This video highlights some reflections my staff had at a recent meeting on how small groups have helped them in their spiritual lives.language
I am happy to send you the enclosed “Outreach Training Program” designed by Vance Genzlinger, a longtime member of the Oar Arbor Society. Vance built this program based on his career in the sales industry and his intense desire to help the people in the church learn how to share the NewChurch with others.
He has done several trial runs of this program and staff in my department helped him with editing. You might like to use the program, or parts of it in your evangelization training. I am hoping you find this a resource to add as one way to help prepare members of the church to gain confidence in the work of evangelization. Please note that Vance would love feed back and questions about the material in the hopes that it will improve with the input. Vance writes the following:
This training program is patterned after the “New Church Journey Programs” that have been given so successfully throughout the Church in recent years. It is like Journey in that it has a similar length and that the intention is for it to run church wide. It is also a program with intense group mode participation and interaction. It is being worked into a format that is similar to Journey. It differs in focus from our own regeneration to our outreach prospects and their concerns. Instead of practicing techniques on how to bring the Lord into our lives, we will be practicing techniques on how to discuss our beliefs with our outreach prospects. Although this training program contains some quotes from the Bible and Writings, it contains more information on how to understand the marketing of ideas, how to understand the backgrounds of the prospects and some understanding of our teachings about the most difficult problems we may encounter that are not usually covered in Journey and our regular doctrinal classes.
One thing that is new in this program is the experience of role playing. It gives our members and friends experience talking to prospects about our teachings by taking the role of member and prospect and trying to respond to the prospect’s concerns. Many sample role playing dialogues are included in the text to show our members how to get started. They are not included with the goal of memorizing specific doctrinal positions. They are included for the same reason examples are included in math and science texts – to stimulate thinking about how to approach and solve different types of problems. They are to show our members how to initiate dialogue, how to focus on the prospect’s questions or concerns, how to create their own answers to prospect’s concerns and to develop true empathy for our prospects and the ideas they have been taught.
It is hoped that at least 50% of each two hour session will be spent with group participants actually creating their own dialogues. This is to be preceded by the participants discussing the text for the week which hopefully they have read before coming to the workshop.
This type of the training is designed to help eliminate the reason most of our members feel inadequate to discuss our beliefs with others.
In order for this training program to be effective, we must first perfect a complete draft of a training manual for the “Outreach Training Program”, and second we must prepare a manual for the small group leaders, and third we must train the trainers who will train the small group leaders, particularly in the art of role playing.
Please contact our Bishop, anyone in the General Church Outreach office and/or this author (email@example.com) with your reaction to this material, suggested improvements, and its value to our Church.
Here are a number of websites that contain useful and mostly free information on church planting and growth. They make good reading for anyone who is considering participating in a church plant. Please use the comment tab to add any links to sites you have found valuable.
Links to Evangelization Sites:
http://www.churchplanting.com/ (Steve Sjogren)
A Couple of Noteworthy Conferences:
Podcasted Sermons can be found on Itunes: Podcasts: Religion and Spirituality: Christian
Here are 2 spreadsheets taking the data from the Austin Plant model and asking the question of what is the overall financial impact on the funding denomination if we were to roll out a new church plant every other year. The two spread sheets are very similar in conclusion, however, I favor the model assuming 30% success, 30% failure and 30% moderate success because it more closely mirrors success statistics in church planting in the United States today.GC Plantexpns303030 GC Plant expense raw GC Plantexpns303030language
There are many strategies for starting new churches that have been used throughout the ages. The Austin model is one we developed after intensive research evaluating what would provide the highest chances for a new movement to gain momentum and permanence in a short amount of time. You might notice that the plan includes the concept that plant congregations should be using their resources to sow the seeds for future church plants. As such, we see this as the beginning of a new system that is replicating. In time, this system will serve as the key force for establishing New Church Congregations at a level we have never been able to accomplish using an endowment driven model. This new model while initially supported by endowment, ultimately will be funded by other successful church plants. He hope you will help us kick the tires of this model through dialogue and sharing your insights for how to start new churches. Special thanks go to Mac Frazier for the countless hours devoted to this project. Lets plan to have a grand celebration of his efforts at the Salt Lick barbeque joint just south of Austin.
Finally, our prayer is that we can use this natural tool to serve the Lord in His vineyard for we ultimately recognize that while we till the soil, the Lord alone provides for germination and growth.
The New Church of Boulder Valley has gradually build a youth group over the last 5 years into a thriving program. Andrea describes the initial vision and process they used to successfully cultivate the program. You can view Andrea describing the program in the YouTube Video here. Please take a little time to share your thoughts about youth programs by making a comment.
Music and the Word have always made a great combination. Tom Rose and the Ivyland New Church have developed an alternative vesper service combining contemplative Jazz with readings from the Word. This YouTube video gives you a sample:
There is no such thing as a ‘cookie cutter’ church. Every church has its own unique personality as distinct as any individual human being. The New Church of Boulder Valley is no different. If you had asked Dave Roth, its founding pastor, if he could have predicted the ‘personality’ of the church as it grew, he would say no. This speaks to the need for the freedom needed by church planters as they try to figure out what works as they try to establish the new church in their community. It also speaks to how necessary it is for an absolute reliance on the Lord’s leadership.
A few distinguishing features of NCBV which now has about 60% of its membership not being baptized as infants into the faith: Informal Worship; Relaxed Style; Message is doctrinal and relevant to life; people are impressed by the ‘brutal honesty’ from the pulpit; Strong sense of community; People feel like they have ‘come home’ the first time they enter the building; contemporary music is a huge player in worship; small groups; prayer for others.
Click below for a short Utube video that will give you a flavor of their Sunday event. I hope you enjoy it.language
This nine minute video gives me a chance to lay out a few thoughts on how we share the church with new contacts. My thinking is that there are two parts: how we share the theology and how we make people feel welcome. Both need to be focused on in our efforts to evangelize and at home.
I believe that how we share the theology becomes more effective in the degree that we are willing to dialogue about the teachings of the church using frames of reference that the contact is familiar and comfortable with. Often this means presenting New Church truths using Old and New Testament references to base the dialgue -rather than coming directly from the writings.