Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Systems

Yesterday I spend all day in a group with Glenn Smith learning about creating systems for a church. This post is just a way for me to process what I learned and to maybe get some of you thinking about systems. I'll warn you that this is going to be a long post.

As a church planter I've believed the lie that in order for things to get done (or for things to get done well) I need to do them. This is an easy lie to believe because when things start I end up playing the role of technician -- one in which I end up doing all the work. But I have to learn how to engage others in doing the work and delegate (not abdicate). The goal is to be a strategic leader who creates jobs, spends more time working on the ministry than working in the ministry and who creates and manages critical systems in the church.

The problem is that most pastors/church planters, including myself, are the system. We need to move away from being the system toward developing systems and then leveraging those systems.

The three critical systems that a church needs are an assimilation system, a spiritual formation system and a leadership development system.

An assimilation system works to move persons who are far away from God to a place where they are relationally connected to two or more attenders and towards a role where they are making a meaningful contribution to the larger group.

A spiritual formation system works to take the person who is relationally and meaningfully connected and move them from where they are to faith n Jesus and then to being a reproducing missional disciple (I hope to write more on what a reproducing missional disciple is later). This spiritual formation typically involves three factors: A meaningful relationship with one or more Christ-followers that leads to internal processing and accountability, an interactive relationship with God, and an engaging of the person's natural talents/abilities in service to others in order to accomplish God's kingdom purposes.

A leadership development system involves creating a leadership pipeline that develops leaders over a lifetime. I need to think about and process this a bit more. It was the most confusing of the systems, probably because I've never been a part of anything like it (unfortunately).

Now that I've shared these I want to get to work creating some systems so that, whatever happens with The Point or with a new church plant, that we'll have some systems in place to assimilate people into the body, grow them into reproducing missional disciples and develop leaders.

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