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How To Stop Your Church From Growing Old (Orange Conference 2014 Talk Notes)

So how do you stop your church from growing old…you know, to the point where you’re all 60 years old and wondering what happened to all the young families?

It’s a question every church leader either struggles with, or ought to struggle with.

This week I’m excited to be speaking at the Orange Conference in Atlanta Georgia.

As a way of serving those who attend my talks I’ll be posting the outline to each session here on the blog.

Even if you don’t attend the conference, I hope you can glean a few insights from them that might help you lead better now.  And if you’re in the session, you won’t have to guess what that pesky blank you forgot to fill in was all about.

So here’s the outline for my talk on how to stop your church from growing old.

Synopsis

It’s so easy for churches to lose touch with what families are going through. In this session, we’ll look at practical ways to make sure your church keeps speaking “family” through the generations, both in terms of content and in how you structure yourself to stay relevant.

1. How did we get here?

a. Irrelevance is always subtle but inevitable.

b. The bacon cheeseburger syndrome: everyone wants your church to grow…just not change.

c. The Google syndrome: the greatest enemy of your future success is your current success.

2. How do we get out of here?

a. Match your model to your mission. In most churches, the model doesn’t not match the mission.

b. Recruit next generation leaders to help you do it. The most effective strategies to reach the next generation will likely not come from the current generation.

c. Adopt a strategy to intentionally reach families.

3. Where do we go from here?

1. Design a main worship services that engages teenagers.

2. Decide you are not going to try to please everyone.

3. Develop an intentional strategy to impact families.

i.  Resource your family ministry team.

ii.  Synchronize your team around a master plan designed to reach families.

iii.  Refine your message.

iv.  Elevate community.

v.  Partner with parents.

Want to go deeper? These related posts may be helpful:

11 Traits of Churches That Will Impact the Future

9 Signs your Church Is Ready to Reach Unchurched People

7 reasons Churches that Want to Reach Unchurched People Don’t 

Further Information:

Think Orange by Reggie Joiner

Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof

Lead Small by Reggie Joiner and Tom Shefchunas

Creating a Lead Small Culture by Reggie Joiner, Kristen Ivy and Elle Campbell

Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley

Leading Change Without Losing It by Carey Nieuwhof

Want to stay completely on top of things? Sign up for my email list (near the upper right under my photo).

You’ll get a free ebook on reaching unchurched people, plus every post via email in a weekly digest and bonuses I send to my subscribers from time to time that no one else gets. 

Got questions or thoughts you’d like to share? Leave a comment!

Starting a Church For Unchurched Families (Orange Conference 2014 Talk Notes)

Want to reach young families, but not sure how to approach post-modern, post-Christian families who live in your neighbourhood? This post is for you.

This week I’m excited to be speaking at the Orange Conference in Atlanta Georgia.

As a way of serving those who attend my talks I’ll be posting the outline to each session here on the blog.

Even if you don’t attend the conference, I hope you can glean a few insights from them that might help you lead better now.  And if you’re in the session, you won’t have to guess what that pesky blank you forgot to fill in was all about.

Here’s my talk outline on Starting a Church for Unchurched Families.

 

Synopsis

You’ve probably figured out by now that the beliefs and value systems of an “unchurched person” are different than they were ten years ago.OC 14 YES

You also might have noticed that families in your community aren’t what they used to be. So, with all the change, how do you create a ministry to effectively reach the families in your community?

In this breakout, we’ll look at 12 characteristics of today’s unchurched families and discuss what these characteristics mean for your ministry.

 

Family in a Post-Modern, Post-Christian Culture

 1. In the world of family, ­­­everything’s changing.

2. It’s almost impossible to reach people you don’t like or understand.

3. Unchurched people listen most to the people they like the most.

4. Most churches for unchurched people begin with churched people. The problem is that most stay that way.

5. Place churched people who love, accept and know unchurched people in your key positions.

 

12 Characteristics of Today’s Unchurched Families

 

 1. They don’t come back when they have kids.

a. 50% of parents said that having children did not affect their connection to a church.  (Even many churched parents said that children did not change their level of churchgoing.)

b. 5% of unchurched parents said that having children helped them become active in a church for the first time.

 

2.They feel less guilty than you think.

a. Unchurched people feel no more guilty about missing church on a Sunday than you feel about missing synagogue on a Saturday.

b. Guilt is a short-term motivator.

 

3. When they attend, they attend less often.

a. Small Groups can provide the motivation for people to come more regularly.

b. No one should be able to out-community the local church.

c. Disconnected families generally don’t stick.

d. They will become your best inviters if they like your ministry.

 

4. Most are spiritual

a. Most unchurched people believe in some kind of God.

b. Respecting their past journey better enables them to start a new journey.

 

5. They’re intelligent, just not biblically literate.

a. Be inclusive without being condescending

 

6. They want you to be Christian. Be authentically Christian.

a. Don’t alter the content of your services for unchurched people, alter the approach and experience.

 

7. They expect transparency.

a.  admire your strengths, but they resonate with your weakness.

 

8.They struggle with every social issue you were hoping to avoid.

a. You can’t hold non-Christian people accountable for Christian values

b. Have conversations.

c. Allow ministry to precede theology.

 

9. Their kids matter to them… maybe even more than they should.

a. Safe is even more important than ‘right’ to families.

b. What you spend on families communicates value to unchurched families.

c. The quality of your team determines the quality of their experience with you.

 

10. They are looking for partners.

a. They’re looking for partners; they’ve just never thought the church could help.

b. Strategy is almost more important than content when it comes to partnering with parents.

 

11. They need help with the homeside of the Orange strategy

a. They are not sure what “Christian” means.

b. They do not have a precedent for what a Christian home looks like. So you need to make that clear.

 

12. They do not follow a predictable spiritual growth curve.

a. Design a flexible on ramp.

b. Think steps, not programs.

c. Maturity takes time.

d. Relationships matter most.

 

If you want to go deeper, here are some related posts that can help you and your team:

15 Characteristics of Today’s Unchurched Person

Why We Need a Different Kind of Maturity in the Church

How to Responds as People Attend Church Less Often

Want to stay completely on top of things?

Sign up for my email list (near the upper right under my photo). You’ll get a free ebook on reaching unchurched people, plus every post via email in a weekly digest and bonuses I send to my subscribers from time to time that no one else gets. 

Got questions or thoughts you’d like to share? Leave a comment!

5 Traits of Future Churches (Orange Conference 2014 Talk Notes)

Ever wonder what the future church will look like?

This week I’m excited to be speaking at the Orange Conference in Atlanta Georgia.

As a way of serving those who attend my talks I’ll be posting the outline to each session here on the blog.

Even if you don’t attend the conference, I hope you can glean a few insights from them that might help you lead better now.  And if you’re in the session, you won’t have to guess what that pesky blank you forgot to fill in was all about.

So here’s the outline for my talk on 5 Traits of Future Churches.

Synopsis

OC 14 altWill your ministry have the same kind of momentum tomorrow that you have today?

Will your church be effective at reaching your community five years from now?

In this breakout we will discuss what you can do to get your church ready for tomorrow, today.

Introduction

1. Everything’s changing.

2. “Change is not an option. How you respond to it is.” —Reggie Joiner

3. “To reach people no one else is reaching, we need to do things no one else is doing.”—Craig Groeschel

4. Future-oriented leaders position their church today to make an impact tomorrow.

Five Traits of Churches That Will Impact the Future

 

1. Future churches commit to the message but are flexible with the method.

Three keys to keep your method current:
 

a. Clearly distinguish between mission, vision and strategy.

b. Evaluate regularly.

c. Be absolutely honest.

Will you display flexibility with the method (even the ones you introduced)?

 

2. Future churches give people a place to belong before they believe.

Reaching unchurched people effectively begins with ministry, not theology.

Belong – Because you can belong even before you believe.

Believe – Because those who belong often start to believe.

Become – Because everyone who believes can become someone new.

 Will you give people space to belong before they believe?

 

 3. Future churches value online relationships as real relationships.

 1. How will you respond if the majority of the population decides to never set foot in a building on Sunday morning for a shared experiences?

2. Three Keys to Embracing Online Connections:

a.Actually connect with social media

b. SEO optimize local, helpful content.

c. Use multiple channels.

 Will you value online relationships as real relationships?

 

4. Future churches embrace quicker, lighter, smaller footprints.

 Quicker = Speed. The speed of future growth will be impacted by the speed of decision making.

Lighter = Fewer resources. Lower cost venues mean higher growth. Portable will become a permanent part of the future.

Smaller = Size.  A greater number of smaller venues can ultimately accommodate more people.

 How are you preparing for quicker, lighter, smaller footprints?

 

5. Future churches encourage experimentation.

1.  The greatest threat to your future success is your current success.

2. Consolidation always happens before a major shift in history.

3. There is no pattern yet for future church.

4. Three ways to experiment:

a. Devote 10% of your time and budget to things you’re not sure will work out.

b. Reward the effort but evaluate the result.

c. Don’t allow what’s good to block what has the potential to be great.

 Are you prepared to risk failure to ensure your future success?

If you want to go deeper, here are some related posts that can help you and your team:

11 Traits of Churches That Will Impact the Future

Why Portable Church Should Be A Permanent Part of the Future

Revivals Are Dead: 5 Things That Will Never Be the Same Again

Want to stay on top of things? Sign up for my email list (near the upper right under my photo). You’ll get a free ebook on reaching unchurched people, plus every post via email in a weekly digest and bonuses I send to my subscribers from time to time that no one else gets. 

Got questions or thoughts you’d like to share? Leave a comment!

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