So…I wanted you to have TONS of material on this subject:
G0d-Size Your Church Additional Resources:
In addition to other books already referenced, I encourage you to check out: Externally Focused Church by Rick Rusaw & Eric Swanson ( I also recommend Intentional Church by Randy Pope , The Church of Irresistible Influence by Robert Lewis, and Turn Your Church Inside Out by Walt Kallestad)
Movement of churches becoming Externally Focused:
- From building walls to building bridges in the community.
- From measuring attendance to measuring impact.
- From encouraging saints to attend services to equipping saints for the work of service.
- From self-focused “serve us” to service.
- From duplication of human services and ministries to partnering with existing services and ministries.
- From condemning the city to blessing the city and praying for it.
- From being a minister in a congregation to being a minister in a parish
10 Great Questions from Auxano (a church consulting group)
1) In the last 30 days did you hear church members talk about your church’s vision?
2) Is your church’s identity unquestionably contagious?
3) Does your mission roll off your tongue with clarity and heartfelt conviction?
4) Does your staff embrace the value of values?
5) Have you planned an activity in the next three months that will help you see God’s future for your church?
6) Does the staff enthusiastically agree about how to accomplish the church’s mission?
7) Do you have a process on paper that shows how your church will develop leaders?
8) Does all church communication reflect and reinforce your vision?
9) Is there crystal clarity about the next ministry to launch and staff role to fill?
10) Have you identified a person to help you develop as a senior leader?
Author and Church Leader Carl George & Warren Bird have also put together several ideas which will help you as you break through the 200 barrier:
Exude a contagious desire to grow: this flows from the top down.
Articulate and enhance existing growth factors.
Take next steps from sheepherder to rancher: start spending more of your time leading the leaders in your midst.
Deal with institutional factors inhibiting growth: change issues that are preventing growth from happening
Resist returning to a small church mentality: do not cater to self-serving pew-warmers who only care about themselves.
Establish a network of lay-led small groups: move the pastoral-care functions of the church into a small-group network where people can be known and loved by believers other than the pastor.
125 Barrier (Nelson Searcy, www.churchleaderinsights.com)
1) Grow Myself…speed of the leader, speed of the team
2) Shift from Shepherd to Rancher
3) Advertise…focused (direct mail vs. inserts…INVITE CARDS)
4) Pyramid Growth days…special events through the years
5) Work Through Volunteers and Hire Some Staff…delegate everything but genius
6) Use a Strategic Series…teaching (Raising G Rated Kids in X Rated World, Positive Impressions)
7) Start new Small Groups…assimilation
8) Develop New Leaders….vision casting
9) Think Twice Your Size…exposure
10) I must remember the Harvest…passion for the lost…again!
Characteristics of Effective Churches (condensed from George Barna & George Hunter)
1) Built on needs of people in local context
2) Focused on the unchurched
3) Multiple entry points into the church
4) System of segmentation and sequencing for spiritual growth
5) Leadership is the most important role of the Senior Pastor
6) High expectations of membership and preaching involves a call to action
7) Leadership is developed from within
8) Many specialized ministries in addition to the basics
250 Barrier (Nelson Searcy, www.churchleaderinsights.com)
1) Grow Myself
2) I need Space to grow
3) Strengthen our Evangelistic systems
4) Develop a Growth System
5) Develop a Church Strategy
6) Delegate To and Hire Staff
7) Start new Small Groups
8) Become a Better Communicator
9) Think Twice Your Size
10) I must remember the Harvest
500 Barrier (Nelson Searcy, www.churchleaderinsights.com)
1) Grow Myself and My Staff
2) I need Space to grow
3) Change my Understanding of Evangelism
4) Structure my Staff differently
5) Consider Another Worship Service
6) Utilize a Coach
7) Start new Small Groups
8) Rework our Assimilation Systems
9) Think Twice Your Size
10) I must remember the Harvest
“You know, I dream that someday, places of worship will be filled with people who lay awake at night concerned about the human beings my Father created. Who care about broken bodies and broken souls and hopeless futures and hell-bound eternities. I dream of the day when people who gather in my name are so filled with the love of the Father that they go out and spread His love and extend healthy hands to withered hands—praying, coaching, encouraging them to walk in fullness of life. I dream of worship centers filled with radically loving, outwardly focused, Christ-sharing people. That’s what I dream about!”(p. 74…Hybels, “Walk Across the Room”)
Additional “stuff” from John Jackson
200-400 key factors:
*Self –identity – Who are we What we used to be
*Staff led model, pastor to leader vs. manager
*align resources to vision
*restructure for success
Self –identity – Who are we What we used to be, Leadership crisis, Multiple services, Power issues, Staff, Programming
Preview services – Take your leaders to a place or bring a resource in.
Have a heart for reaching lost people there are some things we can do to reach them Would you give me the opportunity to try something different? See different decision making methods
Success is not a destination – it is a journey
At this level, Pastor as Manager is supreme
Change no matter what it is – the only reason for a leader is change. They hired you hoping that you will bring about change and then they stand in the way while you are leading.
1) Leadership Crisis: A leader of a church this size must have the freedom to try new things and experiment with different ways to bring people in. Effectively communicating the evangelism mandate is also something a leader must live and breathe at this level.
2) Service Crisis: Pastors which lead in this category of church size are often facing a multiple-service dilemma, and how to double the service times and double workers in and around services also (e.g. children’s ministry workers, ushers, etc.). For a church to move from one service to two requires major shift in attitudes and priorities.
3) Power Crisis: People in churches that desire to move past 400 must move past the tendency to cling to power and begin to release power so the lay leaders have the authority to make some of the decisions which impact their ministries.
4) Change crisis: At this level the pastor has to move from the “pastor as chaplain” model to the “pastor as manager” model and begin to made authoritative changes that bring about change.
400-800 key factors
*Awkward size church
*Vision directed values enhanced.
* Release ministry rather than retain it
* Pastor as leader or stagnate
* At this level, pastor becomes leader or else stagnation
* elevate the thinking of the pastor
* hire exceptional staff
* create multiple entry points
* provide assimilation and discipleship via small groups/classes
Awkward size church – too big to be small and too small to be big. Supermarket industry. Medium size supermarket. Small markets the operators know their customers.
Vision directed values enhanced.
Structure is a key – Has to release ministry rather than retain it. Is it control or chaos. Most vital vibrant church is always on the edge of chaos. Are we Thomas Bandy – Kicking habits. Bill Easum – Sacred Cows make great hamburgers.
At this level, pastor becomes leader or else stagnation
Churches that have between 400 and 700 in attendance are known as “awkward size churches.” They are too big to be small and too small to be big. Much like a medium-size grocery store, people in these churches do not know everyone’s name, but there is still a struggle to lead the organization instead of manage all that goes on there.
The key word for this barrier is delegation, and the key principle is structure. The pastor must become a leader and focus time and energy on leading leaders (who in turn lead other leaders). Bill Eason said it well when he said, “Sacred cows make great hamburger.” Church leadership must be willing to kill some sacred cows and organize ministry differently in order to break that 700 barrier.
The 200 barrier presents the key leadership with a barrier of heart (do we have a vision to reach unchurched people?). The 400 barrier presents a barrier of hand. Can we do ministry differently in order to reach more people? Ministry at the 400 barrier requires a pastor to raise up key team members who direct specific program ministries. Creating multiple program opportunities for people to connect in relationships and serve in ministry is key to breaking through this barrier. Equipping key leaders for ministry and delegating power and authority to them requires the church to operate without the barriers of bureaucracy that so often inhibit churches at smaller sizes.
Music Leadership, Worship excellence is not there, Shortage of Staff, Power struggles. Short term Pastorates, Breakthrough: Develop multiple modes of ministry, Develop multiple opportunities for service and outreach, Increase the size of visitor flow, Make excellence an issue. Use major change principles from John Kotter, Harvard
Communication is Key
Excellence, Simplicity, Synergy
Worship Excellence – Communication is key.
The typical McDonalds manager knows our community better than any pastor. We need to know what is going on. Bible in one hand & newspaper in the other. And communicate well to all. Synergy in communication rather than “each ministry an island”
Study for South Carolina Baptist Convention: Changes in worship service produced most growth – Made assimilation key – if your visitor flow number is right, then the game is won or lost based on “stick factor”…how effectively and efficiently (quickly) are you connecting people in relationships and helping them to discover a meaningful ministry?
Stair step your growth; recogniz seasonality
Barrier of Evaluation
Churches facing growth plateaus in this size category are facing an evaluative crisis and must ask the tough questions (and find answers) in order to become a mega-church. This is a particularly difficult barrier to break through, probably the hardest. The following are the questions leaders must ask to move to the next level of growth:
Do we expect that every human being can and should become a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ?
Are we intentional about doing all that we do in light of our size and our community environment?
Are we relevant as we present the gospel? Are we addressing the longing that people have to feel understood, to understand, to belong to something, and to find hope?
Are we high quality in what we present through teaching, worship, and training?
Do we offer a broad range of attractive choices in a variety of areas?
Do we trust our staff and lay leaders?
Do we ask, “Was that a good decision?” instead of asking who made the decision?
Do we operate from an abundance model in which “resource demands” are met by challenging people to find creative solutions?
Barrier of Polity
Churches breaking through this barrier must change the way they organize and carry out leadership at the board level. Boards of churches who are just arriving at this level tend to manage committees which coordinate volunteers. They also tend to protect physical assets of the church and possess status as non-clergy members.
More helpfully, a growing mega church board will release the ministry to the staff (paid and volunteer) leaders of the ministry, who in turn lead growing teams of lay ministers. The governing board of the church is largely responsible for establishing a climate of trust, authenticity, and support for the vision of the ministry. They help to govern the life of the body in such a way as to make their primary focus the issue of “health” and not “mechanics”.
Barrier of Team
Change is needed in the staffing areas of large churches is the church is to break through this size barrier. There are several transitions that the staff must make to move to the next level. The staff must move:
From provider to arranger of service
From player to coach
From solo star to team leader
From privilege to accountability
From Area specialist to Age-Division generalist
From personal ministry to delegation
From committee appraisal (faithfulness) to results (fruitfulness)
Furthermore, it is the staff role to do the following:
Communicate mission, vision and values
Manage the church’s systems
Lead problem solving
Create new opportunities for ministry
Perceive the membership in terms of lay-led teams
Train leaders in three areas: Spiritual and Relational Vitality, Core Competencies and Change Management
Have a clear method and curriculum for teaching leadership
Moving from each level contains 3 keys: Excellence, Productivity, New People
15 Things Leaders Must Do (from Dale Galloway):
-Make Decisions -Solve Problems
-Take Responsibility -Have a Sense of Timing
-Get up for the Game -Respond to a Challenge
-Lead with Enthusiasm -Delegate/Hold Responsible
-Match People to Mission -Focus
-Keep Others Focused -Use Momentum
-Do What is Right -Seize Opportunities
-Set the Sail
In his insightful book, Dancing with the Dinosaurs, William Easum wrote, “If churches only improve what they have been doing, they will die. Bureaucracies and traditional practices are the major cause of the decline of most denominations in North America.” (William Easum, Dancing with Dinosaurs, p. 13-14, www.easumbandy.com)
George Barna goes one step further when he says, “Let’s cut to the chase. After nearly two decades of studying Christian churches in America, I’m convinced that the typical church as we know it today has a rapidly expiring shelf life.” (George Barna, The Second Coming of the Church, (Word Publishing, Nashville, Tennessee, 2001), p. 1)
I know that I am generalizing and that what I am saying cannot be said of every church. Nevertheless, generalizations do disclose general truths, and it is not too much to say that the church of our time and our place is largely inwardly focused. It has lost sight of the world outside its walls. Which is to say, the church has also lost sight of the God who works in and loves the world. And that is a genuine tragedy.” (Walt Kallestad Turning Your Church Inside Out)
A resource I think that is very helpful and presents a picture that is different than many assume is that represented in Simple Church by Thom Ranier & Erice Geiger…they help us think in terms of systems and movements…
So here is the expanded definition: A simple church is designed around a straightforward and strategic process that moves people through the stages of spiritual growth. The leadership and the church are clear about the process (clarity) and are committed to executing it. The process flows logically (movement) and is implemented in each area of the church (alignment). The church abandons everything that is not in the process (focus). – pages 67-68
Movement is about the handoffs. Movement is what happens in between the programs. Movement is how someone is handed off from one level of commitment to a greater level of commitment. How a church moves someone from a worship service to a small group is movement. How a church is designed to move a person from being an observer to being a contributor is movement. – page 73
Clarity → Movement → Alignment → Focus – page 109
Step 1: Design a Simple Process (Clarity)
Step 2: Place Your Key Programs Along the Process (Movement)
Step 3: Unite All Ministries Around the Process (Alignment)
Step 4: Begin to Eliminate Things Outside the Process (Focus) – pages 236-240
5 Church Habits That Reach and Keep the Unchurched. Learn what effective churches are doing to connect with the unchurched, according to a groundbreaking seven-year study by Thom Rainer and a Southern Seminary research team.
1) Habit of Cultural Awareness. Churches that want to reach out to the unchurched are highly intentional in bridging culture. They understand the culture but do not compromise with it.
2) Habit of Effective Preaching. Effective church pastors spend an average of 20 hours a week on sermons—including the task itself. Among ineffective churches, pastors spend an average of four hours.
3) Habit of Prayer. Churches that pray together and pray often keep their new members. New members are called and told they are specifically being prayed for. The survey found 83% of effective churches have corporate prayer ministries that are operational and emphasized.
4) Habit of High Expectations. There’s a direct correlation between how much is demanded of a new member and how long the new member stays active in the church. Churches that expect much receive much; churches that expect little receive little. New member classes are vital to keeping people in the church.
5) Habit of Risk Taking. Effective churches truly act on faith and do what seems to be risky in the world’s eyes—even in the church’s eyes—that other churches do not. These churches have a willingness to lose members. They do not make decisions based upon who might leave as a result of the decision, but based upon, “Who will we reach?”