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Regional Cohort Gatherings Aug 17 & 18, 2011


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Topic: "Successful Fall Outreach" From the "Big Picture" Regional Cohort Gatherings for church planters on the East Coast Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

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Regional Cohort Gatherings Aug 17 & 18, 2011

  1. 1. Regional Cohort Gatherings | Big Picture • Wed Aug 17: NY/NJ Metro Cohort • Thu Aug 18: Greater Boston/New England CohortBig Picture Topic: “Successful Fall Outreach”Goals: • every church plant grows in spiritual depth and in reaching people • strong launches for new church plants • plateaued churches break 100 • strong launch for those launching 2nd worship servicesWhy Care about “Successful Outreach” Efforts?Its a Command: • Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV) 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."People are Seeking: • Acts 17:26b-34 (NIV) 26b [He] marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and nd him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.‘ 29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” 32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.Our Efforts Are “Required”… and Promised Great Fruitfulness: • Luke 10:2 (NIV) He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest eld. • shouldn’t blame the " elds" and "fruit"Practical Concerns • Survive & Thrive: short-term and long-term survivability and thrive-ability of a church and its mission • VIM: Vision, Intentionality, and Means - together these are the measures of a “Healthy Missional Church” • “Stable” churches sometimes slip on Vision and Intentionality • “Critical-Moment” and “At-Risk” churches often struggle with all three to varying degrees • Church plants, almost by de nition, are “Healthy Missional”, but if they struggle it’s usually with their Means - the necessary ministry muscle and resources to ful ll the mission God has given them • Creating a Movement: requires healthy, missional, church-planting churchesRegional Cohort Gatherings | Big Picture: “Successful Fall Outreach” page 1 of 4
  2. 2. Present Reality • Our Current Church Plants • Under 100: • several plateaued or still under 100 - a very vulnerable spot to stay for long • around 75, just complex enough to require lots of effort, but not quite big enough to have sufficient resources to tackle the challenges • Over time will tend back toward what is "manageable" • Out of Space: • some are running out of worship space • likely need to go to two worship gatherings • Our Upcoming Church Plants: want a strong Launch to break through the 75 barrier, and then the 125 mark in a relatively short timeframe"But it can’t be all about numbers!" • So true! ... and we should not ignore them either :) • Question: What do the "numbers" represent? • Illustration: my "last 20/next 20 people" at Artisan ChurchCreating Ministry MomentumLarger Context for Effective Outreach • Flow: Ministry efforts shouldn’t happen in isolation, but build on previous work and anticipate future endeavors • Strategic Leadership: planters with high Spirituality or Chemistry strengths often do less well in area of Strategy • Opportunity Cost: "opportunity cost" is often more important than people or nancial costsDeconstruct a Working Example: “Typical” Artisan Church Fall Outreach Season • Our Goal: to reach more people for Christ, especially with men 22-28, and students 17-21, with measurable results. In Fall of 2008 that meant breaking decisively through 125 • reverse engineered desired outcomes (ex: want people connected in small groups, therefore need to have small groups in place, therefore need to have small group leaders prepped, therefore…) • designed clean hand-offs for transitions from one event/series/movement to another • tether-ball metaphor: hit it "low & slow" • General Strategy and Support Pieces: • Broke Outreach Season into three parts: Simple College Outreach and Huge Neighborhood Outreach, with short strategic breather in between • ”TXT Messages”: Sept 2008 College Outreach Series • During this series we did little more than create an engaging and provocative series, plus had good relationships with area college & university campus ministries. Strong word of mouth brought in dozens. [] • 9/7: “OMG” - Experience God (Brian Haak) • 9/14: “WTF” - Face the Pain (Jason Condon) • 9/21: “LOL” - Enjoy Life (Scott Austin) • 9/28: “IMHO” - Share Your Story (Jason Condon) - emphasized personal invitation and evangelismRegional Cohort Gatherings | Big Picture: “Successful Fall Outreach” page 2 of 4
  3. 3. • “Connect & Grow”: two-part mini-series to catch our breath, help rst wave of people connect, and prep for the big Oct neighborhood outreach push (used Facebook theme) • “Scarecrow: What Are You Afraid Of?”: Oct Neighborhood Outreach: • We pulled out all the stops for this one. I was tired of being stuck under 125. We planned and executed very strategically so that everything tied-together and each piece reinforced the other for a multiplier effect. This series also built up to a strong evangelistic call to response [] • 10/19: “Scarecrow in the Mirror” (Jason Condon) • 10/26: “Scarecrow Superstitions” (Brian Haak) - used the upcoming Halloween weekend • 11/2: “Scarecrow Politics” (Scott Austin) - thematically connected to the Presidential Election • 11/9: “Scarecrow Messiahs” (Jason Condon) - strong evangelistic call to respond to Jesus • Word of Mouth, Personal Invitation, & Marketing: • Nothing Beats Personal Invitation, but… The battle is won “on the ground” through word of mouth and personal invitation, but good marketing materials provide “air support” that encourages & equips your people to invite, plus reaches those who can’t or don’t get personal invitations • Marketing Pieces: door-hangers (distributed roughly 8,000 in surrounding neighborhoods), promo video, evites, 4‘x12’ long banner on front lawn, 2‘x6’ tall hallway banner for both internal marketing and visibility for the many guests we planned and designed for throughout the week in our building • Social Networking: modest use of Facebook and Twitter. This was when these tools were just getting traction, but we were reaching very early adopters with technology and social media so it t for us • Multiple Tie-Ins with Series: Each Sunday message tied-in with the surrounding events • Pre-Series Outreach Event: “Cider Days” - apple picking, cider press, deep fried turkeys (Best. Event. Ever.) • Halloween: “Spooktacular” - cosponsored neighborhood Halloween party, with big lawn banner, and announcements in various Neighborhood Association newsletters and e-news blasts. Plus neighborhood trick-or-treating and “wear your costume to church” Sunday • Presidential Election: Co-hosted evening for two candidates for NY State Senate • Over Determined Success: Why didnt we just pick the one "silver bullet" that wouldve worked? Because we didnt know which one it was! Also, each effort had a chance to reach different people, and the roughly 25 people we were hoping would stick (of about 50-60 that might come through), really wasnt that large a number when you broke it down (such as 6 from the door hangers, 2 from lawn banner, 8 from personal invitation, 3 from Spooktacular, 4 from the weeknight events, etc. all starts to add up)Insights from Regional Coaches • Peter Ahn: Power of a Preaching Calendar (Bonus: preparations for a Christmas offering) • Michael Carrion: Challenges and Opportunities Last Summer and This Fall; Lessons on Outreach and Good Coaching • Josh Throneburg: The Role of Leadership in Effective Outreach, pastoral, paid, and volunteerRegional Cohort Gatherings | Big Picture: “Successful Fall Outreach” page 3 of 4
  4. 4. Count the Cost • Luke 14:28-30 (NIV) 28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you rst sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to nish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to nish.’”Group Discussion • If you’re comfortable sharing, where are you now with attendance? what has the trend been? • What challenges and opportunities are you facing for outreach and growth this Fall? • What have you tried? What worked? did nothing? failed spectacularly!?Get Real: Move from Theory to Application • Neither ignore nor simply "wish" healthy growth will happen, its not more spiritual to avoid strategic planning • Want to set realistic, yet faith-stretching goals for this fall (or whenever it applies in your situation) • Find your style, but try something, especially if other efforts (or lack or efforts) havent worked • Take a few minutes to set preliminary goals (don’t worry, you can always change it, but go with your gut for now)In It Together: Encouragement & Accountability • Share goals and metrics within the group for accountability, encouragement, and sharing resources • Well publish quick stories, questions, feedback, and results weekly in our private Facebook group • Working with your Coach and/or Jason, create an actionable plan in light of your goals and resourcesNext Time | Peer-Led: “Successful Fall Outreach”NY/NJ Metro Details • Date: Wed Sept 7, 10:30am-2pm • Location: Promised Land Covenant Church (or somewhere else?)Greater Boston/New England Details: • Date: Thu Sept 8, 10:30am-2pm • Location: Quincy Covenant Church (315 Whitwell St., Quincy, MA, 02169)Future Details: • Oct: you’ll schedule on your own “cluster” meetings of 2-4 pastors (or so) for mutual encouragement and accountability, covering the questions from your monthly Church Planter Reports: “How are you doing Physically? Spiritually? Emotionally?” • Nov: Just Gathering Sunday Night, Nov 13, at the start of of Fall Pastors Retreat at Pilgrim Pines, Swanzey, NH. • Non-Covenant pastors are welcomed if you’d like to explore more of the Covenant and the East Coast Conference, just connect with Jason for details • NY/NJ Cohort, we’re no longer meeting Wed Nov 9 as we had originally planned (Boston/N.E. decided not to, makes sense with the Fall Pastors Retreat that coming weekend) • Calendar of Church Planter & Church Planting Events: • Visit to view and/or subscribe to our East Coast Conference Google calendar • Entries labeled “Church Planting:” are speci cally for church plantersTopic Ideas: What would you like to see? What might you like to present? • Website & Social Media • • • Physical Health & Fitness • • • • •Regional Cohort Gatherings | Big Picture: “Successful Fall Outreach” page 4 of 4