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.”