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Tim Stevens writes:  Way back when I was first hired at Granger, my boss talked about the importance of attending the church where you work. At first I thought he was joking—I had never heard of anyone working at a church where he or she did not attend. He told me of several situations where that was unfortunately true. I wrongly assumed it was a dying pattern. In fact, the number of churches I hear about who hire staff members to do jobs rather than ministry is increasing. Recently I learned of a large church that had a senior-level staff member who attended a different church. He sat on the leadership team, making decisions about starting and stopping ministry programs at a church he did not even attend. I learned of another church where staff members in the accounting department were prohibited from attending the church. I know of another church with a preschool where the teachers do not attend the church, and in fact, they are known to speak negatively to the parents about the church. I think I know where this comes from. Pastors have been burned, and so they make policies to reduce potential conflict. Somewhere along the way they had to fire someone, and that person left the church in a huff with all his or her friends and family members. And so they said, “Never again.” They figured it would be easier to manage conflict if the individual didn’t get rooted in the church. I get it. When I had to let employees go, they often left the church angry and confused. Which meant all their family members who attended left too. And their best friends. And a few people who just started attending who heard about the drama and decided they didn’t want to get involved. And honestly, on those dark days I wondered about changing my philosophy. keep reading

Granger Community Church is raising the bar. Take a look at their vision for the next 5 years.  It’s good stuff. Here’s just part of it:
  • We will offer life-changing gatherings for worship and teaching in our current locations and launch three additional sites in our region with 9,000 gathering as one church in five locations.
  • We will raise the temperature for life-on-life discipleship so it is normal for people to become reproducing followers of Jesus by owning their personal growth. Consumer-oriented Christians will, by design, not feel comfortable long-term.
  • We will distribute high-quality content wherever and whenever it is needed. At any time we will be able to teach, train and inspire thousands of people as they gather from their home, church, business, or wherever they are located.
  • We will launch and equip Granger Community Church start-ups all over the globe. All expressions—micro, mega, multi, rural, suburban, urban, multi-ethnic, local, domestic and international—will be united by the same mission and DNA. We will be a movement of more than 100,000 missional followers of Jesus gathering as 2,000 reproducing churches.
Read more at Tim Steven’s blog. [box type=”info”]Does YOUR church have a vision for the next 5 years? Care to share?[/box]

Tim Stevens has written a great post over at his blog on how the church has changed in the past decade.  I think Tim is right on.  Some changes are pretty easy to track, but Tim’s insight finds some you might now of thought of… Here’s his list so far of things that have changed.  Check out his blog below for more explanation on each: 1.  Church Buildings 2.  Conferences 3.  Expectations 4.  Staffing 5.  Senior Leaders 6.  Community Impact 7.  Missions 8.  One Team You can check out part 1 here and part 2 of Tim’s thoughts here. What are your thoughts?  What were the biggest changes in your church during the 2000’s? Todd

Tim Stevens had a great post about outsourcing worship leaders this morning at his website.  What do you think? Tim recently meet with a church leader from Mississippi that temporarily hired worship leaders to come in to help them out after their worship leader left for another job.  It worked out so well, that the church decided to ‘permanently hire temporary worship leaders’.  They have settled on four or five leaders that they bring in on a weekly basis.  According to Tim, here are some of the advantages this church leader told him about this approach:
  • Many worship leaders don’t enjoy building teams, managing budgets or organizing departments. They just love to lead worship. This strategy let’s them stay in their sweet spot.
  • This decision saves money for the church. He is able to pay them really well for a weekend and still save enough money in the church budget to use toward another staff position.
  • They love the variety that this brings to their church. Keeping things unpredictable is a plus, says Jeff, to keeping people’s attention.
  • They have learned so much from these worship leaders that they wouldn’t have learned from one person.
What do you think?  Has you church ever hired in a worship leader to fill in, or on a semi-consistent basis?  Do you think this new way of ‘outsourcing’ worship leaders is one that would/could work in your church?  What would be the downsides? You can read more of Tim’s post here at Todd