Multility: Keep it Cellular, Part 10 (Strategic Christian Leadership #83)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 83. 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 Solon, who said, “He who has learned how to obey will know how to command.”

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 10 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:
More Instead of Bigger
God desires for his church to grow numerically as well as spiritually. Bob Jones, founder of the conservative university that bears his name, once said, “Jesus promised that ‘where two or three are gathered, there am I in the midst of them,’ but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t like a bigger crowd.” I happen to agree with Jones on this point. What indicators do we have that Jesus would like a bigger crowd? Peter’s commentary: “The Lord … is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Paul’s commentary: “The whole body … grows as God causes it to grow” (Col. 2:19). God’s command, related by Jesus in the parable of the great banquet: “Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full” (Luke 14:23).
Some may look at CTK, see that it is small pieces loosely joined, and conclude that we prefer small over big. We don’t, actually. We prefer more over bigger. That is, we want to reach an unlimited number of people (more people than you could ever put in any one facility), but we feel that the best way to do this is to be in an unlimited number of places. This is our “theory of the business,” what Peter Drucker described as the important work of defining the environment of the organization, where intellect and spirit align. For instance, Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, articulated his theory of business with his famous declaration, “I will continue to reduce prices as long as I live.” Our theory of business, where intellect and spirit align for us, is to be one church with many ministries, here, there, and everywhere. Individually, none of them may be that sizeable, but together they will present a formidable influence on the culture. This is what gives us our energy.
We feel that our calling is not to build a church but to reach a community. And we feel that trying to reach large numbers of people in one place is a very limited idea. So at CTK we feel we need to grow larger and smaller at the same time! We need to keep breaking it down so we can always make good on our pledge: “Always a place for you.” The time to start a new location is when we have the leadership to execute it, rather than the people to attend it.
It’s our job to cast the nets and God’s job to fill them. What we’ve generally found is that when we step out in faith, the Lord responds with growth. Typically, we’ve seen significant growth in overall attendance as we add more services. Perhaps a rule of thumb might be that 80 percent capacity becomes 50 percent capacity twice when one service becomes two. In other words, if one service has eighty people meeting in an auditorium that seats one hundred, two services might have fifty each (including new people who come, old-timers who come back, etc.). So the church immediately grows by 20 percent and now is positioned to grow rapidly to two hundred people without anyone feeling more crowded than they were prior to the change. You do lose the thrill of having eighty people packed into the room each service, but you are giving that up for the ultimate thrill of reaching out to more people and growing Christ’s kingdom.
It is clear that God wants his followers to reach an unlimited number of people. Did he give us any clues as to how we should do that? In Acts 1:8 Jesus says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Note what he doesn’t say here. He doesn’t say, “You will have the biggest church you could imagine in Jerusalem. People will ride in on chariots from the surrounding communities.”
How big God’s church gets is his business. We just know we want to reach out to an unlimited number of people, or as many as we possibly can. The best way we know to do that is the way he suggested — by being in as many places as possible.
Throughout history, great moves of God have often accompanied a decentralized approach. John Wesley was a great revivalist. He also had his methods. As a student in Oxford, he became known as John Wesley, the Methodist. He placed people in small groups, as part of a society. The groups were to remain small but to help start new groups. He would send around traveling preachers and bands. It was a way to effectively reach out to and care for increasing numbers of people. In a five-year period, one hundred thousand people came to faith in Christ. It became a movement that transformed the spiritual landscape. I view Wesley’s methodology to be the precursor to the Deliberate Simplicity movement.

— 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.”

God bless.

Developing a Biblical Mission, Part 13 (Strategic Christian Leadership #82)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 82. 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 Exodus 18:21 which says, “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:”

Our quote for this episode is from Seneca, who said, “He who has great power should use it lightly.”

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 13 of “Chapter 4: Developing a Biblical Mission: What We Are Supposed to be Doing” from “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs. He continues as follows:

4. MAKE YOUR MISSION BRIEF

The power of the mission statement is in its brevity and its simplicity, even though it is difficult for it to be both. Often we want to cram too much into the statement. Two questions will help.

Does the mission statement pass the T-shirt or business card test? Is it short enough to fit on a business card? If not, you have committed the sin of information overload. You would do well to remember the statement: “Say more by saying less” or “Less is more!” The most common error is to include a how statement along with the mission statement. Here is an example: Faith Community Church exists to make disciples by loving Christ, loving one another, and living to reach our world for Christ.

The mission statement is “Faith Community Church exists to make disciples.” The how statement, signaled or flagged by the preposition by, is not necessary to the statement of the mission. It provides the strategy for accomplishing the mission. It is important and should be stated but not in the mission statement. Instead, put it in a separate document or statement of strategy. The problem with including the strategy with the mission statement is that it unnecessarily lengthens the mission and renders it less memorable.

Is your mission memorable? A good mission statement is both meaningful and memorable. This is because it is well worded and short. The goal is to be able to walk up to anyone in the church, ask the person to tell you the church’s mission statement, and he or she is able to do it. You should be able to read it, then turn your head away or close your eyes and remember it. Here is one that is not memorable: Trinity Church is a deeply committed community composed of caring men and women who desire to have an impact on southwest Collin County for eternity. We will accomplish this to the glory of God by reaching out to the lost and passionately loving the saved.

This statement would be most difficult to remember. Following is one that is most memorable. Our mission is to know Christ and make him known.

— 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.”

God bless.

Harmony: Why Humility Is Better Than Tolerance, Part 1 (Strategic Christian Leadership #81)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 81. 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 Matthew 20:25-28 which says, “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Our quote for this episode is from Colin Powell, who said, “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.”

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 1 of “Harmony: Why Humility Is Better Than “Tolerance”” from “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson. He continues as follows:

Before closing with a few “tips” on how to cultivate humility in our personal and professional dealings, I want to describe a crucial benefit of humility at the societal level. In a morally and religiously diverse culture such as ours, humility is a much-needed key to harmony.

The Danger of Conviction

The recent “new atheists”, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Den-net and Christopher Hitchens, have brought into sharp focus the pernicious effect of monopolistic religious and moral viewpoints. Hitchens speaks for many when he writes: “We believe with certainty that an ethical life can be lived without religion. And we know for a fact that the corollary holds true—that religion has caused innumerable people not just to conduct themselves no better than others, but to award themselves permission to behave in ways that would make a brothel-keeper or an ethnic cleanser raise an eyebrow. As I write these words and as you read them, people of faith are in their different ways planning your and my destruction, and the destruction of all hard-won human attainments that I have touched upon. Religion poisons everything.”

Often the answer to the harmful effects of absolute truth claims is argued to be “tolerance”. If only people would tolerate each other, the logic goes, they would get on. Tolerance in this context usually means something like agreeing that all viewpoints are equally true or valid. In an attempt to establish this concept on the world stage, the 48th UN General Assembly declared that 1995 would be the “International Year for Tolerance”.

The need for such a year was clear. “Intolerance is one of the greatest challenges confronting us on the eve of the twenty-first century,” said the UN mission statement. “Intolerance is both an ethical and political issue. It is a fact that in most societies today, many different religions, cultures and lifestyles coexist. It is essential to recall that the basic human values that unite us are stronger than the forces that pull us apart.” The supporting documentation offered a striking set of definitions of the virtue:

Tolerance is the recognition and acceptance of individual differences.
Tolerance is recognition that no individual culture, nation or religion has the monopoly of knowledge or truth.
Tolerance is a form of freedom, freedom from prejudice, freedom from dogma.
A tolerant person is master of his own opinions and actions.

What I find interesting about this definition is the way it seeks to establish harmony between people of differing views by asking them to soften convictions. Only by rejecting dogma and accepting contrary views as valid can we hope to get on with each other; that is the gist of the document. With due respect to the careful thought that went into the International Year for Tolerance, I think we can do better than to ask people of strong conviction—or even dogma—to relax their claims to knowledge and truth.

— 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.”

God bless.

Multility: Keep it Cellular, Part 9 (Strategic Christian Leadership #80)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 80. 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 Matthew 20:25-28 which says, “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Our quote for this episode is from Max Lucado, who said, “A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.”

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 9 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:

Yes Instead of No

The first page of the operating agreement of the Great Harvest Bread Company is emblazoned with big, bold letters that state, “Anything not expressly prohibited by the language of this agreement is allowed.”

When it comes to supporting individual ministry, there are four words in which every Deliberately Simple pastor needs to become fluent. These four words are, “Yes, sure, you bet.” “Yes,” “Sure,” and “You bet” need to be spoken frequently to make certain that we are open to God’s plans, not just our own — to guarantee that we are empowering people instead of controlling them.

Over the years, I have been amazed at how powerful these words have been to the hearer. Evidently, they are rarely spoken (or heard) in the traditional church anymore.

At CTK we value empowerment. We want to have faith not only in God but also in people. That means saying yes to what God wants to do in a person’s life. While there are a limited number of programs that we start, there are an unlimited number of ministries that our people may start. There are a number of people in ministry at CTK who have told me, “I couldn’t do this at my previous church. There was too much red tape.”

In modern church circles, a barrier to ministry is often excellence. What this means to many people is that those who are average need not apply. At CTK we emphasize good enough instead of perfection. This opens the door to many people who previously would not have been considered gifted enough to minister.

We allow people to minister even after they have failed or fallen. We believe that “hope for the future, forgiveness for the past” applies to everyone, even leaders. A church leader from another denomination told me recently that the difference between their group and CTK was that we actually give a person a second chance. His denomination talked the language of recovery but fell short on actually taking a risk. We take the risk.

Decentralized Instead of Centralized

Multilocation ministry calls for a decentralized organizational architecture and new language. At CTK we have chosen to call each congregation a worship center. Technically, there is only one church — the sum of all the small groups and worship centers.

The organizational philosophy of CTK resembles fingers reaching out instead of a clinched fist. Multility pushes out the cellular and congregational functions of the church, while the traditional church centralizes its services and groups.

The big idea of multility is to convene different worship services, at different times, in different locations, with different worship teams, and with different preachers. Each of these venues is a manifestation of the larger body.

Is there anything wrong with the centralized model? No. We just believe that God has called us to try something different. While the megachurch has become good at being big and centralized, we are trying to become good at being small and decentralized. We are both trying to reach large numbers of people, just in different ways.

— 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.”

God bless.

Developing a Biblical Mission, Part 12 (Strategic Christian Leadership #79)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 79. 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 1 Corinthians 12:12 which says, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”

Our quote for this episode is from Eleanor Roosevelt, who said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

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 12 of “Chapter 4: Developing a Biblical Mission: What We Are Supposed to be Doing” from “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs. He continues as follows:

3. CLARIFY AND SIMPLIFY YOUR MISSION

How do you clarify and simplify your mission? Ask and answer the following questions.

What words communicate best with your target group? Mission drafters must be wordsmiths. Their job is to think and rethink, shape and reshape, draft and redraft the statement. They do this with meaningful words. Think about the words that will best communicate with your congregation. Are the people more traditional, contemporary, or a combination? Will older clichés communicate best or fresh, contemporary terms? Also take into account the part of the country you live in. What terms are native to this locale and would communicate well to these people? Note the following statement as an example:

Our mission is to colonize the greater commonwealth of Northwest Boston with the gospel of Christ so that it may be liberated from the rule of darkness and adopt a new spiritual constitution that passionately embraces the revolutionary teachings of Jesus Christ.

This statement could serve the people in and around Boston and other parts of New England. It is regional, however, and would not fit or communicate well in other parts of North America. In addition, it is far too long.

Do people understand what you have written? How well do the words that you have selected communicate? Do people understand them? Do they know what you are saying? Be sure to avoid unfamiliar biblical terms such as glorify, holy, kingdom, disciple, and others. These terms represent what I refer to as christianese or temple talk. Some will understand them, most won’t. Some have asked, If the mission statement is the Great Commission, then why not just quote Matthew 28:19–20; Mark 16:15; or Acts 1:8? You could, but many parishioners will not understand the terminology used in the New Testament. These words are not clear to them. For example, the term disciple that Jesus uses in Matthew 28:19 may seem ambiguous. What is a disciple? Is making disciples a reference to evangelism only or sanctification or both? Even the average seminarian struggles to answer this question. Willow Creek Community Church has done an excellent job of mission clarity by including their definition of a disciple in their statement: “Our mission is to turn irreligious people into fully devoted followers of Christ.” However, do not be surprised if you have to explain this statement as well.

Therefore I encourage mission crafters to personalize the Great Commission so that it is clear to their particular congregation. We did this in the mission of my last church:

The mission of Northwood Community Church is to be used of God in helping people become fully functioning followers of Christ.

The words “used of God” imply we could not do it alone. God is the one who makes disciples. And the words “in helping people” mean that we would not take all the responsibility ourselves. We could only aid people—they must assume individual responsibility for the process. We substituted “fully functioning followers” in place of “disciple.” Because our people understood these words, we had clearly defined for all what we meant by the term disciple. We were making it clear that a disciple is a Christ-follower, not a follower of Allah or Buddha, and that a disciple is a functioning follower of Christ. That means that he or she is authentically involved in the five functions of the church: worship, fellowship or community, biblical instruction, evangelism, and ministry or service as opposed to being parked somewhere on the sidelines. Finally, that involvement is a full or deep involvement. Christ-followers are not just busy but have made deep commitments of their lives to the Savior. I also believe that repeating the Fs (fully functioning followers) is catchy and memorable.

— 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.”

God bless.

Inspiration: How Humility Lifts Those Around Us, Part 3 (Strategic Christian Leadership #78)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 78. 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 Luke 22:24-27 which says, “And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.”

Our quote for this episode is from Mother Teresa, who said, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

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 3 of “Inspiration: How Humility Lifts Those Around Us” from “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson. He continues as follows:

What I Learnt from U2

Let me close this chapter with another personal example of humility’s effect on me. When I was starting out in my first band at age sixteen, my musical heroes were the band U2. Ever since their 1982 album October, these four Irishmen represented all that I wanted to do (next to playing striker for Manchester United): create music, tour the world and move people through passionate live performances. When they came to Sydney in 1984, I had to meet them. The problem was, no fans were allowed inside their trendy, inner city hotel. A friend had an idea: let’s dress up in suits, borrow briefcases and catch a taxi to the hotel. Perhaps security will think we’re staying there.

It must have looked ridiculous—a gang of five or six teenagers thoroughly overdressed arriving in convoy at one of Sydney’s stylish establishments. It worked a treat, though. The doorman peered through the taxi window, opened the door and escorted us straight past the two hundred suspicious onlooking fans right into the hotel lobby. Without a clear plan we quickly made our way to the restaurant on the lower level and ordered the cheapest thing on the menu (coffee and raisin toast, I seem to recall). We waited. Surely the guys from U2 would have to eat breakfast sometime! We were right, but not before the hotel manager spotted us and made his approach. “Lads,” he said as we looked up like rabbits caught in the spotlight, “I’ve been watching you all morning. I know what you’re up to. But I like your initiative. Stay as long as you like!”

We couldn’t believe our ears—and ordered another round of coffee and raisin toast.

Eventually, the band came down one by one. Bono, the lead singer, took a table just metres from ours. My mates voted that I should go over and ask him to join us for a few minutes. That’s exactly what I did, and it’s exactly what he did. For what seemed like an hour but was probably no more than five minutes, he signed everything we put in front of him, posed for photos and answered questions—questions about songs, the band, their well-publicized faith, the music industry and so on. The Edge (guitarist) and Larry Mullen Jr (drummer) were just as generous when we pounced on them. Looking back it must have been an annoying interruption for one of the world’s most sought-after bands. They would have been well within their rights to fob us off. But they didn’t. They were patient, courteous and surprisingly mild-mannered (especially Larry, who blushed when we fronted up to him).

I would have loved U2’s music either way. But I doubt they would have had quite the impact on me without this experience. The way they let me and my mates in, gave us time and treated us like equals instead of fawning fans was hugely inspiring. For a moment we imagined that we too could “go professional”, touring and recording full time. Sure enough, within a few years that’s exactly what we were doing. We never had more than minor musical success, but I can’t help feeling that part of the reason we punched above our weight for a decade was a brief moment of humility from our musical heroes. That day helped us to believe that a music career was not just for supermen inhabiting unapproachable glory; it was for people just like us. The inspirational (and aspirational) effect of humility is real.

— 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.”

God bless.

Multility: Keep it Cellular, Part 8 (Strategic Christian Leadership Episode #77)

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. Continue reading “Multility: Keep it Cellular, Part 8 (Strategic Christian Leadership Episode #77)”

Developing a Biblical Mission, Part 11 (Strategic Christian Leadership Episode #76)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 76. 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 Philippians 2:3 which says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

Our quote for this episode is from Vince Lombardi, who said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

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 11 of “Chapter 4: Developing a Biblical Mission: What We Are Supposed to be Doing” from “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs. He continues as follows:

Actual versus Aspirational

A church may have an actual as well as an aspirational mission. The actual mission is where its values are taking it as described above. However, if this is an incorrect mission, the church will need to embrace a Great Commission mission. When the churches where I consult discover this, they quickly adopt a Great Commission mission. However, it is imperative that a church understand that when they adopt the new, correct mission, it is only aspirational—it is what they want their mission to be, not what it actually is.

The problem is that many assume that the new mission is now their actual mission when in fact it is still aspirational. It will not become their actual mission until the church changes its goals and owns the mission, which takes time. How can the church accomplish this kind of change so that it embraces the new, correct, biblical mission? The answer is to examine their actual values. They may need to change some values or, better, embrace those that will lead it to the correct mission. A list of these values is found in Acts 2:41-47, and the key value in that list is evangelism, which actually serves as bookends for the other values (see verses 41 and 47). I would go so far as to argue that if a church does not hold evangelism as a core value, it cannot become a Great Commission church. Correct core values are the key to adopting in time the correct, biblical mission.

Developing a Mission

Once you see the necessity of having an effective and biblical congregational mission, you are ready to move to the next step. This involves immersing yourself and your team in the crafting of a dynamic, strong, memorable mission for your church. This section begins with selecting the right personnel to develop the mission, addresses several guidelines for developing your mission, and then walks the team through the development process.

The Personnel for Developing the Mission

Which people in an organization should craft a mission statement for the church? The answer is easy. It is the strategic leadership team. They are tasked with developing the mission as well as developing its vision and discovering the church’s core values.

The Mission Guidelines

There are four guidelines for developing your mission statement.

1. DETERMINE THE CHURCH’S MISSION In the business world a leadership team asks, What business are we in? Though not a business, essentially the church is asking the same question: What business are we in? The answer in the business world varies from company to company and will change. The answer for the ministry must neither vary from church to church nor ever change. As already stated and fully developed above, God has mandated what he wants his church to do: make disciples (Matt. 28:19).

2. WRITE YOUR MISSION STATEMENT Next, you must put your newly developed mission down on paper, as a written statement. In his book Learning to Lead, Fred Smith writes, “In my view, nothing is properly defined until you write it down. Writing forces you to be specific; it takes the fuzz off your thinlcing.”(391If you cannot write it down, you probably do not have a well-thought-out mission.

— 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.”

God bless.

Inspiration: How Humility Lifts Those Around Us, Part 2 (Strategic Christian Leadership #75)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 75. 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 1 Timothy 4:12 which says, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

Our quote for this episode is from Stephen Covey, who said, “What you do has far greater impact than what you say.”

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 2 of “Inspiration: How Humility Lifts Those Around Us” from “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson. He continues as follows:

The Aspirational Effect

Why does humility in the leader inspire others to perform their best for the company? Collins doesn’t offer a clear answer, but I think there are several reasons. The first is the simple observation made in the previous chapter: humility is persuasive. People find themselves trusting the decisions and arguments of someone who puts others before themselves.

Second, humility in the leader orients everyone in the team toward achieving the organization’s key objectives. When employees suspect the leader is in it for himself, they lose motivation or, worse, start imitating him and looking for what they themselves can squeeze out of the organization. This is much harder to get away with when everyone knows that the people at the top are striving for the company goal, not personal glory.

The third reason is that the humble leader gives the real impression that she is a “normal person”. The aloof, unapproachable leader seems an alien creature. She is revered and spoken of in hushed tones, but she is not emulated because her achievements seem unreachable. By contrast, the executive who chats to employees, seeks their advice, freely pays compliments and does what she can to ensure workers’ needs are cared for—as well as kicking spectacular corporate goals—is far more likely to seem “real” and become an object of emulation, not just admiration. Employees start to like what they see of leadership and begin to believe that they too could one day move toward greater responsibility within the organization. This aspirational effect is a key to humility’s power to inspire.

The fourth and final reason I can think of for humility’s inspirational effect on an organization is that it fosters loyalty toward the leader. Every leader knows that the loyalty of the team can be every bit as important as the loyalty of consumers. It minimizes unhelpful internal criticism, maximizes staff motivation and resilience and leads to lower staff turnover rates.

A similar answer to the question of why humility inspires was given by Jim Wallace, mentioned at the outset of the chapter. Brigadier Wallace started out as a captain in the elite Special Air Service. Some of the stories he tells of SAS training and missions seem straight out of the movies. He moved up through the ranks until he was the commander of the SAS and then commander of all Special Forces in Australia. I recently asked him for his thoughts on leadership after decades in the armed forces. He replied:

Most people want to be led, and there is therefore a natural momentum in favour of the leader. But what continually gets in the way is ego. Where we can’t control that, suppress it, then people quickly realise it’s about us, and any natural advantage fades and leadership becomes hard work. The real power of effective leadership is maximising other people’s potential, which inevitably demands also ensuring that they get the credit. When our ego won’t let us build another person up, when everything has to build us up, then the effectiveness of the organisation reverts to depending instead on how good we are in the technical aspects of what we do. And we have stopped leading and inspiring others to great heights.

“Leading and inspiring others to great heights,” says Wallace, come through humility. That’s not exactly his word, but it is what he means. The inspiring leader must control his ego and throw his energies into “maximising other people’s potential” and “ensuring that they get the credit”. When leadership is about us, the organization reverts to mere operational expertise because people stop believing in the goal. The whole is reduced to the sum of its parts. Conversely, where the leader throws his energy into the organization and its aims, he experiences that “natural momentum in favour of the leader” that Wallace speaks of.

————

— 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.”

God bless.

Multility: Keep it Cellular, Part 4 (Strategic Christian Leadership Episode 74)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 74. 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 Jeremiah 23:1 which says, “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.”

Our quote for this episode is from Spencer W. Kimball, who said, “Jesus said several times, “Come, follow me.” His was a program of “do what I do,” rather than “do what I say.” His innate brilliance would have permitted him to put on a dazzling display, but that would have left his followers far behind. He walked and worked with those he was to serve. His was not a long-distance leadership. He was not afraid of close friendships; he was not afraid that proximity to him would disappoint his followers. The leaven of true leadership cannot lift others unless we are with and serve those to be led.”

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 7 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:

Scale and Reciprocity

Bigness and fame go together like peanut butter and jelly. They have to. Small systems can be conversational and egalitarian. Large systems must revert to a broadcast paradigm. Broadcast television is the perfect embodiment of the one-way nature of fame, but megachurches are also of that ilk. People know you, but you don’t know them. Sociologist Clay Shirky describes fame as “an extreme imbalance between inbound and outbound attention. Two things are required to create this inequity: scale and reciprocity. To be famous, you need to receive a minimal amount of attention from an audience of at least thousands.”

Arguably the most influential American Christian leader of modern times has been Billy Graham. Billy came on the scene in the 1960s, as modern broadcast methods were hitting their stride. He was able to capitalize on the state of the culture at that time. Broadcasting was en vogue (stadium events, television, etc.). The leadership model was the “great man” model. It was fitting for Billy to leverage the elements of the culture that were available to him. Billy has certainly been successful utilizing the broadcast model. Megachurches have piggybacked on this model in the past couple decades. They are regional. They are massive. The theory: the bigger the building, the more people you can reach. The megachurch mirrors the big-box retailer. The Deliberately Simple church mirrors a restaurant chain.

Pat McGovern said, “How can you create a small-company environment and still continue to grow and prosper? The answer is the network corporation, and the facilitator is technology. Technology breaks down barriers that block facilitator is technology. Technology breaks down barriers that block the door to the next generation corporate environment. Networked computers, sophisticated but affordable communications capabilities, and strategic use of information systems suddenly create a myriad of possibilities.”

If the next generation of evangelists is to be successful, we will need to leverage the technologies and mentalities that are available to us, such as the internet and clusters.

PLURALITY OF MINISTRIES

At CTK we want to encourage multility at every level. One application of multility is to the ministries in which a church may engage. For instance, we prefer the word ministries (plural) instead of ministry (singular). This allows for diversity and innovation and multiplies the opportunities we have to reach out. So we don’t have a women’s ministry; we have women’s ministries. We don’t have a youth ministry; we have youth ministries, etc. We don’t imagine that any one ministry can meet the needs.

While there are a limited number of programs that a Deliberately Simple church may initiate, there are an unlimited number of ministries that individuals may initiate. While corporate programs are discouraged, individual ministries are encouraged.

Ministries Instead of Programs

Deliberate Simplicity makes a distinction between a program and a ministry. The difference between the two is that programs are centralized, corporate, top-down, singular, and perpetual. Ministries are decentralized, individual, bottom-up, plural, and temporary.

An example of a church program might be a midweek children’s program. The program is centralized, in that everyone comes to the church to participate. The program is corporate, because it is sponsored and directed by the church organization. It is top-down, in that the impetus for the program comes from the pastor or staff. It is singular, because it is the only program of its kind that the church backs. It is perpetual, since the program has been going for years and will likely continue to do so.

On the other hand, imagine an after-school girls’ group that meets midweek. The program is decentralized, as the group does not necessarily need to meet at a church facility. It is personal, because the initiation and facilitation of the group has come from a mother of one of the girls. It is bottom-up, since the idea for this ministry did not come from the church’s leadership. It is plural, because many of these groups could conceivably meet in various homes. It is temporary, since the ministry will no longer exist if the parents who lead it choose to discontinue.

————

— 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.”

God bless.