Aim: To develop concrete plans for ministry training, refine these through feedback and identify potential blockages to implementing these plans.
1. Seven ways to Change a Culture
- Clear your schedule.
- Set the agenda on Sunday – For us this means preaching in a way that emphasizes how the text preaches equips people to make disciples. It also means calling the church to maximize it’s 5 minute greet time and lunch time in listening well to others and speaking God’s Word prayerfully to each other. The gathering leader has to exhort the congregation to this end as he leads the gathering. We’ll need members to read “The Ministry of the Pew” and maybe watch the video of our Sunday Seminar on the topic.
- Plan how to move every member to the right – I have put all the names of the members on a gospel growth chart and identified where they are on the chart. I have not come up with a plan for each member yet. I need to clearly state the next steps for me as a pastor to move each member to the right.
- Start your first Vine-work training team. I need to identify the 10 people I will devote to training for the next 10 weeks. I have 19 I want to train but that is too many and will not help the quality of the training, attention, coaching, and feedback given to each one trained. So I’ll just do 10 on Sundays, train my CMT separately using our Friday CMT meetings, and let these train others as we set up maintenance trainers meetings monthly. Is it to much to start right now with 2 training teams? Maybe. I may need to rethink this and discuss it with the other CMT leaders.
- Treat every newcomer like gold. This is a big weakness for our church and for me. I had a member take this up but because I did not train that member well and deeply and have not set up a follow-up and feedback meeting with him, it has deteriorated and newcomers are not always treated like gold.
- Put small groups on hold; start more Vine-work teams. Or do maintenance with current groups while starting/training new teams. Our CMTs are vine-work teams and those who lead it are familiar with the vine-working mentality. I want to train all those in the DB team but have to trust and leave that to Jun though I will help train the co-leaders and elders in that group. From this training hopefully we can start another CMT in North Hollywood, but we’ll see.
- Rinse and repeat.
2. Take time to train
- See the overworked cycle and see your perpetuation of it.
- See training as an investment and not an expense. I often forget the investment aspect and minimize the cost of not training men well. I see my failure in this. I need to train some really well, like my CMT and the pastors’ training team. I’ll keep those circles small and focus on training them well. I can’t afford to wast these next 6 months with some members almost (or already) ready to make disciples waiting for me to drag my feet and very vaguely equip them for disciple-making ministry by using God’s Word.
- What do I fear will not get done if I develop a training style of leadership? My big fears is for the preaching ministry to suffer. I also fear that the members I’m not training and focusing on will feel neglected or devalued.
- Are there people in the church who could be co-workers and lift the load if trained and delegated? Yes! Praise the Lord Jesus that this is so.
- Remember… ministry training is a way of thinking about pastoral ministry, not another program.
3. Do a few things really well
- Sunday preaching
- Keep and increase praying alone, praying with my wife, and praying with my teams for our church and gospel priority area.
- Coaching, feedback, and supporting current leaders
- Pastor’s training team of vine-workers – I’ll need to train people to minister to CrossView Church and also for some to focus on USC and Shatto. I’m not sure how all of this is going to fit together yet, but I know that my neglect or low priority on USC needs to change. I’m not sure how yet. But however I configure those priorities, we must train leaders to serve every member and our gospel priority areas well.
- Shatto CMT – I need to make sure we’re sharing life, I’m pastoring them well, I’m training other leaders, and that we’re engaging our gospel priority area together.
- Encourage and spur men (husbands and dads) to read/pray with their wives and kids more regularly. We have 6 other married couples in our church. I don’t encourage most of them regularly and pray for them to this end.
Is 6 to many? If I have to drop one it would be #6 I think. It would be better to do 4 things well than 6 things not so well but only sort of on the way to what it should be.
4. Tools to get the job done
- The Bible and bible-reading sheets for trainees to start bible reading with others.
- Articles, readings, and other extra materials for the 10 week intensive training and the monthly vine-growers meeting that will follow. I may end up writing some stuff myself for the training phase and how to walk people through outreach, follow-up, and growth phases of the gospel growth process.
- Other training courses or materials, maybe: The Course of Your Life; 6 Steps to Encouragement/Reading your Bible/Talking about Jesus; Two Ways to Live; Story-Formed Way; Growth Groups; CrossView Mission Team Training (based on and modified a little from Soma School).
- Time to prep, run the course, and coach/debrief/feedback. Clear my schedule at line up priorities!
5. What needs to change?
- What are the key things that need to change in the culture and program of your church? The CMTs need to really engage their gospel priority area and people. The members need to all engage non-Christians with other CrossViewers and Christians along the way whether or not they’re part of the CMT. Sunday gatherings need to be cleaned up with people prepared for the ministry of the pew and to treat visitors like gold. Our follow-up processes need to be clear and quicker. We need someone to head that up so things don’t fall through the cracks.
- How do I need to change? My biggest change is following through with resolutions. I need to make sure I follow up on existing leaders and those given responsibility. I need to set aside a block of time for admin, follow up, and coaching others.
- What will block me making these changes? What do I need to stop doing? What do I need to start doing? I need to stop spending so much time in my personal study and development and spend more time texting, calling, and following up on my leaders’ responsibilities and development. I need to stop trying to have all of these follow up conversations on Sunday. I need to start calling and scheduling calls for times during the week. I need to find faithful brothers and sisters who need less follow up.
- What are the 5 “next actions” for me to take when I get back to my church? (1) Run the Course of Your Life training course from January to March in 2012; (2) Appoint vine-workers to 121 readings and name someone to handle visitor care and follow up; (3) Follow up regularly on Jun’s DB CMT; (4) Train my current team in evangelism; (5) do shepherd calls for all the members.
Remember… a river doesn’t rise above its source.