Leadership, Pastors

Leadership Institute 2011 Session 4 Adam Hamilton

The opening prayer was given by the Bishop of Southern Africa.

Adam told a story about COR partering with people in Zambia to create fish ponds, so that people can provide fish for themselves.

A 10-year old girl, Gracie, recorded a CD and, with its sales, has raised $10,000 to create fish ponds.

She sang a moving song from her CD. (So what if a 10-year old sings far better than I do?)

Adam has realized that younger people are more interested in serving than past generations in the church.

Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers (rescheduled from yesterday)

1600 volunteers a month serve at COR just for services. This does not include all of the outreach ministries.

2 Keys to Recruiting Volunteers

1. Put the people first, before needs. No slot-filling, except for the church essentials. Start with people’s gifts.

2. The personal invitation, 70% of the people will volunteer if they receive a personal invitation.

When they’re a fit and passionate, it becomes a priority.

Offer training to volunteers who are going to engage with people who are vulnerable.

What demoralizes volunteers?

1. When they feel like they’re failing (when you put them into a position that they’re not suited for)

2. What they feel like what they’re doing doesn’t make a difference (leader must remind volunteers of how they’re ministry is connected to the larger vision)

3. When they feel powerless, when they don’t have a voice, not listened to. Say “yes” to volunteers whenever you can.

Tell volunteers the “Why”.

Leaders are here to euip our volunteers. We work for them. Eph. 4:11-12

Expose volunteers to the end user of their “product”. Ex. help those who sort close to at least occasionally meet the people who get the clothing.

Twice per year, write a hand written note to volunteers and personalize it.

Provide ongoing training and development to volunteers. Share a book, article, etc. Ask leaders to speak and train in needed skills. Take volunteers to an event that will feed them for awhile- Leadership Summit, Leadership Institute, etc.

Dan Entwhistle- Recruiting Volunteers

Serving from the Heart and Leading from the Heart

COR Best Practices

1.  Preaching

There is nothing more important that a pastor does than preaching. If the pastor preaches effectively, everything works better.

Time is the enemy of great preaching.

Teaching + inspiring to action (head, heart, hands)

The Body of Christ does hospital visits, counseling, taking phonecalls, etc.

Bishop W.T. Handy- Preach the Word and love the people.

Adam shared a story of resurrection from a 1/4 time pastor in a rural Illinois church that grew from 2o to 50 people. What made the difference? Good funerals after tragedies, preach pastoral care sermons to congregation afterwards, etc.

Preparing Excellent Messages

a. Mimimum of 10 hours per week for prep and writing. “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” Adam gets 20 hours per week, 1/3 of his time.

b. On sermon writing days, except for critical emergencies, someone else needs to answer phones, conduct visits, provide care for people, etc. If critical emergency, so visit, then reschedule next day’s appointments.

c. High speed internet access, as part of ministry, not pastor’s salary

d. One week away each year, not vacation, to do 1 year in advance sermon planning

e. Survey the congregation before you go away, 1. If there was a sermon series I could preach that would be easy for you to invite your friends to, what would it be? 2. What parts of the Christian faith are you struggling with- theological ideas, parts of the Bible you wish you knew more about, etc? 3. Tell me about your relationships with other people and how you’re doing emotionally, problems in personal life, and you would like to know what the Bible says about it? Ask staff, “What do you think our people need to hear?”

The sheep can talk. Listen.

f.  Small continuing education budget to provide resources for sermons- buy the 4 best commentaries for each series month in advance, read the best books on relationships, etc.

Adam prapares sermon at home to eliminate distractions.


preachingtoday.com (Adam uses about 10 times per year)

Weddings and Funerals

Huge evangelism opportunities for you to care for people who are unchurched.

Tell funeral directors that you are available. Visit family of the deceased in the home for 1 hour.

These ideas are from Adam’s book, “Unleashing the Word.”

Start funeral sermon with family’s stories about the person. The text is the person’s life.

COR employs wedding and funeral coordinators.

Weddings (8 minute homily, Genesis, Colossians 3, story that illustrates real marital love)

Adam loves officiating weddings but admits that he has to psych himself up for it.:)

He starts pre-marital counseling by saying, “I can’t tell you how excited I am to do your wedding.” Pray tohgether. WEhy and what letters.

The couple’s story is the text that begins the wedding homily.

Adam tells Genesis story of Adam and Eve. God formed “the new improved mode of the man. This is what I’ve been waiting for, and she is mysteriously and sometiomes maddeningly different from me.” It was God creating two people to be helpers to each other. God is callling you to do that. God is asking, “Will you be his helper? Will you be her helper?” God doesn’t command you to be in love with each other every second of your lives.

 I don’t think you can do that without God’s help. 

Then, Adam tells a story of love, helping, sacrifice,

John and Denise Elliot, 2 boys, 4 years into their marriage, Denise had a recurrence of a brain tumor, inoperable, They moved back to where there family was, John called Adam and invited him because Denise was close to dying. Adam drove 2 hours to meet them. Adam rang doorbell. John had finished bathing Denise and getting her dressed and putting on her makeup. he carried her down the stairs, cut up a balonga sandiwich and carefully fed her. She didn’t know what was happening anymore.

It stopped being about sex a long time ago, romance,. It is not about a promise, a coveant, love. That’s what you’re signing up for today.

Tells story about how faith has kept he and LaVon together.

God ordains you in marriage when you kneel together. God calls you to marriage, to serve one another.

When you do the loving thing even when you don’t feel like it, love will come back.

Pray for each other. Adam listens to LaVon breathe. he thanks God for LaVon and asks God to help him love her well and thanks God for her.

Some COR series ideas (Adam played video promos for these sermon series)

  • The Journey, Advent campaign, now published by Abingdon
  • Give away entire Christmas Eve offering to children in poverty, half to local and half to global (tell congregation 1 month in advance and ask to give to the offering whatever you will spend on Christmas gifts, Adam shows a short video about where the money will go)
  • Why? Making Sense of God’s Will
  • Going Fishing: Fishing Stories from the Gospels
  • Check out http://cor.org for more sermons (years of video sermons are on the website)

Congregational Care

Adam interviewed Karen Lampe

High touch ministry

All of the 5 ordained Associate Pastors are in charge of providing pastoral care according to the last names of congregants. Most of the people who make COR work are directors of ministries hired from the business world. each pastor oversees 10 volunteer “pastors” who who are congregational care ministers. They have to be members for 3 years before they serve. These volunteers are proactive- hospital visits, funeral homes, weddings, hospice, etc.

We get down in the dirt with people. Karen believes that COR has thrived partly because of pastoral care.

COR has a training event coming up for Congregational Care Ministers, Feb. 10-11, 2012. Read The Caring Congregation.

Adam told another resurrected church story. The pastor said, “We realized that its all about people.”

another church holds an annual Pumpkin Fest, give away free pumpkins, requires everyone in the church to volunteer to serve 400 hundred attendees.

Adam and Debi Nixon spoke about 3 partner churches who are using COR resources, sermons, etc but are not COR campuses. It is a pilot program in which churches maintain their own DNA but use COR resources (similar to Lifechurch.tv Open)

Leadership Institute closed with Communion.



















Leadership, Pastors

Leadership Institute 2011 Session 3 Bill Hybels

Session 3 opened with instrumental music with guitar, cello, dejembe, and piano.

Bill Hybels is speaking at the Church of the Resurrection Leadership Institute.

Bill opened up by giving Adam quite a few compliments. He said, “Adam asked me if I believe in free speech. I said yes. Adam said, ‘Will you come to Kansas City and giv one?'”

The 5 Greatest Lessons that Bill has Learned in Leadership Over the Past 35 Years

If I were on my deathbed, and someone asked me about leadership, I would say:

1. Vision

Taking people from here to there.

Vision is a picture of the future that produces passion in people.

Vision is not your service schedule.:)

“Without a vision, the people perish (they die a little on the inside to your leadership. They lose the sparkle in their eye. They start attending your church mechanically. They ask, “Why do we do this every week?”

A lack of vision bothers business people in your church. They can’t compete without a crystal clear vision.

What I’ve learnmed recently is that the first thing I have to do is to make it impossible to stay where we are. “Here” has become terrible, unbiblical, unjustifiable. Start by saying, “We can’t stay here.”

For the 3 years leading up to the “I Have a Dream” speech, MLK had convinced as people as possible that “we can’t stay here.” Then, he said, “We could go there.”

Convince people that we can’t stay here.

Bill talked about his experience of church as a child that sang songs about transformation and life change but nothing ever happened.

Give reasons why, “We have no choice but to be done with here.” But, after we work really hard, someday we’ll be there, and it will feel like this, smell like this, be like this, and yoou will be so proud of what God is doing in this church.”

Every time you make a little progress, you have to celebrate! “We’re part way to there, and it’s huge!”

Vision leaks. There’s a hole in the bottom of everyone’s vision bucket.

The peope in your church have real lives. They don’t remember everything you say forever.:)

You don’t beat the sheep for forgetting.

Use creative redundancy to remind people at least monthly of the vision.

Preach the vision and then hold post-service meetings to refill everybody’s vision bucket. I won’t beat them up. I’ll just recast the vision.

Vision is the most powerful weapon in the leader’s arsenal.

Vision is paiting a picture of the future that puts passion in people.

2. Get the people in your church engaged.

Nehemiah 4:6, “And the people worked with all their hearts.”

Huge difference between someone who agrees with the vision and somsone who owns the vision.

Great leaders understand the power of ownership of the vision.

When each member of the team feels like they have skin in the game, when they have access ot the leader, when their opinions matter.

Bill said that his father built several successful businesses, but no pastor ever engaged his dad. He died without ever feeling the thrill of a God-honoring vision.

My dad would have had to sense that a pastor was totally committed to the vision. He would have never gotten involved with a small vision. he would have a needed a hige, high-risk vision. if you have small, safe, santitized visions, small, sanitized people sign up for them.

He would have needed to be asked, probably more than once, and by a senior leader. Our highest capacity people stay on the sidelines until I take them to lunch and say, “I know you have a lot of responsibilties, but I need you. if you would help me, we could make real progress. Will you pray about it?” I have asked people 4-5 times.

He would have needed a crsytal clear idea and some latitude. He would have wanted feedback.

He would have recruited 15 franchise players into the local church, and that church would have been changed.

Bill had one volunteer for several building construction projects totaling $100 million. He was emotional because it was done; he was so excited about leading teh projects because he thought buildings buildings was the only thing he could do for God.

High capacity people will own the vision to to their toes.

3. Make your gatherings memorable.

Create great church services. Work so hard trying to make you gatherings memorable that you’e people wouldn’t think of missing your gatherings, and they would regret not inviting their friends.

Acts 2:43 “a sense awe”

Awe- holy moments, God is working so powerfully that you can feel it in the air.

A pastor in London asked anyone in the mediacl profession to stand. He asked members of the congregation to look at them and pray for them. Then the pastor led in a prayer for them. How do you think people who work in medicine felt the next day?

When some staff junk was taking place, I went to a small Africa-American church alone, and an older lady sat down at teh organ and played, “It’s me, Lord, Standing in the Need of Prayer.” I realize that it was me who needed prayer.

People come into your church saying, “Don’t leave me the way you found me when I walked through those doors.”

Design services in whcih peolpe can feel the touch of God somehow, some way.

 Not manufactured passion, yeller louder, or sweating more.

Break your backside in the weeks before services to create worship experiences, on your knees prayerfully, “God, what can we do on this upcoming weekend that will wreck people?”

Willow brought in a guy to pain the way he had sinned in the 30 days since the last Communion- dark, bold colors. Music is playing that dramtizes that. Then, the mood switched to painting and playing music about how God cleans us. Then everyone took Communion. 

Meet with creative people on your worship creation team.

Your gatherings matter! They determine if people are going to be touched by God or not!

4.  Pace yourself for the long haul.

1 Cor. 9:25 “run to win the prize”

I read “The Ultra Marathon Man”

Pacing is everything in distance running. Not too fast, not too slow. Establish your absolute best pace that will give you a shot at winning.

I never thought I would make it to Willow’s 25th anniversary. I started out way too fast. I hit a wall of exhaustion. I hurt myself deeply and considered “leaving the race.” I went to a Christian counselor. I’m burning bas fuel. I’m trying to please people, and I’m trying to understand why.

I spent four years in counseling.

Willow will celebrate their 36th anniversary soon. I would not be in the race were it not for that four year era in which I sought help from a counselor.

You’re know you’re running too fast when you’re prayers are just cries for help.

I know what it’s like to say, “I can’t keep this up, but if I stop, it will all come crashing down.”

People who have their humility to go talk to someone usually find help and experience some kind of healing.

On Willow’s 35th anniversary, Bill took 4 people on vaction who helped him start the church. One guy asked, “Why couldn’t our next 5 years be the best 5?”

5. Pay attention to whispers from God.

What’s happened in my life could be reduced to one word, “whisper.”

My dad had a plan for me until I heard the whisper from God to leave the family business and help a friend in a youth ministry. I knew that if I obey this whisper, I will destroy my father.

I went in to talk with my dad, and my dad asked, “Who told you to do this?” It came in the form of a whisper. “You’re betting the farm on a whisper?” Yes. “Well, it better be right.”

I left the company with nothing, and I remember thinking, “I just bet the whole farm of my life on a whisper. I better be right.”

I got another whisper, “Start a church in a movie theater.” Really?

The services did not go well at first. It took two years to see the kind of fruit we had hoped for.

That started with a whisper.

The Willow Creek Association started with a whisper.

The new care center that will feed thousands of hungry people started with a whisper.

You’re here today in this room because of a whisper. How is it that you wound up here? You got a whisper.

Whispers really, really matter. Whispers lead people to God. Whispers lead people to serve. Whispers matter.

Quiet your life so that you can hear them. Discern them carefully to make sure they’re from God. Then, when you’re sure they’re from God, obey them no matter what.

The local church is the hope of the world.

Adam then interviewed Bill for a few minutes.

AH: How do you listen for the whisper?

BH: I make it a part of my daily spiritual practices- reading Scripture, pray, journal, include a listening portion for 4-5 minutes with a journal out. “God, do you want to affirm anthing to me?” Now, I’m going to go to work, but I’m going to keep one ear open all day.”

I believe people get whispers in direct proportion to how much they want to hear God’s voice.

AH: What does your daily spiritual discipline look like?

BH: Mine is unique to me. I’m a morning guy, so I start in the morning. I have energy and clarity at 6am. I read Scripture on a Bible reading plan. I journal application from the Scripture, I write out my prayers, because I can’t stay focused on my prayers. Then I read my prayers to God. Then, I listen and write down what I am sensing.

It’s often people-related, “Jack need your affirmation today. He’s been working hard. encourage him.” Sometimes I need to apologize to someone.

I make a promise to God everyday. God, I want to keep this conversation going all day long. Please speak to me thoughout the day.

Do this whenever you have the most energy. Do what works for you.

AH: Tell us about reinventing and church lifecycle.

BH: Bill drew a lifecycle curve diagram. We don’t put all of Willow on teh graph, because each part is in a differen place in the lifecycle.

A recent small group idea tanked in 18 months. I met with Willow people in a post-service meeting to describe the tanking. He apologized and invited people to vent about the ministry. People vented for 45 minutes.

60 days later, Bill had another meeting and decribed the new small group plan.

This has been true of every ministry at Willow. Nothing rocks forever.

Ex. The minute weekend programming starts to get stale, we do a 2-day offsite retreat and reinvent.

Willow only had volunteers for the first 3 years.

Assess these 3 areas on the lifecycle curve:

1. Weekend gathering.

Admit where they are. It’s an idictment on your leadership if you don’t talk about it.

2. Kids ministry and student ministry

Whose willing to volunteer to resurrect our childrens and student ministry?

Adam closed by praying for Bill that his best years of ministry would be ahead of him..  



























Leadership, Pastors

Leadership Institute 2011 Session 2

A small choir opened the session with two songs with a welcome by Adam Hamilton in between.

Practicing the Art of Leadership

Adam Hamilton

1. Strategic Planninig in the Church

Adam shared the results of the pre-institute survey- funny stuff. Apparently members of churches think pastors need more training in leadership and preaching… shocking!:)

Adam hired someone to teach him to lead strategic planning, read Harvard Business Review, etc.

Vision has the power to draw us into the future. Vision excites, moves people.

Adam has spoken to 29 annual conferences in past several years on leadership, preaching and worship, and evangelism and missions. Wants to speak at all annual conferences in 10 years.

COR members pray for pastors and churches that Adam is about to speak to.

SMART Goals- strategic, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely

One of the great vision speeches was given in 1962 by Pres. Kennedy regarding the space race., “not because they are easy but because they are hard.” Vision captures people hearts, inspires them, and they will work hard to fulfill it.

People are drawn to high expectations.

Can you describe one or two key visions that your church council has articulated and strategized to fulfill in the next year?

Sometimes Adam casts a new vision on his own. Often, Adam invites staff and laypeople to dream together. The vision is refined through a collaborative process.

The vision always fits in with the mission and overall vision of the church.

Adam gave the example and showed a video of a growing vision of giving away a bed a day to children who do not have a bed in Kansas City as well as sheets, pillows, blankets, etc. The school counselors let COR know when a child needs a bed.

Families shop for free beds and furniture at COR’s warehouse, Our Father’s House. Before they take them, volunteers gather around the kids and their families and pray for them. They let them know that they have provided a bed in Jesus’ name. Last year, they gave away 1500 beds. This year, they’re on track to give away 2200 beds to children in KC.

Ron Heifetz (Harvard): the world as it is vs. the world as it should be, or, as a church, where we are vs. where we would like to be

The world as it should be… the Kingdom of God

Annual Strategic Planning Process

“Mind the gap” and close it between what is and what should be

  • Start with prayer, “God what do you want us to do?”
  • Remember our church mission and vision
  • Assessment of our weaknesses, “Where can we improve?”- surveymonkey, convos with leaders, all feedback
  • Opportunities in the community
  • Bring faith to bear in “Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond what we can ask or imagine
  • Brainstorm visions- congregation shares dreams through email, etc.; staff meetings, Adam showed a video about COR members’ vision post-it notes, Church Council reada all members’ dreams

Church Planning Retreat- lay out possible visions, then determine/discern the most important and doable this year, prioritize, categorize (lump together what can), give every leader 3 dot stickers, then leaders place their dots next to the ones they choose.

My thoughts:

Cast vision with passion and, at times, with a smile. Fulfilling the vision will be joyful and fun and difficult and challenging. 

2. Leading Change

Adam showed a huge clunky orginal Apple computer. It predated the 1984 Mac. Adam talked about the history of Apple with and without Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs cut the 350 products down to 10 products. Jobs gave Apple a vision of what computers could do and focused.

Adam showed the Apple marketing campaign, Think Different , “Here’s to the crazy ones…”

Are you one of the crazy ones? Do you believe that empowered through the Holy Spirit, you can change things?

Apple experimented. Apple lost $1 billion on the Apple Newton. However, the Newton mistake became the iPhone, and iPad.

Apple Quicktake camera flopped, but it became iPhoto.

We believe in resurrection.

Change. Innovate. Improve or die. “I only like the changes I initiate.”

If we’re unwilling to change, we have no future.

This is why we need leaders. Leaders move people to do things that don’t want to do but need to do.

 Constantly think about what needs to change.

Last year, Adam saw decline in the 9:00 am worship service and began changing the worship style. After surveying the congregation, 80% of the people over 60 love the choir and orchestra. Under 30 said %20 felt engaged by choir and orchestra.

Best two Sunday School hours for children are Sunday morning, but the two Sunday morning services were drawing older people. If this continues, COR will have no children raised up to be disciples.

Adam cast vision to change 9:00 am children to filfill the mission of leading children to Christ.

8 Steps for Leading Change

1. Identify the critical change and make sureits backed up by facts and has a clear “so that” (result)

2. Build a guiding coalition with your key influencers. Share your vision with them personally, one on one.

3. Make the case to the stakeholders- members, staff, while RAISING URGENCY

4. Devel0p the vision and communicate it frequently and with passion.

5. Press through the opposition, listening, answering, adapting

6. Re-communicate the vision

7. Evaluate midcourse and make corrections

8. Celebrate small victories, every time you see something working well, even the smallest success.

Read john Cotter Leading Change for more.

Adam shared story of Mt. Vernon Place Church near D.C. led by Dawn Claycomb that resurrected from 9 people (average age 82) to 87 people, a 1000% increase. 97 year old Mabel supported Dawn during the change process. 

Laypeople, are you part f the guiding coalition to lead change? SPRC and Church Council should say, “We’re with you!”

Changing is a constant process.

3. Reaching Future Generations

COR is aging. Adam showed 3 membership age graphs from 2o00, 2005, and 2010. Showing people this is the job of the leader.

It’s not about favoring young vs. old. It’s about having a future.

Most churches stop paying attention to younger people.

Committee members rotating off one committee often just rotate to another committee, and so the leadership doesn’t change.

The highest role is not serving on a committee. The highest role is when you’re on the frontlines serving in a ministry.

As the pastor ages, and as members age, they think about life from their age perspective.

At COR, 1/3 of committee members under 35, 1/3 35-55, 1/3 55+

The role of a leader includes producing a new generation of leaders. Who are you mentoring? Let younger people make decisions, make mistakes, and learn from them.

Sermons that speak to younger people, ex. “When Christians Get It Wrong” series, Adam showed the video. 500 20-somethings joined the church after that sermon series.

In what part of the city do younger people live? Resurrection West and Dowtown. COR is buying a bar next to a strip club in KC.

Adam interviewed Scott Krostok (sp?), Resurrection Dowtown pastor. Scott said that a lot of the younger people in downtown just see church as irrelevant. Scott talks to people in coffee shops as friends and a growing group of people started doing it to. They get to know people and invite them when its natural.

Scott said that the younger people downtown want to change the world. Often the front door of the church is serving the city. They are excited about transforming the city and forming authentic community and have a space to get together.

Adam asked one thing we shouldn’t do to turn off young adults? Scott answered, “Don’t be impatient and don’t approach people with a motive other than to know who they are.” Become friends. If you approach people just to invite them to church, that is repulsive.

Build relationships. Whenever its natural, invite people to serve in the community, to serve in schools, womens shelter, etc. While serving in those activities, relationshops develop, and they want to come to church because its natural.

COR also started the Vibe worship service for younger adults, and its teh fastest growing service at the Leawood campus. 

4. How to Take People into Deeper Discipleship

Adam drew the discipleship pyramid.

sanctification at the top of a triangle.

10% of congregation is at teh top near sanctification

20% are growing key leaders

30% are regulars but still have a ways to go

40% are loosley connected, somewhat committed, attend worship sporadically. 

Jesus also spent a lot of time with people not yet even on teh triangle.

Pastors, teach the top 10% to feed themselves. Pastor inspire and motivate them.

Intentionality Principle: If you’re going to make disciples of Jesus, figure out what one looks like.

COR’s Journey is to know, love and serve God.

Intentionally move people up the triangle. You have to approacah them in different ways, but begin with the end in mind.

Adam interviewed Carol, director of adult discipleship. She shared COR’s discipleship process, worship -> Alpha – short courses for each of the 3 parts of the Journey- know, love, and serve God ->small Groups -> serving

COR has a 15 core traits of deeply committed Christian online assessment and on paper.

Small groups and individuals can take the assessment together.

Adam emphasized the intentionality behind this process.

5. How to recruit and retain great volunteers

Next session


Leadership, Pastors

Leadership Institute 2011 Session 1

The worship band played chill music as participants walked in , and Debi Nixon welcomed everyone.

The worship band led us in several contemporary worship songs, followed by a video bumper introducing the conference.

Adam Hamilton gave the morning session address, “Leadership Essentials.”

Adam stated that he hopes we hear a clear call to help revitalize other churches, not just our own, and have a vision for raising up a new generation of leaders.

Adam quickly told the story of starting COR with no people, no land, no money. The conference then paid his salary for one year, and he used his second year’s salary to pay for direct mail.

Dream of buildng a Christian community where thinking nonreligious and nominally religious people are becoming committed Christians.

There were 18 new churches meeting in every school in the area, so COR had to begin meeting in a funeral home chapel (Adam tells this story in greater detail in his book Leading Beyond the Walls).

You must believe that your church really matters. COR had 90 people for the first month after launch.

1. Lifecycles of organizations

The UMC has been in decline since 1964, and at the current rate of decline, the church has 53 years left until it no longer exists in America. Lovett Weems speaks of the coming “death tsunami” in mainline churches.

Ezekiel 37- Is it possible that over 30,000 UMC churches can be resurrected?

Young adults are checking out of church more often than in the past. Adam prays 5 times a day for a church that will speak to his 20-something daughters.

Charles Handy growth curve

COR is at pinnacle of their growth and has had to launch new growth curves (internet campus, multi-site campuses) to continue growing. Your church will experience some decline as you begin a new growth curve and will then grow again.

Aadam showed a video testimony from Resuurection Blue Springs, a new campus of COR that was formerly its own congregation. Blue Springs doubled in size in one year after COR took over.

In most communities in America, over 50% of the popluation is not part of any church.

Help other churches. “Bear one another’s burdens.”

Adam told the story of a resurrected church in New Jersey, Oasis UMC, that doubled in soze to over 100 in two years.

15% UMC congregation are “highly vital”. 60% are declining.

Drivers of Vitality

  • Effective pastoral leadership, good preaching, raising up lay leaders
  • Worship that speaks to people in community
  • Programs for children and youth
  • Smallg roups for adults
  • High percentage of laity in leadership
  • Missional involvement outside the walls of the church

 Effective leaders build relationships. People come to Christ because you care about them. They feel Christ’s presence in you. You must invest in people in personal relationships. (Adam’s “mugging” visits, high touch, if person’s not home, wrote a personal note and place it in the coffee mug. Adam remembered visitors name on second visit, and if Adam called them by name, they would join the church. Last year, servant teams showed u at midmight Christmas to deliver coffee mugs to Christmas Eve visitors)

Adam told another story about a resurrecting church in Alabama from 16 to 42 members.

2. Clarify the church’s misson (the “Why”)

3. Discern God’s Vision (the “Where”)

A clear compelling future, measurable (metrics) that stirs the hearts of people.

Adam’s next 20 year vision is 20,000 professions of faith, thousands in ministry, and renewing the UMC church after it bottoms out at 3-4 million members and grows again

Is there one thing that the congregation would say, “We’re all going to do this one thing in the next year, or 3 years, and we’re really excited about it.” 

4. Leaders honestly face shortcomings and pursue excellence

No “good enough” mediocrity

Constantly ask, “How can we do better?”

Ex. Adam asks 3 people to read his sermon manuscript on Saturday and asks them to mark it up, give feedback, and improve his sermon.

Don’t crush people, give praise for 5 things done right and give constructive criticism in one area.

Anonymous 360 evaluation for every staff member, including the lead pastor, every year (echospan or survey monkey). Set goals based on these reviews. (This is vital) If you want the truth, make it anonymous. People will not be honest if they are known becuase they are afraid they will be treated differently or lose their jobs.

Adam shared another story of resurrection in Iowa, from 150-250 in worship 7 years later.

5. Meaningful, moving, well-led Worship

Worship is usually the front door

Adam speaks of the worship experience as a restaurant experienced by a first-time visitor.

Low vitality worship vs. high vitality worship

unclear, unthoughful sermon vs. Well-researched, thoughful, inspiring sermon

Mediocre music vs. Well-performed music led by people who are authentically worshiping

Understanding of worship elements assumed vs. Elements of worship explained clearly

New people ignored vs. New people welcomed and respected

Adam gave his two types of sermons from his book Unleashing the Word.

Every other sermon series at COR alternates between the two types.

Stanford marshmallow experiment ( A couple of years ago, I preached a sermon using this as the central image called “Drop the Marshmallow”)

Adam told another story of two churches in South Carolina. The female pastor grew the churches from 8 people to 60 people, a %750 increase.

Adam invited churches to measure ourselves in these 5 areas and discuss these with their church group later today.

Pastoral Self-Care

Adam closed by addressing self-care for pastors.

After traveling and speaking too much this past year, Adam passed out on a flight from South Korea from sickness and exhaustion.

He welcomed Kirk Byron Jones, the author of Addicted to Hurry, as guest speaker for a few minutes. Luke 8:40-46. Jesus served and then withdrew and prayed.

Root your worth in God.

Serve at the sacred pace, the pace of Jesus, serving and then withdrawing and then serving again.

My persoal thoughts abotu self-care:

Stressed out does not equal working hard. Many pastors are stressed out, not because they worl hard, but because they are not equipped to lead.

A full schedule does not equal working smart. Many pastors feel the need to stay busy, but do not know how to lead with vision, strategy, and goals, so they do busy work or fall victim to the tyranny of the urgent.

I have found that pastors often err on one side or the other of the work/rest spectrum. Some are workaholics and do not rest, while others rest far too much and do not work enough.

The key is to work hard and work smart and also take strategic times of sabbath, rest. Do the right things and enoug of the right things, then rest, and then work again.

Leadership, Pastors

Leadership Institute 2011

I’m flying to Kansas City today to attend Leadership Institute 2011 at Church of the Resurrection.

I’ll be blogging throughout the event as I did last year.

This is the first of a string of blogs from last year’s Leadership Institute, starting with the opening talk by Adam Hamilton: