Dear Church Member,
- God’s plan to display his glory to the nations.
- God’s plan to show your kids how to follow Christ.
- God’s plan to reach your neighbors & show them what it means to know Christ.
- God’s plan to expand his kingdom in your town, city, state.
- God’s plan to show His wisdom to the world through pooling your gifts with other believers in a local church.
- Loved. Chosen. Favored. Saved. Filled. Forgiven. And so much more.
- God’s power within to help you overcome the daily & the deadly.
- God’s word to guide you in the way to believe & behave.
- God’s gifts to build others up & help grow his kingdom.
- God’s resources to be managed in a way that honors him & shows others that He is better than this world.
- God’s promise that He will be with you & he will use you & he will empower you.
- God’s people around you to encourage & build you up.
- Power. Wisdom. Grace. Eternal Life. Peace. And so much more.
YOU ARE, much more than just a volunteer. YOU ARE a leader in God’s kingdom & YOU HAVE everything you need to make a difference. No excuses. No delay. No looking at others. Be who YOU ARE meant to be. Use what YOU HAVE.
What’s stopping you? “I’m not…” or “I don’t have…” or “I can’t…” Really?
Carey Nieuwhof’s new book Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations to Help Your Church Grow is a great book to help you and your staff navigate change and how cultural shifts will be impacting your ministry in the future. Lots of challenging questions to help diagnose barriers to growth and help identify needed adjustments to reach a new generation. Here’s just a few of the powerful statements that have stuck with me and that I’m sharing with my staff and other church leaders regularly since reading this book:
- In every decision, focus on who you want to reach, not on who you want to keep.
- leaders who value attendance over engagement will see declining attendance.
- You need a flexible on-ramp that allows people to hang in the shadows for a while as they make up their minds and one that allows multiple jumping-in points throughout the year.
- The more you prioritize families, the more families will prioritize Sundays.
- A church that has a white hot sense of mission will almost always have the resources it needs to do what the church is called to do.
- Churches that love their model more than their mission will die.
- If we continue doing what we’re doing today, where will we be one year, two years, and five years from now?
Also, the chapter on Cultural Trends and how Netflix is influencing the culture is worth the price of the book. Must read for church leaders.
You can also find Carey Nieuwhof’s informative podcast on Itunes. Check him out online at http://careynieuwhof.com/.
>> I-12 Multi-Site Church Luncheon, August 13th, 11:30am-1:30pm at The Way Church in Denham Springs. Join Chad Merrell from First West Fairbanks in Sterlington, LA, to hear a great Louisiana multisite story & talk multisite readiness for your ministry. Good especially for churches in a more rural or suburban setting. RSVP by joining the Facebook event or calling the Eastern Louisiana Baptist Association at 225-664-9309, or email David Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
>> ReGroup Small Group Conference, August 15th at FBC Lafayette. Matt Papa, Jeff Iorg, Eddie Mosley & others for a day of working on Small Groups Strategy. I’ll be leading two Church Planting Breakouts:
- Discovery Groups: Strategies for Starting Groups from the Unchurched Community
- “Where does your group meet?” – Small Group Strategies for Portable or Space Limited Churches.
>> Total Church Life Conference, August 22nd at Jefferson Baptist Church in Baton Rouge. Annual Church Leadership Conference hosted by the Baptist Association of Greater Baton Rouge. Breakouts literally on every area of church life! I’ll be leading the session called Social Media & the Local Church – How social media can help your church grow & equip people for ministry.
>> Basic Training for Church Multiplication, September 11-12 at FBC Mandeville. A great workshop for churches in years 1-3 or in the process of restarting or revitalizing. Church Planters that have attended a Basic Training Workshop over the last five years have experienced 50% higher attendance and 65% more baptisms than those who haven’t.
- Where are we? Understanding Your Context and Community
- Who are we? Discovering Your Church’s Unique Purpose for Your Community
- What do we do? Establishing the Strategy and Systems for Your Church to Multiply Disciples, Leaders, Groups and Churches
>> Century XXI Hispanic Leadership Conference, September 18-19 at Calvary Baptist Church in Ruston. Contact Carlos.Schmidt@LouisianaBaptists.org for more info.
>> E4 Preaching Conference, September 18-19 at FBC Pineville. E4 is designed to encourage expository preaching and encourage pastors. Partnership of Louisiana Baptists, First Baptst Pineville, Louisiana College, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Know of other Equipping or Networking Opps happening in the next few months?
Success in ministry can be a tough thing to pin down. If you say success means a big church, then 82% of churches in American are unsuccessful because they have less than 100 people. And the lives of some of those with “big churches” are wrought with frustration & burnout & worse. Shawn Lovejoy’s book The Measure of our Success is a helpful tool to remind us about what really matters in ministry & church life. And the questions at the end of each chapter are a great way to recalibrate your current health as a leader & what you’re measuring in your ministry. Adding this one to my annual review list. Here’s a few of my favorite quotes.
- the greatest temptation that I face is substituting what I do for God, with who I am with God.
- If our attendance growth comes at the expense of our ability to disciple people, we have not been successful.
- Jesus didn’t say, “Go and grow large,” he said, “Go and make disciples.”
- Your responsibility is to be faithful. Not to be God.
- is your family on your schedule? You will schedule what’s important to you.
- We don’t use people to get tasks or ministry done; we use tasks and ministry to get people done
- TEAM: Together Everyone Accomplishes More
- The only way we can escape criticism is to say nothing, do nothing, & be nothing.
- Jesus experienced highs & lows. So will we.
- Do you trust God enough to take him at his word when he says resting every six days is best for you?
- Filling our auditoriums is good. Filling heaven is better.
- Christian community that is not reaching unchurched people is not Christian community; it’s consumerism.
- The Church is not the hope of the world. Jesus is the hope of the world. He has simply chosen to extend hope through his people, the church.
Here’s a few of the questions at the end of each chapter that I haven’t been able to forget:
- What would it look like for your church to measure more by the story than by the number? How could you express this shift in your church?
- Is there a specific courageous conversation you need to have or decision you need to make? If so, what do you need to do?
- What are some ways your church could heighten your capacity for making disciples?
- How do you think your church could make Jesus and his gospel more central to everything you are and do?