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June 6th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

Breaking Barriers - 5

If your church isn’t growing, change something!

You might consider:

  • Changing your preaching
  • Changing your worship
  • Changing your building
  • Changing your personal prayer time
  • Changing a staff member
  • Changing the way you make decisions

Some define insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Some churches are insane.

Don’t try to do what you’re doing better. Do something different!

What is God calling you to change?

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June 5th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

Breaking Barriers - 4

Yesterday we talked about having the right people with you. Let’s continue this discussion and add to it a twist:

Do you have enough “above the line” or “below the line” people?

Here is a rough definition of what I mean:

Above the line: this is primarily a person who draws people to the church.
Below the line: this is primarily a person who builds structure to sustain those in church.

Above the line leaders are generally a charismatic student pastor, a dynamic worship pastor, or a gifted communicator.

Below the line leaders might include a systematic student pastor (building structure and relationships), a small group leader, a finance person, or an administrator.

(The role doesn’t necessarily determine if it is above or below the line as much as the person in the role. A senior pastor can draw people with anointed preaching—above the line. Or he might be an average speaker who relationally holds the church together—below the line.)

  • With too many above the line people, your church will have a big front door and big back door.
  • With too many below the line people, your church will have a small front door and small back door.

A growing organization will see the need for both, those who drive the growth and those who help sustain it.

Are you primarily a below the line or above the line leader? Is your ministry out of balance in one way?

(All of you silent readers, please join the conversation. We can’t learn from you unless you contribute!)

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June 4th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

Breaking Barriers - 3

One of my friends, Sam Chand, has a series of books affectionately called the “Ladder Series.” One of my favorites is called, “Who’s Holding Your Ladder?” In it, he describes the limitations we put on our own leadership when we have the wrong people around us.

One of the greatest barriers to growth is having the wrong people in leadership (paid or volunteer).

  • The person who leads your kids ministry of 20 may not have the gifts to lead your kids’ ministry of 200.
  • Your worship leader may be effective for your 400-person church, but not if you’re ministering to 1200.
  • Your finance person may be able to manage $100,000 a year but not $1,000,000.

It may be time to make a change.

(This doesn’t mean these people aren’t committed believers. It doesn’t mean they aren’t great. They deserve honor, love, and respect. But if they are a barrier to reaching more people, you may prayerfully have to make a transition.)

I’ve found that the unwillingness to make these hard decisions is one of the most common problems in leadership.

Which do you want more? To break through the barrier and lead many more to Christ? Or to “not rock the boat” and continue like this forever?

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June 3rd, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

Breaking Barriers - 2

My wife and I always heard that when you go from two children to three, everything changes. (You move from man-to-man defense into zone.) Raising three children (or six in our case) is much different than raising two. It takes a different mindset. Our schedules are different. Our interaction is different. A lot is different.

If your church is going to grow from:

70 to 120
180 to 250
400 to 700
1,200 to 1,800
2,500 to 6,000
7,000 to 20,000
25,000 to 100,000

You are going to have to change your mindset. Much of what you are doing now won’t work later. Some things that will be different:

  • Your relationship with staff and church members
  • Your meetings, organizational structure, policies, and financial management
  • Your schedule
  • Your inward comfort or discomfort
  • Your style of leadership
  • Your means of communication
  • Your family

If you are unwilling to change and grow, your organization will not likely follow.

Your assignment:

  • Find someone who is where you want to be and learn from them. Don’t just try to learn what they do, but learn how they think.
  • And pray like you’ve never prayed before that God will grow you as a leader.

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June 2nd, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

Breaking Barriers - 1

All growing organizations eventually hit barriers to growth. When the barrier becomes greater than the leadership’s ability to navigate, the organization will stall.

This week, I’m rerunning a week of posts about how to break through barriers to growth.

(Let’s not forget, God brings the growth. But there are certain things we do to limit or facilitate growth.)

Generally speaking, the longer your church has been beneath a barrier, the more dramatic step it will take to break through the barrier. If some small change would make the difference, you would have made that a long time ago.

Questions You Must Ask:

  • Do we really want to change?
  • Are we prepared to lose some people to reach more people?
  • Would I be willing to resign my spot if that is what it took?

What are your thoughts?

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