What a blast yesterday at CCC! We had more than 2000 people that showed up at Blackberry Creek Farm in Aurora for our summer picnic. This annual picnic is starting to become one of my very favorite events of the summer! There are so many terrific people all in one place and it is just fun to see whole families eating together and playing together. This pic is Caleb (8), my youngest – I think he probably had the most fun of all the Ferguson’s…until the bee sting!?! Other than that it was great day!
Had a good time going out for dinner last night with Todd Hudson and Shawn Wells of Southeast Christian Church in Parker, Colorado. Great guys! And it sounds like they have a great thing going at Southeast: they recently moved into a new 2,000 seat auditorium and have grown by about a 1,000 people in the last year. Pretty cool, huh?
Since completing the auditorium they are trying to figure out what is next for them. So, they flew to Chicago to hangout at CCC for the weekend to checkout what we do as a multi-site church. One of the first questions that Todd asked me was, “We are trying figure out what is next for us: do we just keep growing at the current site; relocate to a new site; go multi-site; or start planting churches?” My answer was “yes…do them all!” Todd admitted, “that was one option I hadn’t considered.”
I’m becoming more and more convinced that a church built on an Acts 1:8 macro vision and a Timothy 2:2 micro strategy will be a reproducing church. And a reproducing church will be reproducing at every level! It will reproduce leaders. It will reproduce artists. It will reproduce groups and teams. It will reproduce celebration services. It will reproduce campuses or sites. It will reproduce churches. And as we are currently discussing – it will reproduce whole networks and ultimately movements.
What is your answer to the question: do we just keep growing at the current site; relocate to a new site; go multi-site; or start planting churches?” Is my answer something that is unique only to CCC and our gifting or is that the vision that God has for every church?
Well, it’s 5:44 pm and I’m supposed to be home for dinner with the family at 6:00 pm …which brings to mind this interesting article from Time, titled, The Magic of the Family Meal. The article claims that more families are beginning to eat together again and the result is “kids who dine with their folks are healthier, happier and better students.” For those of you with kids, how many times a week do you eat dinner together? What should be the standard? So far this week I’m three dinners out of five with my family and one of them that was not with the gang was a date with my wife. My phone just rang and it’s 5:50 pm…I better get home for dinner!
Just got back from San Jose, California after doing the CCN broadcast on Multiplying Ministry. Great topic! The whole experience was pretty cool – getting to meet George Barna who was the host; and doing the show with Neil Cole and Larry Osborne. Good guys! Barna said there was between 10,000 and 15,000 leaders watching the show live. He is a pollster, but I’m still having a hard time believing that many people tuned in.
However, the highlight was going out to dinner the night before with Neil and Larry at Alexanders Steak House. The food was awesome! Their website is the most delicious website I’ve ever seen!
In addition to the good food was the great conversation! I took the opportunity to ask Neil some questions since he has pioneered a movement of house churches that now number over 800 and 10,000 participants and literally wrote the book on the Organic Church. Neil has been openly critical of the mega church. His criticisms come because he does not see it as reproducible and as a way to create a movement. Since we technically fall into the category of a mega church I wanted to know what he would like to see change with most mega churches. Here are a couple of my questions and his answers (paraphrased).
Dave: If you had a magic wand and could change one thing about the mega church in North America what would you change?
Neil: I would want to change the dysfunctional relationship between church and Pastor. The church is the dependent and Pastor is the co-dependent. The church depends on the Pastor (paid staff) to do too many things they need to be doing for themselves (serving, shepherding, teaching, evangelism, etc.). And when the pastor enables the church by doing these things he gets praised from the church and that is how the cycle of dependency continues. That is the one thing that I would change immediately.
Dave: So, if you were a mega church pastor what you do first?
Neil: I would teach people how to hear from God. They are too pastor-dependent. If every person who is a Christ Follower was hearing from God then we would see a movement.
I think he is right about some mega churches having dysfunctional relationships with their pastor. However, I don’t think that is unique to large churches. (I think Neil would agree with me.) Churches of all sizes have this issue. In fact, smaller churches may struggle with this even more and that may be why they continue to be small. And he is absolutely right about hearing from God being the beginning point. That is so simple and obvious, but so right on! I love his stuff. He talks about the reproducing church unlike anyone else; and he is getting it done! I’m not completely on board with all his application, because it’s all about the house church. But he asks all the right questions. Good food and great conversation.