OUTREACH & One Way To Check How You Are Doing (a leadership exercise)

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 9/1/15.

A key principle in my Abingdon Press book, ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church, is this:

Healthy organizations put non-churchgoers’ needs ahead of churchgoers’ needs. – Bob Whitesel, 2010.

But, this is challenging because churchgoers have louder voices at the decision making table.  Also churches soon become mini-cultures of Christians who are more familiar with their own needs than those still outside of their community.

To get your emphasis back upon non-churchgoer needs, I have written an entire chapter on this in CURE for the Common Church and a chapter titled, “OUT: Grow Out.”  There I suggest you:

CURxE O:  Observe whom you are equipped to reach
CURxE U:  Understand the needs of those you are equipped to reach.
CURxE T:  Tackle needs by refocusing, creating or ending ministry programs.

You can download the chapter here (not for public distribution, but if you enjoy it please consider supporting publisher and author by buying a copy): BOOK ©Whitesel EXCERPT – CURE Chpt 2 HOW OUT

Plus, in ORGANIX I explain how to put others first in your:

  • decision making,
  • focus
  • and prayer life.

You can download that chapter here (again this is not for public distribution, but if you enjoy it please consider supporting publisher and author by buying a copy): BOOK ©Whitesel EXCERPT – ORGANIX Others

Below is an exercise to help you see how you are doing regarding keeping non-churchgoers as your primary ministry focus (and only secondly your congregants).

EXERCISE

Take a look at your webpage and then the webpage of several growing churches.  Then evaluate how, where and how much emphasis non-churchgoers get in the website artistic and visual structure.

For example, one church said “Belong, Live, Know and Serve” prominently on their webpage. But this gives the impression to non-churchgoers that the first emphasis of the church is that you belong.

A better example from another church is, “Help others, know God, grow together.”  I think you can see how this website gives a more Biblical impression that non-churchgoers’ needs take precedence over churchgoers’ needs

So, take a look at your website and the websites of several growing churches. Then write down what you find.

  • Any insights?
  • Any missteps?
  • Any changes you want to make to your website?

Speaking Hastags: #SalvationCenterTX

HOLARCHY & Why Wesley Used This Leadership-style That is Popular Again #IncMagazine

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: While studying churches that grow in times of crises, I’ve noticed that at these times leaders put authority into their small groups to do most of the ministry work. Such an example is St. Thomas’ Church in Sheffield, England when as England’s largest megachurch they lost their auditorium with three weeks notice. Read about this in the chapter I contributed to Eddie Gibbs’ festschrift titled “Gospel after Christendom” (Baker Academic, 2012). Basically what St. Thomas did was allow all the small groups to do the social-action ministries and even require them to do so. Therefore, instead of top-down organization of social action programs designed by the executive team of the church, they required each small group to look around it’s community and weekly do something to help non-churchgoers. This democratized the organizations outreach through a leadership-style called “holarchy.” storyality-theory-2014-uws-pg-conference-jt-velikovsky-61-638This is exactly what John Wesley required of the small group meetings: they were each required to go out and serve the needy. This became known as Wesley’s “method” and adherents the “Methodists.” Read this article in Inc. Magazine to become acquainted with “holarchy” and how it is much better than top-down autocratic management when managing today’s post modern young adults.

Read more about “holarchies” at … http://www.inc.com/elle-kaplan/want-to-improve-your-company-let-every-person-on-your-team-be-a-chief.html

And read more about Wesley’s holarchy leadership-style here (including a downloadable section on this from my book Cure for the Common Church …https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/small-groups-3-facets-of-well-rounded-small-groups/

Embedded is a chart (click it to enlarge) that depicts a holarchy and was retrieved from http://image.slidesharecdn.com/storyalitytheory-2014uwspgc-jtvelikovskyv2-140715075956-phpapp02/95/storyality-theory-2014-uws-pg-conference-jt-velikovsky-61-638.jpg?cb=1405411334