John Burke helped us engage culture by facing questions, not answers.
- Who do we exist for? The “righteous” or the “sinners.”
- Pharisees aren’t healthy, they’re hiding. Jesus works with those who are honest, not those who pretend to look good.
- People are asking “What was my experience?” Not “What was the content?” In other words, do we smell like Jesus or the Pharisees?
- Top two questions John runs into: 1) What do you think about gays? 2) What do you think about other religions? No seeker cares about your theology on the front end; they are putting out a tolerance litmus.
- Do we look as messy as Jesus’ ministry?
- Two Biggest Needs: Loneliness (people need real relationships) and brokenness (everyone is messed up by someone or with something).
- If your friends aren’t becoming the church, something is wrong with what you’re modeling as a pastor.
- How will we know if we’re reaching them?
- Are you hearing stories? Are you telling stories?
- Without stories or baptisms, you start to wonder if you’re just shuffling the deck of the already convinced.
- Your first hundred people in the church plant determine who you’ll reach. They define your culture.
- Who are we becoming? Language matters a lot. What sticky statements in culture capture your message? John’s include, “Come as you Are” and “No Perfect People Allowed.” The message they wanted to communicate was grace.
- Am I living the vision?
- Do you use and enjoy the product you’re selling.
- Keep saying the vision until people are sick of it, then you know you’re on.
Leading Through Teaching
- How can I tie this to everything else we do?
- Inspire them to trust God more and enter a spiritual community.
- Each message should push them toward the big picture you are shooting for.
- What the one thing I want them to get? Don’t use hot topics (abortion, sex outside marriage, homosexuality, etc…) as illustrations, but as topics themselves. Using a shotgun from a distance only wounds.
- What’s their resistance? You have to teach to their natural resistance in the topic.
- Will I lose them? People have 5-8 minute attention spans. You’ll lose them if you don’t break it up with illustrations.
- How does the mission get accomplished?
- How does everybody get involved? Is it clear to them?
- Your connection strategy changes as you grow.
- How do non-believers become multiplying leaders?
- Everyone can lead a few people.