an ‘ah-ha’ moment “We do funeral receptions well!” He told the funeral director that they would host funeral receptions for anyone who died in their town. As a result, they touched the lives of everyone in that town/county and grew. “Church growth through funeral receptions”
Do what you know to do, pay attention to what works, and why
After you discover what your church does well, do it on purpose
Front-load the value: feature what you do well
The smaller your church is, the more singular your focus needs to be
Use the “closet rule” for ministries: Don’t add a new one until you’ve dropped an old one
What does your church do well, that you would like to do more of?
What does your church do poorly, that you would like to do less of?
Ask: “If our church wasn’t already doing this, would we start doing it?”
after every event, we do a major assessment - what worked? what didn’t?
can a church do senior ministry primarily? you have to be thinking at least the decade out; consider following groups like AARP to see how they keep on the cutting edge of senior ministry
We have to stop being driven by our structures, programs and habits
We don’t need ‘cool’ churches. We need churches that are appropriate for our context.
Move out of a destination mindset and into a process orientation
destination mindset- we arrived at that destination & we stayed there (we got the building, we’ve bolted pews, and the pulpit won’t be moved until the last member of the family that donated the pulpit has died) now we can ‘rest’ but then we lose touch with the neighborhood
Most unhealthy churches look like what their neighborhood used to look like at the time when the church was founded or at the time when the last great pastor was there.
process orientation- we are going to change things but we will explain why & have a process for it.
Churches can handle change, but they don’t like to be surprised
The Sweet Spot: God, the church and the pastor’s hearts meet
The Default: God and the pastor, but not the church
The Listening Place: God and the church, but not the pastor
The Danger Zone: The Church and the pastor, but not God
Do not mistake the absence of conflict for the presence of God.
It’s OK for a pastor’s vision to be helping people fulfill their vision.