numerical growth

Good to Great

Good-to-Great.jpg

The book Good to Great, by Jim Collins, explores why good companies do not make the leap to great. Today, we are going to take a look at what moves a good church to become a great church.

A Good Church vs. A Great Church

Collins defines a great company as one that has a “financial performance several multiples better than the market average over a sustained period.” I think a great church the would be one that has sustained numerical growth, namely through the attraction of unchurched people, better than the average in the same area.

Looking at the evidence and observations of churches that have moved from just being good to becoming great, there are two variables; qualitative and quantitative analysis. By qualitative, we are looking at the quality of ministry, while by quantitative we are measuring the quantity of their effectiveness in numerous areas.

I agree with Collins when it comes to the number one contributing factor to the greats. He said it all starts with leadership. John Maxwell says that “everything rises and falls on leadership” and I absolutely believe that to be true. So, the great churches usually have great leaders at the helm. And, just like Collins discovered, the best leaders are the ones that have a blend of personal humility and professional will. The sustainable great churches aren’t led by the celebrity type pastors, but often by self-effacing, quiet, reserved, even shy leaders who build great leaders around them - but they have an insatiable drive to get better and reach their communities.

A strong leader must be surrounded by strong team members leading their ministries. I have found that it takes more than just a great preacher to grow a church; it also takes great music, great children’s ministry, great pastoral care, and great administration just to name a few. One leader is just not capable of doing all of that on their own, therefore they need a great team around them.

I also believe that great churches are not afraid to confront the brutal facts. What I mean by this is that they have an incredible faith that they will prevail and grow as well as an incredible discipline to confront the most brutal facts of their current reality and adjust accordingly. Great churches also have a clear vision and narrow focus. They know where they are going and they refuse to clutter that vision with busyness and complex programs. 

Another differentiation of great churches is that they continually mess with the methods and move with times without compromising the message. They know that the methods are there to serve the message, not the other way around. So, they will continue to use whatever means necessary to get the gospel out to the world in an understandable way and they don’t get married to their methods. If it’s not working, they are willing to change.

I’ve noticed that churches that attract people from other churches and mainly grow through transfer growth are ones that may have a quick boost in growth, but it often isn’t sustainable. This is because if people switched churches once, they are likely to transfer again when something bigger or better comes to town. In contrast, people that grow in unchurched people and lead them to Jesus are more likely to sustain their growth because people are more likely to stay in the church where they became born again. They are also the group that is most likely to invite their unchurched friends and family to the church which keeps multiplying the growth and is much more sustainable.

Collins breaks down the transformation of companies that go from good to great into 3 broad stages; disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined actions. There is no doubt that these 3 stages translate into the church world.

Disciplined People

When it comes to disciplined people, it is important that the leader leads the way and that the leadership team follows suit; discipline has to flow from the top down. I think this is even more important because the church is largely a volunteer-led organization. Disciplined people is all about having the right people on the right bus - first who, and then what. This is so vital.

I often talk to pastors who say they just don’t have any leaders in their church. I have found that leaders don’t just show up, they are created. What I mean is that the leader (the senior pastor) has to invest in growing his team to become what the church needs. In the process of growing people, you will learn who you have on the bus and what seat they should be sitting in. This process is invaluable to the development of having disciplined people.

I have always set aside time each week and each month to train and develop my leadership team. To me, this might be the most important activity I do as a lead pastor. Paul said in Ephesians that the job of a pastor is to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry.” Equip means skill develop. So, my role as the pastor is to skill develop people in my church to carry out the work of the ministry. It doesn’t happen by default; it happens by being very intentional about training and developing a team. When you do this intentionally, you will develop the right people on the bus, as opposed to just waiting for the right people to show up. I’ve tried that and I soon ran out of patience waiting for the right people. I’ve found it better to develop the right people from within.

Disciplined Thought

Disciplined thought is about marrying both faith for a big future and the ability to confront the brutal facts of today’s reality. That is a juggling act and requires great discipline. I have discovered that great churches do this really, really well. That is what makes them the best.

I can recall an example of when I’ve had to face the brutal facts. We were getting hundreds saved every year but we were not seeing that translate into disciples. When we studied it, we discovered that we were seeing under 5% retention on our new converts. Grossly dissatisfied, we decided to do something about it. That’s where the My Victory Starts Here book and discipleship plan came from. Last year, we were able to retain 48% of our converts. We still want to improve on that, but that was a drastic increase and greatly grew our church because we were willing to face the brutal facts.

Disciplined Action

Disciplined action is about going to work every day to create the church you envision. This is rolling up your sleeves and working hard. It’s about creating a culture within your organization that will allow the vision to move forward. It’s about being willing to mess with the methods and change what needs to be changed in order to move forward. It really is all about a dogged determination to not settle for anything less than the best.

Level 5 Leadership

In chapter 2, Collins describes a Level 5 Leader as one who “builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will.” Former U.S. President Harry S. Truman said this: “You can accomplish anything in life provided you do not mind who gets the credit.” I believe this is so important to sustainability. We need to refrain from the celebrity pastor led church model. Firstly, it is not biblical, and secondly, it can be very short lived. A prime example of this happened just a couple years ago when Mark Driscoll was fired from his church in Seattle. At the time, his church average was 14,000 in attendance. Within a few short months of his leaving, the church no longer existed. It completely disappeared, which is tragic. I believe great churches are led by leaders who don’t care who gets the credit and they operate with incredible humility. In my mind, a positive example of this is Brian Houston. For years, I had no idea who the senior pastor of Hillsong Church was. All I knew was that Darlene Zchech led worship. The music team was more famous, and probably still is more famous, than the lead pastor. I think Brian has done a great job of leading in such a way that it doesn’t matter who gets the credit, and Hillsong Church has truly accomplished much in the process.

Level 4 Leadership

A Level 4 Leader is described as committed to the vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision and higher performance standards. Level 5 Leaders have these Level 4 leadership qualities as well as the ones we previously discussed. I think the biggest battle for all of us “driven” types is the art of delegation and letting go. We do things ourselves because we know we will do it well and it is hard to release a task to someone who may not do as good of a job as we would. However, it is crucial to delegate and release the work to others. They will inevitably make mistakes, but that’s how they will learn. Let them have success and get the credit because what matters, in the end, is not who gets the credit but that the vision is accomplished. So, my recommendation for Level 4 Leaders is to let go and be willing to release.

Good to Great Leaders

At one point, Collins describes a Level 5 Leader as “ordinary people quietly producing extraordinary results.” The traditional mindset of a great leader often depicts a person with a high-profile image and a charismatic personality. But, Collins goes on to describe the top leadership characteristics of a leader who has taken a good company to become a great company as “quiet, humble, modest, reserved, shy, gracious, mild-mannered, self-effacing, understated…” There was a day when these characteristics were not true of major players in the church world, especially in North America. I think there has been a subtle transition over the past couple of decades. Churches that are built to last have been led by no-name leaders. I think this is important because if a church is built on a personality, it will only last as long as that individual lasts in ministry. But, if the church is not built solely on a personality, it can navigate the troubled waters of transition and survive generation to generation. It is amazing when that happens. I think in the next 5 to 10 years we are going to see this become more evident than ever before because most of the celebrity pastors are going to retire and then we will see what happens to their churches. Depending on the outcome, we will know whether these pastors were great leaders who built their church on a team and a vision, or if they were just good leaders who built a mega church on a personality.

Good church leaders may look for someone or something to blame for stagnate growth. They may blame the economy, community layoffs, lack of funds, inadequate facilities, their history, the list goes on. Level 5 Leaders look at similar situations and must move forward without placing blame on external factors. I often say that excuses strip you of your power to change. The moment we place blame elsewhere, we remove our ability to solve the problem. We have to be willing to confront the brutal facts, take ownership of the mistakes, and be willing to change the methods. If we can’t do these three things, we will be overcome by the obstacles to growth and will stagnate, or even disappear. It’s vital to observe and act. I think the Level 5 Leaders face just as much adversity as everyone else, however, they respond differently. They hit the realities of their situations head-on and as a result, emerge from the adversity even stronger.

The Law of Velocity

In Chapter 3, Collins made about called Practical Discipline #3 which says, “Put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems.” This really stood out to me when I re-read the book a couple of weeks ago. This is about the law of velocity; hitch your wagon to something that is already moving to make it move even faster, rather than trying to kickstart something that isn’t moving at all. I would love it if we in the church world could grasp this concept. The reason I say that is because there are a ton of really great pastors out there who are killing themselves trying to jumpstart a dead or dying church when they could be way more effective in the kingdom if they just attached to churches that have great momentum. There are other pastors who are leading nearly dead congregations in large beautiful buildings. At the same time, there are churches in the same community that are growing in temporary rented facilities or outgrowing their current locations and are in danger of having their lack of facilities inhibit their momentum. What if we were kingdom minded in our communities and married the great facilities with the great churches? What could happen?

Brutal Facts

I am always surprised when I hear a pastor say “numbers don’t matter,” or “it’s not just about the numbers.” When I hear that said, I know their church is struggling numerically. It think it is amazing that pastors make excuses for why their church isn’t growing, or worse yet, they refuse to ask questions as to why it has stopped growing or is declining. Numbers matter! Numbers represent souls and we are all in it for souls. Number mattered to Jesus; He counted everything. We know how many people attended almost every meeting Jesus ever had. The 5000, the 120, the 70, and so on. We need to be willing to count and observe the trends, confront the brutal facts if necessary, and then ask the hard questions to get the proper solution. It’s all about simply refusing to settle for average.

I think the major takeaway from this week's podcast is to start with the determination to push beyond "good" and "good enough". Our nation and our world have no need for good churches; they need great churches. Great churches led by leaders who are determined to make their church grow and are fixed on reaching the unchurched in their community for Jesus. We need great leaders who are determined to be great leaders, who invest in growing themselves and in growing their teams. We need great leaders who are willing to confront the brutal facts and change if necessary. Why? Because the church is the hope of the world and we’ve been given a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.

 

Episode Resources:

If you have questions you would like answered in an upcoming podcast, please email leadership@myvictory.ca.

The 7 Growth Points of Every Organization

crew-KPBG8BaKJQ4-unsplash.jpg

The church is a movement and movements move. Jesus spoke of a church that He would continually build into, so it is expected that the church should be continually growing as well. We need to master this growth in all areas of the church.

Our focus today is from one of our recent All-Staff training days on the subject of “The 7 Growth Points of Every Organization”. Before we dive in, here is a list of the seven points:

  1. The Leader must grow

  2. Grow your team

  3. Grow your systems

  4. Grow your numbers

  5. Grow your income

  6. Grow the expectation in the church

  7. Grow your facilities

I came to discover these growth points through discussions with my mentors as well as other pastors, and through observations from being a pastor myself over the past 20 years. These were the first things I taught the staff here in Lethbridge when I arrived six and a half years ago. They have remained a regular part of our discussions and have made a huge impact on our growth as a church. We are always looking at which of the seven are our current weakness; which one we need to focus on in the season we are in to move the church forward.

Growth Point #1: The Leader Must Grow

I believe that when a leader stops growing, he stops leading and the organization will no longer grow. So, it is imperative that a leader continually grows themselves. I take this one very seriously and have developed a personal growth plan within each of my priorities.

My growth plan includes learning daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. I want to grow as a pastor and leader, so daily, I listen to a podcast of a leader or pastor who has gone further than me. Weekly, I read a book on leadership, pastoring, marriage, management, biographies, etc. Monthly, I will connect with a leader who has gone further than me and ask a series of questions that will help me in my situation. Yearly, I attend a mega-conference at a church that is much larger than my own so I can physically see and experience a church of that size, and learn form the leaders there as well. This type of regimen takes time and money, but it is an investment into my growth and I believe that if I intentionally grow, then what I lead will grow too.

Growth Point #2: Grow Your Team

I very much believe that our church’s “secret sauce” is the fact we very intentionally grow our team in leadership. John Maxwell defines leadership as influence, so it seems reasonable that if we grow our people in leadership, they will grow in influence and our church will inevitably grow. So, from the beginning, we have spent a lot of time and money on intentionally growing our team.

For the first 5 years, I taught our whole team a leadership lesson for an hour a week. When we expanded to 4 campuses in 4 different cities, we decided to invest in an entire day a month dedicated to teaching our teams. And then, we added this weekly podcast for our team. We have also invested in books for them as well as in sending them to conferences together. I feel that we have saved ourselves years of training by simply learning and growing together at a conference. We then come home all passionate about the same changes we feel we need to implement in our own setting.

It is so important to invest time and money into purposefully growing your team. If your team stops growing, your church will stop growing. But if your volunteers and staff continually grow, your church will grow too.

Growth Point #3: Grow Your Systems

While systems won’t grow a church, poor systems will definitely stop a church from growing. A system is all about creating movement from one level of commitment to another. A church needs to create movement from the community into the church, from first time attenders to regular attenders, from regular attenders to members, from members to partners, and from partners to the committed core. All of these steps require movement in commitment, and a good system will facilitate that. So, if we are not gaining enough visitors, then we have a systems problem at that level. And if we have a lot of visitors, but they do not stay, then we have a systems problem in retention. The list goes on.

I have learned that there is no “one size fits all” system. As our church grows, we outgrow our current systems and we need to make a change to make systems better to keep healthy movement in all aspects of our growth. 

[bctt tweet="“Systems permit ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results.” - Michael Gerber" username="kellystickel"]

Michael Gerber says that “Systems permit ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results.” And I would agree with this. Good systems make leaders look better thanthey actually are and poor systems make them look worse than they are. I think what is important in evaluating your systems is to design a clear path of movement for your people. Simply answer, “What’s next?”. Then, keep accurate numbers of each stage and evaluate whether there is regular movement and growth at each level. Once you identify an area where growth has stopped, evaluate the leaders and the systems and ask, “What’s the best way to grow that in our church?”. Also, ask “Is there anything we are doing that is hindering growth in that area?”. Once you have answers to those questions, you can go to work designing a system that will go to work for you.

I think it is important to note that systems need to work for us and serve the people, not the other way around. We don’t ever want to get to a place where we are serving the system. We make it clear around here that our systems are always open for change. We simply want to find the best way, and if there is a better way, then let’s do it!

Growth Point #4: Grow Your Numbers

This one seems pretty obvious. Every church wants to grow their numbers and this is usually how we define whether a church is growing and healthy or not. But, it is important to note that this is just one of the growth points; it is not the only defining factor. When we recognized this, we were able to more effectively evaluate this point of growth.

We began studying our trends and identified seasons in our church; seasons in which our numbers grew rapidly and when they seemed to decline. Seasons of growth for us were from Thanksgiving to Christmas and from Easter to May Long Weekend. During these times, our numbers naturally inclined. But, we also noticed that they naturally declined in July and August as well as January to Easter.

When we noticed these trends, we started to recognize our harvest time so we changed how we approached those natural growth times. We altered how we preached, how our staff focused, and how we would work our schedule to take advantage of what was happening naturally. When we were in a season of decline, we decided to use those seasons to grow one or more of the other growth points. So, in the summer, we typically evaluate our systems and tweak them to be ready to handle the anticipated numerical growth in fall. Identifying seasons has really helped us grow our numbers and to retain the growth that seems to naturally occur.

Growth Point #5: Grow Your Income

I rarely talk about money publicly. This is because I have learned that begging for money or guilting people into giving is not the best way to grow your income. To me, the best way is with clear vision. I have found that if people are clear on where you are going, and are passionate about going there with you, then they will be more apt to buy in, in every sense of the word. So, we work hard on being clear with our vision. I am not afraid to talk about money, I just feel like I don’t need to focus on it in order to encourage giving. I do teach one or two series a year about money, but it is teaching on why generosity and giving is a vital part of our personal growth, and the benefit it has to each of us personally.

Growth Point #6: Grow the Expectation in the Church

I have noticed that the higher the expectation of the people attending, the greater the level of anointing the service has. I first realized this trend as a musician who participated on worship teams during conferences. At a conference, people were engaged and pulling on us as a team within the first chord being played. Then, we would take that same team and the same set list and play it for our congregation on Sunday and it was like crickets. Jesus could do miracles everywhere except in his hometown. Why? Because they were too familiar with him and their expectations were low. This had a direct effect on his anointing.

The question I asked our team was, “How do we effect the expectations of our people attending weekly so that we can have the highest level of anointing possible in our weekly services?” We came up with two main ways to of that:

  1. With Creativity. If people are not sure what is going to happen each week, they will be more excited to come.

  2. With Excellence. If we can do everything we do with the highest level of excellence within our capabilities, people will raise their expectations. And when they raise their expectations, they will draw on the anointing and that will have a larger effect on the outcome.

So, we are constantly evaluating this area and trying to get a sense of the expectation level in our church. If we sense it is low, then we know we have to shake things up to increase the congregations expectations.

Growth Point #7: Grow Your Facilities

There is a general rule that if a room is 80% full or more, people will be uncomfortable and less likely to come back, bottlenecking your growth. This rule is true for the auditorium, kids classrooms, the parking lot, and the foyer. So, if you identify a bottleneck, then you will have to find ways to alleviate this issue. We are constantly working on this one. It is difficult because the easiest solution is often too expensive, so you have to get creative. That might mean multiplying services, splitting classrooms, renting other facilities, etc. As pastors, we love full rooms, but we have to realize that most people don’t.

My “aha” moment came when I was at a full movie theatre. I was uncomfortable when someone other than my family member was sitting in the seat right next to me. It felt awkward, and because of this, I tend to avoid opening night movies because of how I feel about full theatres. What if people are doing the same in our services? That could be a simple hinderance to our growth and we will have to remedy that problem somehow.

The Movement of the Church

The church is a movement and movements move. The church Jesus talked about is one in which He would continually build and the gates of hell could not stop it. So, the church should be continually growing. God asked us to be managers of that growth and Jesus commissioned his followers to go and create growth; therefore, we need to do it.

[bctt tweet="The church is a movement, and movements move. #growth" username="kellystickel"]

I have found that growth isn’t automatic; it is reliant on a lot more than prayer and surrender to God. It takes skills and silks are learned. God created soil to produce fruit, but He gave the responsibility of managing the growth to the farmers. If two farmers have fields side by side and one field produces a bumper crop while the other is full of weeds and minimal fruit, then the problem was not God’s fault, it was the fault of the farmer for not managing the soil better.

Paul likened us to farmers when he said to the Corinthian church that he planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. That statement does not remove our responsibility for growth, it accentuates it. We have a big part to play. Sounds depend on it and we must increase in our skill set of growing churches because the church is the hope of the world and we’re on a mission, to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.

If you have questions you would like answered in an upcoming podcast, please email leadership@myvictory.ca

How to Design the Culture of Your Organization

Culture is prominent in every organization, whether that organization realizes it or not. It s how the organization feels—it’s the heart of the organization. It is more powerful than vision, mission or strategy and it happens by default or by design.

The Why Behind My Victory Starts Here

I began pastoring as a very naive 23 year old. I was the worship leader at a fairly new church plant in Canmore, Alberta and one day our senior pastor felt he should go plant another church and turned his church over to me.

To be honest, I hadn’t ever planned on being a lead pastor. I wasn’t sure how to run a church and so I looked everywhere for help and for a mentor. Pastor George Hill became that mentor to me. I am so appreciative of what he has poured into me over the years.

It was his Bible College class on the book of Acts that I first fell in love with the local church and its call on the earth. I was inspired by his vision and the vision of Victory Churches to Reach, Teach, and Mobilize. To me, this vision most reflected the heartbeat of the early church in the book of Acts and it was a vision that fulfilled the global mission Jesus gave his followers in Matthew 28.

It is a never ending vision. We reach every available person, by every available means, at every available time with the Gospel of Jesus Christ; teaching them to become disciples and mobilizing them to Reach every available person. It is a vision that works in every country, with every people group, in every language. It is simple and portable. And I love it!

So, I went to work as a pastor to live this vision in my church. The problem was, I wasn’t sure how to translate the vision to my local setting. How does a local church most effectively reach every available person, while at the same time teaching those you’ve reached, while mobilizing others into their own callings?

To be honest, I have wrestled with how to most effectively do all three of these things for most of my ministry career. It’s required me to continually mess with the methods while keeping the message sacred.

By the time I had arrived in Lethbridge, five and a half years ago, I had learned how to become effective in reaching a community. I went to work, with our amazing board and staff, at refocusing the Lethbridge church outward and at reaching the unchurched community. Because Pastor George Hill was my mentor for many years, and continues to be to this day, and because he was the founding pastor of this church, the church very quickly took to the vision. Many of those who had been in the church from the beginning remarked at how it felt just like it did in the beginning with Pastors George and Hazel. I knew we were moving in the right direction. Our methods are a little different, but they should be. After all, it is 2016 not 1979. But the vision was the same.

We started to see amazing results. In the first year we saw 386 people come to a relationship with Jesus for the first time. In our second year, another 400 became first time believers. We had successfully created a church that unchurched people loved to attend and we were effectively reaching every available person, by every available means with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

A new problem presented itself. While hundreds were coming to Christ every year, a very small percentage of them were remaining in the church. The majority of those we had reached we never saw again. We were greatly dissatisfied. Jesus said to go into all of the world and make disciples, not just converts.

Desperate to find a solution, our pastoral team gathered together and began to brainstorm how we could most effectively increase our retention rates and make disciples.

The first question we tackled was “What is a disciple?” We knew that if we couldn’t concretely define what one was, we would not be effective in making one. It was in the middle of this search, that I heard Pastor George speak at one of our conferences and in his talk he used verses from 1 John 2 where John said to the early church, “I write to you little children…I write to you young men…and I write to you fathers.”

That’s when it hit me, he was describing the maturity process of a Christ follower. He was defining a disciple!

I came back to our team and shared my revelation. They were all excited and we began brainstorming around what all of that would mean and how to translate that into the every day life of our church.

The conclusion we came to was that spiritual maturity revolves totally around the Word of God. When John described little children, he was describing the new believers who did not yet understand the Word and were still completely dependent on others to teach them and feed them spiritually.

When John described the young men, he described them as strong in the Word. We concluded that they were strong because they were independent and regularly fed themselves the Word.

When John described fathers, he was describing those who were not only self feeders, but also took to the time and effort to teach and train others in the Word. We suddenly saw, REACH, TEACH, and MOBILIZE in the Scripture.

We went to work designing a new retention plan. We evaluated everything we were doing as a church and discussed at length what we should be doing in order to effectively Reach, Teach, and Mobilize disciples.

We settled on 5 things:

  1. _____________________. We would continue to create weekly church services that the unchurched would love to attend and in every single service we committed to giving an opportunity for people to commit their lives to Christ by leading them through the salvation prayer.
  2. _____________________. We would begin small groups in our church and would encourage all of our weekly attendees to participate in a weekly Connect Group with the purpose of building intimate relationships while discussing the Bible in a small group setting. Relationships are the key to helping new comers “remain” and it is a great way to make a big church small. It is also a great way to mobilize our mature believers to become “fathers”—feeding others the Word.
  3. _____________________. We determined to make it a weekly habit to encourage our people to read the Bible daily as well as provide as many ways as we could for them to feed on the Word of God themselves. We determined to not be a church that keeps people dependent on their pastor to feed them, but instead taught them how to feed themselves. This is where they become strong to face their storms, and remain standing.
  4. _____________________. We decided that we would unashamedly encourage all of our people to participate in the activities of the local church by volunteering their time and energies to its growth. We feel that if people can give of themselves by serving others that they will not drift into the dangerous lane of me-church. I feel that the natural gravitation pull of every local church is to become insider focused. To resist this pull, we feel it necessary to keep our people participating in serving others. Regular volunteering is one great way to do just that.
  5. _____________________. One of the big tests as to whether we are effectively creating services that unchurched people love to attend, is whether or not our regular attenders feel comfortable to invite their unchurch friends or family to our weekly services. Using Acts 15:19 as our cue, “we don’t want to make it difficult for the unchurched to come to Jesus.” So, we regularly poll our people as to whether they are inviting or feel comfortable to invite their friends or family members to church. And we do what we can to remove all cringe factors that would hinder them from doing so. In our latest poll, 78% of our regular attenders invited at least one unchurched person to church with them in the last year.

These 5 were the model in which we built all of our ministries on. Our children’s ministry leads kids to Attend, Connect, Read, Serve, and Invite. Our youth ministry leads people to Attend, Connect, Read, Serve, and Invite. The entire church does these 5 things and only these 5 things. Any activity that does not lead people to do these 5, does not happen. 

With this model in place, we then began working on materials to teach and equip our new believers into a fully committed relationship with Christ. We looked at all kinds of materials out there, and while there are a lot of great tools that teach people the basics of Christianity, we didn't find anything that led people into a deeper participation in what we feel are vital activities within the local church. And, we didn’t find anything that really furthered our vision of Reach, Teach, Mobilize. We found things that were effective in one or two, but nothing that led people into all three.

So, we built our own. We first released it as a January series to begin our year. We called it B40X. It included a weekly sermon, a weekly small group guide, and a daily devotional. The effect on our church was incredible. That year we led over 400 people to Jesus and retained over 250 of them in the church! We were excited, but felt we could do even better. So, we have been honing this process for the last couple of years, and the result is My Victory Starts Here.

We put the devotional and small group guides in print because we felt they could become a tool to REACH the unchurched, TEACH the little children, and MOBILIZE the young men to become fathers by giving them a resource that they could give to someone they were discipling.

We have now equipped our mature believers with a resource that they can disciple their new believing friends and family members with, on their own, without relying on the pastors of the church to conduct a Christianity 101 class.

Our retention has never been better and I think if we use this tool properly we can become even more effective in making disciples. This is a tool to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. This is also a tool that allows us to effectively REACH, TEACH, and MOBILIZE.

Resources:

7 Characteristics of a Pastoral Team

This past week was a super exciting week for us at My Victory. We released the book My Victory Starts Here along with the series on the same topic. We celebrated 8 baptisms in our site in Okotoks and we successfully launched our campus in Lloydminster with 190 people in attendance! I am so proud of our team there and all of the work they put in to make the church launch such a success. It is no small feat to gather a crowd of this magnitude when opening a brand new church in a community. I am so impressed.

Now the work begins to turn that crowd into a congregation, to turn our new converts into disciples. This is a big job, and it takes a highly qualified and passionate team to do this. This is much more than just a job that one pastor can do. Remember, John Maxwell once said that “one is too small a number to achieve greatness.”

I often get asked the question, “why do you choose to do multisite church plants instead of just planting an independent church. Here are 10 reasons why we decided to plant a multisite churches:

  1. _____________________.

  2. Sharing of _____________________.

  3. Infusion of_____________________ workers.

  4. Shared _____________________ and core _____________________.

  5. Greater_____________________ support.

  6. Pre-established network for _____________________ _____________________.

  7. Not needing to _____________________.

  8. Connection with others doing the _____________________ thing.

  9. Less_____________________ and greater_____________________.

  10. New-church vibe with a _____________________punch.

What Does a Campus Pastor & Campus Staff Do?

The primary responsibility of a campus pastor is to ensure the transfer of the ministry _____________________ _____________________and _____________________ of the sending church.

The goal is really to be_____________________church in_____________________locations.

What Are the Characteristics of an Effective Campus Team?

  1. High _____________________ leader.

  2. _____________________ players.

  3. People _____________________.

  4. _____________________.

  5. _____________________ _____________________.

  6. _____________________.

  7. _____________________ _____________________.

“Our campus pastors have an unwavering loyalty to the lead pastor, believe in the mission of our church, connect with their congregation and develop leaders.” ~ Jim Tomberlin, who is the Multisite Pastor for Willow Creek Church

Episode Resources: