Leadership Trends with Rich Birch

I’ve met an worked with a lot of people, but few I’ve met are as sharp or bring as unique a perspective to leadership as Rich Birch.

Rich and I worked together for several years at Connexus. Prior to that Rich served on The Meeting House leadership team. And he currently serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in New Jersey. Rich also started unseminary.com – a blog and resource center for church leaders. If you don’t subscribe to Rich’s blog, you should.

Today you’re in for a treat. Rich is one of the most innovate thinkers I know.

In today’s interview, Rich talks about:

Google glass (he got an invite from Google to try them out!)

The tension leaders face between being attracted to what’s next but missing the value in what they’ve already done.

Churches who crank out great content but don’t leverage it once the series is over.

How he’s trying to figure out how their best series can show up in search engines when people in their community search for help.

The reality that churches should respond to negative things about your church online. (Don’t miss Rich’s article on how to deal with this on unseminary.com)

How to get traction in student ministry even in a larger, multisite church where you grow by launching smaller venues (a problem they don’t know how to solve).

Here’s the interview:

[tentblogger-youtube 0r6tJHxfiOw]

Some key insights from Rich:

Leaders tend to move onto the next thing and miss the opportunity with work they have already done.

Our content isn’t set up in a way for easy future access and use by outsiders.

How does the local church show up when people in your community google topics like “parenting help” or “fix your marriage”? Churches have to solve this problem.

What if your top series were turned into e-books and micro-sites to use as practical resources to unchurched people and a possible first step into church?

People aren’t thinking about the church; they’re thinking about their problems.

Critical mass is key for student ministry, but critical mass is hard to find when you’re launching more, smaller campuses.

What are your thoughts on leveraging content for the community beyond posting it to your website and uploading podcasts?

Any thoughts on student ministry in a multi-site environment? We’d love to hear from you!


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  4. steve finnell on July 30, 2013 at 4:51 pm


    Who is responsible for oversight of the church of Christ?

    First let us establish that Jesus Christ is head of His church.

    Colossians 1:13-18…..18 He is also head of the body, the church……

    Ephesians 5:23…as Christ also is the head of the church….

    The question remains who are the men responsible for the oversight of the Lord’s church?

    Did God put a pastor, a bishop, an elder, or an overseer in charge of shepherding His church?

    Pastor, bishop, elder and overseer are the same office.

    Men were given the oversight of each, local, church of Christ.

    Acts 14:23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they believed.

    Elders (plural) were appointed in each church congregation.

    Titus 1:5-7 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you…..7 For the overseer must be above reproach….

    Elders were appointed in every city where there was a church of Christ. Elders were also referred to as overseers (some translations use the word bishops).

    Acts 20:17-28 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church…….28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

    Notice: Elders (plural), and overseers (plural). Elders and overseers are used interchangeably and are told to shepherd the church.

    1 Peter 5:1-2 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, 2 shepherd the flock of God among you exercising oversight…

    Note: Elders (plural), were told to shepherd the flock of God. Peter said he was one of the elders. Peter did not say he was the Pope or the Head Elder.

    Ephesians 4:11And He gave some……as pastors…..

    The word pastor means shepherd.

    Elder, bishop, overseer and pastor are all the same office and they are to shepherd the local churches of Christ.

    The oversight of the local church is to be a plurality of ELDERS (overseers, bishops, pastors).

    There is no mention in the Bible of one pastor ruling a single church. There is no Scripture indicating one man should rule a world wide church. There is nothing in the Bible that tells us to set up a church board to oversee the local church. God never set up different denominations to be ruled by groups of men. There is no office of Pope or priest mentioned under the New Covenant church of Christ.


    (All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. Google search>>>steve finnell a christian view

  5. Brent Dumler on July 24, 2013 at 8:40 am

    I love how Rich’s mind works on this topic. I can’t help thinking that there could easliy be an app (that’s right) that utilizes our current location, like GasBuddy. Then people seeking help with marriage, finances, etc. could simply search the app. The app would then pull ‘back content’ from local church websites, FB pages, Tweets, and blogs. This would put immediate resources in their hands, and hopefully direct them to those churches within maybe a 10-15 mile radius. Just thinking out loud 🙂

  6. thebassman on July 21, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Rich’s idea about turning great series into ebooks and micro sites is fantastic. It wouldn’t necessarily take a lot of work per series once the initial leg work was done. Designing them to be answers to problems people would be searching for, particularly with a local slant so that they are SEO-friendly – brilliant. That idea is GOLD, Carey! I would LOVE to see Connexus implement something like this – even if it’s only for a couple of series/year…

    • cnieuwhof on July 22, 2013 at 6:32 am

      I completely agree. Such a great idea! And not that hard to implement with a couple of key series each year. Thanks for the encouragement and response!

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