About five years before the announcement, Lead Pastor Bill Schroeder at The Chapel in Sandusky, OH started preparing to pass the baton of leadership. He engaged conversations with trusted business leaders and pastors, read the best-selling books, and started planning with the church’s senior leadership team.
Prairie Lakes Church in Iowa is unique. Across the state, they have six campuses, a mix of suburban and rural congregations they’ve launched as a part of a strategy to put a Prairie Lakes campus within 30 minutes of every Iowan. For them, embarking on a multisite strategy has been the right answer for reaching more people while staying true to the local culture. A 3,000-seat auditorium? That just didn’t feel like the natural fit to address their expansion needs.
We’d like to introduce you to Gavin Adams, one of our newest ministry consultants here at The Unstuck Group. Gavin is the Lead Pastor of Woodstock City Church, a campus location of North Point Ministries. Under his leadership, the church has grown from 400 to over 8,500 attendees in eight years.
I caught up with Gavin to hear his story and discover some of the principles he’s learned about making leadership transferable.
Here’s the good news about many church growth barriers:
They can often be overcome by discovering the shifts that need to happen in your own leadership and in the systems your church is currently engaging. We’ve encountered many churches of 800 still leading and operating like a church of 400. We’ve worked with many multisite churches still approaching leadership and management like a single-site church — even if they don’t realize it.
Our team believes a healthy approach to multisite and launching new campuses can help you lead more people in your region to Christ. Keyword there is healthy.
We talk a lot about numbers at The Unstuck Group. In fact, we’ve even written a book on measuring church health. With that, we often get questions about how you can actually measure ministry effectiveness. Questions such as…
- “If we don’t know many guests don’t fill out the Connection Card, how can we know how many guests we actually have?”
- “What is the best way to measure small group participation? Sign-ups? Weekly attendance? Number of groups?”
- “When I count the number of volunteers we have, how often should someone be serving to be counted?”
“People at our church just won’t volunteer.”
It’s a response we get often to our research on volunteer involvement. We recently found that the average church engages 45% of adults and students in volunteer roles. Many even engage upwards of 71%! However, for many churches, those numbers sound like an impossible dream.
What is the difference among churches with a high volunteer rate? In many cases, these churches have traded a culture of status for a culture of service.
If I could give pastors a magic wand to fix one thing in their church, I believe most would wave the wand over their volunteer problem. I often hear the pain of a broken volunteer strategy. Words like disengaged, burned out, tired and overworked hang in the air.
Lots of things can contribute to a lack of volunteering, but the shifts you can make to energize this area of your ministry can actually be quite simple.
Update 1/6/17: Registration for The Unstuck Change Challenge is now closed. But stay tuned! We have another resource to help you lead change being announced very soon. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it!
It happens every January…
Pastors begin the year with big dreams for their churches. Some might put those dreams in a vision document to share with their staff. A few will even stand up this Sunday and declare the future to the entire congregation. But those who have been around the church for a few years know this: