I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 59. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.
Our Bible verse for this episode is 1 Peter 5:1-3 which says, “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.”
Our quote for this episode is from Michael Jordan. He said, “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”
In this podcast, we are going through the fine books: “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs, “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning, and “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase a copy of these books from our website podcastpulpit.com.
Our topic today is part 2 of “Chapter 4: Multility: Keep it Cellular” from “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning. He continues as follows:
Overnight we went from convening people by hundreds at a time in several services to convening them by thousands at a time in a couple of services. On a certain level, people were excited to realize that we had “arrived.” But on another level, there was a hollow feeling of being a crowd instead of a community. The difference between a community and a crowd is connection. If you get a bunch of people in the same room who have no connection to each other, you have a crowd. If you get a bunch of people in the same room who are connected to each other, you have a community. It is through community that we have our needs met and are able to meet the needs of others. It is through community that the church can be the church.
Prior to the consolidation, our small group assimilation system consisted of people looking across the room, identifying someone as new in the environment, walking over to them, and asking, “Are you in a small group yet? Would you like to come to ours?” It was as simple, direct, and powerful as that. Once we began convening in a huge auditorium, nearly all this grassroots behavior ceased. Instead, the pastoral team would meet on Tuesday with a list of individuals who wanted to be in a small group. We would read through the names, asking, “Does anyone know the Smiths? How about the Joneses?”
After shaking our heads, we would set about trying to hook up people we didn’t know with people they didn’t know who didn’t know them. It was a laborious, inefficient, ineffective system. After we moved into the large building, our once-robust double-digit growth rate slowed to low single digits. One factor limiting growth: space limitations. Ironic, huh?
I had dreamed of pastoring a megachurch for years, but when it finally happened, it didn’t feel like progress to me. The unique way in which I got to see it happen (meeting in smaller groups one week, in a large group the next) created a vivid “before and after” picture of the trade-offs that come with increased scale. The experience inspired me to explore ways to propagate clusters instead of moving de facto toward the “bigger is better” paradigm.
— PRAYER —
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”