Episode 045: What is ‘Multi-Congregational’? (Part 1)

In this episode (the first of two) we sit down to talk about the multi-congregational model New Life has developed over the last several years—why we did it, how it works, and what opportunities and challenges it presents.

 

 

PART 1 SHOW NOTES

 

We stumbled into this, quite honestly… we knew we had a deep bench of teachers and preachers on our staff and we needed to infiltrate our city…

 

Brady was really taking a risk with me… he gave me a space to experiment and grow…

 

For us, we decided that the church should look more like a family model than a franchise… we wanted to create an environment for our “children” to thrive within their strengths…

 

We had a burden for a location and a leader who was willing to go… you have to have that… if the leader isn’t called to the location, it won’t work long-term…

 

I am not suggesting that everyone do it the way we did it… it requires a lot of vulnerability, a lot of honest conversation, and a great deal of trust… if you don’t have that, don’t even try…

 

All of us had to agree that when we had aggravations, we were going to talk about them… most relationships fall apart because we don’t know how to deal with conflict… this model is ripe with potential conflict…

 

We believe that to be a pastor is to be attentive to place, to the soil of where you’re planted… and so we CENTRALIZE our administrative [functions] but we CONTEXTUALIZE ministry…

 

If you’re in a church where you have a group of friends and you’re wondering how to expand, then this model will work for you… but if you’re in a church where you don’t have any preachers or teachers, this model is not for you… you need to spend a lot of time building relationship with each other…

 

The flip side of this is that we need to get clarity where clarity is possible… financials, percentages, benchmarks for hiring, etc.… you need to work that out as much as you can…

 

The tension came in when New Life Downtown was bringing in enough money to sustain them separately from us… so we came up with some percentages that would keep Glenn motivated and also kept finances coming back to us…

Episode 044: The Pastor in Relationship

In this episode, we sit down to talk about the kinds of relationships pastors need to cultivate in order to live and lead from a healthy place.

 

This is particularly tricky for young pastors or church planters… on one level, this is the last question you think about – who’s leading me, who’s caring for me?

 

Part of the reason this is so tricky is that there’s a power differential here… it can make it tricky to know what you’re seeing with people… are people drawing near to us because they care for us, or because they need us?

 

Only recently have I begun to think about the kinds of relationships I need… it’s not just about “having friends”… maybe we need to think of the pastor like Frodo Baggins… on the quest, you need several different kinds of people around you…

 

We need relationships inside the community certainly, but also relationships outside the community in order to stay healthy… keeping this in the right balance is crucial…

 

There’s already a distance between the pulpit and the pew in the very first interaction that people have with us… sometimes we unwittingly increase that gap… but we can also intentionally decrease that distance…

 

A spiritual director is someone that you see not exclusively when you’re in crisis… they are someone to help you see and pay attention to what is going on in your life, and even to bear witness to that…

 

What happens to us when we don’t have real relationships is that we become a parody of ourselves… we start being our persona and cease being the person God made us to be…

 

The fruits of the Holy Spirit are still the best index of whether or not we are healthy…