How do you feel when I use this combination of words: Church Marketing.
I almost lost my dinner the first time I tried to stomach it, but then I was swayed to the other side.
In planting Lakepoint Church, a mentor asked me, “How many people are in Muskego, the city you are trying to reach?”
“26,000.” I had done my homework.
“How many have joined your ‘Launch Team,’ to start the church?”
“If those 60 were to do a really great job telling their friends about Jesus, and the church, and everything else, how many do you think they’d each reach? Maybe 10?”
“That would be awesome!” I thought. But I should have seen myself getting backed into a corner.
“That’s 660 people. What are you going to do to let the other 25,340 people know that there’s a church for them where they can find God?”
I didn’t have an answer. Continue reading
We can’t change all that much. There are patterns, even cycles to our world, that have been set in motion beyond our reach. Our ability to do something truly different is less than minimal.
Ecclesiastes 1:6-7, 9
The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
The foundation of a balanced life is embracing our limits. Under God’s revelation, the author of Ecclesiastes isn’t encouraging resignation, just an acknowledgement that most things have been set in motion beyond our control. Continue reading
I use to think that it was always better to mobilize people than manage them. You know… get them to take their own initiative and discover their own gifts rather than have someone feed them orders. However, I’ve come to see how both are appropriate in their own context. Continue reading
I am finding that change happens best when you know when to be hard and when to be soft; when to be unwavering in your demands, and when to accept small victories. For some roles we do a disservice to the cause of Christ if we do not find the best people who demand the best from themselves. At other times we do a greater disservice by discouraging normal people from normal contributions. Making the distinction only happens when the importance of the role, the development of the person, and the ultimate cause of Christ are held in balance.
Anselm explains how God exemplifies this agility, how he is both merciful and impassible.
Exeprt from Chapter Eight of PROSLOGION Continue reading
God’s teaching me three things I need to work on regarding change at a personal and professional level. As cheesy as it sounds, they all starting with the letter P…
Positivity – get excited about what is and what will be.
Prayer – expect God to move people, rather than rely on my leadership ability.
Patience – I need to be in this for the long haul, and except results over time.
It’s not all guts, determination, and hard work; it’s having the right perspective while you watch God simmer the pot.
This may evidence that I’m a slow learner, but I’m coming to realize that change is something that happens over the long haul. Note how everything that grows gets measured in years, not months – human life, rings on a tree, crop rotation, even something as volatile as your investment portfolio gets an annual accounting.
In church work, I’m told it takes seven years to re-purpose a church in a new direction. If you’re in a leadership role, take what you wish would happen in the next twelve months, spread it out over seven years, and then you may have some realistic predictions.
Cranmer was the middle ground for change between Zwingli and Loyola. He fought both sides of the reformation; critiquing the heresy of medieval/papal errors and the excesses of the reformation equally.
His greatest contribution was the Book of Common Prayer¸ a compilation of the best worship and prayers that medieval times had to offer. He wanted to enter the new with the best of the old.
Almost every significant time of change moves in pendulum fashion. The new school takes to flagrant extremes in separating themselves from the old; the old school makes bold accusations against the disrespect of the new; and back and forth they go. When the dust has settled and the pendulum stops swinging, something of a middle ground between the two often results.
Let’s not mistake change as mere compromise between two camps, however I do think in any environment of change that we would be wise learn and gather the best that is on the table, regardless of which camp put it there.