Quotes From FMCGC15

It is inspiring when church leaders from all over the world unite to get on the same page.

Here are many of the top quotes from the past 4 days in Orlando at the Free Methodist Church General Conference 2015.

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Larry Walkemeyer 

“God’s vision always takes a team.”

“Too often prayer is assumed in stead of activated.”

“Fear robs, and obedience rewards.”

“Good is often the chief enemy of great.”

“When we live behind fear, we invite garbage into our lives.”

“Remain open-handed with whoever God gives you.”

“Without a strong WHY we will gravitate to what is EASIEST.”

 

Al Sones

“Obedience to the Holy Spirit ‘requires’ vulnerability”

 

Bishop David Kendall

“God’s love didn’t wait until we were known – God Loved!”

“The love God commands is the love God empowers.”

 

Bruce Bennett

“Jesus didn’t give us an impossible mission.  We’ve just been slow learners.”

“Calling will always interrupt what you’re doing.”

 

Keith Cowart

“Being a leader is being comfortable with your gifting and your lack.”

 

Stephen Gray

“Church multiplication is a Spiritual decision.”

“The local church is the only hope of the world.”

“Movements must be dangerous to be effective.”

 

Ben Sigman

“Numbers are not the goal.  If numbers are the goal, you will do ungodly things to get them.”

 

Bishop David Roller

“Love of others is not natural.”

“Never ask God who your neighbor is unless you want him to wreck your Tuesday night.”

“Don’t allow religious work to distract you from God’s heart.”

“If we are really going to love our neighbor, we cannot continue as we are.”

“Love demands that we move forward with dangerous plans.”

“We can only love when we invite God’s character to overtake our character.”

“We must love in ways that amaze and astound our communities.”

 

J.D. Van Valin

“If you want to see the kingdom of God at work, you’re going to have to deal with some odor.”

 

Bruce Cromwell

“May God bless you with tension.”

 

Bishop Matthew Thomas

“If the Lord is providing the power he’ll provide the way.”

“We must have a life worthy of showing them.”

“Jesus conveyed his power, and gave the command.  ‘Go…make disciples.”

“Why would anyone want to follow YOU?”

Where you there this week?

What quotes or takeaways would you add?  Now, let us go home to our churches a changed people.  And may God change our communities through us.

God Bless.

Leave comments below.

You’re Not The Gatekeeper Of Every Ministry

Remember that iconic line from Monty Python and The Holy Grail?

“None shall pass!”

Arthur, King of the Britains, attempts to pass a bridge.  It is guarded, however, by the infamous Black Knight.  He guards this bridge with his life, allowing no one to cross over to the other side.  He claims, “None shall pass” twice before earning multiple ‘flesh wounds.’

monty-python-the-black-knight.mp4

I share this because I recently had a powerful coaching discussion with my Lead Pastor.  In September of 2014 I transitioned into a Campus Pastor role in the midst of our church’s first multisite launch.  Can I just say…I’ve learned a lot in just 8 months!

As a new, and smaller, campus we want to be careful and purposeful about when and how we start new ministries.  Too much too soon can bring more problems than good.  This was the topic I brought up to him.  After a few minutes, he made a statement that instantly gave me clarity on the issue.

gate keeper.002

Wow!  And he followed up with this.

He explained that new ministries simply need to have clear purpose, leadership, boundaries, and must be fully in line with the mission, vision, and core values of our church.  That’s my job.  As long as that is all in place, we want to be permission-giving.

If you’re in a senior leadership role, can you relate to this?  Do you find this helpful?  How is the creation of new ministries handled in your church?

Join the discussion.  Please leave a comment below.

 

 

Best Connection Methods With Those Attending Your Church

Gone are the days of the paper church newsletter.  You know…the kind that actually had a stamp on it.  We walked to our mailbox, opposed to clicking on our inbox.

As a Campus Pastor, I’m learning the massive importance of 2-way communication with those in our church.  One tool I’ve absolutely fallen in love with is MailChimp. We use this service to send weekly eBulletins to our church attendees.  It has helped us tremendously.  (Here’s an example of ours)

HOWEVER!

It’s only helpful if you have a name and an ACCURATE email address.  This is where traditional ‘paper’ Communication Cards fall short.

cc

It can be quite frustrating…having a communication card from a 1st time guest and not being able to read their email address. Maybe the ink was smeared, or they simply write like a doctor (no offense).  Have you had this happen? This new guest visits your church, takes time to give you their info and drop the card in a box hoping for some sort of correspondence. And the worst instance is when this happens and they did not include a phone or snail-mail address. Now you’re at a dead end. The only thing to do here is pray that they return so we can follow up.

effective-communication

All that leads me to say this. Churches must develop ways for those attending their worship services to submit Communication Card information via their mobile devices from their seats or in their vehicles on their way home. This will not only improve the accuracy issues mentioned above, it will also increase connections.

Here are a few key connection practices.

  • Convenience | Place communication cards in the seats. Don’t ask people to stop by somewhere else to pick one up…they won’t! Also, keep the card as simple as possible. Fewer specifics and clutter are less overwhelming.
  • 2-Way | People in your church should always have a way to respond or answer a question. For an eBulletin, take advantage of hyperlinks. These can connect them from there to social media, staff emails, event registration forms, and helpful resources.
  • Follow up | This is HUGE  for people who just visited your church. First-time guests at our church receive a welcome letter (mailed with a stamp) mailed on Monday, followed by a brief email. This email encourages them to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, our website, and by signing up for our eBulletin.
  • Centralized | For us, we want everyone to receive our weekly eBulletin. They can get everything they need in one ‘centralized’ location.

Rich Birch offers some solid tips on following up with guests who visit your church in this UNSEMINARY post. You will want to check it out.

What does your church do? What areas of connection do you struggle with? Would you add any thoughts on the topic?

Please leave a comment. 

 

God of ‘WOW’

God of ‘WOW’

When was the last time God ‘Wowed’ you?

I don’t know about you, but when God amazes me in larger than normal ways it usually includes a bit of humility.  Recently, I had one of those moments.  God stepped in and reminded me that He was still in charge of the situation….NOT me! 

This was a healthy piece of humble pie.  You see, the week leading up to our first ‘soft’ launch of our new Satellite church campus was packed full of endless task lists, technical disappointments, exhausting work days, and personal family struggles.  

The problem:

   – There was too much left to do before Sunday.

   – Contractors informed me we would not have internet, video teaching or projection capabilities. 

   – I was struggling emotionally to maneuver through and balance leading a new church launch and a family crisis at the same time.  And my college studies had come to a screeching halt.   

The result:

   – Our core church family showed up, cleaned up, donated and constructed in a HUGE way.  God deployed His Church body and the work got done.  

   – Video streaming capabilities, projection, and high-speed internet…..were ALL in place by Friday evening.   

   – We had an unexpected breakthrough in our family situation which gave my wife and I hope that we didn’t have before.

God showed up in a big way.  He blessed me with peace of mind and comfort that He was definitely in control.  Then, I was reminded of God’s reply to Job in chapter 38.

“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
 Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

    Tell me, if you have understanding.”  v.2-4

More humble pie.

I was relying on my own knowledge and control of these details.  I was allowing myself to become anxious about things that God was already at work in.  And the purpose in all of this became crystal clear.  God gets the credit for all of it….NOT ME.

As for our first worship service together, everything was perfect.  God’s Spirit was there.  We worshipped, learned, and fellowshipped together.  There was a shared energy and hope for families and individuals in our new community.  

How about you?  Has God ‘Wowed’ you recently….and what did you learn from it?  Please comment below and share this post with others who might need it.  

5 Steps to Going Multisite

photo by: iStock
photo by: iStock

What are the most effective trends or models of Multisite Church you’re seeing today?

Well, I’ve been doing some of my own research on the topic because I’ll be leading our church’s first Satellite campus in Sept of 2014.  While I’m excited and often like to figure out things on my own, there are unlimited resources today for multisite church leaders.

Here are 5 things you can do in planning to transition to a multisite church.

1.  Read books

These authors represent leaders who have been doing multisite for quite a while and have a lot to offer those of us just starting out.

The Multisite Church Revolution, A Multisite Church Roadtrip, Church Locality,  and 125 Tips For Multisite Churches….just to start.

2. Read blogs

Use a good RSS feed or subscribe to blogs about multisite church.  New material, methods, statistics are being posted almost daily.  It’s important to stay up on all that is being experienced and discovered. Here are a few quality sites I follow: Multisite Solutions, Tony Morgan Live, Leadership Network, unSeminary, Inner Revolution, and Leading Multisite.  

3. Create a Twitter list

One of the first things I did….create a Twitter list by searching ‘campus pastor.’  My list currently has about 55 campus pastors on it.  This allows me to follow what these pastors are posting about what’s going on with their campuses.

4. Ask those in the trenches 

Going off of #3, make the big ask.  Just reach out to those who seem to be doing multisite well and ask for a few minutes of their time.  Now, not everyone will reply to you.  But, I’m learning that those who do will be of tremendous assistance.  What they offer you is worth a few non-responses.  Trust me, I’ve done it.

5. Visit other churches  

This is self explanatory.  Find multisites within driving distance of where you live, call them, and make arrangements to visit on a weekend.  Attend their service and hopefully take a tour of their facility.  If you’re lucky, the campus pastor will walk you through how they launched.

Are you doing multisite or transitioning toward one of many multisite models soon?

What are you learning?  Who are you learning from?

Join the conversation and leave a comment below.

 

 

 

A Current Glance at the Multisite Movement

I borrowed this infographic from UNSEMINARY.  It points out many interesting stats on the exploding multisite church movement.  As a staff pastor who recently transitioned into a campus pastor role with a new satellite launch, I can personally attest to most of these numbers.

Multisite_Movement_Inforgraphic_2014

Source: Leadership Network/Generis Multisite Church Scorecard

Are you a multisite pastor?

Where do you see your campus situation in the above stats?  Comment below.

Let’s connect on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Launching a Satellite Campus

Just after Labor Day of 2014, our church will be going multi-site.  My wife and I will be heading up this work with a volunteer staff team, which has led me down a path of discovery.  A path I never saw myself traveling before.

photo by: www.wallpapersas.com
photo by: http://www.wallpapersas.com

The more I dig, the more I learn.  Here’s what I’m talking about.

1.  There’s not just one model that works for everyone.  Every multi-site church I talk to does it differently.  Some differences are subtle, and others are quite noticeable.

2.  There’s no such thing as doing enough research.  I learn something new the more I look.  I’m discovering aspects of doing  satellite church that I love….and some that absolutely will not work for our community and church culture.  This is so valuable.

3.  A gradual transition from staff pastor to campus pastor is easier said than done.  There are days when I find myself multitasking between my current responsibilities and the essential planning components of launching a satellite campus.  It’s in these moments that I am so thankful for the staff and leadership I work with.  I am not doing this alone and others are coming around me to help.

4.  Other campus pastors are very passionate about what they do and are very open to sharing what they know.  As soon as our Lead Pastor asked us to give leadership to this new campus, I was all over Twitter.  I created a list of Campus Pastors to follow.  That list consists of about 47 currently, and I’ve connected with a significant number of them already.  The encouragement I’ve gained from some of these guys has been priceless.

5.  An implementation plan is a must-have.  We are leaning heavily on the expertise of those who have done this…and done it well.  Seacoast has some great resources, as well as books on multi-site by Geoff Surratt.

I’m quite confident that after we officially launch in September this list will continue to expand.  I am so very excited and honored to be a part of growing the kingdom work through Christ Community Church.

If you’re a Campus Pastor, what would you add to this list?

Join the conversation, leave a comment below.