Here are my notes from the third of three seminars led by Andrew Heard on ‘Growing Churches and Keeping Them Growing’. The focus was on building a mission minded church.
8 things to remember when building a mission minded church:
8. Face Realities (a) – the myths
Myth #1: Every Christian will evangelise.
Myth #2: Training in evangelism is the answer.
Myth #3: 6/7 weeks of Follow-up is enough.
Myth #4: The big event will do mission for you.
Myth #5: This course or that course will be the answer.
Myth #6: The Minister can run evangelism.
Myth #7: Postmodernism has changed everything.
Myth #8: Personal evangelism is more powerful than event evangelism.
1. Own where the power is – God and his gospel
2. Think bigger – look out not in
Keep looking at the fields (the community) not the barns (the church). If you look in the barn you will think and structure too small.
Do triage – find the low fruit, and then work way up to the higher fruit. If you are thinking nationally go for areas of low fruit; then in hard areas go for low fruit there. Build a foundation to reach the hardest place.
3. Mobile everybody
Capture every person with a vision for the lost. Every single person must understand what we are about.
Why aren’t people missioning? Lack of conviction – about eternity, heaven and hell, grace; Lack of confidence – skill, afraid won’t handle whatever come.
Take responsibility to fix the problem. God put you there to prayerfully fix it.
Start with the Word ministries. Keep an eternal perspective in the way we preach. So often preaching is like the safety talk on airplane. Imagine giving it to a on plane on fire.
When you plan your year calendar – always start with mission. The best time to go fishing is when you’ll most likely to catch fish. Find out when the best time of year to fishing for souls and talking the gospel and plan the church calendar around this.
Demonstrate to the church that people can get converted by running testimonies.
4. Mobile the group
Do mission together. Requires a shift from the family to body metaphor the church where each part does a different work.
Set things up so people of 60-70% can be useful.
Do evangelistic services – never do it once because people forget.
Build structure to help people get friends.
5. Create quality gospel delivery
6. Create quality follow up process
Invest long term into it.
7. Create easy pathways into church
8. Face Realities (b)
Minister cannot do this alone. How have you possibly got time to create a quality gospel delivery, follow up and train, and preach well. You can’t.
Own it, be realistic, you must build a team. You have to learn how to lead people to change into spiritual growth into ministry, lead leaders, thinking strategically, to problem solve.