Tag Archive - inside

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Top Posts of 2014 #7: “4 Reasons Why Churches become Insider Focused”

Another late addition to the top 10 posts of 2014 comes in at number 7. I wrote this at the beginning of December but it quickly became one of the most shared and most popular posts of the year!

It’s rare that I ever come across a church that started off as an insider focused church. Most churches start with a desire to reach new people with the Gospel. In those early stages of a church plant they have to reach new people or they die due to a lack of viability. So how does a church that’s eager to help people outside of the faith follow Jesus drift towards becoming insider focused and spending all of it’s energy taking care of people who are already convinced? Here are the four most common reasons why churches become insider focused:

1. Stop Taking Risks

By its very nature everything about a church plant is risky. It’s a brand new start up. Everything is new and everywhere you turn there is a new risk to take. Somewhere along the way when some measure of viability is reached churches begin to mitigate risk by taking care of key stakeholders (insiders). It’s a lot easier (and less risky) to keep church people happy than it is to continue to reach out to people who are outside of the church. When is the last time your church risked something big for God? If you have outgrown your original risk taking ethos then your church is probably moving towards becoming insider focused.

2. Stay Married to Old Methods

If you don’t have a well of new ideas that you can go to and possibly implement at any given time then you’re probably spending a lot of energy propping up old methods and programs. And those old methods and programs bring a certain comfort with them, because they keep people who are already in the church happy. Every idea has a shelf life. If your church isn’t constantly evaluating and strategically stopping old things and starting new things then you’re probably moving towards becoming insider focused.

3. Planning overtakes Chaos

One of the most common misunderstandings of strategic planning is that the goal is not order; the goal is to accomplish the vision. In a growing church you want planning and management to lag slightly behind the chaos of change and movement. It’s possible to manage and plan your way into losing momentum. When planning and order become higher priorities than chaos and movement your church is teetering on becoming insider focused.

4. Lack of Vision

Clear vision is the greatest catalyst for movement and action in the church. When vision is fuzzy things slow down and naturally drift towards becoming insider focused. We all wake up every day thinking about ourselves, it’s what comes natural to us. That’s why both Jesus and the Apostle Paul paint a clear vision of spiritual maturity as living an others focused life. If your church is not sure where it’s going, chances are your moving towards becoming insider focused.

Interested in reading up some more on Insider Focused Churches? Check out the posts below:

Photo Credit: BrianTuchalskiPhotography via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

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4 Reasons Why Churches become Insider Focused

It’s rare that I ever come across a church that started off as an insider focused church. Most churches start with a desire to reach new people with the Gospel. In those early stages of a church plant they have to reach new people or they die due to a lack of viability. So how does a church that’s eager to help people outside of the faith follow Jesus drift towards becoming insider focused and spending all of it’s energy taking care of people who are already convinced? Here are the four most common reasons why churches become insider focused:

1. Stop Taking Risks

By its very nature everything about a church plant is risky. It’s a brand new start up. Everything is new and everywhere you turn there is a new risk to take. Somewhere along the way when some measure of viability is reached churches begin to mitigate risk by taking care of key stakeholders (insiders). It’s a lot easier (and less risky) to keep church people happy than it is to continue to reach out to people who are outside of the church. When is the last time your church risked something big for God? If you have outgrown your original risk taking ethos then your church is probably moving towards becoming insider focused.

2. Stay Married to Old Methods

If you don’t have a well of new ideas that you can go to and possibly implement at any given time then you’re probably spending a lot of energy propping up old methods and programs. And those old methods and programs bring a certain comfort with them, because they keep people who are already in the church happy. Every idea has a shelf life. If your church isn’t constantly evaluating and strategically stopping old things and starting new things then you’re probably moving towards becoming insider focused.

3. Planning overtakes Chaos

One of the most common misunderstandings of strategic planning is that the goal is not order; the goal is to accomplish the vision. In a growing church you want planning and management to lag slightly behind the chaos of change and movement. It’s possible to manage and plan your way into losing momentum. When planning and order become higher priorities than chaos and movement your church is teetering on becoming insider focused.

4. Lack of Vision

Clear vision is the greatest catalyst for movement and action in the church. When vision is fuzzy things slow down and naturally drift towards becoming insider focused. We all wake up every day thinking about ourselves, it’s what comes natural to us. That’s why both Jesus and the Apostle Paul paint a clear vision of spiritual maturity as living an others focused life. If your church is not sure where it’s going, chances are your moving towards becoming insider focused.

Interested in reading up some more on Insider Focused Churches? Check out the posts below:

Photo Credit: BrianTuchalskiPhotography via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

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You Are Who You Hire

As a kid I can remember being coerced into eating my broccoli with phrases like, “you are what you eat.” Well…that and a lot of melted cheese. And while that’s true when it comes to eating healthy, the principle also holds true when it comes to who you hire. If you lead long enough and well enough than eventually you are going to have to hire and fire people on your team. Hiring a new team member is a powerful and often overlooked moment in many churches and organizations. It’s an opportunity for an infusion of new talent, new ideas, if done well it challenges the status qua, and you inherit a brand new library of experiences to learn from. A hire that’s done well raises the water line for the entire team.

The reason that a new hire is so powerful and pivotal is because people lead out of who they are and the organization or church always takes on the personality of the leader. In other words, you are who you hire. No matter what their skill set, abilities, experiences or personality is; people always lead through the filter of their unique identity. That’s why these next two statements are so important.

Hire from the inside when you like what you already have.

If you like the culture of what you already have in your church or organization, if you like the direction things are going and you want to keep going that way then hire from within. Because people who are on the inside already get your culture, the way you do things, and the direction you’re going.

Hire from the outside when you want to change what you have.

If you are ready for a change in culture, direction, way of doing things, an upgrade in talent or a new skill set is needed in your church or organization then it’s time to hire from the outside. Because if the people inside were going to lead it there they would already be doing it.

People lead out of who they are, and if they’re not who you are, or who you want to be, then don’t hire them. Because you are who you hire.


Posted in Staffing

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When to Hire from the Inside

At some point every church faces the question: “Do we hire from inside or do we go outside to make this next hire?” There’s a grocery list of items that can factor into making a good decision. But the following two principles outweigh everything else when you’re hiring from within the organization or church.

1. You Like what Already Exists

If you like the culture and the practices that are being implemented in the ministry, and you want to reproduce more of what you already have, then hire from within the church. While you can hire experienced talent from the outside, people who are already inside your church understand and fit your culture. They believe in your church enough to attend there and invest their time, talent, treasure, and touch even without being on staff yet.

2. There is Available and Developed Talent

If you’ve been doing a good job of training and developing internal talent, then chances are there are people right inside the church who already have the abilities to the do the job. In many growing churches there are already high-level volunteers who are leading ministries. A great benefit is that you’ve been able to see these people up close and over time. When you hire from inside there are less questions because you know what you’re getting. Start inside first.

Don’t forget to check back later this week for Part-2 of this post: “When to Hire from the Outside.”


Posted in Leadership, Staffing