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.




















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