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sticky church

People end up coming to church for a myriad of reasons. Motivations range from church was something that they grew up with and is a cultural norm in their life, to a moment of personal crisis, a simple invite by a friend, and sometimes even a cleaver marketing campaign by a local church. But what makes them come back, what makes them stick?

In his book, Sticky Church, Larry Osborne does a great job of addressing the leadership tension between the front door (getting people in) and the back door (keeping people in) of the church. In it he asserts that, “As long as the front door remains larger than the back door, any church will appear to be growing. But sooner or later the front door can’t get any larger; either the budget or the skill set runs thin.” He goes on to explain that many pastors are guilty of using the people they already have in order to reach the people they want to reach. Instead of viewing their church as a flock to care for, lead, and tend to they often become viewed as a tool to get to the pastor’s dream…and that’s a dream that needs to die. If this has ever been an issue that you’ve had to contend with, you know first hand that by the time the indicators of a problem with the back door begin to rear their ugly head more often than not the problem has become so large and so complex that it takes a serious time, resource, and people commitment, and often times the courage to make some very difficult and far reaching decisions to wrestle this down.

You might need to spend some time addressing the backdoor at your church if you can identify with the following list:

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Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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are we there yet?

Are_We_There_Yet_v07

By now most of you know that my family and I recently all piled into the minivan and made the multi-day drive across the country to start the new adventure of serving as the Lead Pastor at North Metro Church in the northern suburbs of Atlanta. That’s not to say that the drive itself wasn’t a bit of an adventure. And thanks to my good friend Aaron McRae my kids actually thought that the more they said, “are we there yet,” the faster we would arrive at our new home in Atlanta!

My kids aren’t the first people on the planet to be so enamored with the destination that they lose sight of the journey. I bet Moses heard this phrase more than a few times from the nation of Israel, Noah probably heard it from his kids, Abraham heard it from Isaac, and so on, and so on. The reality is that if you and I are not careful we run the risk of becoming so fixated on the destination and where we are going that it becomes almost impossible for us to enjoy the journey along the way. This is especially true if you are the kind of person who has a fairly clear picture in your mind of a desired future and where you believe you are supposed to be, or where you are supposed to be leading a group of people to.

So how do you know if you’re so addicted to the idea of the destination that you’re in danger of missing the journey? If you can identify with the items from the list below you may need to come up for air and do some self evaluation, or better yet, hit your knees and do some confession.

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Posted in Leadership

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3 days in a minivan with 3 kids a dog and a crab

As I’m typing this on my phone (those who know me are proud of me right now for learning to use technology) it’s the last night on the road tonight & we hit Atlanta tomorrow to start the next chapter of our lives together. We’ve tried to make the roadtrip as memorable as possible for the kids. I mean how many times do you ever move your whole family across the country? I think we’ve pretty much succeeded, only 6 movies in 3 days means we’ve been doing a lot of other stuff. There were stories read, laughter, and multiple cow sightings by the girls. There was the blimp we saw doing training moves just a few 100 ft off the ground, the horses sticking their heads out of the trailer as we passed by, picnics at the rest stops, Lincoln loved yelling at every tractor trailer we passed, and so on. There were tons of simple yet satisfying moments that happened on the trip that as a father I hope I never forget. And then there were the ones I do hope to forget. You know the ones if you’re a parent.

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Posted in Family

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building a culture that creates a movement

If you haven’t read Will Mancini’s book, Church Unique, go and buy it now! If you’re a leader than even the subtitle should get you going a bit, “How Missional Leaders Cast Vision, Capture Culture, and Create Movement.” In it he does a masterful job of reframing the conversation about vision that has been so overcooked in “Church-World.” Instead of selling everyone on a secret method, philosophy, or model that we should all adopt he lays out a roadmap to a journey that will lead you, and those you lead with, to discover the unique part that God has created your local church to express and play. The conversation goes far beyond simply coming up with mission, vision, and values statements to build an organization around and instead discusses, in a totally integrated fashion, the underpinnings of building a culture that frees the Church up to be the movement that it was intended to be from the beginning. In it you’ll find helpful tables that simplify the takeaways and the right kind of questions and exercises for you and your team to wrestle through and discover your uniqueness together! In the Author’s own words, he lays the book out in four major parts:

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Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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5 leadership lessons i learned from my dad

Father’s Day always provides a great opportunity to reflect on the kind of Father you had growing up and of course the kind of Father you would like to be yourself. In thinking about my Dad this weekend there were so many lessons that he taught me that came to mind, and fortunately, many things I still have to learn from my Dad. And while every father and man has their deficiencies to be sure, my dad has been an accelerant in my life and leadership by consistently allowing me to stand on his shoulders. Dad, I love you, and I’m so grateful that you’re in my life! So here are a handful of leadership principles that I learned from my Dad.

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Posted in Family, Leadership