Four Things We Do Well That You Should, Too

We don’t do everything right at Freedom Church—that is for sure.  I lead a terrible staff meeting (I am working on it), I rarely remember to tell people where the offering boxes are (we don’t pass a plate), and from time to time, I probably preach a little long (50 minutes on average, but who is counting?). But there are four things I think we do very well that you should do too. 1. We have Freedom. Okay, so that’s an easy one since it’s our namesake, but we really embrace this. I can honestly say that our church lives in freedom.  Freedom to not be legalistic, freedom to try new things to reach people, freedom to teach without fear, freedom to be ourselves.  I love watching the people of Freedom engage with this new-found freedom and live in freedom everyday. 2. We have fun.  Freedom brings on fun. We don’t shy away from…

Join us on the Porch

This past weekend in the midst of preaching I saw something in our text that 6 weeks of study had not revealed.  I love how sometimes God likes to surprise even the most planned out amoung us with something new… It happened as I was reading this scripture: Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared join them… Acts 5:12-16 ESV None of the rest DARED join them. Notice that the scripture does not indicate that the apostles would not allow them to join.  It also does not indicate that God did not want them to join. It indicates that the people were watching all God do amazing things through these men of God and that they were too afraid to join them. They did not have the courage…

Change.

The month of July is dedicated to posts about innovation and ideation.  Every post will be about a word that can either help or hinder the innovative process. We will look at both the pros and the cons of that word. Today’s word is… Change. Sometimes there is no innovation in our organizations because there is no change.  It’s hard to innovate and not change. “Innovation is a change that makes a difference in performance.” – Peter Drucker In June 2009 Sherry Surratt of Leadership Network presented a great talk on some recent advancements in innovation that LN has made.  Set aside 30 minutes to check this out: Leadership Network presents on Innovation from Seacoast Church on Vimeo.

Building a Pipeline

If you don’t yet have a leadership pipeline system in place, you’re probably wondering “where do I even start?” Here are a few steps we’ve taken at Freedom Church to build our leadership pipeline: Encourage Generosity We talk a lot about generosity in our churches. And this is a perfect avenue for encouraging people to serve. At Freedom Church, when we talk about generosity which is one of our core values, we encourage people to not only be generous with their finances but also with their time and talents. Take an Inventory We have to measure where we’re currently before we can accurately determine how we’re going to move forward. Spend some time taking an inventory of who is currently in your leadership pipeline and being developed. As you do that, remember that being in a leadership position doesn’t equate to being developed as a leader. Identify folks who are…

Discipleship Doesn’t Equal Leadership

If you have a small group structure at your church, chances are you are focusing heavily on the idea of discipleship. While discipleship is incredibly important, I think sometimes we focus on it at the expense of leadership development. The two are intricately linked together yet different. And developing leaders is essential to the long term growth and health of your church.  Leadership development is much more than asking someone to volunteer on a Sunday morning or even to be in charge of a volunteer team. Position and responsibility alone aren’t going to develop someone as a leader. That development process requires relational intentionality and mentorship. Knowing where to start with developing leaders can be overwhelming and a bit daunting. At Freedom Church, we’ve adopted the idea of a leadership pipeline as a foundational system for leadership development.  This week I want to share what our leadership pipeline looks like…

What’s Next?

Once you have your launch weekend behind you, the challenge is to fulfill the promise and meet the expectations you’ve set from that first experience. Follow up with your visitors, using whatever methods of connection you set up. We send a letter to first-time visitors, thanking them for coming and encouraging them to return and get plugged in further. Rehash the details of the experience with your team, from the placement and process of your first-time visitor station to your song choices and stage setup. Analyze the flow of energy during worship, a product of song tempo, order, and transitions. Did momentum build and relax at the moments you intended? Your first six months after launch will be a time of immense growth—both in terms of numbers, as word spreads and momentum builds, and in your learning and improvement of all areas of ministry. We invested in a good children’s…

Designing Your Weekend Experience

There’s a lot of thought that goes into designing your weekend experience. Here are a few practical questions to consider as you do: 1.  What would it look like for people to respond to God in reaction to your service? A lot of services at other churches don’t give people an opportunity to engage the message they’ve just heard or the way God is working in the room. We wanted to give people the opportunity to respond in ways that would be meaningful to them. So, we have a response time after the message, when people can get up out of their seats and move around to different stations—a cross, an area to light candles, a place to receive communion, and a place to leave an offering. We also wanted worship to be very demonstrative, with people responding to God by singing from the heart. So, we release the upcoming…

So You Feel Called to Plant a Church?

There is no lack of resources on church planting these days. In fact, as a church planter, I think we live in the most resource-rich environment for planting churches that the world has ever known. We have memoirs of church planters who have had great success, who write from a position of legacy and legend. We also have brave church planters who have failed, whose failure has been made into a dense compost of learning for church planters. What we lack, however, is the nitty-gritty advice of people still dirty with the elbow grease of the launch, sharing their stories in the immediate aftermath, before memories grow hazy and mistakes are glossed over with the shine of eventual success. After years on staff at the trendsetting, multisite Seacoast Church, I felt God calling me to plant a church in my hometown of Moncks Corner, South Carolina. Freedom Church was launched…

Tips for Changing YOUR World

This list is by no means exhaustive, but I wanted to share a few practical steps you can take to start changing YOUR world today instead of being frustrated that you can’t change THE world. Do for One What You Wish You Could Do for Many Rather than lamenting about the fact that the world has problems, solve that problem for one. Remember that just because you can’t help everyone doesn’t mean you can’t help someone. Be Consistent in Your Serving Rather than dreaming about serving in a big way, serve faithfully at your church in small ways. Remember that it’s the long obedience that makes an impact in the long run. Honor the Past Leaders Young people today seem to think no one has ever loved God and loved people the way they do. That’s a very arrogant place to be. Remember that the leaders of the past were…

The vs Your

Shifting your focus from changing THE world to changing YOUR world isn’t easy when you’re surrounded by a culture telling you to be radical, dream big, and live a grand epic story. But I think there are a couple of mental habits we can practice that will change our behavior in the long run. Don’t Focus on the Results In a world of instant gratification on so many fronts, we want to see the results of our efforts immediately. If the results aren’t there we can quickly because frustrated or demotivated because we start thinking our efforts are pointless, our work is meaningless. What we fail to remember is that oftentimes the process of the work is why God has called us to it. He has lessons to teach us and lives to impact through our obedience in the journey. Scripture also reminds us again and again that we plant…