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Courageous Church Growth - “Coaching Congregations along a

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									Courageous Church Growth




         Source: Kennon Callahan
Twelve Keys to An Effective Church, Abingdon


         John.chandler@vbmb.org
What makes a church courageous?

              Church growth?
                 more attending


              Church health?
                Those who attend are growing
                 and healthy

              Or church dispersion?!
                The church disperses out beyond
                  itself to change the face of its
                  community
Community/Cultural Transformation

 We’re not done till the
  community of which
  we’re a part is touched
  and changed by Christ
  through us!

      No matter how fast we
       grow or how “deep” we
       think we are
   You serve more people than you think!
 T.P.S. = “total people served”

     1. Formal members.

     2. Persons served in the course of the mission of the church.
          (ie. Visited in hospital, funeral)

     3. Constituents who participate in some aspect of church life.

     4. Friends of the church who haven’t joined or won’t join.

     5. People who are now elsewhere but consider this home.

     6. Community folk who think well of this congregation.
   Church Rallying Cries

 1. We play to win.


 2. We play not to lose.


 3. We play to lose.


 4. We are not certain we plan to
  leave the locker room.
“Be ye transformed by …

             Not more committees,
              control, structure, nor by
              simply trying harder


             But by “the renewing of
              your mind”
                 p -> b -> d
                     perception yields behavior
                     behavior yields destiny
Courageous Barrier Breaking means
we renew our minds …

 … Inside of our own spirit
   “change   my heart, o God …”

 … Within our church


 … between church and community
   What’s our   “brand” in the neighborhood?
How to break barriers …
1. Understand how
   you are perceived
   in the community.

2. Be willing to make
   inside-the-church
   changes so as to
   connect with the
   community.
Three Things that 21c People Look
for in Congregations
              1. Help.


              2. Hope.


              3. Home.


              If your church does not have
               lots of programs, that is God’s
               way of blessing you!

                   People are looking not for more
                    activity, but for H/H/H
Another way of saying H/H/H:

People are looking for:

 Giving,
 Sharing,
 Receiving.
What people join (& don’t join):

                  A congregation
                     not a denomination


                  A family
                     not an organization



                  A community
                     not a committee


                  A movement
                     not an institution
  Where people go …

 People go to the church
  nearest their heart, not
  their house
        Think “average trip time” and
         “traffic direction pattern”
Four Futures for Congregations

             1. Small.
             2. Middle, awkward.
             3. Large, regional.
             4. Mega.

                  No merit in any given size
                  All 4 sizes could be “strong,”
                   “weak,” or “dying”
                  #1, 3 are easiest
                  #2 is the hardest
Average Worship Attendance
           Very Small:
              20-34 (27% stop beneath this barrier)


           Small:
              35-74 (57%)


           Middle/awkward:
              75-149 (69%)


           Large/regional
              150-350 (85%)


           Very large/mega
              400+ (96%)
Small can be Strong

            Not everything large is strong
               cancer


            Not dysfunctional small
               “small for a (bad) reason”
               Old-timers vs. Newcomers


            But: people join small/strong to
             regain sense of what they lost
             when they moved into “large” in
             the rest of their lives
Most small congregations have more
strengths than they think they do.

 Most pastors and key
  leaders are doing better
  than they think they are

 What interferes with them
  knowing that:
      Cultural drive for “excessive
       achievement”
      Occupational hazard of
       “perfectionism”
What’s important, no matter size:
                  Add a strength


                  By adding strengths,
                   any size church can
                   courageously touch
                   and transform its
                   community
The 12 Keys     (Listed in order of importance)



1. Mission      7. Program
2. Outreach     8. Access
3. Worship      9. Visibility
4. Groupings    10. Parking
5. Leadership   11. Facilities
6. Decisions    12. Giving
  The order matters!

 Better to have good parking
  than good facilities

 Better to have access than
  visibility

 Better outreach than worship
(Dis)satisfaction
 The first 6 characteristics
  are sources of
  congregational
  satisfaction
      “We’re building something
       worthwhile in God’s
       Kingdom!”



 The second 6 are
  sources of dissatisfaction
      “I can’t find a seat/space!”
The Goal for Courageous Churches

              1. Develop five out of the
                 first six keys,

              2. Four out of the second
                 half, and

              3. Nine of twelve overall.
The Plan

           1. Claim your existing strengths
                 from the 12 keys


           2. Expand one or two strengths.
                 Pick the 2 that will give you 80% of
                  your results


           3. Do this annually for three years.

            Eventually, a strong congregation
             will deliver on 9 of the 12 strengths
 How to add a New Strength
 Create:

     A single, one-time objective
          Father-daughter event

     A seasonal objective
          Teacher work days program

     A short term (3-5 sessions)
          Limited small group

     A long term (6-10 sessions)
          Ongoing group
A metaphor …

          Find “sprinters” to help
           with immediate, short-term
           objectives

          Find “marathoners” to
           work on routine, regular,
           year-round objectives
  Dying vs. Vibrant Churches

 Dying congregations
  major in long-term and
  weekly/monthly marathon
  type events

 Vibrant congregations
  major in one time,
  seasonal, and short-term
  events
         Weak, Declining Pattern




One time events   Seasonal   Short term   Long term   Annual
        Strong, Healthy Pattern




One time events   Seasonal   Short term   Long term   Annual
Examples – “Children”
 One-time: one day Bible School during a teachers’
  work day

 Seasonal: doing that for the six work days during a
  school year

 Short term: 5 week parenting class


 Long term: ongoing class for parents, pre-school


 Annual: VBS
Are we willing to change our
churches in order to touch the world?
 Remember: we’re not done
  till our community is changed
  by Christ through us!

 Do we love our neighbors
  enough to relinquish our
  church preferences?

 Courageous Churches
  unlock internal barriers so
  that their communities can be
  set free by the Gospel!
Courageous Church Growth



          Dr. John P. Chandler
   The Ray and Ann Spence Network
     for Congregational Leadership
            www.rasnet.org
          Copy Right John P. Chandler, 2003

								
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