I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 77. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.
Our Bible verse for this episode is Romans 12:9-13 which says, “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.”
Our quote for this episode is from Michael Jordan, who said, “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”
In this podcast, we are going through the fine books: “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs, “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning, and “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson.
Our topic today is part 8 of “Chapter 4: Multility: Keep it Cellular” from “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning. He continues as follows:
Empower Instead of Control
At Christ the King we don’t like the word control. We like the word empower. Authoritarian cultures spawn passivity and create codependency. To combat that tendency, we train people in our organization to be ready and able to say, “Yes, sure, you bet.” Often, those are words that cannot be spoken in church. As is typical in a bureaucracy, church leaders tend to have the power to say no but seldom have the power to say yes. We want yes to be a valid answer again in the church. God is at work in people’s lives. We want to unleash the church.
While corporately we do not initiate a lot of ministries (we stay focused on the priorities of small groups, worship, and out-reach), many ministries emerge because we empower volunteers to do what God is calling them to do. CTK serves as an umbrella under which individual ministries can flourish.
In our context, the role of the pastors and staff is to create and sustain an environment where the people of the church (the real ministers) can carry out their ministries with minimum obstacles and maximum fulfillment. The paid staff is focused on climate control. In other words, they manage the conditions of the system but not necessarily the behavior.
A few years ago a lady came to me with a heart to reach out at Thanksgiving time to people who have no place to go to share a holiday meal. I told her to go for it. She put together a group of friends to organize the event, solicited area businesses for donations, recruited cooks and waiters, and now has developed an annual ministry that reaches hundreds of people each Thanksgiving eve. She had no previous experience doing this. We shouted encouragement and gave her a little bit of coaching from the sidelines, but basically the event was her baby. Her baby ended up being a major outreach involving corporate sponsors, professional chefs, musicians, and a huge volunteer crew. This sort of story has been repeated hundreds of times in other places. It is amazing what ordinary people can do when we get out of their way. Our culture of empowerment makes it possible for dreams to become reality. We have the faith to say yes to God’s leading in a person’s life.
Prosumers Instead of Consumers
In a Deliberately Simple church, we ask the people who attend to be prosumers instead of consumers. The word prosumer was coined by futurist Alvin Toffler to describe the psyche of a participant who actively contributes to the experience he or she is enjoying (as opposed to a consumer, who consumes the experience). With a pro(+)sumer, there is more of “it” after the individual has interacted with it. With a con(-)sumer, there is less of “it” after the individual has interacted with it.
The ministry structure at a Deliberately Simple church is analogous to a picnic at a park. The church organization rents the park gazebo and provides the hamburgers and hot dogs. But the people coming to the picnic have to bring the rest — salads, desserts, and games. The basics of community and worship are supplied by the organization. But individual ministries provide flavor and variety to the ministry. Because the church encourages individual ministries instead of corporate programs, people bring a healthy variety of skills, passions, insights, and relationships to the party.
— PRAYER —
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”