Brian Zehr, of Intentional Impact, is an incredible church consultant who has worked with us in the past and has been awesome. Brian was with our staff and some of our leaders last week to help us think through where we are as a church and where God might be leading us. I (Pastor Scott) have typed up the notes I took. They are not incredibly detailed, but do give a picture of what we talk about. If you’d like to know more, just let me know!
Notes from Brian Zehr, February 1, 2018
We must always be reinventing ourselves as a church. The best time to do it is when things are going well.
If you know what to do, do it fast. Don’t sit around and talk about it.
Here are some normal challenges when a group is reinventing:
- Knowing what the best opportunities are.
- You might have to say “no” to good things in order to be able to say “yes” to great things.
- God has in store a bigger step of faith than we’ve had before.
- It’s harder to make changes when we have something to lose.
- But faith pleases God.
- Faith isn’t stupidity.
- Don’t go to either extreme when a new opportunity comes. Look for the grey instead of the black and white.
- Don’t jump jump immediately or say “never”.
– Use today’s structure while tomorrow’s structure is being planned.
– We must be flexible.
– People are open to change as long as they don’t have to be different.
3) Our mindset needs to change.
– We are not a new church any more. Or a small one.
– New is about how and where. Not who. Most time is spent on what.
– How do we use the facilities we have?
– Driving behind the plow vs. fresh snow.
4) It’s normal to be sad about things in the church and you can’t figure out why.
– It’s okay to grieve the losses we experience. We aren’t the same church as we were. We have grown. We’re not in the same space. People leave the church.
– It’s okay to be happy and sad at the same time.
– It is normal that people leave the church. God may want them somewhere else. They may want more focus on themselves. The work we do at New Story is messy.
– We don’t want to be a church where people who have faith must go somewhere else to go deeper in their faith.
5) To figure out what doesn’t change. What will never change.
Normal tensions in a church like ours:
1) Caring for those who are here vs. those who are outside our walls.
2) Discipleship and outreach. Growing deep vs. expanding wide.
3) Organizational purpose vs. individual purpose. \
What is each individual’s purpose in the midst of our overall vision?
4) Faith vs. Wisdom
5) Bias for action vs. fear that we’re getting in over our had.
– If God doesn’t show up, we’re toast.
Thoughts for our new discipleship plan:
Too often we equate discipleship with knowledge.
Service is a part of discipleship. Service and discipleship must be integrated.
How do I grow as a Christian? Help others grow as Christians.
We must describe things in a linear way, but the process of following Jesus in not linear.
We need fluidity in the process.
Our plan can’t be just about knowledge. Must be about experiences and relationships. Mentoring and small groups.
People who leave a church because they “aren’t being fed” usually aren’t helping other people to grow.
What are some things we want as part of our discipleship plan?
– How to courses – how to pray, read the Bible, engage the Bible, apply the Bible, lead others, etc.
– Community – learning together. Not an isolated thing.
– Accountability and support.
– Listening to people and God.
– Spiritual disciplines.
– Self care practices.
We need to survey people to see where they are and what will help them move forward.
What is the outcome we want?
– Paint a picture of what a disciple is.
– Why would someone want to be a part of this plan?
– We are never done with discipleship.
Brian closed by asking us to picture ourselves in front of a mirror and asking ourselves this question:
– Is my life going to be about me, or other people?