Innovation³ Main Session 3 (Wed AM) Notes

January 28, 2009 — Leave a comment

Ed Stetzer, What does the dangerous church of 2010 look like:
– Cautions

  • Don’t believe the hype
    • Many who promote bad news have a program to fix it.
      • These people are probably passionate about the future and have data to support their findings.
    • Be more cynical.
      • We tend to believe things too soon.
  • Be people of Issachar (1 Chronicles 12:32)
    • There are trends we can an should watch.
    • Skate where the puck is.
      • Many churches live in a past era where the puck used to be or maybe where the puck never was.

– Cultural perspective

  • The dangerous church will have
    • Seized economic opportunity
      • Economic growth and evangelical church growth are counter-cyclical
      • Prayer for spiritual growth may hinder spiritual growth, but you should still pray for both.
    • Addressed sexual brokenness
      • 30 years ago having a gay bishop pray at the inauguration would have been the controversial choice to pray instead of the protestant evangelical pastor.
      • Most churches don’t know how to address brokenness. Churches that thrive will have to address homosexuality, brokenness, and sexuality in general with a solid biblical perspective.
    • Wrestled with gender inclusion.
      • It will become an increasing challenge.
      • This will become more of a problem to attendees who go to a church without a woman in a pastoral role.
      • Bent Tree has had two statements about their stance on women in ministry.
      • We need to be able to explain it and have a biblical rationale for it.
      • 65% of young adults polled said that a church that didn’t endorse women ordained for ministry would have a negative impact on their decision to attend.
    • Faced increasing intolerance
      • This is not the same thing as persecution. Someone not saying “Merry Christmas” at the grocery store is not persecution or an excuse to snap back “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”
  • The dangerous church will have
    • Navigated the Post-Seeker Context
      • Boomers have come back, so unchurched don’t have a Christian memory at all of what church used to be.
    • Regained confidence in the Gospel
      • The church and its Gospel has lost credibility in our culture.
      • We may have a wrong understanding of what the Gospel.
      • The New Reformed and Emerging church get the most media attention
    • Addressed Evangelical Confusion
      • Defined from John McCarthur to Joel Osteen. Broad spectrum
    • Rethought discipleship
      • Reveal from Willow Creek shows that we’re not making disciples well.
      • 2,500 Protestant churchgoers surveyed. Same people were surveyed a year later and barely anyone had grown
    • Worked through denominational catharsis
      • Many are rethinking how their denomination functions.
    • Found networking strategies
      • Acts 29
      • Sometimes we end up cloning ourselves, but we need to not just copy each other
    • Implemented New Innovations

Nancy Ortberg, TeamWorx2
Innovation is not a buzzword. It’s an essential part of God’s work here on earth. We innovate so that people will be transformed by the Gospel of Christ. The Gospel is always provocative and is never boring.

How do leaders create an environment that demands change and innovations?

  • Tensions
    • Leaders know that struggles foster growth
    • You need to develop infrastructure
    • You need to activate gifts without elevating them. Innovators are not any more important in the church than those who live for infrastructure.
    • A partnership is needing between incremental and exponential growth. We need to be comfortable and embrace both.
    • Passion & Humility – We need to embrace the confidence that comes with passion, but not allow that confidence to allow us to set aside humility.
  • Innovation happens best in teams
    • Patrick Lencioni writes about teamwork
    • There is magic in a team. We are holding back the potential of the church if we don’t embrace teams as the model of leadership.
    • We need to have Spiritual Gift radar and see clues as to what people’s gifts are. Work toward being able to identify someone’s gift within 4-5 sentences of talking with them.
    • Pursue leaders who are better at their gift than you are. Don’t be threatened by them or try to control them.
    • Learn to orchestrate the team and guide them.
    • Mature leaders need to pull back intentionally so that we can light a fire in younger leaders to allow their passion to grow and then take off.
  • Behavioral Values Needed for Innovation. Core values inflict pain. They force you to make choices.
    • 1 – Ask Questions.
      • Learn to ask, “I don’t know, what do you think?”
      • Be inquisitive, not judgmental (using tone).
      • People change on a quest or in a crisis.
      • Rhetorical questions plant seeds of provocation in people’s brains that the Holy Spirit fosters throughout the week.
    • 2 – Risk.
      • Failure & change go together.
      • Evaluate where people took a risk and failed. Ask what they learned from the experience. The only failures that should be tolerated should be for lack of effort.
      • You don’t know which ideas will take off. We criticize ideas too soon.
      • Fear.
      • Increase the amount of curious
    • 3 – Collaboration.
      • This doesn’t mean that the leader brings in his idea and asks for everyone else to implement it.
      • Gary Hammil – The Future of Management. “We need divergence before we have convergence.”
      • Compromise = mutually agreed upon mediocrity.
    • 4 – Trust.
      • Covey, The Speed of Trust.
      • Trust implies we have patience with each other. It is a build value.
  • We have moved so quickly from a chruched culture to an unchurched culture that we have no choice but to be innovative.
    • Monvee
    • Innovation comes from hope and hope is deeply tied to the Gospel.

Bob Roberts, Northwood Church, Keller, TX

  • The church is exploding like never before in history, just not in America.
  • We need to understand our context before we can expect to be able to grow.
  • When it comes to globalization we’re incredibly old-fashioned.
  • The greatest thing you can do to learn how to be innovative is to take a mission trip, find a local pastor, sit down, shut up, take notes on what he’s doing, and then do what he says.
  • We need more than lip-service to the Gospel.
  • We need to be less about missions and more about the Kingdom of God.
  • Sometimes we talk about being missional, but we’re just talking about serving the poor. Those are fishing pools.
  • We need to avoid bringing “the four spiritual laws” overseas without getting to know them.
  • When people became disciples in the NT they were making a choice of abandonment in which they were willing to die for their faith.
  • When we see bad news on CNN it’s God saying “Over here.”
  • The disciples were more passionate for their faith and they didn’t have the whole NT.
  • Abraham was the ultimate disciple. He was to be a blessing to ALL NATIONS. God has good promises for the children of Ishmael.
  • Some people want deeper theology, I want Jesus.
  • Jesus said “blessed” eight times to start the Sermon on the Mount.
  • Reinvent your disciples and you’ll reinvent your church.
  • Lessons from Middle-Eastern mega-church leaders
    • 1 – Focus on the Holy Spirit instead of pragmatics
    • 2 – More an obedience to the Word of God than a right understanding of proper theology
    • 3 – Gratitude towards Abraham and what he did, but a focus on Ishmael. We’re going to have to learn to love Muslims in order for the Great Commission to be fulfilled.
    • 4 – Don’t care as much about trying to develop a particular type of church (house vs mega).
    • 5 – Integration of faith, life, and everything. We take disciples and make them.
    • 6 – Theology of context of God.
    • 7 – No money, so trusting God is needed.
    • 8 – Driven by living heroes instead of dead saints.
  • It’s never been about how much money you’ve had, it’s about obedience.

John Bishop, Living Hope Church, Vancouver

  • Innovation is most about simplification.
  • Our plans sometimes trump God’s purpose. Our five-year plans many times put the Holy Spirit out of the equation.
  • God does his best work in our weakness, but we hate weakness. Why do we want to hide our weakness?
  • People in this generation want unbridled truth. We’re responsible for presenting the Gospel in a way in which people will respond to it.
  • “Pure and simple devotion to Jesus”
  • Pastors who say they don’t count people are saying a bunch of crap. The book of Acts counts people.
  • Are we doing everything we can to reach the people in our community?
  • Are our methods for our purpose or the unchurched?
  • We have to ruthless and desperate to reach people who do not belong to God.
  • If you’re not reaching people, don’t ask the people you work with, ask the ones you’re trying to reach.
  • Celebrate each others victories. If you hurt, I hurt. If you win, I win.
  • We need to practice on the earth what you’re going to do on the other side of eternity.
  • Why don’t you quit worrying and start praying. Repent of your worry.
  • People don’t want to see fancy programs, they want to see love and unity.
  • Revelation 3, we’re indifferent.
  • Over time we tend to see people as tool instead souls to win for Christ.
  • People matter, so change whatever you need to change.



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