I’m thankful for churches like North Point Community Church and North Point Ministries who are willing to share what they’ve learned along the way in their quest to be effective. They shamelessly confess that they aren’t there yet.
That’s what Drive is all about.
I was privileged to take a group of 3 leaders from my church so that they could be inspired about what church could do and what church could be. I wanted to go and potentially learn a model for evaluating ministry effectiveness. In the end, I wasn’t just inspired.
I was overwhelmed. Rejuvenated. Inspired.
Here are my top 3 takeaways from Drive 2011 (in reverse order):
3) “Defying Gravity” (Andy Stanley)
- In order to work against the natural pull of gravitating towards insiders in the church, identify and remove obstacles to outsiders. Andy said to obsess over the question “What if this is their first time?”. He also stressed in another session to consider “What if it was the last time they were going to try church?”
- Don’t preserve what you have, advance with what you have. Remain openhanded with your possessions, ministries, building, and staff. It all belongs to God anyways. God’s mission isn’t to preserve, but to advance. I guess this is why the punchline for “Glory to God Forever” is not “save my stuff and let it be safe and shiny for your glory”.
- Figure out your distinctive. Figure out what you want your church to be known for in the community and make that your singular focus. Being bigger isn’t always about doing more, it’s about doing it better.
2) “Vision Casting Is A Team Sport” (Jeff Henderson)
- People are listening to how you talk about your organization. This struck me because I think I mostly see what I don’t like in my church.
- Vision casters are vision carriers. Vision carriers are vision casters.
- My role is to help people move from benefiting from the vision and contributing comfortably to the vision to giving their lives to the vision. This is a great definition of how churches do what they have been called to do. A great way for me to do this is to help people see how they are giving their lives to the vision of Pineview. I do send thank you notes, but they’ve always been “thanks for helping” but I’ve never really concretely spelled out how their actions helped fulfill our purpose, mission and vision. That’s a great easy step to take that I hope will have enormous impact.
- (On a side note, Jeff Henderson is probably moonlighting.)
Now, here’s the #1 takeaway that I learned:
1) Something Julie Arnold said (Julie Arnold)
- Julie is the director of service programming. She and her team put together one amazing set of main sessions. I had a chance to ask her one question at the “Planning Engaging Sermon Series” breakout session. Julie wasn’t even the breakout speaker, but she participated in a panel discussion at the end. I asked, “How do you evaluate whether an event was a success?” Her response floored me.
- “We don’t criticize. We look for things to celebrate. And we ask two questions.
1) Did we enhance or distract from the main takeaway of the message?
2) What did a first-timer think of how things went?“
- These questions have destroyed my model of thinking about effectiveness. I am already dealing with the implications of how to evaluate Sunday worship.
Those are my 3 takeaways from Drive 11. Time to go do.
Question: Where you at Drive 11? What did you learn? What were your takeaways?