I spent a couple hours meeting with Scott Fields of Wheatland-Salem United Methodist Church, Greg Wenhold of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Ed Doepel of Crossroads Community Church, John Bell of GracePointe Church and CCC’s Naperville Campus Pastor Troy McMahon. (And my assistant Pat – who really ran the meeting!) These guys are all Lead/Senior Pastors doing great stuff at their churches in Naperville and really terrific people! So, what would bring together a group of leaders from Lutheran, Methodist, Bible and independent churches? Doing something together that we could not accomplish on our own – that is increasing the percentage of the churched in the city of Naperville! We are calling ourselves P.U.L.S.E (People United to Love, Serve & Equip) and our goals are more grandiose than that, but that is how we have chosen to keep score.
Our next collaborative effort is on February 17th at GracePointe Church, when we are putting on an all-day seminar for the churches of Naperville called, “Doing Church in the Burbs”. It is our goal to invite every church staff person in Naperville and offer them some tools and our willingness to be a resource so that we can better reach out to our community.
Maybe you are thinking, “that seems like a lot of work…so tell me why churches should work together.”
1. Healthy Competition
I recently heard Ted Haggard and Jim Tomberlin speaking at a conference on city reaching and Ted explained why the his children’s ministry is as good as it is today. He said it is because he learned how to do it from the church that Jim pastored in the same city (Colorado Springs, Colorado). The partnership created a healthy competition that made them both better. I know for us at CCC, we were in a in a Leadership Community through Leadership Network for two years with ten other leading churches in the multi-site movement. That Leadership Community created a healthy competition that made us all better. I know that if churches in close proximity would work together it would make all of them better.
2. Creative Colloaboration
Every time I get together with Scott, Greg, Ed, John and Troy we talke about new and creative stuff. It was out of those conversations that came this idea for a city-wide seminar for church leaders. I know if I stay connected with these guys very soon we will be working on other creative projects together – that’s what leaders do! And the end result is creative collaboration.
3.Better Score Keeping
According to one church growth expert there was not one county in the United States (with the exception of Hawaii) that saw an increase in the percentage of churched people from 1990-2000. Well, we want to change that starting in our county! And for us to change that we need to know the number of people that are in church on a given weekend at all churches in the town. This percentage would then become the way we keep score of success – what percentage of people are churched! It won’t tell all, but it will tell alot. And it is a better way of keeping score than just saying, “CCC has increased by 20% in the last year and has 670 more people attending this year than last year. We need to know how the Kingdom is doing and not just one church.