Preaching is most effective at leading congregational change when aligned with and supporting other discipleship environments in the church. The annual calendar provides natural seasons of momentum and choosing one core emphasis or initiative to "disproportionately" promote throughout the fall allows for maximum focus and impact without overwhelming people.
Imagine showing up every Sunday to a congregation energized, excited, and ready to get involved. Isn't it awesome when there is a buzz across campus and people are in the mood for a fresh start or there's a desire to establish new rhythms?
These are sweet times of ministry.
What if you could tap into this type of momentum without feeling like YOU have to be the one to create it?
In this episode of Preaching Through Podcast we help you consider how to make this fall your best ministry launch ever — but also how you can take the same principles and apply them to other launch seasons.
Storytelling, communication, discipleship, growth, and personal growth for the pastor... it's all in this week's episode, Preaching Through A Fall Launch.
Discover all of our free resources: https://faithfruit.us/podcast-links
Additional questions about this topic? Email us at email@example.com.
Preaching Through is powered by Faithful & Fruitful, leadership resources for pastors so they can have a faithful and fruitful ministry over the long-haul.
Alright man, what is the most significant tool for leading a local church?Speaker 2:
Man, every time you say most significant, it's hard to answer, but what comes to mind is preaching. I don't think preaching is the most important thing in the church. It's not the most important or only ministry of the church, but I think it's the most useful and significant tool for leading a church. It's really hard to lead a church without the pulpit, without the consistent, regular voice of preaching God's Word and hearing God's voice. It's a tough thing to do. Some people are extraordinarily gifted and they can pull it off, but it's a key tool and it's why this season is worth doing.Speaker 1:
Well, of course, the lead pastor would say that the preaching is the most significant tool. But I think there's more to it than that, and that's what we'll get into Ready. Yeah, hey there. Welcome back to the preaching through podcast. This is season two. My name is Dave Shrine and I am alongside my co-host, luke Simmons. What's up, man?Speaker 2:
Hey, dave, I'm glad to be doing this again. Yeah, man, season two it's. I don't know how many podcasts make it to a season two, but here we are, here we are, most podcasts don't actually make it past eight episodes, so there's a little marketing information for you.Speaker 1:
So we're like we'll just pat ourselves on the back.Speaker 2:
No, we won't do that.Speaker 1:
Let's see if we can get eight episodes in this season too. No, I've been looking forward to getting back and chatting. I love ministry. I like talking ministry with you. My background is in ministry, your background is in ministry, so it's just an appropriate conversation to have. So, yeah, yeah, this is the preaching through podcast. If this is the first time you're ever listening, welcome. This is the conversation that takes place Takes place when pastors get together to encourage one another to grow together, to improve upon their skills and their leadership and their preaching. Also that they can lead in 21st century America, pointing people to Jesus. What does it look like to preach in 21st century America? That's the conversation that we have, and so we're excited to have you along for that conversation. As already mentioned, this is season two, so we've got 10 episodes and a bonus episode that you can actually go back and listen to at any point in time. Last season was all about preaching through different nuances, different texts, different types of passages or ways to approach even sermon series. This season, it's a little bit more nuanced towards, you know, seasons of ministry, a little bit more nuanced towards different dynamics that you encounter, and one of the conversations that we're going to have is preaching through the camera, like live streaming, and talking about how do you connect with your congregation through live streaming, and so that's not today's conversation. Today's conversation is actually preaching through a fall launch and, as we were preparing our outline, it's really less about the preaching in some respects and it's more about everything else that's happening. That fall launch and you had kind of framed it up that way what, what? When you think fall launch, what do you think?Speaker 2:
Yeah Well, for a lot of churches, the fall really is the kickoff to their ministry season, right? The reality is we just follow a school year kind of flow, and so the fall really feels like the beginning of the year. It's always a weird thing, especially for those churches like ours where the budget begins in January but the ministry year really begins in August or September. For us here in Arizona, it actually is like the end of July is back to school. But yeah, that's what we think of fall launch, and I think the principles we're going to talk about here really will relate to the launch of any particular season. So someone might be listening to this and falls, you know, a long time away, but you go okay, well, a new year launch or a summer launch or any time. There's going to be a kind of launch moment. I think what we're going to talk about will help. But yeah, the fall really is a key time. A lot of people come back, a lot of new people get invited, there's a chance to launch ministry and have a renewed focus, and it's just a time that you don't want to waste. You've got to make the most of it.Speaker 1:
One of the things that really influences the fall launch is what are you coming out of in summer? So we'll talk a little bit about that. Another thing is like how much of the preaching influences what's going on throughout the rest of the church, or how much does the rest of the church influence the preaching, even to the point of gosh? Like are we going to do a sermon series about this thing or are we just going to kind of drip this thing throughout the sermon series? So we'll talk a little bit about that. But by and large it's just an opportunity to be a leader in that entire like, to offer some leadership and some guidance. I know that you had said in the past like the big guy being around was something that you very early learned that you wanted to have, like the lead pastor, just how important that was. Why don't you share a little bit about that?Speaker 2:
Yeah, when I was starting in vocational ministry, I was leading small groups and men's ministry. It was at a pretty large church but we had a senior pastor who I mean in so many ways he was just the best guy ever. But one irritating thing was he would leave for all of August and in our environment August was prime time back to school and, man, it was just so frustrating as a staff guy because you'd be launching a new initiative or creating a new emphasis on small groups or whatever. The case would be that that stuff that's happening throughout the week that the church calendar is filled with that really is important for disciple making, and yet he was gone and he was the person that people were looking to Like. If he, if he said, hey, I read this book, people would go buy that book. If he said, hey, you got to go get involved with this or that, people would listen. Now you can debate about should people listen that much to a lead pastor? Should he have that much influence? I don't know, but he did. And for him to be gone during that key season, I was just so frustrating, and so it actually shaped part of how I think about my church calendar and vacation calendar is I try to get my vacation out of the way earlier on in the summer so that I can be around in the weeks leading up to and during that fall on.Speaker 1:
Well, I think that comes back to the question that we opened up with was what is the most significant tool for leading the local church? And your answer was, you know, the sermon, the pulpit, that that preaching moment is, you know, the most significant, or one of the most significant it certainly in our context here it is. And to have that presence gone to not be in sync and we'll talk about that in this episode as well to not be in sync, that does create a level of how are we going to move this thing forward without that primary tool that we're really counting on. So all of that is what you are in store for in this episode. Like I said, if this is the first time you're ever listening, we are so grateful to have you here. We know that you could be doing a lot of other things with your time. There's a lot of different podcasts out there that you could be listening to, and we sure do hope that we can provide some encouragement and some insight and maybe even inspire you to approach your leadership and your preaching and this responsibility that you have week in and week out with a new perspective and hopefully even replace some of the joy in the leadership of preaching and maybe take some burdens off your back or at least be a part of the conversation and, you know, start that process of what does it look like for you to elevate in this area. So it's going to be a fun season. I'm anxious to get going on this first episode and yeah, let's talk about it Preaching your first 200 sermons are going to be terrible. This is something the late Tim Keller once said, meaning that no matter how hard you study, how many hours you put in or how much you work on your preaching, there's this glass ceiling that can only be broken with more reps. So getting reps becomes your main way of growing as a preacher. But what happens when you surpass 200 sermons? What are you supposed to work on? Where should you try and grow? Or what muscles are you going to need to build to have a faithful and fruitful preaching ministry over the long haul? Well, the preaching lab is a curriculum developed by our co-host, luke Simmons, that fills this gap and takes preachers beyond what they've learned in seminary or Bible college. This live experience provides preachers with meaningful feedback, insight and instructions so that they can improve their preaching for a faithful and fruitful preaching ministry. During this 12-week preaching cohort preachers learn of minor adjustments to their sermon habits that have a major impact on the preaching moment Tweaks that nobody in your congregation has the ability or the confidence to give you. It's a deep inspection of your routine habit, study and preaching, all so that you can become a better steward of the gift God has given you every single week an audience. It's your opportunity to return the favor back to your congregation and preach a sermon that is faithful and fruitful. Visit faithfulandfruitfulcom slash lab to learn more about the preaching lab live cohort, as well as the preaching lab on-demand video curriculum. Now back to the podcast. Alright, I'm going to go back to it again because I think it requires a little bit of explanation. You may have some non-lead pastors, non-teaching pastors, listening, thinking hey, what I do for the church is super important and it's not about me, but you know there's a lot of people counting on this, and then to say that the most significant tool leading the local church is the preaching. Let's unpack that a little bit. Where does that come from? How did you come to that conclusion, and is it an exclusionary thing? It's like everything has to be pointing towards this.Speaker 2:
Yeah, good question. And where it comes from is I came up with these 10 ABCs of preaching, which stands for assumptions, beliefs, convictions, and actually I think we're going to talk about that in a coming episode. I think every preacher should at least have thought through what are their assumptions, what are their beliefs, what are their convictions about preaching, how it works, what its role is in the local church. So one of them to me is that preaching is the most significant leadership tool for leading the local church. Now, that wording is important and specific. I'm not saying preaching is the most important part of a local church. I'm not saying the preacher is the most important part of a local church. I'm not saying preaching is the most significant ministry in the local church. It's important to say preaching is the most significant tool for leading the local church, necessarily for caring for the church, not necessarily for motivating. I mean, it's really like it's that leading is the issue right, there's lots of different ways to lead and there's lots of different things that relate to leading, and leadership isn't the most important part of the church either. But if you're thinking about, okay, I'm a lead pastor and I've got all these different tools, I can communicate and I can spend time with people and I can write emails and I can have a meeting and I can create a physical environment. I mean, there's just all kinds of things that you go okay, I could use this tool, I could use this tool, I could use this tool, and hopefully we're using a lot of those tools. What I'm saying is as a leader right, especially, really, this is true if you're in a smaller church or a church plant, or you're in a more established church and a big staff. Either way, you're looking at all your tools going. Okay, we're here right now. We're trying to get there. How do we get people from here to there? One of the tools that is just the most effective and gets you there fastest is preaching. Right, it's what you have the opportunity to say in your sermons, and so that's why I say that it's not to denigrate small groups. It's not to look down upon counseling. It's not to say that the people who are doing care ministry and compassion ministry are doing less significant ministry than the preaching. It is to say, the thing that gets you from here to there is typically not all those other things as much as it is the preaching.Speaker 1:
Like you said, we will have an episode on the ABCs. I actually think it might be the very next episode here, but one of the things in one of the videos that exists in the preaching lab curriculum that you've put together is you say that the ABCs exist in part. Like one of the benefits of them, I guess you could say is that if somebody comes up to you and critiques your preaching or critiques your leadership or whatever it is, if it's not part of your core values, it's not part of your ABCs. It's kind of like, okay, well, I can kind of disregard that or just take it for what it's worth. Whereas if somebody comes up to you and it says, hey, it feels like you're phoning in the sermon on Sunday, well, one of my core beliefs here is that preaching is an essential tool for leading a congregation and it provides a level of conviction like, well, I need to key into that, and so it's easy, I think, for us to look at our individual roles and jobs and say this is an essential part. The flip side of that is you have to treat it like it's an essential part, you have to care for it, you have to nurture it, you have to invest in it. You have to continue to grow it. What are some ways that you can maintain kind of a level of just accountability to make sure that you're treating it that way, that you're stewarding it well? I mean, I'm not just phoning it in.Speaker 2:
Yeah, I mean phoning it in isn't really a thing I struggle with. I'm just not really wired to phone it in very much. I'm probably wired the other way. The danger for me is more to actually be tempted to think preaching is the most important part of the church and to forget. No, this is my particular gift, I'm one particular part of the body and I'm going to use this gift to advance our overall mission. That is a temptation. I mean like even the reason people would hear preaching is the most significant tool for leading a local church and have a flinch like ah, that sounds a little megalomaniac, is because they've experienced pastors who treat it that way. They treat it like preaching is the most important thing in the local church, not just the most important leadership tool. And so what ends up happening? No one would ever say it out loud, but what ends up happening is everything is really designed in the church to try to get the maximum number of people to be there listening to the preacher on. Sunday. Well, that's just not our mission. That's not at least at our church. That's not our mission. I don't think that should be the mission. I think getting people to church on Sunday is a great thing. I think what we do on Sunday really matters or I wouldn't spend so much time doing it Right? But it is to say that that's not the goal. The goal is that people would become like Christ, that they would grow in their love, that they'd have an understanding of God's love for them, that they would love their friends and their family and their neighbors and their coworkers, and that they would be the hands and feet of Jesus, and so that's the mission. Now I want to leverage my gifts and my strengths as a preacher to try to advance that mission. But that also means that it just can't be. I mean, the people who are growing the most in those ways are not the people who only show up on Sunday. Right, it's the people who show up on Sunday and they're serving somewhere and they're involved in some kind of community and they're doing things in their work to try to integrate their faith in their work. And maybe they're involved in the community by coaching a team or by helping out in a nonprofit or whatever the case might be, but those are the people. So it's really to say, okay, how does the preaching moment do the teaching and encouraging and building up, but also how does it facilitate people's participation in these other disciple making environments? And when I think of a fall launch, that's what I'm thinking.Speaker 1:
I'm thinking, okay, this is not just, it's not like just the launch of a sermon series. Well, we're always doing sermon series. It's not the launch of a new Sunday morning. We've been doing Sunday morning. It's the launch of all these other ministries that are going. We're saying, hey, these need life, these matter, these are part of your overall experience, because we want you to grow as a healthy disciple.Speaker 1:
Just as a reminder for those who have already listened and this is your first time my background I spent a lot of time in church, musician communications, and today I run a marketing company, a marketing agency, and so one of the things that I love about the school calendar, the annual calendar, is it provides these natural moments, these natural points of momentum. Just every year at this time, no matter who's in your organization, who's in your church, there's going to be some momentum around this, and as a marketer, I love coming and like really using that as a buttress for whatever campaign that I want to run. The most obvious is Black Friday. Right, that happens every year and all the retailers are on it, and it's to a point now where Amazon even creates its own Black Friday in July and everybody just jumps on around it. And so there's these, whether they are just natural ebb and flow or whether they've been manufactured. There is just a level of momentum. And so what I hear you say yeah.Speaker 2:
I mean you have like, everyone's going to go get their hair cut Right and you're going to take the kids they did last week. You're going to take the kids to go get some back to school clothes and like everything about it feels like a fresh start, so like leverage it Like you don't have to. That's the thing is. Momentum comes from things that are new, exciting and significantly improved. Well, it's hard to manufacture momentum, but, man, if you can just ride the wave of other momentum that's already being created, like do it.Speaker 1:
I think leaders in general we're talking to pastors, leaders in general and you listening, pastor identify those natural waves that are emerging in your calendar, in your community and, being intentional three months, six months, even 12 months ahead of time, to say how are we going to ride this wave, how are we going to use that to our benefit? I think that would provide a lot of just energy around your initiatives that you wouldn't even have to create. You have to be planned out ahead. In season one, we talk about the preaching calendar. We talk about crafting that preaching calendar as a way of guiding the church and guiding the discipleship plan. You know kind of where it is. We're taking things, but if you can identify those and plan out ahead, that's, that's fantastic. And that actually leads me into my next question is you've got this fall happening, but that means you're coming out of something. You're coming out of the summer. What, if any, influence should the summer play in what happens in the fall? Are you, are you trying to build something? People are gone, people are in and out. Like, how do you use the summer, particularly in preaching, but more generally for the fall launch?Speaker 2:
Yeah. So the way I think about a lot of this is to reverse engineer it. Go okay, what are we launching? And then what does what we're launching need? So you know, working backwards, so you might be launching a brand new ministry right, that's something that happens. Or you might be launching a new resource initiative to raise money for a project, a new building, or whatever the case might be. So there might be something that's brand new and you're starting it. That's one kind of thing you might be launching. Another thing you might be launching is a new emphasis. So it's not necessarily new environments or new programs or new ministries, but it's a new focus. It's less creating something and more infusing your current thing with a certain kind of emphasis or focus. And then a third approach to a launch would be you're trying to create new energy to existing stuff that you know over the summer has had its ebb and flow. So it really is thinking through what are you launching? And it is hard to effectively launch all three of those things. I mean you could probably talk as a marketer, the success of launching a product and really launching it versus trying to launch the same company, trying to launch multiple products at the same time. Ah, that's a tough deal. I even saw, right, one of the big summer movies this summer is Oppenheimer, and I saw one of the things Christopher Nolan did is he negotiated with whoever he ended up having the studio that had released it is? They had a window where they said that studio can't release any other movies during I don't know if it was three weeks or four weeks, some period of time, because they wanted all the marketing and all the focus and all the attention of that studio to be on that movie. Well, that's why you really can't say, well, we're gonna launch this new thing and this new focus and try to get you involved in this stuff that we've always cared about. Like that's pretty tough. I mean you'd say that as a marketer, right yeah.Speaker 1:
Yeah it. My biggest launch is my most successful financially and numerically is when it's one thing at a time sharp, narrow focus on one thing.Speaker 2:
So yeah, yeah, so that's where you're going. Okay, what are we launching? And I'd say, pick a focus on that and then work backwards from there and so, as you right, the next step back and we can come back and talk about these. But the next step back would be what are you preaching about and how are you connecting it to that launch as it's launching, right? So in our setting, where back to school is August, it'd be okay. What are we talking about in August related to that thing? And then you're going okay, what do I need to be talking about in July, in June related to that thing, so that it can be building momentum. And again, there's multiple ways to do that. You could do whole sermon series building up to that. Or you could figure out how to infuse and drip your existing preaching with things that connect to whatever you're doing. But it's intentionally thinking through. Thinking that through right. So if, for example, like you're trying to go, okay, we want a lot of our folks here because we want to promote getting involved in groups, you might say, okay, that's what we're going to push in August, but in July we're going to really focus on inviting friends back to church and that kind of a thing we might have some big event in July to try to remind people why they need to be here in August, so that then they're here in August and now we can encourage them to get involved in the next, and that big event in Arizona would be indoors. That's right, or it would involve a lot of water, right, but yeah.Speaker 1:
Piecing that together with what you've previously said. What I hear you kind of crafting is yes, preaching is the most important, the essential. However, you want to word it leadership tool for leading a local congregation, when you are intentional in leveraging it towards whichever direction that you're going. If it's not connected to anything, that importance kind of drops out. Because that's been my experience. Before we hit the big red record button, I told you I said my experience has been not necessarily Pastor Bean, hey, everybody has to be talking about this, but more this is what I'm talking about. Everybody support it and as important as I think it is to be on board, it was less about how is this dripping out, and it felt more like this is the most important thing. Now, nobody was saying this is the most important thing. My message is above everything else, but functionally, that's how it worked out and I could very much see how. Yes, that's true if it's breathing life and if it's giving vitamins and minerals and infusing nutrition into these other areas, and I like that dichotomy and I like that as a way of functioning. Am I characterizing it correctly there?Speaker 2:
Yeah, I think you're exactly right. It really isn't as much about. This is more important than that. It's mostly to say, gosh, we gotta leverage the pulpit for all this other stuff. And they have to work together, they have to be in sync. Some people have called it the pulpit ministry is like the air war and the small groups and care and mercy ministry. That's like the ground war You've talked about. In marketing. People talk about like there's the cloud and the soil, right, that you've gotta have both. They have to work together and I think that's the key and the place where you see it and I feel like maybe we talked about this in one point last season you always see it work. When there's a building initiative, right, when people have to raise money, they figure this out, they go. It's a sermon series and it's t-shirts and it's small group meetings and it's curriculum questions and it's bracelets that we're gonna hand out to everybody and we're gonna figure out how to do it in kids ministry and we're gonna figure out how to do it in student ministry and it's a cohesive thing because it's like we need the whole church to know like we don't want anyone walking in here on commitment day going wait, what are we doing? We want, like everyone to know, everyone to participate, everyone to respond, and so we do a lot of work. When you do a building initiative right I've done three of them, I've coached probably half a dozen other churches through doing that kind of thing and you can do it and do it really effectively but you just go okay, that's what we do when we need that, so we do it. Now I don't think you can do that level of intensity and energy three times a year. You maybe don't even wanna do that every year, but every couple of years you probably need some something, even if it's not a building initiative or you're raising money. You need some kind of man. It's catalytic, it generates momentum and it gets people going and it involves that whole sync up in coordination.Speaker 1:
An element that I didn't even think about as we were planning. But listening to you talk, relationships with the staff, with key leaders in the church, to me that sounds like it's really an important factor in bringing these pieces together not just having the relationship, but having good dialogue, having an opportunity to connect with your leaders, hear what's going on and even a mechanism for deciding okay, what's going to make it into the sermon, what's not gonna make it into the sermon. I think we mentioned in an episode last year. I always loved it when things that I was talking about made it into a pastor's sermon and it's like I think I said, like I know just on a really like I kinda mentioned that too. It feels good. What's the? How are you managing that? How do you make sure that you're staying in touch with your staff? As you are saying, I have the responsibility of the sermon to use this as a leadership tool in all, like to infuse life into these other areas, like what does that look like for you?Speaker 2:
Yeah, that's a good question. It's way more art than science. To me, the biggest thing is I wanna have integrity when I say, hey, you should do this, this matters. So there's times when we've, as part of a fall launch, really emphasize community and emphasize groups, and so I'm going, I need to be in a group. Yeah, Like I can't go. Here's something that no one can live without except me. You know, if I'm, when we're launching a building initiative, it's not like, hey, you all should give, it's like hey, we're given you know and I don't get into the details of what we're given, but I like speed of the leader, speed of the team. Right now, right this fall, for us as a church, we're launching this new discipleship program called the C Jesus School and my hope is, over the next three to five years, if we could have 15 to 20% of our church go through this program, I think it will transform our church as it relates to knowing Christ and walking with Him in prayer and enduring suffering. I mean I think it's gonna be really, really great. Well, I've gone through a lot of the lessons with it and I've had people on our staff take our staff through it and I've had participation in it. Right, so I haven't. I actually was thinking about leading one of the groups for it but for a couple of reasons I had to back out of that. But I've gone through it and I know it and it's not like here's this thing I've heard is good and you all might like, but I've actually experienced the life change that comes from it. So I realized that puts a little bit more pressure, especially a lead pastor if there's a staff, because it's like well, how do I know all the things? And I go, you don't have to know all the things, but whatever, the main thing is that you're launching right now. You kind of right, this is like you can't just be a talker about it. You have to have used it.Speaker 1:
Yes, that does raise the stakes a little bit. There's a little bit more pressure to get involved. I know that as a lead pastor it can be kind of not scary, that's the wrong word Just feel weird. To kind of get into a small group, to get into a teaching group to be just one of the people Attending something. You always kind of feel like you have to lead it, or at least people are looking at you have to lead it. I know that that's probably a pressure that you feel. Do you have any insight, as pastors are trying to have that integrity be a part, how they can balance that feeling of? I Kind of feel like everybody wants me to lead this but I kind of just want to be a participant.Speaker 2:
Yeah, I mean, that is not always one of the fun parts about ministry. And you know, on one hand, you have to Be self-aware, and part of being self-aware is knowing, like, when I'm, when I'm in a group of 15 or 20 people from our church, even if I'm not the leader, whoever's talking is probably Glancing at me, right, right, there's like the person whoever's talking there, they're always, and usually they look at the leader. Well, I might not be the leader of this conversation, but they keep looking at me, so I'm an idiot if I don't know that that's the case. On the other hand, I was a Christian before I was a pastor, and If I think I have to be the one leading everything and I have to be the one Infusing everything with energy, then I'm making everything a little bit too much about me. So, and I think people need the experience of Seeing their pastor as a Christian and not just the leader. Right, we feel the pressure Because people put us on a pedestal, but then we make it worse by allowing ourselves to live on that pedestal. Right, I was interacting with a guy on Twitter who was saying, like you know, whenever I go to the grocery store, I put on a nice shirt and I put on shoes so that I can be at the grocery store and Because I know I'm gonna run into people from my church and I'm like that is so stupid. Like, if you want to put on a nice shirt and shoes, like I don't care, but like if you're doing that for that reason, like no, let them see you in your gym shorts, let them see you in your flip-flops. Like if that's who you really are, like that's actually good for them To not see you as some pristine, no thing that you're not like you're. You're human, so, anyway, so we could do lots of conversations about a lot of that. But yeah, and so I, you know, this is. This all relates to leadership and it all relates to your team, and I don't think even that as a, we get back to how do you have to work as a team to do this? I don't think it means that everything has to come from you as the lead pastor. I think that's another thing. There's a sense that the lead pastor has to ascend the mountain, like Moses, and come down, and here's the vision, and, and sometimes that happens, and then other times you have people on your team are going, hey, here's what we really are seeing, here's what we need to focus on, here's what we need to do, and and at that point, that's your job. Then is the, as the leader, is to Understand it and experience it enough yourself so that then, when you're communicating about why people need to experience this, it has integrity and it rings true and it's authentic.Speaker 1:
So I don't want to like I feel like, as I'm listening to you talk, I'm getting these other just curious ideas, so I don't want to like be going all over the place. But in, I'm genuinely curious, as you're making the decision then of, well, let's take this. Is it the see Jesus? Is that? Yeah, okay. Jesus school what was the process for deciding that this is an initiative that we are going to do? And and number one are you doing a sermon series around it or are you going to be leaking the sermon series, leaking About it through whatever series we're doing? And number two like was this something that was done overnight and that's gonna be the initiative, or was this something that has been building for six months, twelve months, and who was a part of that conversation to help you decide that?Speaker 2:
yeah. So what it is? I mean see Jesus as a ministry that was founded by Paul Miller I think you can find Paul Miller's podcast and it's really built around three core ideas is or three key teachings. One is Jesus is a person. A lot of the time we just think about Jesus Like he was an idea or like he was like yeah, I know he had a robot, but underneath that was probably like a tight blue thing with an s. You know he was like a super power, you know like he was a real person. So you learned of love Jesus by focusing on him as a person. So that's one piece. A second piece is Is the path of Jesus. When Jesus says come, follow me, he doesn't say pick up your lazy boy recliner and follow me. He says pick up your cross, right? So following Jesus is following Jesus into death and into suffering and into self-denial and Walking with Jesus through that. So that's a piece. There's the person of Jesus, there's the path of Jesus and then the Holy Spirit's the power of Jesus, right? This is how you actually have the power to keep loving and to keep sacrificing and to keep suffering Is through the power of Jesus, and you experience the power of Jesus, through prayer, through the Holy Spirit. So those are the three pieces of the see Jesus school, and and that all comes from see Jesus ministry. Well, we've had a partnership with see Jesus as a ministry for about five or six years. So Some years ago some of our leaders had just been exposed to their ministry and thought you know what we really need to start infusing our existing ministry with this vision of spirituality. And so we would start to do. We had a bunch of pastors go through a prayer cohort that see Jesus offered. We had them come and do different trainings and do different Seminars and that sort of stuff. Anyway. So we were experiencing it. We're like man. This material is great. This is so helpful. It's transforming our, our understanding of prayer. It's transforming our experience of God. It's so many people watch the chosen and they loved the chosen. And the reason they loved the chosen was they went oh, jesus feels like a real person. Yeah, and so see Jesus ministry is going. Well, what if you could do that with the Bible? Because you can. You just have to slow down enough to try to do it. So we were having, as leaders, these great experiences and going this is just not getting into the church enough. It's, it's dripping, but it's too slow and we thought let's, let's formalize, and so actually we're. This see Jesus school is something that we're creating really for the see Jesus ministry huh. Right. So we're partnered with them and they're hoping that as we pilot this, it then we'll go around to other churches and be a delivery system For the stuff they're doing. So it's, in that particular case, it's a long time in the making. This past year, the woman who leads this took about a dozen folks through it. So, she spent a whole year taking people who are gonna now lead tables, and so we'll have about 88 slots, about exactly 88 slots For people to do the see Jesus school, and so this is. This is another thing In this question and I realized people are like why?Speaker 1:
are we talking?Speaker 2:
about this. Well, it's a case study in, in this fall, launch, right. So there is a sense in which I want to figure out how do we promote this and cast vision for this, but I only have 88 slots, right. We're a church of 1700 people. There will be probably 11 or 1200 adults on a Sunday, so Like we can't have too many people want to do it or we're just going to frustrate them that this one life changing amazing thing they can't have access to because really it's like limited space. So it's figuring out how to launch it with some energy and some focus and some momentum, but not so much that it overwhelms the thing. So, for us, that's one of the reasons why we chose not to do a sermon series about it. Instead, as I'm preaching through first John, especially in the next weeks leading up to it, there's really this like emphasis on love. Well, how are you going to learn to love? You've got to learn to see Jesus, right, so there's a way to drip it and to integrate it into the preaching. So, anyway, long, long story, it's helpful case study.Speaker 1:
I hope it's a helpful case study. For me, it's helpful hearing about it, the entire planning and leading up to it. In this case it sounded like it was less intentional and it was more providential, or even coincidental, and it's like we want to accelerate what we're seeing in this other area. But the point still goes if you have a core values of your church and you really want to lend support to that, you can leverage the fall launch in a way that is helpful to it, whether it's something that's been building for years or something that it's like no, like, we need to hop on this bus right now. And the question then you mentioned this Am I going to do a sermon series specifically about this, or am I going to be intentional with dripping this in whatever sermon series that we're doing? And I don't know that that's the only decision, but I think that's a key decision. And you said in this case, we're not doing a sermon series because the opportunity is so narrow only 88 slots. When in the past have you made the decision we are going to do a sermon series or maybe we're going to have a lot more influence on a Sunday, maybe a building campaign, etc. Give me an example of the opposite, because we've made it clear, you know why maybe you wouldn't do one.Speaker 2:
Yeah, a building initiative would be one. We've had times where we do a short series related to community and groups, and that's a pretty common move that people will make this time of year is to have a short series on why we need connection, why we need community, why we need to be involved. Those are the ones that I've done. I mean, most of the time we are preaching through books of the Bible and we're kind of just plugging away through whatever we're doing there. But we'll think, okay, what's coming up that we know we're going to have to, you know, and what I'd say is like, if you can, for me, this is just if I can get away with it and not have to do a special sermon series on it. I'd rather do that. But I also think you know, depending on your church and your environment and the way you do series, you know if you're a church, that's already. You know already you're kind of go to as a three to six week series and you're chunking through three to six week series throughout the year. Well then, in that case I go well, definitely, just tie some series to whatever you're trying to infuse energy.Speaker 1:
We started it off saying you know, teaching is this essential tool in leading a local congregation, and we've I believe we've wrapped a lot of flesh around that, that it's not everything revolves around the teaching, but it's more along the lines of know that teaching is used to help us move along in whatever we're doing as a church. It's, it's a vehicle for making that happen. I think that's great. The statement that the fall launch is really about everything outside of the preaching. But how does the preaching influence it? I don't know that there's like a really clean bow. We can wrap around this, because that is the case it's. It really is lots of excitement, lots of momentum. You kick off your midweek programs. That's always exciting. One of the things that we do at our church in student ministries, it's this fuse weekend. It's where all of the six through the 12th grade they get together into these small groups and then they go spend the night at different, different homes of members in the church and and folks in the south will know that, as a D now weekend. Okay, oh yeah, d now.Speaker 2:
Yeah, that's the kind of same idea.Speaker 1:
So that's a big thing that we do and and one of the things that's a value at our church is really investing in the next gen and making that apparent and making that known. Do we do a fuse Sunday after the fuse weekend? Is there a fuse?Speaker 2:
Well, the last session of fuse is the Sunday.Speaker 1:
Sunday morning service right.Speaker 2:
And we do it about a month into the school year. So you're trying to get those kids fused to the Lord and to the church and the ministry.Speaker 1:
And so in it's really cool we change the entire facility and the worship center and, instead of doing things where everyone faces the front, it's then done in the round for now, for now, there we go, but it's it's. It's a really unique thing that happens, and so that's, you know, something that we put energy behind because we value, you know, youth ministry and the youth being connected, and it's fun. My, my son is now sixth grade, so he's real excited about doing that and sure he's been joining us in the Sunday morning service. We talk about that in one of the last season episodes, but really, are there any final thoughts that you have just about fall launch and teaching as this tool to move and to grow and to lead through whatever it is you're doing?Speaker 2:
Yeah, I have two, two main thoughts on it. One is someone might be listening to us going, well, gosh, I don't, am I? I don't have anything, I'm launching, I don't know, and I think like that's maybe okay, but this is an opportunity to think about. Is there's because of the natural momentum of this? season this is an opportunity. You don't have to go create some new thing, you don't have to create the C Jesus school, but you might say what's? What's an area that we really want to breathe extra life into, and so this is an opportunity to think about that. Now, the second thing is the converse of that, which is to say that means you're going to not give a lot of attention and energy to everything else, which means you're going to have to disappoint a lot of your staff or your volunteers, or your leaders right. Because everyone is thinking, oh, this is the perfect time for the pastor to help us have momentum. So, pastor, if you could make sure to say something about the marriage ministry, and say something about the men's ministry and the women's ministry, and the groups and the compassion and the right. And now you're like 17 minute announcements and it's in this and this and this and this and this and, like we talked about earlier as a, as a marketer, as a communicator which is what you are, dave like that's just a recipe for no one to really respond to any of it, and so you do have to have the discipline to be able to say no, we're focusing on this. We're giving this, on purpose, disproportionate attention, which means these other things are going to feel like they're not as important because Right now they're not. That's a hard thing, right, it's hard to. It's not to say it's not important. It's to say, right now we're focusing on this. But that's a key part of the leadership equation in this process, or else the launch is going to be more of a lurch.Speaker 1:
So normally I'll let you have the last word, but I'm going to take the last word.Speaker 2:
Yeah, you should.Speaker 1:
Because I actually have a solution, or at least a potential solution, for what you're talking about. Oh great, so let's say that you are launching. This won't be hard for you. You're launching a See Jesus type of initiative. Well, you may not be able to promote all of these different ministries, but what you could do is you could say, ok, we know that this ministry has something really important coming up. We cannot give attention to that because we're doing attention to this. However, what we could do is we could find somebody in that ministry who is really living out or really experiencing one of the main values that aligns with what it is we are doing, and we could tell their story and we could say you know, well, belle's been a part of men's fight club for X number of years and one of the things that he characterizes is he has been able to see Jesus form in the lives of these other men, and how has that looked and what has that meant for you? And how has that? How has that? How does your family see Jesus in you now? And so, all of a sudden, it's a promotion for see Jesus, but it's got this element of, and he's been a part of the men's fight club for the last year, or she's been a part of the women's ministry, or he's been an intern in student ministries, whatever the case might be. But you can talk about the main thing and just kind of pair it up with elements of your ministry happening throughout the church that tend to align with it, and it kind of makes everybody happy.Speaker 2:
Yeah, Well, I love that and I love how I mean that does. That sounds even more cohesive and yeah, that's really great.Speaker 1:
So thank you so much for listening. Hope this is an encouraging conversation and, depending on when you are listening to this, if you're not listening to this, as you approach the fall kickoff early on in the episode you said it, luke, like this is really more about kicking off in general, whenever that season of start, whenever that season of initiative is. It could be after Christmas, it could be that last sprint before graduation season comes in. Whatever the case might be, look at what the natural ebbs and flows of the calendar have for your church, have in your context, and look for ways to capitalize on that. You don't have to always create the momentum. In fact, you probably shouldn't. It's exhausting to feel like you have to pull the yoke of the entire church on your back and carry it. We don't want you to do that. You're going to burn out. You'll be good for no one, good for nothing. Really, we want you to use the tools and the resourcing and the calendar that's already there for you so that you can launch into a successful season of whatever it is God's calling your church to be and to become. Thank you for listening. If you want to go over to iTunes or Spotify, leave a review. We would love to hear from you. If there's something you'd love to talk more about, you can reach out to us at info at faithfulandfruitfulcom. That goes to both Luke and to I and we'll get back to you in any way we can, whether it's personally getting back to you or maybe we'll do an episode on it but we are here to resource you. You are not alone in this ministry that you are building. You are not facing it all by yourself, and if we can be one voice of encouragement in that process, we would love it. In the next episode we're going to be talking more about what we started this episode with the ABCs of preaching, and you've already kind of hinted it. But just give us one more little taste.Speaker 2:
So that's your assumptions, your beliefs, your convictions, what drives you when it comes to your preaching.Speaker 1:
All right, we'll talk about it next time.