categories: encouragement, leadership
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June 29th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

11 comments (+ Add)

Swerve Favorites: Spirit Led Instead of Model Driven

[Repost from August 13, 2008]

Many pastors copy models.

There is the “seeker sensitive” model, the “purpose driven” model, the “emergent church” model, the “contemporary church” model, the “spirit-filled classic charismatic” model, the “small group” model, the “multi-site” model, the “missional inner-city” model, the “dream center” model, and the list could go on and on.

Each of those models and the leaders who practice them have contributed a ton to the Kingdom.

Rather than copying the latest model that moves you, I suggest you let the Spirit of God direct your ministry based on the values, gifts, and people God gives you.

  • What are YOU passionate about?
  • What has God put in YOU?
  • What needs can God use YOU to meet?
  • What breaks YOUR heart?
  • What are YOU uniquely equipped and called to do?

Even if you learn from another model, make it your own. Adapt it for your community. Improve on it. Tweak it. Take it up two notches.

Don’t copy models as much as you follow what God leads you to do.

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there are a total of11
  1. Jun 29, 2010 at 7:14 am

    “Simple Church” by Thom Rainer was an excellent book about principles, sharing a couple of models, but no blueprints about how to make your church a simple church. I was reading reviews of his new book on transforming churches. The negative press about both books caught me off guard. Pastors were expressing their disappointment with Rainer that he didn’t give them the plans to become a simple church. They were hoping the new book would provide those models, but it didn’t. Your words need to be read and digested by us all. If God wanted only one kind of church in the U.S. He would have made us all LifeChurch.TV churches.
    Thanks so much for the post Craig. Let’s keep our hearts close to the Holy Spirit’s design for our churches.

  2. Jun 29, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Definitely agree with your thoughts on this. Yesterday, my husband & I saw one of our church’s former pastors. He & hubby were swapping stories. I couldn’t help but think though about how different the church is now compared to when that man was the pastor. Oh, sure - some of it is still the same basically. But when he was the pastor - the church had never gone through some of the heartaches it has since.. Therefore, it can’t be the same. That’s some of why we know we were sent here.

    Honestly… There were times when I thought we were either going to start a church or go to one that is just a few years old. Funny enough? When God truly is leading - IT can make you want to go to a church that is over 100-years-old and help bring it back to real life! Not just surviving..

    As always.. praying for you/yours Craig.. and all who read whether they comment or not.

  3. Jun 29, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Being led by the power that raised Jesus from the dead can’t lead you wrong.
    Romans 8:6 “..But the mind lef by the spirit is life and peace”

  4. Jun 29, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Romans 8:6 “..But the mind LED by the spirit is life and peace”
    Not sure what lef means. :-)

  5. Jun 29, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Hey Craig,

    I would love to hear your thoughts on how you mesh this with church planting strategies such as LifeChurch’s Network church plants or North Point’s strategic partner church plants where the planter is adopting a model in some ways.


  6. Jun 30, 2010 at 4:58 am

    Great, refreshing post, Craig. Strategy is useful to a point, but everyone involved in a ministry should remember that God brings people together in unique ways for individual situations. I love the idea of trying to bring together unique circumstances, relationships and requirements with useful models. Just because one model is used across a variety of ministries doesn’t mean numerous different results will come out. Thanks for the reminder!

  7. Jun 30, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Hey Craig,

    Thanks for the response. I love the idea of network churches/strategic partnerships mostly for the reason you gave in the last sentence. However, I just want to make sure I’m not missing God’s calling on my life and “copying” a model instead…even though I feel like planting through that model may be exactly what God has been calling me to do.

  8. 9Thomas
    Jul 1, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    This message really spoke to me,
    I have been watching a lot of the archived messages lately,
    Your vision, and life has brought me closer to God more than I could ever imagine,
    May God be with you,

  9. Jul 3, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Great stuff. Shamelessly linking.

    There is a huge temptation to match and follow the latest and greatest. The problem is that following a trend that worked for one group might not only fail with mine, but it might distract me from where God wants me to go.

  10. Nov 12, 2012 at 7:37 am

    So great to hear. Diversity is strength in any habitat. We tend to get threatened by it and want to become clones or otherwise clone ourselves.