Design Your #ReimagineCHURCH Journey

Designing a #ReimagineCHURCH Journey

 

Every congregation/ministry/group must "be transformed by the renewing of their (corporate mind-set ... So that they begin to pray with and make-disciples who live according to the good, totally-fulfilling, perfectly-suited will of God,"  (Romans 12:2)

 

Components applicable to congregations/ministries experiencing:

  • Plateaued or declining attendance
  • Apathetic leadership
  • Mission drift (confusion, disinterest)
  • Changing neighborhood demographics
  • An interim season between full-time pastors
  • Beginning as a new church plant
  • The need for revising as a step toward reviving

 

The components of a congregational/corporate reimagine-journey:

  • A Strategy of Prayer:
    • For our church to seek the discernment and direction of the Holy Spirit
    • For our leaders to collectively yield to the mind of Christ
    • For our membership/participants to receive a daily filling of the Spirit
    • For our people to respond to neighbors  with the heart of Father God
  • A SWOT Assessment
    • Strengths: Our calling in Christ; Spiritual Gifting, Resources-Facility-Location
    • Weaknesses: Blindspots, Fears, Resources-Facility-Location
    • Opportunities: Neighborhood diversification, Community needs-issues
    • Threats: Our decline-apathy-enemies
  • All-The-Church Gatherings
    • A Conversation with Our Leader (an evening of prayer - Worship)
    • A Conversation with Our Leadership (questions, comments, prayer)
    • A Conversation with One Another ("Who are you?" - Fellowship)
    • ...consider beginning with a meal
  • Special Sunday Service Focus (a week-by-week, monthly rhythm)
    • The Word - devoted to teaching a story or text from Scripture
    • The Table - devoted to celebrating our salvation from Jesus
    • The Truth - devoted to applying a promise from Scripture to our life
    • Body Life  - devoted to worship: psalms, hymns, scriptures, sharing
  • Sermon Series
    • #ReimaginePRAYER... from the prayers to the Ephesian church 
    • #ReimagineDISCIPLESHIP...from the teachings of Jesus
    • #ReimagineCHURCH... from the "one another" commands in scripture

 

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  • AND...

    When you begin to reimagine, apply these questions to your application of Romans 12:2:

    • You are not limited to traditions and programs
    • You are to pursue transformation
    • A transformation of the way you think
    • About your life...
    • AND every aspect of your ministry.
    • So that...
    • When you and the Church pray, make-disciples, worship & fellowship, care and share the Gospel,
    • You are experiencing and expressing the oh-so-good will of our great God.

    5 #Reimagine Questions

    5PowerfulCoachingQuestions-e1609456252456-600x402.jpg?profile=RESIZE_710x

    Guest Post by Mary R. Miller

    The best coaches ask powerful questions and then really listen to the responses.

    Jesus was a perfect example of this, but someone already wrote a book about that. Thank you Bob! 339 Questions Jesus Asked.

    Questions are a tool that coaches and leaders use to help others navigate through the rough terrain of life. They help people discern and decipher their next steps. Questions bring clarity by lighting the way and exposing one’s mindset a question at a time.

    Here are five of the most powerful questions I’ve asked. How do I know they are powerful questions? From my client’s responses. Hearing what every coach wants to hear. A short silence, then the client saying “That’s a great question.”

    1.  What are you willing to change in order to reach your goal?

    The answer to this question gives you a sense of how motivated the person is to change. How badly do they want to reach their goal? It exposes the areas in their life that they want to protect. That can be a path to developing healthy boundaries. It also exposes fear which may bring up the “what if” question. For example, “If I change my messaging to include my faith, what if I lose clients?” As you can see, this question creates a rich soil of deeper meaningful conversations that promote growth.

    2.  What is the next step you can take towards your dreams?

    Sometimes people get stuck because dreams can be so large that they feel out of reach. If the person breaks their dream down into pieces that are actionable, it’s not as overwhelming. Then they can process their dream in more detail; allowing them to get their arms around it. The goal of this question is to get your client thinking and talking about their dreams so that they can take action towards them. One of the goals of coaching and leading is to help others progress.

    3.  If you could ask God for anything right now, what would it be ?

    This is really digging into the core of a person’s heart. What they desire deep down. What do they feel like they can’t control? Something that only God can do. When a person answers this question, it opens your eyes to what they are longing for right now. The desire of their heart. It tells you where they are at right now.

    4.  What causes fire in your belly?

    The answer to this is very telling. It tells you a bit about how someone is wired and what they are passionate about. When they don’t know the answer, that tells you that they may be a little lost in their search of purpose and may not know themselves very well. In either case, it gives you a path to investigate and to help them to find that fire. 

    5.  Did you get what you needed from today’s session and what stuck out to you?

    Assuming that they say ‘yes,’ it encourages the person that they did know where to start. This builds up their confidence. It also causes the person to reflect on what they learned in the coaching session. This reflection will reinforce what they learned, which typically motivates them to put it into practice.

    If they say ‘no’’ and that ‘nothing really stuck out’ to them; this tells you that they didn’t really know where to start. That they need help taking a step back to narrow down and focus on one of their challenges. It also tells you both that you need to recalibrate. Sometimes it means that you are not the best coach for that person or that you need to change your approach.

    There are many more powerful questions that you can ask your clients or your people but these five have really helped my clients to take steps towards achieving their dreams. My prayer is that you can add them to your leadership toolbox to grow your people and yourself.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    MaryMillerHS.jpg?profile=RESIZE_710x

    Mary R. Miller is an author, poet, coach, engineer, and speaker all wrapped into one which allows her to make the invisible visible and provide a unique perspective to her readers, clients, and audiences. Using her gifts she founded Dream Catalyst, an organization that provides resources and coaching to help woman overcome what’s holding them back so they can claim their dreams. She is the author of The Birth of a Dream Catalyst: Unlocking the Dream from WithinGod’s Warrior: 40 Powerful Prayers and a contributing author of the book Success: Powered by Relationships.

    Read Online
    Learn More
  • To help you reimagine...

    • As you were reading, did this seem more relevant to you personally or to your role as a leader or change agent?
    • Where do you agree? Disagree - and why?
    • What did you read that resonates with the leading/guiding you have sensed recently from the Holy Spirit?
    • How can you move from analysis to application to implementation?
    • Who do you need to talk with about the ideas you have encountered here?
    • Finish this sentence: "Jesus . . .
    • file.jpgJohn Barcanic
     

    Are You a Change-Maker?


     

    “What do you do?” asked the nice lady standing across the table from me.

     
     
     

    It was the first time Intersekt was represented at a missions conference. We'd spent weeks designing brochures, banners, and flyers. We were excited to tell people about what God was doing in the lives of change-makers around the world.

     
     
     

    I had seen the nice lady make her way slowly from booth to booth. She picked up some information from each one and engaged in conversation. I hit her with my best line, “We equip change-makers to bear more fruit.”

     
     
     

    Immediately she asked the question everyone does when I share Intersekt’s mission.

     
     
     

    “What’s a change-maker?”

     
     
     

    Good question.

     
     
     

    Change-makers are believers in Jesus who are passionate about joining God on his mission in their sphere of influence. They share three common characteristics:

     
     
     
    file.jpeg?profile=RESIZE_584x
     
     
     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Change-makers see the need.

     

    Most change-makers have a healthy degree of dissatisfaction in their lives. They look at the world and see that much of it doesn’t reflect God’s kingdom. When we pretend poverty is self-inflicted, turn a blind eye to the plight of refugees, and allow years to go by without opening our mouths to share the gospel, change-makers grow frustrated. As one of my African clients said, “I knew something had to change.”

     
     
     

    Change-makers want to take action.

     

    Anger (frustration is just a polite word for anger) is a God-given emotion designed to motivate action. When change-makers see the disconnect between the ugly state of the broken world and the beauty of God’s kingdom, they are driven to pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Often, they don’t know what they can do beyond prayer, but they want to do something. Change-makers aren't content to simply complain. They want to take action.

     
     
     

    Change-makers mobilize others.

     

    When you feel strongly about something, you talk about it with others. Change-makers share their frustration with others. They don’t understand when others can walk on by, not realizing (or not caring) that the world is broken. They want to help and they want others to get involved as well.

     
     
     

    Now what?

     

    Are you a change-maker? Maybe you’re already at work joining God on his mission in the world. Maybe you’re frustrated, but don’t know how to move forward. Maybe you’re ready to give up, because it seems no matter what you do, change never comes. We’d love to help you bear more fruit.

     
     

  •  

     

    QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU LOOK WITHIN . . .BEFORE YOU GATHER LEADERS FOR SPIRIT-LED, SCRIPTURE-FED STRATEGIC PLANNING . . .

     OKNmROnOQ5AfbZHOczdcq8rLCmiLJ5mwxjaY6mRrYRj51DRFcYT4ufNE8mz9EWbZRPRuAPaDpuwj36vdkM1SFQH7tujfMoEpFJPu1TpB1Qxhe1hqBECX-umtbWRa5r5IxxxVSjkUQ-pmKcxf5-NzxwD_pRSC1w=s0-d-e1-ft#<a rel=nofollow href=

    Excerpted from my free e-book: “Great Leaders Ask Questions: a Fortune 100 List”

    “Telling creates resistance.  ASKING CREATES RELATIONSHIPS" — Andrew Sobel Client Relationships and Author of Power Questions

    Would you like to know the 4 questions one consultant uses to make a six figure income?

    1.“What’s going well?

    2.  “What’s not?”

    3. “Where are you stuck?”

    4. What needs to change?”

    He shares that the order above is very important, and starting with “What is going well?” is absolutely essential. In fact, he will spend half of the time on question one, because the time he spends cheering their successes is what creates a safe environment for asking questions 2 through 4.

     

    HOW DO YOU ADD VALUE?

    Mark Miller, VP of Training and Development at Chick-fil-A,  shares this interesting story:

    Years ago, the president of our company stopped me in the hallway and asked a rather jarring question:

    “How do you add value around here?”

    I had no answer prepared. In the moment, I said the first thing that came to my mind: “I ask challenging questions.” He responded, “Keep it up,” and walked off. Ever since that moment, I’ve considered it part of my job description as a leader – not just to ask challenging questions, but also to ask the right questions.

    So what is your answer? How do you add value?

     

    GET IDEAS FLOWING

    Has your team ever gotten stuck in brainstorming what might be the best possible ways forward? Do you have a backup question that will instantly get them un-stuck?

    Here it is:

    “How can we do this (whatever your team needs to do) in a way that will guarantee its failure?”

    Your team will invariably not only begin to answer – but they will also enjoy this almost comic exercise.

    After they have compiled a sure-fire list of how to guarantee failure, then ask item by item:

     “What, then, do we need to do to guarantee success?”

    For example, your staff lists “Do not make any follow-up calls” as one of the things that will guarantee failure. So you ask, “If not making any follow-up calls will guarantee failure, what will we need to do to guarantee success?”

     

    WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUESTION TO ASK SOMEONE YOU ARE CONNECTING WITH FOR THE FIRST TIME?

    Here is mine:

    “Would you please tell me your story?”

    I used to ask about their family or their job. Those are not bad questions, unless they are in the middle of a difficult family situation or perhaps have just been laid off. Asking them to share their story gives them complete freedom to answer in whatever way seems best to them. You may find they are also likely to share things you would have never dared to ask.

     

    ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH SILENCE?

    It is one of the most effective questioning tools you can use. Ask your question and then give the person the gift of silence. Give the person time to think and formulate their response. You would be wise to not interrupt their thinking process with words. He or she is thinking; and because you might be uncomfortable with the silence, you are tempted to re-ask the question, state it in another way, or to ask a related question. Please don’t! Be still; focus your kind attention on them, relax, and wait.

    Your silence is, in fact, a question.

    The good news is they will answer, and often the longer the silence, the more thoughtful the response will be.

    You have just read a short excerpt from “Great Leaders Ask Questions: a Fortune 100 List”.  If you like what you just read you will want to download and read/listen to this entire FREE e-book/Audiobook!

     

  • image
     

    THREE SEPS TO #ReimagineCHURCH. . .

    Some things need to change.

     

    First, we need to create a culture in which others can approach us— and point out our blind spots.

    (Several pastors have disqualified themselves over the past few years because they created a fear-based culture in which people can’t approach the senior leader with their concerns.)

     

    Second, we need a culture where we foster togetherness with our team.

    (Jesus routinely left the crowds to be with His disciples. We often stiff-arm our team to embrace the crowds.)

     

    Third, we need to create a culture of courage…

    (In the Bible, the miraculous almost always follows a— even if small— courageous act.)

     

    These are a few of the ideas I shared at the first-ever Courageous Pastors Gathering this February.

    Watch the full talk here...

    https://www.courageouspastors.com/blog/movement

  • #Reimagine . . .

    • As you were reading, did this seem more relevant to you personally or to your role as a leader or change agent?
    • Where do you agree? Disagree - and why?
    • What did you read that resonates with the leading/guiding you have sensed recently from the Holy Spirit?
    • How can you move from analysis to application to implementation?
    • Who do you need to talk with about the ideas you have encountered here?
    • Finish this sentence: "Jesus . . .
  • #Reimagine...by Pivoting

     

    One of the better words to define vocational changes ... is PIVOT.

    What is pivoting?

    1651783407551?e=1662595200&v=beta&t=mreiqoigcbxM6Aytdv8firw0Wjkap7q3b7sDn5ucMOkIn business terms, it means completely changing the way one does something. Due to COVID, many businesses were forced to pivot. For example, restaurants became delivery services.

    I Googled the phrase, “career pivot” which returned over 30 million hits in a fraction of a second. In fact, if you’re considering a pivot yourself, try getting yourself immersed in what people are saying about this topic.

    In the past few months, I have talked with a lot of people in their 3rd and 4th career. They didn’t talk in terms of retiring. They talked about starting something new and different. Some were even on their 4th start up (and one of those people was in their 70’s!)

    So how do you prepare for an eventual pivot as you enter your 4th quarter?

    This issue isn't about HOW to pivot, but how to PREPARE to pivot. Here are a few thoughts to get you started down the right path. See if I’ve missed anything:

    Journal

    That’s right. I said the “J” wordI know not all of you like to journal. But you may have a false assumption about what journaling is.

    It’s much more than keeping a diary and writing out all your thoughts and emotions.

    It can be a bullet list, a set of questions you’re always asking yourself.

    Journaling gets your mind used to a reflective mode of thinking. When you reflect, you can see things that you normally don’t see when you’re in the whirlwind of life.

    Explore

    Make a timeline of your life from as far back as you can remember to today. Along that line, indicate the positive and negative events that had an impact on you. What did you learn about yourself in those moments?

    Make a list of all your skills and experiences. What have you learned to do with your mind, your hands, your leadership? 

    Exploring gives you some clay to work with when thinking about pivoting to something new and meaningful.

    Inquire

    Once you have a rough idea of what you are thinking about pivoting to, make inquiries of those currently in that role. I spoke this week with someone in their 4th quarter who is considering opening a coffee shop next year. The best thing for him is to sit down (preferably over coffee) and just ask what it’s like to be in that position.

    Consider these questions when you inquire:

    • How did you get started doing this?
    • What surprised you once you get into it? Was it a good surprise or a bad one? Why?
    • What do you love about what you do?
    • What have you had to learn that you didn’t already know?

    Pivoting is a very natural thing to do for a GenXer. We are the resilient generation. We know how to get things done.

    I trust these thoughts (Journal, Explore, and Inquire) help get you going in the right direction as you consider if or when you are going to pivot.

    So, what did I miss? Share in a comment.

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    Thank you so much for reading the GenX Weekly. I appreciate each one of you.

    And I wish you all the best!

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    Scott Couchenour, 4th Qtr Coach
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    Helping owners in their 40-50
  • 10661898661?profile=RESIZE_584xWHICH BRITISH CHURCHES FACE EXTINCTION AND WHICH ARE GROWING

    Britain’s Anglican, Catholic and Methodist churches face extinction within the next forty years because they’re not ‘contagious’ enough, according to a Christian mathematician. Dr John Hayward who’s a visiting fellow at the University of South Wales used a technique which became familiar during the pandemic, the ‘R’ rate of reproduction or contagion, and analysed data from 13 church denominations to track the speed at which they are growing or declining. The data shows that the Church of England and Catholic churches have an R number of 0.9 (anything below 1 indicates that there is no contagion or reproduction, meaning numbers of church-goers will only reduce as no new people are encouraged to become part of the church.)   At this rate the Church of England and Catholic churches would see their congregations fall to zero by 2062.

    The Methodist Church fares even worse with an R rate of 0.85 meaning it could face extinction by the mid 2040s. The Church in Wales could disappear by 2038 as it has an R rate of 0.7. Speaking to Premier, Dr Hayward explained why he chose to use the R rate to calculate church growth trends: “It’s a good way because churches often grow through personal contact between somebody who was in the church and people who are outside the church. “So someone who’s in the church might invite somebody to a service, they might even, better, tell somebody about Jesus Christ. Then that person may come to a service, they may hear a sermon and they become a Christian and that faith has been passed on by word of mouth. Word of mouth operates in the same way as a disease, it’s a contact between one person and another.

    The more people are effectively contacting others, the more the faith will be spread in the same way that a disease would be spread. “What the models are showing is that these churches will become extinct. For some of the churches that is embarrassingly close and they may not survive past those dates and that is quite frightening.” Only three of the 13 denominations analysed are shown to have an R rate of more than 1. Elim Pentecostal is the fastest growing, followed by New Frontiers and FIEC (Fellowship of Evangelical Churches), they have a growth rate of between 1 and 1.1. Sarah Yardley is Mission Lead for Creationfest – one of the largest Christian festivals in the country. Speaking to Premier in response to the findings, she said: “As someone who loves the Church deeply, it is always a moment of startle when you look at the practical numbers of how many have disengaged from the traditional churches.”

    Yardley went on “I think it’s really important to comment that within many of these churches, there’s still significant spiritual life, there are still dedicated men and woman loving and serving Jesus. Alongside that, I think there’s a real hunger for intentional community and vibrancy in our world today and I think some of the traditional churches have some major strides to make to engage in community in that way. “I’m living in Cornwall and I think for many here the stereotype of church is that it is old, cold, dead and just a bit boring. I find my relationship with Jesus Christ to be anything but that. But many of the traditional churches gather in a way that’s incredibly formal in buildings that can feel a bit sterile and in ways that feel completely detached from modern life.”

    “I think one of the things some of the freer denominations have done really beautifully is to show that interface between daily life and church gathering, where you still feel like you’re walking into a place of reverence and holiness. But it also feels like there’s a real vibrancy around the engagement. I think that that vibrancy, that warmth, that sense of slightly less formal, while still retaining the holiness of God, is what the people around me seem to be searching and hungry for. What has unfortunately happened is that in many ways, the churches have aged with their congregations rather than including younger families. I think some of the more charismatic traditions have done a phenomenal job of including all ages and all generations. My prayer is that every stream of church would find its place of flourishing, because the opportunity ahead of us will require all different styles in order to engage the world around us.”

    Source: Premier Christian News + The Christian Post

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