October 6, 2022

Bara Church: Finding Joy and Purpose Again

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“Your ministry system is perfectly designed to produce the results you’re currently experiencing.”

— Andy Stanley

Bara Church in Trophy Club, TX was a little over 12 years old when they began the Unstuck Process. Lead Pastor Joel Quilé described their condition this way: 

“We weren’t kids anymore, but we weren’t adults. We weren’t helpless, but we were frustrated. We had vision, but the execution and the strategy was lacking. We were rowing, but we were probably rowing in circles. Probably the best word to describe us was stuck. :-)”

Bara Church: The Road to Getting Unstuck

In 2022, Bara Church’s theme for the year was NEW… “So it made sense for us to try something new,” Pastor Joel explained, “because what we were doing wasn’t working. As the leader, I was struggling with the dichotomy of leadership: Leaders want to lead. They want to influence, they want to initiate. But the dichotomy is that leading is also about giving leadership away, which is counterintuitive. That’s a big reason we were stuck: I wasn’t giving away leadership.”

Bara Church also had a critical mass issue—before Covid, their average attendance was 168. By January 2022, they were down to just 60 people on a Sunday morning. “There was an element of frustration. The pain we were feeling was a major catalyst.”

From there, Bara did extensive research and almost hired a local consulting group. However, Pastor Joel had a great experience doing coaching with Tony Morgan in the past and was familiar with our podcasts and videos. Favoring our practical approach, Bara decided to begin working through the Unstuck Process.

Experiencing God’s Provision & Blessing

James 1:5 tells us that if we seek God and ask for wisdom, he’s going to answer. 

Pastor Joel noted, “That’s one of those guaranteed promises: If we ask for wisdom, wisdom comes through the Spirit, through Scripture, and sometimes it comes through a guy with a Kentucky accent, like our consultant, Chad. He’s been a huge blessing and I would say that sending Chad is a major way that God has shown up for us.”

In the last six months (January – September, 2022), Bara has seen a 63.3% increase in average attendance (from 60 to 98). “Not only are we healthier, but there’s just a greater sense of joy and purpose among us,” Pastor Joel explained.

 “We’ve gotten more creative with our marketing. We have a better focus on our target audience, and that’s changed our approach. We have tried to recommit to having the posture of a learner, and we’ve seen synergy improve on our team as a result.

We’re dreaming again and there’s more involvement and ownership from our team. We’ve seen new innovation coming and we’re creating different things and trying new things again, like we did when we were younger.”

A Roadmap for the Future

When it comes to the future of Bara Church, Pastor Joel acknowledged that, “We have a lot more work ahead of us, but Unstuck has given us tools and a map to help us as we move out of wandering and toward the promised land that we believe God has for us.

We look forward to God continuing to use them as “Aarons and Hurs,” holding our arms up when we’re weary. We love Unstuck and are grateful for their continued partnership in the Gospel.”

We help pastors clarify where God is calling your church to go in the future and define how you'll get there—and then we coach you as you lead change.

Interested in learning more?

Jordan An

Jordan is our Digital Marketing Manager. She graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University and, prior to joining The Unstuck Group, worked in social media and marketing communications for a Christian non-profit media ministry. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband Sam, and enjoys leading worship at her local church.

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