THE NEW SHAPE OF WEDNESDAY NIGHT
ON THE MOVE
LEADERSHIP & CHURCH SIZE DYNAMICS
WERE GLAD YOU’RE HERE! We are a church with a mission. Our mission is to proclaim, embody, and enjoy the gospel of Jesus Christ so that unbelievers are convinced of the gospel, believers are built up in the gospel, and culture is transformed by the gospel to the glory of God. Because the gospel is at our heart, we want all that we say and do as a church to honor and reflect Christ. Part of that includes making sure you are able to consistently and clearly know the vision and direction of Redeemer. That’s where Momentum comes in. On the first Sunday of every month, everyone will receive a copy and be able to stay connected to the pulse of Redeemer. Inside each monthly issue, you will find updates on the church’s vision, ministries and events. You’ll also read about where you can help serve and get involved, as well as be updated on things like church finances, new members, activities and programs throughout the month. Redeemer is a church on the move, and it’s the gospel that is moving it forward. The gospel is our passion, our motivation, our moving force. It’s our momentum.
GROWING PAINS 4
| Jesus is on the move at Redeemer, which can be unsettling, but can also be an exciting time to reflect on what the Lord is doing.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT REFRESH 6
| There are many new and exciting changes about to happen on Wednesday nights that will fulfill needs of all age groups at Redeemer. Check it out!
LEADERSHIP & CHURCH SIZE DYNAMICS
MY NEW ROLE 12
| Pastor Paul shares about his new role as Pastor of Community Groups & Member Care and gives an update on the continued growth and change within this ministry.
YOUTH ON THE MOVE
TO BLESS & BE BLESSED
youth ministry is being refined to help move our teenagers deeper into the love of Christ and grow them into gospel pacesetters.
encouragement from one of our teachers, check out a new verse to memorize with your kids, and stay up to date with what’s happening in the Children’s Ministry.
| Learn from a seasoned and respected church leader how churches and their structure need to morph as God grows their congregation.
PRAY WITH US
A TIME OF REST
13 | Intercede intentionally
13 | Mark Summers shares
with others in the RBC family for our Vision.
how the Lord has directed him down a slightly different path for now.
15 | The vision of the RBC
GOSPEL LIFE BLOG
IT’S ABOUT BEING REAL
OWNERSHIP & THE GOSPEL
20 | Check out these
22 | Lynn Smoliak opens
24 | “...do we demonstrate
personal and insightful blog posts, and others, from our website to find joy and encouragement in your daily walk.
up about his thoughts on life-on-life discipleship and how it has impacted his life.
ownership in our giving as a response to the grace Jesus has shown to us?”
19 | Parents: Receive
CREDITS Design/Direction Chuck Forsberg Content Manager Lorie Schnell Writers/Editors Brittney Westin
MOMENTUM // JUNE 2014
BY R W GLENN
hen my now 18 year-old
son was five or six, he’d
meaningless. Who cares if our church is
wake up in the middle of
growing numerically if the growth were the
the night crying because
result of, say, a failure to preach the gospel,
his knees hurt. His mother
a minimizing of the lethal nature of sin, the
and I knew that this meant
solemnity of judgment, and the glories of
only one thing: growing
God’s mercy and grace in the gospel? But if
pains. So to comfort him, we’d tell him that
the Lord is adding to our church more and
all the aches and pains pointed to one thing:
more people who are understanding grace
he was on his way to becoming a big boy.
and its implications for their lives – now that’s
And what little boy doesn’t want to know he’s
a number worth noting!
going to be a big boy?
But even though that kind of growth is
Our church is growing. With that growth we
exciting, it can be painful. Changes to the old
are experiencing some of our own aches and
order. Disorientation over the many unnamed
pains. And although the discomfort is real,
faces. Concerns whether or not the church we
it’s pointing to something good – impacting
loved has become a thing of the past.
more and more people with the gospel of Christ. When people say that numerical
THIS ISSUE OF MOMENTUM IS HERE TO
growth doesn’t matter, I’m inclined to respond
ADDRESS JUST THAT!
with, “It depends what you’re counting.” The
Inside you’ll find news about our new
book of Acts has no problem recording the
Pastor of Community Groups and Member
meteoric numerical growth of the church:
Care, our new life-on-life discipleship-driven approach to youth ministry, and our new
Acts 2:41: “There were added that day about
approach to Wednesday nights. But most
three thousand souls.”
importantly, you’ll find an article by Tim Keller, “Leadership and Church Size Dynamics: How
Acts 2:47: “And the Lord added to their
Strategy Changes with Growth,” an article I’m
number day by day those who were being
convinced you’ll find extremely helpful as you
navigate our growing pains. Jesus is on the move at Redeemer, which
Acts 5:14: “And more than ever believers were
can be unsettling. But it can also be exciting
added to the Lord, multitudes of both men
– an exciting time to reflect on all that Jesus
is doing to produce the fruit of his gospel for the good of his world.
Acts 11:24: “And a great many people were added to the Lord.”
JUNE 2014 \\ MOMENTUM
WEDNESDAY NIGHT THE NEW SHAPE OF
BY R W GLENN
MOMENTUM // JUNE 2014
or many, many years, Wednesday nights
CLASSES FOR ADULTS
at Redeemer have taken roughly the same
The main thrust of Wednesday nights will now be adult
shape. We’ve met together for a time of
education, run by the School of Gospel Formation. We will offer
singing and prayer, encouraging one another
a number of different evening classes each semester, lasting
by connecting with each other, sharing signs
from 7 – 8 p.m. A few of the Wednesday classes for this fall
of God’s grace, answered prayers, and opportunities to love our
include a women’s Bible study on Galatians, A Praying Life
neighbors. Wednesday Gathered Prayer has been a wonderful,
class on the discipline of prayer, and a class I’m teaching called
rich part of Redeemer’s history as a church, and many would
Local Church Leadership. Watch for the SGF course catalog to
say that it was this intimate gathering with other members
be released in the next few weeks. There will be more details on
that really helped them become a part of the Redeemer family.
the classes and how to register.
Back in the “old days” before our building expansion, it wasn’t unusual to see 75-100 people packed in the old sanctuary
A CLASS FOR KIDS
(now our fellowship hall). These days, our Wednesday night
We are so excited to be offering something totally NEW for
numbers have been much smaller. The crowd is faithful, and
1st – 6th grade kids on Wednesday nights! Nancy Axelson and
our times together have been rich, but we’ve been longing
the Children’s Ministry Team have planned an amazing little
to see new life breathed into Wednesday nights, so that the
class called “Kids Pray!” which will help to teach children the
whole body is excited
discipline of prayer. It will be practical and fun, and we can’t
wait to see the fruit of our little ones engaging in prayer!
again! As youth is moving
direction (see article
After classes are over for the evening, there will be a brief,
on page 15), we won’t
focused time for sharing signs of grace and praying together.
have the benefit of
It will be from 8:10 – 8:45 p.m. and led by Drake Lorence, the
Gabe Zepeda leading
teacher of our class on prayer. Everyone is encouraged to drop
us out in song on
in to the sanctuary to pray!
Wednesday nights, so we’ve come up with
a new plan. Our hope
Free childcare for ages 0 – Kindergarten will be provided from
is that this fresh take
6:45 – 9:00 p.m. And the best news is that it will be provided
on Wednesday night
by SGF, so you as members won’t need to volunteer to watch
will be as exciting
the kiddos; instead, you’ll be freed up to take a class, pray and
to you as it is to our
leadership, and that you and your entire
family will come to
After classes wrap up, there will be a time for fellowship. Grab
be a part of it! Here’s
a cup of coffee, linger and chat with old friends or make some
what to expect:
new ones! //RBC
NEW SCHEDULE 6:45–9:00 childcare 7:00–8:00 classes for kids & adults 8:00–9:00 fellowship hour 8:10–8:45 prayer JUNE 2014 \\ MOMENTUM
LEADERSHIP & CHURCH SIZE DYNAMICS HOW STRATEGY CHANGES WITH GROWTH BY DR. TIM KELLER
A CHURCH’S FUNCTIONAL STYLE, ITS STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES, AND THE ROLES OF ITS LAY AND STAFF LEADERS WILL CHANGE DRAMATICALLY AS ITS SIZE CHANGES.
morally inferior. They may insist that the only biblical way to do
church is to practice a certain size culture despite the fact that
the congregation they attend is much too big or too small to
fit that culture.
For example, if some members of a church of 2,000 feel they
should be able to get the senior pastor personally on the phone
without much difficulty, they are insisting on getting a kind of
blindness to the significance of
pastoral care that a church of under 200 provides. Of course
church size. Size has an enormous
the pastor would soon be overwhelmed. Yet the members may
impact on how a church functions.
insist that if he can’t be reached he is failing his biblical duty to
There is a “size culture” that
be their shepherd.
profoundly affects how decisions
Another example: the new senior pastor of a church of 1,500
are made, how relationships flow,
may insist that virtually all decisions be made by consensus
how effectiveness is evaluated,
among the whole board and staff. Soon the board is meeting
and what ministers, staff, and lay
every week for six hours each time! Still the pastor may insist
that for staff members to be making their own decisions
We tend to think of the chief differences
does not have that size will wreak havoc on it and eventually force the church back into the size with which the practices are
size on how a church operates. difference
compatible. A further example: New members who have just joined a
smaller church after years of attending a much larger one may
begin complaining about the lack of professional quality in
function may be much greater
the church’s ministries and insisting that this shows a lack of
than the difference between a
spiritual excellence. The real problem, however, is that in the
Presbyterian and a Baptist church
smaller church volunteers do things that in the larger church are
of the same size. The staff person
done by full-time staff. Similarly, new members of the smaller
who goes from a church of 400
church might complain that the pastor’s sermons are not as
to a church of 2,000 is in many
polished and well researched as they had come to expect in the
ways making a far greater change
larger church. While a large-church pastor with multiple staff
than if he or she moved from one
can afford to put twenty hours a week into sermon preparation,
denomination to another.
however, the solo pastor of a smaller church can devote less
community. To impose a size-culture practice on a church that
underestimates the impact of The
would mean they are acting unaccountably or failing to build
A large church is not simply a
than half of that time each week.
bigger version of a small church.
This means a wise pastor may have to sympathetically
The difference in communication,
confront people who are just not able to handle the church’s
size culture—just like many people cannot adapt to life in
decision-making processes are
geographic cultures different from the one they were used to.
so great that the leadership skills
Some people are organizationally suspicious, often for valid
required in each are of almost
reasons from their experience. Others can’t handle not having
completely different orders.
the preacher as their pastor. We must suggest to them they
SIZE CULTURES Every church has a culture that goes with its size and which must be accepted. Most people tend to prefer a certain size culture, and unfortunately, many give their favorite size culture
are asking for the impossible in a church that size. We must not imply that it would be immaturity on their part to seek a different church, though we should not actively encourage anyone to leave, either.
HEALTHY RESISTANCE Every church has aspects of its natural size culture that must be resisted.
a moral status and treat other
Larger churches have a great deal of difficulty keeping track
size categories as spiritually and
of members who drop out or fall away from the faith. This should JUNE 2014 \\ MOMENTUM
never be accepted as inevitable. Rather, the large church must
more. Larger churches are much more complex than their
continually struggle to improve pastoral care and discipleship.
smaller counterparts. They have multiple services, multiple
Out of necessity, the large church must use organizational techniques from the business world, but the danger is that ministry may become too results-oriented and focused on quantifiable
groups, and multiple tracks, and eventually they really are multiple congregations. Also, the larger the church, the more staff per capita needs
to be added. Often the first ministry staff persons are added
rather than the goals of holiness and character growth. Again,
for every increase of 150–200 in attendance. A church of 500
this tendency should not be accepted as inevitable; rather,
may have two or three full-time ministry staff, but eventually
new strategies for focusing on love and virtue must always be
ministry staff may need to be added for every 75–100 new
persons. Thus a church of 2,000 may have twenty-five staff.
The smaller church by its nature gives immature, outspoken, opinionated, and broken members a significant degree of
SHIFTING LAY-STAFF RESPONSIBILITIES
power over the whole body. Since everyone knows everyone
On the one hand, the larger the church the more decision
else, when members of a family or small group express strong
making falls to the staff rather than to the whole membership or
opposition to the direction set by the pastor and leaders,
even the lay leaders. The elders or board must increasingly deal
their misery can hold the whole congregation hostage. If they
with only top-level, big-picture issues. This means the larger
threaten to leave, the majority of people will urge the leaders to
the church, the more decision making is pushed up toward the
desist in their project. It is extremely difficult to get complete
staff and away from the congregation and lay leaders. Needless
consensus about programs and direction in a group of 50–150
to say, many laypeople feel extremely uncomfortable with this.
people, especially in today’s diverse, fragmented society, and
On the other hand, the larger the church, the more the basic
yet smaller churches have an unwritten rule that for any new
pastoral ministry such as hospital visits, discipling, oversight of
initiative to be implemented nearly everyone must be happy
Christian growth, and counseling is done by lay leaders rather
with it. Leaders of small churches must be brave enough to
than by the professional ministers.
lead and to confront immature members, in spite of the
Generally, in small churches policy is decided by many and
ministry is done by a few, while in the large church ministry is
There is no “best size” for a church. Each size presents
done by many and policy is decided by a few.
great difficulties and also many opportunities for ministry that churches of other sizes cannot undertake (at least not as well). Only together can churches of all sizes be all that Christ wants the church to be.
PRINCIPLES OF SIZE DYNAMICS Reading books on church size can be confusing, as everyone breaks down the size categories somewhat differently. This
INCREASING INTENTIONALITY The larger the church, the more systematic and deliberate the assimilation of newcomers needs to be. As a church grows, newcomers are not visible to the congregation’s members. Thus new people are not spontaneously and informally welcomed and invited in. Pathways for assimilation must be identified or established by asking questions such as these:
is because there are many variables in a church’s culture and history that determine exactly when a congregation gets to a
+ How will newcomers get here?
new size barrier. For example, everyone knows that at some
+ How will they be identified by the church?
point a church becomes too large for one pastor to handle.
+ Where will unbelievers learn Christianity’s relevance, content,
People begin to complain that they are not getting adequate
pastoral care. The time has come to add staff. But when does that
+ Who will move them along the path?
happen? In some communities it may happen when attendance
+ Where will believers get plugged in?
rises to 120, while in others it does not happen until the church
+ Who will help them?
has nearly 300 in regular attendance. It depends a great deal on expectations, the mobility of the city’s population, how fast the
The larger the church, the harder it is to recruit volunteers
church has grown, and so on. Despite the variables, the point at
and thus a more well-organized volunteer recruitment process
which a second pastoral staff member must be added is usually
is required. Why is this so? First, the larger the church, the more
called “the 200 barrier.” That is a good average figure, but keep
likely it is that someone you don’t know well will try to recruit
in mind that your own church might reach that threshold at
you. It is much easier to say no to someone you do not know
some different attendance figure.
than to someone you know well. Second, it is easier to feel
Here are the general trends or changes that come as a church grows larger.
less personally responsible for the ministries of a large church: “They have lots of people here—they don’t need me.” Therefore, the larger the church, the more well-organized and formal the
recruitment of volunteers must be.
The larger the church, the less its members have in common. There is more diversity in factors such as age, family status,
INCREASING REDUNDANCY OF COMMUNICATION
ethnicity, and so on, and thus a church of 400 needs four to
The larger the church, the better communication has to be.
five times more programs than a church of 200—not two times
Without multiple forms and repeated messages, people will feel
MOMENTUM // JUNE 2014
left out and complain, “I wasn’t told about it.” You know you’ve
now” or “I can’t see the pastor anymore” or “We don’t pray
crossed into a higher size category when such complaints
spontaneously anymore in church.” Leaders of churches that
become constant. Informal communication networks (pulpit
grow large are more willing to lose members who disagree with
announcements, newsletter notices, and word of mouth) are
procedures or the philosophy of ministry.
insufficient to reach everyone. More lead time is necessary to communicate well.
SHIFTING ROLE OF THE MINISTERS The larger the church, the less available the main preacher is
INCREASING QUALITY OF PRODUCTION
to do pastoral work. In smaller churches the pastor is available
The larger the church, the more planning and organization
at all times, for most occasions and needs, to any member or
must go into events. A higher quality of production in general
unchurched person. In the large church there are sometimes
is expected in a larger church and events cannot simply be
more lay ministers, staff, and leaders than the small church
thrown together. Spontaneous, last-minute events do not work.
has people! So the large church’s pastors must recognize their
The larger the church, the higher its aesthetic bar must be.
limits and spend more time with staff and lay shepherds and in
In smaller churches the worship experience is rooted mainly
prayer and meditation.
in horizontal relationships among those who attend. Musical
The larger the church, the more important the minister’s
offerings from singers who are untrained and not especially
leadership abilities are. Preaching and pastoring are sufficient
talented are nonetheless appreciated because “we all know
skills for pastors in smaller churches, but as a church grows
them” and they are members of the fellowship. But the
other leadership skills become critical. In a large church not
larger the church, the more worship is based on the vertical
only administrative skills but also vision casting and strategy
relationship— on a sense of transcendence. If an outsider comes
design are crucial gifts in the pastoral team.
in who doesn’t know the musicians, then a mediocre quality of
The larger the church, the more the ministry staff members
production will distract them from worship. They don’t have a
must move from being generalists to being specialists. Everyone
relationship with the musicians to offset the lack of giftedness.
from the senior pastor on down must focus on certain ministry
So the larger the church, the more the music becomes an
areas and concentrate on two or three main tasks. The larger
the church, the more the senior pastor must specialize in preaching, vision keeping and vision casting, and identifying
INCREASING OPENNESS TO CHANGE The larger the church, the more it is subject to frequent and sudden change. Why? First, smaller churches tend to have little turnover: individual members feel powerful and necessary and so they stay put.
problems before they become disasters. Finally, the larger the church, the more important it is for ministers, especially the senior minister, to stay put for a long time. As noted above, smaller churches change less rapidly and have less turnover. With this innate stability, a smaller church
Second, the larger the church, the more power for decision
can absorb a change of minister every few years if necessary.
making moves away from the whole congregation to the
But the larger the church, the more the staff in general and the
leaders and staff. Too much is going on for the congregation or
senior pastor in particular are the main sources of continuity
the board or eventually even the staff to make all the decisions
and stability. Rapid turnover of staff is highly detrimental to a
as a group. As decision-making power comes into the hands
of individual staff or volunteer leaders, change happens more quickly. Decisions can be made expeditiously without everyone signing on. Further, as we saw above, the larger the church, the more complex it is and therefore the more schedules, events, and programs there are to change. LOSING MEMBERS BECAUSE OF CHANGES The larger the church, the more it loses members because of changes. Why? Smaller churches seek at all costs to avoid
GENERALLY, IN SMALL CHURCHES POLICY IS DECIDED BY MANY AND MINISTRY IS DONE BY A FEW, WHILE IN THE LARGE CHURCH MINISTRY IS DONE BY MANY, AND POLICY IS DECIDED BY A FEW.
losing members. As a result, certain individuals and small groups often come to exercise power dis-proportionate to their numbers. If a change were made, someone invariably would experience it as a loss, and since the smaller church has a great fear of conflict, it usually will not institute a change that might result in lost members. Thus smaller churches tend to have a more stable membership than large churches do. In larger churches small groups and individual members have
STRUCTURING SMALLER The larger the church, the smaller the basic pastoral span of care. In smaller churches, classes and groups can be larger because virtually everyone in the church is cared for directly by full-time trained ministry staff, each of whom can care
far less ability to exert power or resist changes they dislike. And (as noted previously) since larger churches undergo constant change, they regularly lose members because “It’s too big
CONTINUED ON PAGE 25... JUNE 2014 \\ MOMENTUM
BY PASTOR PAUL BURR Here at Redeemer we often say Community Groups are the
Group development, and growing
church. Our Community Groups form the basis of community,
existing and new leaders through
connection, and shepherding for RBC. They are places where
discipleship, training and oversight.
we can really get to know each other and see the gospel have
I want to thank Pastor Boomer
a greater impact on each of our lives. Biblically speaking,
Peel for all his work in Community Groups,
more than doubled in
to prepare for the fall, and then concentrate more on his pastoral duties of shepherding the members of RBC. Community Groups are the place we can practice the “one
Our goal for the CG ministry is to have 30 groups in the fall
anothers” of Scripture and see how the gospel changes
from the 21 that we have now. Some of those will come from the
everything. As we foster openness, confession, repentance and
several groups that are too large. An optimal group size is 8 to
care for each other, we can help each group member get to the
10 adults with room to invite guests and newcomers. Most of our
love of the Father, not only in the group gatherings, but through
groups currently are well over this number. We want to continue to create a welcoming atmosphere
guests so they can dip their toes in the CG waters. As we say in our vision
Community our interactions with each other during the week.
are magnetic. They draw new and even seasoned members into
We are experiencing a tremendous amount of growth as
deeper and richer experiences of God’s grace in the gospel.
a church, and our Community Groups have not been able to
Why is this? Because community groups are families of believers
keep pace with this growth. This has resulted in groups that are
focused on the grace of God in Christ. And God’s grace is a
too large. Not only are we limited by space in people’s homes,
force of gravity – moving mightily in people’s lives with Christ’s
we also are inadvertently making it harder for guests to join a
transforming power (Rom 6:14).
group, one of first steps in their journey to membership. To lead
I am excited to see how the Lord will use Community Groups
this growth and position us for a healthy, gospel-rich future, we
as we move into a new chapter of growth at Redeemer. Pray
realized we need a full-time Pastor of Community Groups.
that Community Groups will be these places where the gospel
After much prayer and discussion, the leadership has decided that I should transition to this new role of Pastor of Community Groups and Member Care. I will be responsible for Community 12
MOMENTUM // JUNE 2014
of grace shines forth and people’s lives will continue to be changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. //RBC
PRAY WITH US
JUNE PRAYER POINTS
Pray for our leadership, that they
WEEK 1 Pray
Community Group members would not falter, but would grow and thrive during
also for Pastor Paul as he enters his new role as our Pastor of Community
would preach the gospel to themselves, prayerfully seek the Lord’s leading, and that they would guide the members under their care with the fierce love of Jesus Christ.
WEEK 5 Pray for unity among our leadership:
Groups and Member Care.
elders, deacons, ministry directors and
WEEK 2 Pray for an atmosphere of grace and
love to permeate our congregation, so that as our numbers increase we shake off fears and move toward newcomers with boldness and joy.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER BY EITHER: SCANNING THE QR CODE, EMAILING INFO@REDEEMER BIBLECHURCH.COM OR VISITING US ON THE WEB AT WWW.REDEEMERBIBLE CHURCH.COM/SUBSCRIBE.
WEEK 3 Pray for a movement of prayer to begin in our church, so that every member is invested and diligent to pray regularly with hope and expectation for our vision, leaders, ministries and one another.
BY MARK SUMMERS
A TIME TO REST
build my personal ministry around. I
and I had
will be spending my sabbatical time
lunch a of
praying, meditating and thinking about
what direction the Lord wants me to
take in the next phase of my work with
mercy ministry when I return. The Mercy
Seminar has been rescheduled to mid-
November and I’m planning to teach
that, as it will coincide with the end of
month sabbatical from the diaconate
In the meantime, Pastor Bob has
given the many demands I’ve been
asked Dan Beck to be our Interim Lead
under. That, plus the fact that Laurie
Deacon. He has agreed to take on this
and I had recently been having
responsibility. I will also be working with
discussions about the very same
our Administrative Assistant to Mercy
thing, seems to validate the Lord’s
Ministry, Tammy Hoyt, over the near
After serving for sixteen straight years,
hand in moving me to take this
term to ensure that our Mercy to the
exerting tremendous energy the past two
direction. I can tell you that not only
Cities work continues on course.
years getting Mercy to the Cities off the
was I relieved when Pastor Bob and
Thank you to all of you for your
ground, and engaging in the enormous
I met, but I am already feeling the
understanding and prayers for me during
demands of my company brought on by
beginnings of being refreshed by
my sabbatical. I’m looking forward to
its rapid growth over the past year, I will
being unburdened from the demands
this time of rest and regeneration. //RBC
be taking the next six months to rest,
of the diaconate for now.
spend more time with my wife, Laurie,
I do not see this at all as pulling
and meditate on where the Lord would
back from diaconal or mercy work
like for me to go next with both my
- I still strongly believe mercy work
personal and Redeemer ministry work.
is what the Lord has called me to JUNE 2014 \\ MOMENTUM
pizza pizza PAGANO NEW YORK / NEW JERSEY STYLE
Friday JUNE 20th & Saturday JUNE 21st ALL DONATIONS WILL GO TOWARDS REDEMPTION YOUTH CAMP THIS SUMMER. Place your order and get more details at: http://goo.gl/PfU0Il
ON THE MOVE BY DAVID MORSE
If you’ve been at Redeemer
for any length of time, you’ve
seen various things happening.
One of those things is growth. It is not a surprise when I tell you
that Redeemer Bible Church is
growing because you can see it-you can feel it as shoulders get closer to yours in the auditorium. Growth can be good, bad, or
both. American author Edward
Abbey said, “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the
seen both qualitative and quantitative
framework of youth ministry at Redeemer. We
cancer cell.” And so it is with
growth among our teenagers. The group
want to move Redemption deeper into the
the growth of a church. Growth
has expanded as friends and families
gospel by refining the vision and processes
for the sake of growth is of little
are added to RBC, and the heartfelt
that exist. By implementing these changes, we
value, but growth for the sake
experience of the gospel has been
hope to see our teenagers grow into gospel
of the gospel is of immense
delivered and eaten up. It seems that
pacesetters. As a leadership team, we are
value. Growth for the sake of the
Redemption is certainly accomplishing
excited to announce some of the changes that
gospel means that, hopefully,
the mission of the church to see “the
will be taking place for the upcoming 2014-
we are reaching people with
fruit of the gospel, for the good of the
2015 school year. And we think that you will be
the message of Christ’s love for
world” grown in our midst-- and that is
pumped to participate in seeing these things
come to fruition as well!
With growth comes change. It is an
inevitable part of moving forward. As
the past two years has been in
we grow, we do not merely desire to
Given the current size of the youth group, and
Redemption, the youth ministry
make changes by making movements
the anticipation of more growth just around the
of RBC. Since the arrival of Gabe
aimlessly. Instead, we desire to move
bend, it’s become evident that Gabe needs an
and Rebekah Zepeda, we have
extra set of hands to help accomplish the work
JUNE 2014 \\ MOMENTUM 15
The Redemption Youth Art Fundraiser last month was a huge success! Many talented artists participated in
of directing and leading this ministry.
the exhibit while
After being approached by Pastor Bob
others came as
with an offer to consider co-directing
youth, my wife Jaimee and I took some
time to pray and think about it. I’m now
art and enjoy
officially on board and Gabe and I are
really excited for the year ahead!
support of our youth.
be encouraged to get involved in the
Students will be encouraged to bring
Redemption’s primary meeting time for
conversations, and all parents will be
non-Christian friends and to connect
worship through music and teaching.
welcomed to drop in. There will be
with friends in other RED Groups. It is
This will continue to be the case but will
food, fellowship, games, times for just
the hope of the youth leadership team
be taking on a slightly new appearance
that the communication and formulation
by dividing into Jr. and Sr. High for the
doing discipleship or outreach activities.
of all of these events will be done in such
teaching portion of Sunday mornings.
Students will be encouraged to bring
a way that allows parents to be more
Gabe will continue with the Sr. High
their friends. Leaders will be encouraged
well-informed and comfortable with the
and I will now be teaching the Jr. High
to get involved in their students’ lives: to
calendar and teenagers to have excited
curriculum. Our hope is that this minor
go to their sporting events, meet their
expectation for what’s to come. The next
tweak will help each and every teenager
families and friends, or to invite a few
thing on the docket: Summer Camp.
really grasp what he or she is learning on
kids after school to grab a slushie. We
Sunday mornings. During the summer,
are super excited about this change!
the group will continue to meet on
Red Groups will meet September –
If we are going to see the fruit of
Sunday mornings with the Jr. and Sr.
May. We will be starting with five groups
the gospel nurtured for the good of
and are actively seeking five homes that
the world, we need our teenagers to
would be willing to host weekly evening
become gospel pacesetters in their
meetings. If you are interested in serving
environments. We want our teenagers
RED GROUPS The
this way, or if you have any questions,
to genuinely experience Christ and as a
Redemption comes to our midweek
please contact me at davidmorse@
result move out in love towards others.
gathering. RED Groups will be replacing
We believe these steps, with your prayer
the large group Wednesday evening
and support, will help accomplish that
gathering at the church. The focus of
RED Groups will be on Relationships,
Several things will be on the event
As always, we want to be available to
Evangelism and Discipleship, providing
calendar each year, including a fall
you! So whether you are a parent of a
a small group environment to help form
and spring social, summer camp and a
Redemption teen, a part of the youth
deep friendships, apply the gospel and
hopefully a winter retreat! One of the
group, or considering Redeemer and
do life together. Think of Red Groups
new additions to the calendar is what we
have more questions about the youth
like super-charged Community Groups
are calling “RED 5.” Every month there’s
ministry or how you can assist us, please
with more adrenaline…and less gray
a fifth Wednesday, Redemption will
don’t hesitate to get in touch with Gabe
hair! They will be overseen by a youth
host a super dynamic, fun, high-energy
team leader and also led by a guy and
worship service at RBC for Grades 7-12.
com) or myself (davidmorse@redeemer-
girl from the youth. Host families will
It’ll look something like the current
Wednesday night meeting with singing, games, and a brief evangelistic message – only this time, there will be food, too! 16
MOMENTUM // JUNE 2014
TO OUR 2014 HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATING SENIORS! THESE STUDENTS, WHOSE FAMILIES ARE MEMBERS OF RBC, ARE RECEIVING THE BOOK “VALLEY OF VISION” (A BOOK OF PURITAN PRAYERS) AS A GIFT FROM REDEEMER IN HONOR OF THIS MILESTONE.
TOP TO BOTTOM JENNI BURR • ALLISON DECKERT NOAH GLENN ANDREA HEDSTROM • JACOB LYNN NICOLE LISKA • SARAH SULLIVAN ESTEBAN HUERTA* (NOT PICTURED)
MOMENTUM // JUNE 2014
TO BLESS & BE BLESSED KIDS’ CORNER
BY MELANIE LINK
1 Samuel 2:35 (ESV) // “And
I will raise up for myself a
Teaching Sunday School is a big responsibility
faithful priest, who shall do
according to what is in my
tremendous blessing! The time and energy
heart and in my mind. And I
spent on preparing and teaching not only
will build him a sure house,
benefits the children, but it also benefits the
and he shall go in and out
teacher in many ways. Teaching regularly
before my anointed forever.”
gives me the opportunity to establish deeper relationships with the kids as well as connect
NURSERY PRAYER FOCUS
with families, fellow teachers, and shepherds I
Pray that the children will
may not have otherwise meet. I’m also able to
accept God’s lordship over
learn as I teach. Preparing lessons each week
requires me to dig deeper into God’s Word.
respect those He has placed
I was drawn to be a teacher and stay
in authority over them.
motivated to serve because of my Sunday School experiences as a child. The Bible and
KIDS’ MERCY UPDATE
the gospel were not taught in my home,
leaving Sunday School as my only source of
Nursery was so happy to
learning. My prayer is that the kids I teach do
receive our cards for moms in
hear of the love of Jesus at home. But, I teach
crisis. Here are a few pictures
as if they’re not, knowing there could be a
of their facility that can serve
child experiencing what I did. If you’ve ever
up to 18 children, ages 0-6
considered teaching but feel as if it’s pushing
years old, on any given day.
you out of your comfort zone, I encourage you
Our June mercy offering will
to pray for courage and jump right in. You’ll be
continue to go to the crisis
a blessing AND be blessed!
JUNE 2014 \\ MOMENTUM 19
GOSPEL LIFE BLOG
MORE ENCOURAGING BLOG POSTS CAN BE FOUND AT REDEEMERBIBLECHURCH.COM/RESOURCES/BLOG Farewell Cranky Mom and Don’t Come Back // Gayle Glenn Whacked-Out in the Wilderness // Pastor Paul Freedom // Colleen Watson
BY REBECCA PEEL
e appreciate a good horse race in our family! It’s lots of fun to enjoy the Kentucky Derby each year with some festive traditions. We like the pomp and circumstance of the big race day, the
pretty dresses, luxurious hats and all the pageantry that goes along with the “most exciting two minutes in all of racing!” Ok, well maybe the big hats and dresses are more my thing, but we all like the anticipation leading up to the race and picking which horse we think will win. This year my daughter picked the winning horse and my son’s horse was way in the back. Once the race was over and the dust had settled, we all realized where we had fallen in the pack. Owen saw that he had lost and the tears began to flow, while Georgia realized she won and rejoiced and danced around, which resulted in louder and more passionate cries from Owen. As we comforted Owen and “high fived” Georgia, I felt so torn
MAJESTY & CRAZINESS BY PASTOR WARREN WATSON
s yours a small world? A few miles to work, a few to church. A few to get the kids to school, or dance or soccer. A few more to visit friends occasionally. Most of our lives are lived within a 25 mile radius of our home.
I’ve been thinking on the majesty of God of late. Like the
as a parent. Owen was hurting and we wanted to console him,
majesty described in Isaiah 40. Nations as a drop in a bucket,
as well as take the opportunity to teach him about losing. On
islands like fine dust, men and women like grass; here today,
the other hand Georgia had won and we wanted to celebrate
gone tomorrow. But God, he alone is greater than them all, he
with her, while also teaching her to be a “considerate winner.”
alone created them.
I could see myself in Owen, how I want to cry when I don’t get
When I think on God’s majesty, I feel small…. but in a good
my way, when I don’t win or succeed. I could also see myself so
way. This God of ours, so powerful, mighty and full of majesty,
clearly in Georgia, who was boasting in a win that she truly had
loves me….really loves me, on the small speck of land where I
nothing to do with, but that brought her joy and excitement,
live and love and struggle for the majority of my life.
even if it was fleeting.
When I meditate on this, many of my problems and my
It got me to thinking -- Where do I find my joy? Is it in Christ?
struggles begin to fade because a better perspective is gained.
No, not always and not nearly enough. I continually fail and
He was before me, is now, and will ever be. That’s majesty, and
bow down to false gods and idols in my life. It’s there that I find
that is AWESOME! And rather than treating me like a worthless
myself crying because the joy is fleeting. It’s only in the love of
speck of dust, especially a speck that has sinned against this
my Father that I know the joy is unceasing. It is joy in the truest
wonderful majesty, God has made himself small, like me and
of forms no matter what earthly circumstances are going on in
humbled himself, and died for my sin! That’s crazy! Like Francis
Chan says “That’s crazy love”.
And think on this, when we believe this craziness, as in takeOur mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. - Psalm 126:2-3 20 MOMENTUM // JUNE 2014
it-into-our-heart belief, we get to enjoy his majesty for all of eternity...That’s just crazy, that’s just wonderfully crazy! //RBC
EXPERIENCE THE MOVEMENT OF GOSPEL LIFE IN A WHOLE NEW WAY. Introducing Momentum magazine digital edition. The complete issue is available every month on tablet or mobile. Read more at ISSUU.COM/REDEEMERBIBLECHURCH
CHURCH PICNIC JOIN US FOR FOOD, FUN + FELLOWSHIP DETAILS ON BACK COVER!
SUNDAY, JUNE 22ND FOLLOWING 11 AM SERVICE AT REDEEMER BIBLE CHURCH
TAG YOUR I had a l w a y s wanted
be a part of some sort of discipleship and thought that
in discipleship with an older woman; yet, discipleship is not limited to an older, wiser woman teaching a younger woman. It’s about sharing your life with another, letting her see you at your weakest and at your strongest. It’s about being real with one another and helping each other see we do not need to be Wonder Woman and always have it together. It’s more encouraging to women to see we are all a mess and knowing that’s okay because it helps us see our need to run to Jesus. I was asked to disciple Lydia Klein whom I had never met
and it was a little scary. I was thinking, “I do not even know this woman. What if I screw her up?” Oh, how arrogant I was to think that I was more powerful than God. Needless to say it has been amazing! I have fallen so in love with this girl. She is such a beautiful picture of God’s grace and He has grown us both so much. I have seen the love for the gospel deepen within both of us through our life on life discipleship. If you have ever thought about being discipled or discipling someone else, do it! You will not regret it, and you will see how amazing our Father is and how He is at work in your life! It is glorious! //RBC IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE A PART OF THE DISCIPLESHIP MINISTRY PLEASE CONTACT: Women: Tammy Hoyt at email@example.com Men: Mark Suchta at firstname.lastname@example.org WANT TO SHARE? Have you been blessed by being in a discipleship relationship? Do you have a story of how the gospel has changed your life because of this connection? If so, we want to hear from you! Each month Momentum will be highlighting a life-on-life testimony from someone whose life has been impacted for the gospel by another. If you are interested in sharing your experience with the greater RBC family, please email Lorie Schnell at email@example.com. 22
MOMENTUM // JUNE 2014
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @RBCMNLIFE
Christian education that engages your mind, challenges your heart, and transforms the way you live.
RBC Distinctives Class July 16th // Register by July 13th Wed: 7:00 – 10:00 PM Local churches in a community are like the individual members of the body of Christ – full of wonderful diversity. This means that each church has its own set of distinctives. This course presents an overview of Redeemer’s vision, values, doctrine, mission, plan, and structure along with help for getting involved in the ministries of RBC.
Sign up today! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
OWNERSHIP & THE GOSPEL FINANCE REPORT
BY PASTOR PAUL BURR
hen I was at Ford Motor Co. we had a stock-
MAY 2014 - YTD
BY THE NUMBERS GENERAL GIVING FUND BASE FORECAST
OPERATING EXPENSES | $ 729,723 GIVING | $ 625,038 FORECAST | $ 705,337
savings program by which employees could buy into the company through the purchase of stock. In some ways it was putting all your eggs in one
basket, yet there is something healthy when you feel a sense of ownership
EXPANDING OUR GOSPEL VISION
in what you do. There is a big difference between ownership and renting. Think back on the apartments you have rented. When something went wrong did you fix
it? Did you paint the apartment? Probably not because you did not own the place. But when you buy a house or a condo, you necessarily buy into it – this is ownership. How do we inspire ownership at RBC? Not by programs, infomercials, or
high pressure tactics. We inspire people to the mission of God by lifting up Jesus. The bigger Jesus looks, the more inspiring His mission is to us. Think about Isaiah when he saw the King on heaven’s throne – he had ownership in the mission after that. This ownership in RBC includes many things: serving, caring for each other, and living out the one anothers of Scripture. It also includes giving, some kind of financial commitment, a willingness to set aside our wants to pursue Jesus’ kingdom. It is not a one-size-fits-all commitment, but a prayerful sense of ownership in the vision and mission of RBC. As we continue to grow and reach more people with the gospel, let’s ask each other, do we demonstrate ownership in our giving as a response to the grace Jesus has shown to us? To learn more or if you have comments, contact Pastor Paul at paulburr@ redeemerbiblechurch.com.
MOMENTUM // JUNE 2014
EXTRA COMMITMENTS | $ 41,427 // 1.9 % AWAITING | $ 180,888 // 8.3 % RECEIVED | $ 1,998,112 // 91.7 %
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11... for 50–200 people. In larger churches, however, the internal groupings need to be smaller, because people are cared for by lay shepherds, each of whom can care for 10–20 people if given proper supervision and support. Thus in a larger church, the more small groups you have per 100 people in attendance, the better cared for people are and the faster the church grows. EMPHASIS ON VISION AND STRENGTHS The larger the church, the more it tends to concentrate on doing fewer things well. Smaller churches are generalists and feel the need to do everything. This comes from the power of the individual in a small church. If any member wants the church to address some issue, then the church makes an effort in order to please him or her. The larger church, however, identifies and concentrates on approximately three or four major things and works to do them extremely well, despite calls for new emphases. Further, the larger the church, the more a distinctive vision becomes important to its members. The reason for being in a smaller church is relationships. The reason for putting up with all the changes and difficulties of a larger church is to get mission done. People join a larger church because of the vision—so the particular mission needs to be clear. The larger the church, the more it develops its own mission outreach rather than supporting already existing programs. Smaller churches tend to support denominational mission causes and contribute to existing para-church ministries. Leaders and members of larger churches feel more personally accountable to God for the kingdom mandate and seek to either start their own mission ministries or to form partnerships in which there is more direct accountability of the mission agency to the church. Consequently, the larger the church, the more its lay leaders need to be screened for agreement on vision and philosophy of ministry, not simply for doctrinal and moral standards. In smaller churches, people are eligible for leadership on the basis of membership tenure and faithfulness. In larger churches, where a distinctive mission and vision are more important, it is important to enlist without apology leaders who share a common philosophy of ministry with the staff and other leaders.
SPECIFIC SIZE CATEGORIES HOUSE CHURCH: UP TO 40 ATTENDANCE CHARACTER + The house church is often called a “storefront church” in urban areas and a “country church” in rural areas. + It operates essentially as an extended small group. It is a highly relational church in which everyone knows everyone else intimately. + Lay leaders are extremely powerful and they emerge relationally—they are not appointed or elected. They are usually the people who have been at the church the longest and have devoted the most time and money to the work.
+ Decision making is democratic and informal and requires complete consensus. Decisions are made by informal relational process. If any member is unhappy with a course of action, it is not taken by the church. + Communication is by word of mouth, and information moves very swiftly through the whole membership. + The pastor is often a “tent-maker” and does church ministry part time, though once a church has at least ten families who tithe, it can support a full-time minister. The minister’s main job is shepherding, not leading or preaching. HOW IT GROWS House churches grow in the most organic possible way— through attraction to their warmth, relationships, and people. New people are simply invited and continue to come because they are befriended. There is no “program” of outreach. CROSSING THE THRESHOLD TO THE NEXT SIZE CATEGORY The house church, like any small group, gets to saturation rather quickly. Once it gets to 40+ people, the intense face-to-face relationships become impossible to maintain. It then faces a choice: either multiplying off another house-church or growing out of the “house-church dynamics” into the next size category, the small church. If it does not do either, evangelism becomes essentially impossible. The fellowship itself then can easily become ingrown and stagnant—somewhat stifling, sometimes legalistic. An ongoing problem for the stand-alone church of this size is the low quality of ministry to specific groups like children, youth, and singles. If it opts to multiply into another house church, the two (and eventually several) house churches can form an association and do things like youth ministry together. They can also meet for joint worship services periodically. If it opts to grow out of the house-church size into a small church, it needs to prepare its people to do this by acknowledging the losses of intimacy, spontaneity, and informality and agreeing to bear these as a cost of mission, of opening its ranks to new people. This has to be a consensus group decision, to honor the dynamics of the house church even as it opts to change those dynamics. SMALL CHURCH: 40–200 ATTENDANCE CHARACTER + The range of this category goes from churches that are barely out of the house-church stage up to churches that are ready for multiple staff. But they all share the same basic characteristics. + While the relational dynamics are now less intense, there is still a strong expectation that every member must have a face-to-face relationship with every other member. + And while there are now appointed and elected leaders, the informal leadership system remains extremely strong. There are several laypeople—regardless of their official status—who are “opinion leaders.” If they don’t approve of new measures the rest of the members will not support the changes. JUNE 2014 \\ MOMENTUM 25
+ Communication is still informal, mostly word of mouth, and relatively swift. + The pastor is still primarily a shepherd. While in a larger
• As a general rule, multiplying options generate a growth spurt. The single best way to increase attendance is to multiply Sunday services. Two services will immediately
church people will let you pastor them if you are a good
draw more people than one service did. Four Sunday
preacher, in a smaller church the reverse is true: people will
school electives will generally draw more people than
listen to your sermons if you are a good pastor.
two Sunday school electives. Why? Because when you
+ Effective, loving shepherding of every member is the driving force of ministry—not leadership or even speaking
give people more options, more people opt! + Second change—a willingness to pay the cost of an
ability. A pastor who says, “I shouldn’t have to shepherd
additional primary ministry staff person.
every member, I’ve delegated that to my elders or small
• It is a sociological fact that a full-time minister cannot
group leaders,” is trying to practice large-church dynamics
personally shepherd more than about 150–200
in a small-church environment.
people. At some point any pastor will lose the ability
+ However, as the congregation grows the pastor of a small church will feel more and more need for administrative leadership skills. Small churches do not require much in the
to personally visit, stay in touch, and be reasonably available to all the people of a growing congregation. • The minister’s span of pastoral care can be stretched with
way of vision casting or strategizing, but they do eventually
part-time or full-time specialty or administrative staff,
present a need for program planning, mobilization of
such as children’s workers, secretaries, administrators,
volunteers, and other administrative tasks.
and musicians,. There are variations to this figure
+ Changes are still processed relationally and informally by
depending on the minister’s personality and energy
the whole congregation, not just the leaders. But since the
level and the local culture. For example, a more white-
congregation is larger, decisions take a longer time than
collar community tends to demand far more specialized
in either the house church or the medium-sized church.
programs than does a working-class community, and
Ultimately, however, change in a small church happens
therefore you may find in such a place that you need
from the bottom up through key lay leaders. No major
a full-time ministry staff person for every 100–150 in
changes can be made unless you get at least one of these
people to be an ally and an advocate for them.
• Eventually that second ministry staff person must be hired. This is commonly another ordained pastor, but
HOW IT GROWS Like house churches, small churches grow through newcomers’
it could be a layperson who is a counselor, overseer of small groups, or supervisor of programs who does a
attraction to the relationships in the congregation. However,
lot of shepherding work and teaching. It is important
in the small church it can also be a personal relationship to
to be sure that this second person really can grow the
the pastor that is the primary attraction for a new person. The
church and, practically speaking, grow the giving that
pastor can begin two or three new ministries, classes, or groups,
will pay his or her salary. So, for example, it may not be
as long as he has secured the backing or participation of one
best to have the second ministry staff person be a youth
key informal leader. Together they can begin a new activity that
minister; it would be better to hire a small group minister
will bring many new people into the church.
or a minister of evangelism and outreach. Or, if the senior minister is excellent at outreach, the second staff worker
CROSSING THE THRESHOLD TO THE NEXT SIZE CATEGORY This church may eventually face the famous “200 barrier.” To make room for more than 200 people in a church takes a significant commitment to some or all of the following changes. + First change—multiplication options. • There must be a willingness to question the unwritten policy that every voting member should have a face-toface relationship with every other member. • When a church gets to the place where the older members begin to realize that there are members whom
of the first minister and works on the church’s internal growth. Initial staffing must be for growth. • The tension that often arises in a church this size is that the church is big enough that the pastor begins to feel burned out but is not yet big enough to financially support a second minister. + Third change—a willingness to let power shift away from the laity and even lay leaders to the staff. • As you get to this size barrier, the old approach to
they barely know or don’t know at all, the complaint
decision making, which required that everyone to come
may be voiced in a tone of moral authority: “This church
to a consensus, becomes far too slow and unwieldy. In
is getting too big.” Another form of this complaint is
the consensus model of decision making, it is considered
that the church is getting “impersonal.” Essentially, this
impossible to proceed with a change if any member is
attitude must change if newcomers are to be welcomed.
strongly opposed, especially if it appears that the change
• Often the key change that a congregation must allow is a move to multiplying options such as more than one
could be a pastor/counselor who complements the gifts
would actually result in some people’s leaving the church. • As a church nears the 200 barrier, there is almost always
Sunday service, or putting more emphasis on small group
someone who experiences the concomitant changes as a
ministry than on having one unified corporate prayer
loss. Therefore no changes will ever occur unless many of
the decisions that used to involve the whole membership
MOMENTUM // JUNE 2014
now shift to the leaders and staff. But it is not just that
MEDIUM-SIZED CHURCH, 200–450 ATTENDANCE
the laity must cede power to the leaders. Long-time lay
leaders must also cede power to the staff and volunteer leaders. • In a smaller church the lay leaders often know more
+ In smaller churches, each member is acquainted with the entire membership of the church. The primary circle of belonging is the church as a whole. But in the medium-
about the members than the pastor does. The lay leaders
sized church, the primary circle of belonging is usually
have been there longer and thus have more knowledge
a specific affinity class or program. Men’s and women’s
of the past, more trust from the members, and more
ministries, the choir, the couples’ class, the evening worship
knowledge of the members’ abilities, capacities, interests,
team, the local prison ministry, the meals-on-wheels
ministry—all of these are possible circles of belonging
• Once a church gets beyond 200, however, the staff tends to know more about the church members than the lay leaders do, and increasingly the new members in
that make the church fly. Each of these subgroups is approximately the size of the house church, 10–40 people. + Leadership functions differently in the medium-sized
particular take their cues from the pastor(s) rather than
from the lay leaders.
• First, since the medium-sized church has far more
• The lay officers’ board or elders will no longer be able to sign off on absolutely everything and will have to let the staff and individual volunteer leaders make many decisions on their own. + Fourth change—a willingness to become more formal and deliberate in assimilation and communication. • For a church to move beyond this barrier it can no longer assume that communication and the assimilation of
complexity, the leaders must represent the various constituencies in the church (e.g., the older people, the young families). • Second, there is too much work to be handled by a small board. There are now influential leadership teams or committees, such as the missions committee or the music/worship committee, that have significant power. • Third, because of the two factors above, leaders begin
newcomers will happen “naturally,” without any planning.
to be chosen less on the basis of length of tenure and
Communication will have to become more deliberate
strength of personality and more on the basis of skills
instead of by word of mouth alone. Newcomers will have to be folded in more intentionally. For example,
and giftedness. • Fourth, the role of the lay officers or board begins to
every new family could be assigned a “sponsor” for six
change. In the smaller church, the officers basically
months—a member family who invites the new family
oversee the pastor and staff, giving or withholding
over to their home, brings them to a new members’ class,
permission for various proposals. The pastor and staff
and so on.
then do the ministry. In the medium-sized church, the
+ Fifth change—the ability and willingness of both the
officers begin to do more of the ministry themselves,
pastor and the people for the pastor to do shepherding a
in partnership with the staff. Volunteer ministry leaders
bit less and leading a bit more.
often rise up and become the decision-making leaders.
• The next-size church requires a bit more vision casting
Chairs of influential committees sit on the official board.
and strategizing and a lot more administrative know-
+ As noted above, the senior minister shifts somewhat from
how. The pastor of the medium-sized church will have
being a shepherd toward becoming a “rancher.” Rather
to spend much more time recruiting and supervising
than doing all of the ministry himself, he becomes a trainer
volunteers and programs to do ministry that in the
and organizer of laypeople doing ministry. He also must be
smaller church he would have done himself. This takes
adept at training, supporting, and supervising ministry and
administrative skills of planning, delegating, supervising,
administrative staff. At the medium-sized church level, this
and organizing. • In this next-size church the pastor is simply less available
requires significant administrative skills. + While in the smaller church change and decisions come
and accessible to every member. Even with the hiring of
from the bottom up through key laypeople, in the medium-
additional ministry staff, every member will not be able
sized church change happens through key committees
to have the same access to the senior pastor as he or she
and teams. Ordinarily the official board or session in the
did before. Both the people and the senior minister need
medium-sized church is inherently conservative. They
to acknowledge and accept this cost.
feel very responsible and do not want to offend any
+ Sixth change—considering the option of moving to a new
constituents they believe they represent. Therefore change
space and facilities.
is usually driven by forward-thinking committees such as
• Will such a move be crucial to breaking the next growth
the missions committee or the evangelism committee.
barrier? Sometimes, but not usually. Usually what is
These can be very effective in persuading the congregation
needed is planning multiple worship services, staffing
to try new things.
for growth, and adjusting attitudes and expectations in preparation for a new size culture.
HOW IT GROWS As noted earlier, smaller churches grow mainly through pastor-initiated groups, classes, and ministries. The mediumJUNE 2014 \\ MOMENTUM 27
sized church will also grow as it multiplies classes, groups,
+ In the small church, the board gave or withheld permission
services, and ministries, but the key to medium-sized growth is
to the pastor(s), who did the ministry. In the medium-sized
improving the quality of the ministries and their effectiveness to
church, the board is made up of lay leaders and committee
meet real needs. The small church can accommodate amateurish
chairs who share the ministry work with the pastors and
quality because the key attraction is its intimacy and family-
staff. But in the large church, the board must work with
like warmth. But the medium-sized church’s ministries must
the senior minister to set overall vision and goals and then
be different. Classes really must be great learning experiences.
to evaluate the overall ministry. Unlike the small church
Music must meet aesthetic needs. Preaching must inform and
board, they don’t oversee all the staff—they let the senior
minister do that. Unlike the medium church board, they may not necessarily be the lay leaders of ministry. Instead
CROSSING THE THRESHOLD TO THE NEXT SIZE CATEGORY I have said that the small church crosses the 200 barrier
they oversee how the church and ministries are doing as a whole.
through (1) multiplying options, (2) going to multiple staff,
+ In the large church, the roles of individual staff members
(3) shifting decision-making power away from the whole
become increasingly specialized, and that also goes for
membership, (4) becoming more formal and deliberate in
the role of the senior minister. He must concentrate more
assimilation, and (5) moving the pastor away from shepherding
and more on (a) preaching and (b) vision casting and
everyone to being more of an organizer/administrator. You can
strategizing. He must let go of many or most administrative
grow beyond 200 without making all of these five changes; in fact, most churches do. Often churches grow past 200 while
tasks; otherwise he becomes a bottleneck. + While in the small church change and decisions happen
holding on to one or more of the smaller-church attitudes. For
from the bottom up through powerful lay individuals, and
example, if the senior minister is multi-gifted and energetic, he
in the medium-sized church they come from the boards
can take care of the organizational/administrative work and
and committees, in the large church they happen “top
still have time to visit every member of his church. Or perhaps
down” from staff and key lay leaders.
new staff persons are added but the decision-making is still done on a whole-congregation consensus model. But to break
HOW IT GROWS
400, you must firmly break the old habits in all five areas. As for
The small church grows mainly through new groups, classes,
the sixth change—moving to new space and facilities—this is
and ministries initiated by the pastor, sometimes with the help
usually needed for a medium-sized church to break the growth
of an ally. I call this the “backyard approach,” since it grows
barrier, but not always.
from informal new fellowship circles. The medium-sized church grows mainly through ministries that effectively target “felt
LARGE CHURCH, 400–800 ATTENDANCE
needs” of various groups such as youth, seniors, young married
couples, and “seekers.” I call this the “side-door approach,”
+ We have seen that in the small church, the primary circle of
since it brings in various people groups from your city or
belonging is the entire church body. In the medium-sized
neighborhood by addressing their felt needs. The large church,
church, the primary circle is the affinity class or ministry
however, grows through a “front-door” approach. The key to its
group, which is usually 10–40 in size. However, in the large
growth is what happens in the worship services— the quality of
church the primary circle of belonging becomes the small
the preaching, the transcendence of the worship experience,
group fellowship. This is different from the affinity class or
and so on.
ministry in the following ways: • It is usually smaller—as small as 4 and no bigger than 15. • It is more of a “miniature church” than is the affinity class or ministry. Affinity classes or ministries are specialty programs, focusing only on learning or worship music
The same five changes mentioned before need to be taken to the next level. + First change—multiplying options. Up to the “800 barrier,”
or ministry to the poor and so on. The small group
churches can still get away with having a mediocre or
fellowship does Bible study, fellowship, worship, and
poor small-group system. The people may still be getting
shepherded mainly through larger programs, affinity
+ Leadership also functions differently in the large church. In
classes, and groups that are run by staff people directly.
the small church, leaders were selected for their tenure; in
But if God keeps sending you new people, so that you are
the medium-sized church, for their skills and maturity. Both
bumping up against the 800 barrier, you must have the
of these are still very desirable! But in the large church,
majority of your members and adherents in small groups
these qualities must be combined with a commitment
that are very well run and that do pastoral care, not just
to the church’s distinct vision and mission. The larger
Bible study. Multiple services were more important when
the church becomes, the more it develops certain key
addressing the 200 or 400 barrier, but small group life is
ministries and strengths that it emphasizes, and the common vision is an important reason that members join.
CROSSING THE THRESHOLD TO THE NEXT SIZE CATEGORY
the key to navigating this change. + Second change—multiplying staff. Up to the “800
So leaders need to be screened for vision as well as other
barrier” churches can still get away with a small staff of
generalists, but after the 800 barrier there must be much
MOMENTUM // JUNE 2014
more specialization. Staff members must be increasingly
+ The very large church also has greater potential for
gifted, and not simply workers, nor even leaders of
developing certain qualities and ministries:
workers, but leaders of leaders. They must be fairly mature,
• Being multicultural. A larger staff can be multi-
independent, and able to attract and supervise others.
ethnic (while a single staff/pastor usually cannot). A
+ Third change—shifting decision-making power. Up to
larger church with multiple services, classes, or even
the “800 barrier,” decision-making power was becoming
“congregations” can encompass a greater variety of
more centralized—migrating from the periphery (the whole
interests and sensibilities.
membership or the whole lay board) to the center (the
• Creating a full-service family support system. Families
staff and eventually the senior staff). Now the decision-
often need a variety of classes or groups for children
making power must become more decen¬tralized—
in different age groups as well as counseling services,
migrating out away from the senior staff and pastor to the
recreational opportunities, and so on. Larger churches
individual staff and their leadership teams. As noted above, the staff must become increasingly competent and must
often attract families for that reason. • Doing church planting. Larger churches, in general, are
be given more authority to make decisions in their area
better at church planting than are either denomi¬national
without having to run everything through the senior staff
agencies or smaller churches.1
or lay board. + Fourth change—becoming more formal and deliberate in assimilation. Assimilation, discipline, and incorporation of newcomers must become even more well organized, highly detailed, and supervised. + Fifth—adapting the senior pastor’s role. The pastor
• Carrying out faith-based holistic ministries. Larger churches have a bigger pool of volunteers, finances, and expertise for carrying these out. • “Research and development” for the broader church. Again, the larger church is usually a good place for new curriculum, ministry structures, and the like to be
becomes even less accessible to do individual shepherding
formulated and tested. These can all be done more
and concentrates even more on preaching, large group
effectively by a large church than by denominations,
teaching, vision casting, and strategizing.
smaller churches, or parachurch ministries.
THE VERY LARGE CHURCH CHARACTER + The very large church has a missional focus. In general, smaller churches give members a greater voice (see below), and thus the concerns and interests of members and insiders tend to trump those of outsiders. On the other hand, the larger church gives the staff and executive leaders a greater voice. The more staff-driven a church is,
ONE OF THE MOST COMMON REASONS FOR PASTORAL LEADERSHIP MISTAKES IS BLINDNESS TO THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHURCH SIZE.
the more likely it is to concentrate on ministries that will reach nonmembers and that don’t directly benefit its own constituents—that is, church planting, mercy and justice ministries, and other new services and programs. + The very large church has several traits that attract seekers
+ Of course the very large church has disadvantages as well: • Commuting longer distances can undermine mission. Very large churches can become famous and attract
and young adults in particular:
Christians from longer and longer distances, who cannot
• Excellence. Those with no obligation to go to church
bring non-Christians from their neighborhoods. Soon the
based on kinship, tradition, ethnicity, or local history are
congregation doesn’t look like the neighborhood and
more likely to attend where the quality of arts, teaching,
can’t reach its own geographic community. However, this
children’s programs, and so on is very high.
is somewhat offset by the mission advantages and can
• Choices. Contemporary people are used to having options when it comes to the schedule or type of worship, learning, support services, and the like. • Openness to change. Generally, newcomers and younger
be further offset by (a) church planting and (b) staying relentlessly oriented toward evangelism and outreach. • Commuting longer distances undermines community/ fellowship and discipleship. Christians coming from
people have a much greater tolerance for the constant
longer distances are less likely to be discipled and
changes and fluidity of a large church, while older
plugged in to real Christian community. The person you
people, long-term members, and families are more
meet in a Sunday service is less and less likely to be
desirous of stability.
someone who lives near you, so natural connections and
• Low pressure. Seekers are glad to come into a church and not have their presence noticed immediately. The great majority of inquirers and seekers are grateful for the ease with which they can visit a large church without
friendships do not develop. This can be somewhat offset by an effective small-group system that unites people by interest or region. • Diminished communication and involvement. “A common
immediately feeling pressured to make a decision or join
pattern is for a large church to outgrow its internal
communication system and plateau . . . as many people JUNE 2014 \\ MOMENTUM 29
feel a loss of the sense of belonging, and eventually [it declines] numerically.”2 People are no longer sure whom to talk to about things: in a smaller church, the staff and
A FEW MORE SUGGESTIONS REGARDING VERY LARGE CHURCHES BE NONJUDGMENTAL
elders know everything, but in a very large church, a
A common problem in churches is that people attach a moral
given staff member may know nothing at all about what
significance to their ideal size culture. They don’t see a large-
is going on outside his or her ministry. The long list of
church size culture as “different” but as “bad.” For example,
staff and ministries is overwhelming. No one feels they
some members may feel that a very large church is an
can get information quickly; no one feels they know how
“unfriendly” or “uncaring” church because they can’t get the
to begin to get involved. This can be offset by continually
senior pastor on the phone personally. However, if everyone in
upgrading your communication system. This becomes
a church of 3,000 could get the pastor on the phone anytime
extraordinarily important in a very large congregation. • Displacement. People who joined when the church was
they wanted, it would not lead to a more caring church at all. He could not possibly respond to all their needs. (On the other
smaller may feel a great sense of loss and may have
hand, if a pastor in a church of 150 can never be gotten on the
trouble adjusting to the new size culture. Many of them
phone, he is imposing a larger size culture in a smaller church,
will mourn the loss of feeling personally connected to
and that will lead to disaster.)
events, decision making, and the head pastor. Some
Because a very large church is marked by change, the
of these “old-timers” will sadly leave, and their leaving
overall vision may stay the same, but few or no programs
will sadden those who remain in the church. This can
or practices are sacrosanct. Because it is complex, it is not
be offset by giving old-timers extra deference and
immediately obvious whom to talk to or who needs to be in
consideration, understanding the changes they’ve been
on a given decision; many new events may have unforeseen
through, and not making them feel guilty for wanting
consequences for other programs. Because there is a need for
a different or smaller church. Fortunately, this problem
greater formality, plans have to be written down and carefully
eventually lessens! People who joined a church when it
executed, rather than worked out face to face and relationally.
had 1,500 members will find that not much has changed
In a very large church, all of these traits must be considered
when it reaches 4,000.
the inevitable cost of ministry. There should be little hand-
• Complexity, change, and formality. Largeness brings
wringing and no moral significance attached to these traits
(a) complexity instead of simplicity, (b) change instead
(calling change “instability,” formality “being impersonal,” etc.).
of predictability, and (c) the need for formal rather than
Different cultures are just that—different, not inferior.
informal communication and decision making. However, many long-time Christians and families value simplicity,
FORM SMALLER DECISION-MAKING BODIES
predictability, and informality, and even see them as
In general, the larger the church, the fewer people should be
more valuable from a spiritual standpoint. The larger
in on each decision. Why? The larger the church, the more
the church, the more the former three factors grow, and
diversity of views. If the older processes are followed, decisions
many people simply won’t stand for them.
take longer and longer to be made, and they result in watered-
• Succession. The bigger a church, the more the church is
down compromises. As a church gets larger it must entrust
identified with the senior pastor. Why? (a) He becomes
decision making to fewer and fewer people just to maintain the
the only identifiable leader among a large number of
same level of progress, decisiveness, and intentionality it had
staff and leaders of whom the average member cannot
when it was smaller. Many Christians consider the size culture
keep track. (b) Churches don’t grow large without a
of a very large church to be by definition undemocratic or
leader who is unusually good in articulating vision. This
unaccountable. This is one reason that many churches never
articulation then becomes the key to the whole church.
get very large, or shrink again once they do.
That kind of giftedness is distinctive and is much less replaceable even than good preaching. This leads to the
ALLOW THE DECENTRALIZATION OF POWER
Achilles’ heel of the church—continuity and succession.
Another mark of a very large church, especially once it surpasses
How does the pastor retire without people feeling the
about 1,800 members, is that the “hub and spokes” structure,
church has died? One plan is to divide the church with
in which the senior pastor serves as the captain or “hub” and
each new site having its own senior pastor. Lyle Schaller
his staff are the “spokes,” becomes obsolete. Instead of being
believes, however, that the successors need to be people
a team under the senior pastor, the staff becomes a team of
who have been on staff for a good while, not outsiders.
teams. The power of directors and clusters of directors grows greatly. The church has become too complex for the senior
HOW IT GROWS
pastor to supervise directors closely, and power is shifted to
Basically, a very large church continues to grow only if the
specific departments. This has two consequences. On the one
advantages described are exploited while the disad-vantages
hand, it means that staff leaders have more decision-making
described are resisted and minimized.
power for their own area. Other staff directors and even the senior pastor have less information and ability to second-guess them or interfere. This happens increasingly as a church gets
30 MOMENTUM // JUNE 2014
larger. On the other hand, it means staff cannot expect to
of trying to do it all will lead to burnout. The senior pastor, the
receive as much mentoring, instruction, and rescuing from the
staff and ministry leaders, and the congregation must allow this
executive staff as they did when the church was smaller.
transition to happen.
BRING ON MORE SPECIALIZED, COMPETENT STAFF
WORKERS WHO UNDERSTAND THE VISION
Schaller shows that the very large church is more accessible
Studies show that churches of fewer than 800 members are
and capable of reaching young people, single people, the
staffed primarily with seminary-trained ministers, but the larger a
unchurched, and seekers than smaller churches are. He then
church gets, the fewer trained ministers are on staff. Why is this?
poses a question: If the need for very large churches is so great,
First, the larger church needs specialists in counseling, music,
why are there so few? Why don’t more churches (a) allow the
finance, social work, and childhood development— whereas
senior pastor to become less accessible, (b) allow the staff to
seminaries train generalists. Very large churches do not need
have more power than the board, (c) allow a small body of
theologically trained people to learn a specialty so much as
executive staff to have more decision-making power than the
they need specialists who can be theologically trained.
larger staff or congregation, or (d) allow directors more power
Second, the very large church cannot afford to bring on a
to hire competent workers and release generalists? His main
newcomer with a steep learning curve as director of a large
answer is that the key to the very large church culture is trust.
ministry. In a church of 500, you may have a youth ministry of
In smaller churches, suspicious people are much happier. Every
30 kids, so you can hire a young person out of seminary to be
decision goes through a process of consensus that is accessible
the youth pastor. But in a very large church there may be 300
to any member. Any minority that is unhappy with something
youth—so the staff director has to be very competent from the
can block it. The larger the church gets, however, the more and
start. The larger a church gets, the more competent the staff
more the congregation has to trust the staff, and especially the
needs to be. The call to the staff changes from “Do what I tell
senior pastor. Though the staff (and the senior pastor) must do
you” to “Go out and make things happen.” Resourcefulness and
everything they can to be open to criticism, to be relationally
creativity become more and more important. The staff often
available, and to communicate with people in a way that makes
need to be able to inspire followers and to find creative ways
them feel included and informed, ultimately a very large church
to bring something out of nothing. They must move from being
runs on trust.
leaders to being leaders of leaders. Third, the larger the church gets, the more distinctive its vision is. It has a highly honed and carefully balanced set of emphases and styles—its own “voice.” People who are trained theologically before coming to staff inevitably come in with attitudes and assumptions that are at variance with the church’s vision. They may also feel superior to other staff people who are not theologically trained or may underestimate their own ignorance of the church’s specific context. The larger the church, then, the more important it is to raise and train leaders from within. This means that staff coming from outside need thorough training in the very large church’s history, values, culture, and so on, and staff coming from within should be supported heavily for continued theological education. CHANGE THE SENIOR PASTOR’S ROLE A very key and very visible part of the large size culture is the changed role of the senior pastor. As stated earlier, in a very large church the preacher cannot be the people’s pastor. The senior pastor must move from an emphasis on doing the work of ministry (teaching, pastoring, administering) to
delegating this work so that he can concentrate on vision
casting and general preaching. Many churches and ministers
redeemercitytocity.com, for a more in-depth discussion of
never allow this to happen; indeed they believe it is wrong to
make such a shift. While the senior pastor must not become
a CEO and stop doing traditional ministry altogether, he must
See Timothy Keller, “Why Plant Churches?” (2002),
Lyle Schaller, The Very Large Church (Nashville: Abingdon,
not try to do pastoral care or provide oversight for the church at large either. That responsibility must go to others. This is
Copyright © 2006 by Timothy Keller, © 2010 by Redeemer
undoubtedly difficult; the senior pastor will have to live with
City to City. This article first appeared in The Movement
guilt feelings over it all the time. It’s a burden he must be willing
Newsletter, and was reprinted in the Spring 2008 edition of
to bear, with the help of the gospel. Otherwise the pressures
Cutting Edge magazine, Vineyard USA. JUNE 2014 \\ MOMENTUM
Fri & Sat JUNE 20 - 21ST
THE LORD’S TABLE
A-F pasta salad/lettuce salad
Sunday JUNE 22ND
6 PM | WORSHIP CENTER
PIZZA PIZZA FUNDRAISER
Join us this evening as we
7-10 PM, 9 AM - 12 PM |
ACTIVITIES: There will be
celebrate Christ’s work
Don’t miss out on this annual
games and activities for the
on our behalf through
Mark your calendars, spread
RBC tradition! Come enjoy a
whole family! Face paintings,
communion. There will be
the word, and come let
time to fellowship, play, and
Frizbee, tic tac toe, croquet,
several baptisms and we
your taste buds dance upon
fill up on some BBQ with
volleyball, a dunk tank and
will be taking our monthly
devouring a Pagano & Pullis
your church family. Bring a
so much more!
Mercy offering. Don’t forget
signature NJ/NY style pizza!
dish to share based on your
to stick around for a time of
Like the art show last month,
last name, chairs or blankets
Please keep your cars parked
fellowship and sweet treats
all proceeds will help offset
to sit on and join us after the
in the church parking lot
the cost of summer camp for
and bring chairs or picnic
FOOD: RBC will provide
blankets and a cooler if you
hamburgers & hot dogs as
want. We are also looking
well as water & lemonade.
for volunteers to help with
Please bring the following
grilling, setting up tables
based on the first letter of
and other activities as well
your last name:
as clean-up. Please contact
12:30 PM | MINISTRIES
our youth. Place your order and get more details at: http://goo.gl/PfU0Il.
N-S veggie/side dish T-Z dessert.
email@example.com to volunteer.
GATHERED WORSHIP | 9 & 11 AM REDEMPTION | Youth SS 9 AM THE LORD’S TABLE | 6:00 PM
8 GATHERED WORSHIP | 9 & 11 AM REDEMPTION | Youth SS 9 AM
YOUTH // PIZZA PIZZA FUNDRAISER Friday TOGO, Saturday DINE IN. Visit: http://goo.gl/PfU0Il for more details.
GATHERED WORSHIP | 9 & 11 AM (Including the Lord’s Table) REDEMPTION | Youth SS 9 AM
GATHERED WORSHIP | 9 & 11 AM REDEMPTION | Youth SS 9 AM CHURCH PICNIC | @ Redeemer Following 11am Service
29 GATHERED WORSHIP | 9 & 11 AM REDEMPTION | Youth SS 9 AM