Your Opportunity for God Dreams Training – Virtually!

Your church needs more than another strategic plan in this season. Don’t waste critical time this Summer, making wrong assumptions from limited-perspective planning. Decisions your church makes right now will impact the next decade of effective ministry.

Times of uncertainty like these require both vision and strategy. The Horizon Storyline tool from Will Mancini’s groundbreaking 2016 book, God Dreams, helps leaders develop the right amount of vision content for the right time in the future, for the entire leadership team.

Now, Auxano co-founders Jim Randall and Will Mancini are unpacking the Horizon Storyline toolbox in a live, online training May 4th-7th for a limited group of church and denominational leaders. In this God Dreams Certification course, thoughtful church leaders will learn to master the content and become prepared to serve their teams.

Additionally, if you have ever considered leveraging your experience to serve other churches, but didn’t know where to start, this event is for you. Being a “God Dreams Certified” consultant will give you unparalleled tools and expert training, launching you into this new season.

To maximize learning in this unique and dynamic live event, we are limiting registration. It will fill up quickly.

Go ahead, take your next step, and learn more about God Dreams Certification right here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Creating a New Scoreboard: Results, Engagement, and Strategy

Auxano co-founder Will Mancini wrapped up his two-day introduction to the Better Future Web Series by talking about creating a new scoreboard. You can watch the video replay here.

What’s the Better Future Web Series?

Every weekday morning at 11 a.m. EDT/10 a.m. CDT, our team of Navigators will deliver timely content designed to bring breakthrough clarity in a season of unprecedented uncertainty.

There is no charge, and no sign up necessary – jump on right here when and if you can. Bring a team if it works. Bandwidth is limited, but we plan to offer replays and follow-up tools…whatever it takes.

We will use the ZOOM platform for this event, and the connection link can be found here.

A critical part of our daily (M-F) time will be the foundation provided by Will’s book, Innovating DiscipleshipReleased in 2013 as a part of Auxano’s Church Unique Intentional Leader Series, Innovating Discipleship distills how great leadership moves forward in seasons of unprecedented uncertainty.

> Download your free PDF of Innovating Discipleship here, for a limited time.

We are now living in a world devoid of best practices, proven strategies, and models to follow. In some way we are pastors, parents, or people leading from a playbook being written after each successive play. The second week of March 2020 pulled back the curtain on our leadership confidence, and we now stand in a moment of naked uncertainty.

Here’s the thing though, the opposing force of uncertainty is not certainty: it is clarity.

The clarity to lead toward God’s better future will not come from confidence in a tactic or plan, as those are changing hour-by-hour. Clarity will only emerge from faith in the One who placed your unique church, in your unique place, with your unique people, with your unique passion for accomplishing something that no other church can accomplish. Tactics, strategic plans, coaching…those are all great leadership tools—when you have some sense of what’s next.

Join us every weekday for 25-30 minutes of helpful, practical content and conversation for church teams!

Better Future Web Series

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Four Paths to A Better Future

Auxano co-founder Will Mancini launched Auxano’s “Better Future Web Series” today. Catch the video replay here.

The Better Future Web Series contains 20-25 minutes of helpful, practical content and conversation for church teams every weekday morning at 11 a.m. EDT/10 a.m. CDT. Click on the image below to watch today’s session.

In this no-cost, daily leadership moment, our team of Navigators will deliver timely content designed to bring breakthrough clarity in a season of unprecedented uncertainty. Will Mancini launched the series today by unpacking Four Paths to the Future from his book Innovating Discipleship (here’s a limited-time free PDF download to read more).

There is no charge or sign up necessary for the Better Future Web Series. Jump on right here when and if you can. Bring a team if it works. Bandwidth is limited, but we plan to offer replays and follow-up tools…whatever it takes.

See you on Friday as Will continues with “Introduction to ADAPT.”


 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Let’s Talk About the FUTURE: God’s Better Future!

There are plenty of folks helping you deal with the present in this crisis; even my running shoe store has sent an URGENT email blast. It seems everyone wants you to know what they are doing RIGHT NOW to respond.

The Auxano Team is excited to talk about the FUTURE: God’s better future.

For almost 20 years now, we have partnered with local church teams to create what we call breakthrough clarity. For more about this, listen to a podcast episode with Will Mancini here.

In doing this, we define VISION in every process as illustrating and anticipating God’s better future for the church. Vision is simply a travel brochure for a place we are called to go.

There is a better future to lead toward, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

As we all navigate these strange and challenging days, here are a few resources to help you lead toward God’s better future:

> Your daily dose of hope, the Better Future Web Series – tune in every weekday at 11am ET/ 10 am CT, because tactics and plans are dependent on clarity first.

> A free download of Will Mancini’s book Innovating Discipleship because seven years ago, Will “called his shot” of every church reaching a crisis point that demanded innovation. He unpacks 4 paths to the future in this book.

> Stories of pastoral breakthrough in our My Ministry Breakthrough Podcast because you’re not alone, and hearing stories from other leaders proves it!

> Guest Experience Design resources from Bob Adams because you’ve always said you would work on your welcoming systems if you could just escape the Sunday volunteer crush.

> Blog articles from our navigator team: Will Mancini and Bryan Rose, because we are continually leading toward a better future.

Hopefully, these resources are helpful to you in the coming days. Feel free to share and reply, we would love to know what you are up to and share your journey with others.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bryan Rose

Bryan Rose

As Lead Navigator for Auxano, Bryan Rose has a strong bias toward merging strategy and creativity within the vision of the local church and has had a diversity of experience in just about every ministry discipline over the last 12 years. With his experience as a multi-site strategist and campus pastor at a 3500 member multi-campus church in the Houston Metro area, Bryan has a passion to see “launch clarity” define the unique Great Commission call of developing church plants and campus, while at the same time serving established churches as they seek to clarify their individual ministry calling. Bryan has demonstrated achievement as a strategic thinker with a unique ability to infuse creativity into the visioning process while bringing a group of people to a deep sense of personal ownership and passion.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

How to Make 2020 Your Year for Crystal Clear Personal Calling

For well over a decade I have been dreaming about a toolbox and training experience that would deliver something very special to any follower of Jesus. What is that something special? It’s the ability to really grasp the trajectory of one’s Ephesians 2:10 “good works”—what believers for centuries have called vocation or specific calling.

That dream has now come true. And the most important result of this dream-in-the-making is a new book cooked up just for you. But before I tell you about the Younique book, consider the story behind the recipe.

What happened under the radar in approximately 250 churches over five years is about to explode into the next 2,500 churches in 2020.

How does the Younique book fit in? The final step of my toolbox buildout is always the trade book. It’s the icing on the clarity cake. My license to publish is the demonstrated break-thru at every age and life stage from megachurch pastors to plumbers, from hopeful high school students to the fired-up retired. The book is entitled Younique: Designing the Life God Dreamed for You. Inside you will find a treasure chest of tools and 27 snack-able chapters. What’s the end game? It’s helping you master seven essential life design skills. Learn these and you just might find a kind of life that you didn’t know was possible.

What about you? How well can you name your special assignment from God? How free do you feel in your weekly “9-to-5”? When was the last time you set up and bowled over a simple, single goal over 90 days? Life is too short to live with only a general sense of who you are and where you are going.

Let me invite you to experience personal break-thru and make 2020 your year of crystal clarity.

Younique will be released January 7, 2020. Order your copy today!

I hope you will consider following the rollout of Younique’s expanded experiences and tools. Imagine for a moment what’s about to be available to you and your church:

  • Seven online courses that will go live with the book. As you swim and splash through the book, these are the most important pools of learning for you to take a deep dive in.
  • A Younique 90-day planner. This is the only integrated life design system in the world created just for followers of Jesus.
  • A 20/20 Vision For Life sermon series for the year 2020. Why not leverage a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity developed by one of my favorite preachers in the world, Younique cofounder Dave Rhodes?
  • A six-week small group experience called the Younique Primer. This gets Younique into the game of your groups and classes strategy. Videos are available online at Younique or through your RightNow Media subscription.

How in the world can you follow along? I’d love for you to follow me on Instagram (my favorite social platform) @will_be_clear.

Let’s together pursue crystal clarity this year. I hope we get to meet in 2020 at one of our Younique events!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Your Best You: Find Purpose

Life Younique founder Will Mancini asks this question: 

Do you see your mission in life as something created, designed, and given by God? We are called not just to follow Jesus (a common call to all people) but we are called to accomplish something specific as a one-of-a-kind saint (your special assignment from God).

Is there a process of discovering and living out your unique life call?

THE QUICK SUMMARY – The Call by Oz Guinness

The Call continues to stand as a classic, reflective work on life’s purpose. Best-selling author Os Guinness goes beyond our surface understanding of God’s call and addresses the fact that God has a specific calling for our individual lives.

Why am I here? What is God’s call in my life? How do I fit God’s call with my own individuality? How should God’s calling affect my career, my plans for the future, my concepts of success? Guinness now helps the reader discover answers to these questions, and more, through a corresponding workbook – perfect for individual or group study.

According to Guinness, “No idea short of God’s call can ground and fulfill the truest human desire for purpose and fulfillment.” With tens of thousands of readers to date, The Call is for all who desire a purposeful, intentional life of faith.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

The journey to “discover one’s self” has many paths. There are also innumerable resources along those paths. The bookshelves – both physical and digital – are filled with volumes dedicated to helping you “discover your purpose,” “finding the true you,” and many more similar promises.

If you are serious about undertaking such a journey, beware of the inadequate answers offered by most of those resources. While not necessarily wrong, they all fall short of this truth verbalized by author Os Guinness:

Our life purpose comes from two sources at once – who we are created to be and who we are called to be. The real notion of calling is the “ultimate why” for human living.

Become an entrepreneur of life and see all of life as an enterprise transformed by his call. Count the cost, consider the risks, and set out each day on a venture to multiply your gifts and opportunities and bring glory to God and add value to our world. Answering the call is the road to purpose and fulfillment in your life.

Deep in our hearts, we all want to find and fulfill a purpose bigger than ourselves. Only such a larger purpose can inspire us to heights we know we could never reach on our own. For each of us the real purpose is personal and passionate: to know what we are here to do, and why.

The notion of calling, or vocation, is vital to each of us because it touches on the modern search for a basis for individual identity and an understanding of humanness itself.

Calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion, dynamism, and direction lived out as a response to his summons and service.

Os Guinness, The Call

A NEXT STEP

Set aside a two-hour time block free of distractions of any kind. Divide a chart tablet into three sections, and head each one with the following:

Devotion – commitment to some purpose, willingness to serve God

Dynamism – the activeness of an energetic personality

Direction – the concentration of attention or energy on something

Author Os Guinness states, “Calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion, dynamism, and direction lived out as a response to his summons and service.”

Rereading this statement each time, take 30 minutes to reflect on each of the three categories listed on the chart tablet. Write as many words, phrases, or sentences – or draw images – that illustrate your current life in that particular area.

After you have completed all three sections, take a 20-minute prayer walk outside, away from distractions, asking God to help you focus those three areas to that you are both comforted and challenged by the calling of God in your life.

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 106-1, released November 2018.


 

This is part of a weekly series posting excerpts from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix book excerpts for church leaders.

SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.

As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

> > Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

What if “Real Church Growth” Became the New Normal in the North American Church?

If we’re honest, it’s pretty easy to see the functional Great Commission in North America: Go into all the world and make more worship attenders, baptizing them in the name of small groups, and teaching them to volunteer a few times a month.

For all kinds of reasons, the words “church” and “growth” have become embarrassing when put side by side. Yet just because the lingo of the Church Growth Movement has departed from our lips doesn’t mean that the model isn’t still firmly rooted in our hearts and minds. Though the facade of church growth has been stripped off our institutions, the bones of the house are right where they’ve always been.

More than we’d like to admit, our default strategy for seeing people come to faith in Jesus begins and ends with pumping people through our priority programs. It’s the classic attractional mindset.

And by the way, you can find it in every church—including those that wouldn’t be caught dead being associated with those “sell-out” attractional churches and also in those that simply aren’t attracting people very well.

Desperate for a measure that matters

Ask yourself this question: Why do people come to your church (or any church)? Most likely, it’s for:

  • Place: the beauty, convenience, or sentimental attachments of the place
  • Personality: affection for a leader
  • Program: what they (or more likely, their kids) receive from a certain program
  • People: friendships within that community

Not one of these “P’s” are bad. In fact, all of them are good. Like the lower story of a house, no one gets inside without going through them as the entry level.

But are these all the church is for? When any of us responded to God’s call to devote our lives to serve the church, was it because we were so in love with these things? I doubt it. They weren’t enough to draw us to the bride of Christ, and they aren’t enough to keep us in love with her either.

When we toil away at the work of the Lord—desperate for some sign that we’re getting somewhere and that our work is not in vain—it’s the most natural thing in the world to hunt for some proxy indicator that we’re not wasting our time.

Enter programs.

When we can count the flow of bodies through the pipelines of our program plumbing—well, we must doing something right. Right?

Don’t throw out the baby

The dirty little secret among so many pastors is that we are really good at faking disciples rather than making disciples. The quantity and quality of our programs—and our sheer busyness keeping it all going—distract us from the truth.

Some pastors do recognize it, and they are so fed up with the superficiality of program jockeying that they’re ready to reject church growth altogether with all the attendance-, program-, and purpose-drivenness that comes with it.

That is a mistake. While we throw out the “church growth movement” bathwater, let’s not throw out the baby as well. There truly is a line that connects the dots of growth and disciple-making.

In short, if there is one thing I’m sure of, it’s that the best way to grow your church is by growing your people. I’m on the warpath for this principle, which I call “real church growth.”

Real church growth

Why should we give up on church growth? Why shouldn’t it be something we’re looking after, praying after, knocking on the doors of heaven for? Why wouldn’t we want to disciple people in such a way that they are empowered and emboldened to lead people to Christ? We shouldn’t give up on growing the church as people come to faith in Jesus. Jesus says we should expect fruit (and fruit that lasts!).

But there’s a certain way he’s set everything up. “Real church growth” takes seriously the idea that if your church grows past 120 people, you have to ask the question, “What does organized disciple-making look like in this context?”

At the end of the day, it’s about this:

Real Church Growth = Organized Disciple-Making

And, “Organized Disciple-Making” does not equate to the programs you’re running—or, for that matter, to the programs the “bigger and better” church down the street or the one across the country is running.

See, if you’re not doing organized disciple-making, my guess is that you’re doing programmatic education in the name of Jesus. But chances are, it’s “untransformational Christian education.” It may be well-executed and it might look good on Facebook or Instagram, but it’s probably not growing your church, nor is it really growing your people.

When I talk to pastors, I’m not interested in a church’s programs to mass-manufacture the raised-religious. I want to hear about their organized disciple-making process. I’m talking about how a church sets up a simple system that helps disciples of Jesus make brand-new disciples, who in turn make still more.

Real church growth. What if that became the new normal in the North American church?

> Read more from Will.


 

>> Connect with an Auxano Navigator to learn more getting a visionary plan for real church growth.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Why is Breakthrough So Elusive?

In this inaugural episode, Will Mancini, founder of Auxano sits down with My Ministry Breakthrough host, and Auxano Lead Navigator, Bryan Rose, to unpack the concept behind “breakthrough clarity” in the mission statement of Auxano.

> Listen to the podcast here.

When it comes to crafting church vision and casting church vision, the tunnel of chaos is unavoidable. But by moving through the church conflicts, volunteer leadership issues, and congregational governance challenges, pastors can achieve church vision that is clear, concise, compelling and catalytic to everyone in their congregation. Will and Bryan also discuss the origin story of Auxano and the importance of slowing down in order to speed up ministry effectiveness.

You can read more from Will Mancini in his two groundbreaking books on church vision clarity: God Dreams and Church Unique.

Learn more about Auxano and schedule a vision clarity conversation here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bryan Rose

Bryan Rose

As Lead Navigator for Auxano, Bryan Rose has a strong bias toward merging strategy and creativity within the vision of the local church and has had a diversity of experience in just about every ministry discipline over the last 12 years. With his experience as a multi-site strategist and campus pastor at a 3500 member multi-campus church in the Houston Metro area, Bryan has a passion to see “launch clarity” define the unique Great Commission call of developing church plants and campus, while at the same time serving established churches as they seek to clarify their individual ministry calling. Bryan has demonstrated achievement as a strategic thinker with a unique ability to infuse creativity into the visioning process while bringing a group of people to a deep sense of personal ownership and passion.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

How to Measure Real Church Growth Using Your Ministry Outputs

These days I’m trumpeting a battle-cry to bring back church growth. We shouldn’t blush at it; we should be bold for it.

But I also assert that the assumptions of church growth as we know it lead down a dead end. Instead, we need real church growth.

In our era of cultural wildfires, technology tsunamis, and attendance landslides, I’m comforted that this is not a new problem. All the way back in the first century believers got confused about what church growth really is.

What God Measures

When church leaders think about church growth, our default setting is to measure growth in program attendance, especially weekend worship. If we’re a little more advanced, we might measure baptisms.

The church at Corinth measured the same things. Look at how we’ve all been baptized, Paul, they said with confidence. Look how we’re showing up to take the Lord’s Supper (in other words, weekly worship attendance).

Paul’s reply? Big deal. The ancient Israelites “all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,” he replied. “They all ate the same spiritual food [manna] and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them” (1 Cor. 10:2-4 CSB).

But how much good did their baptism and attendance do them? Not a lot. “God was not pleased with most of them, since they were struck down in the wilderness” (v. 5).

Ouch.

Paul said that the saga of the ancient Israelites “took place as examples for us” (v. 6). We have to learn the lesson that God measures his people by their production, not their participation. I’m talking about fruitfulness. I mean the faithful character exhibited by holy people, the kingdom-service they perform, and the disciples they make.

Let me ask you a critical question. Is it possible for someone to go to your church for ten years, participate in everything the church has to offer, and NOT grow with Jesus?

You see how important this is? Real church growth demands that we go beyond measuring participation to measuring production—beyond measuring ministry inputs to measuring ministry outputs.

The Ministry Machine

Think of all your church’s activities put together as your “ministry model.” It’s your disciple-making engine.

Measuring inputs means measuring what you dump into the intake funnel of your ministry machine—namely, people. This is almost all that leaders commonly measure, the biggest reason being that attenders are pretty easy to count.

For most leaders today, charting attendance is less fun than ever. Not only are fewer people nationwide attending church, but more people are attending less frequently.

So alarmed voices are proposing we stop caring about attendance and start caring about “engagement.” But what do we really mean by “engagement”?

Unfortunately, for many leaders “engagement” simply means counting how many attenders also go to a small group, how many serve as a volunteer, or how many give money to the church. In other words, we’re just going from measuring ministry inputs to measuring throughputs: how far people make it through the bowels of the ministry machine.

But what’s coming out the back end of the machine? How are the people poured into the hopper on the front end of your programs being changed by them?

Is your ministry model built to change anyone at all?

You won’t know the answer until you start measuring ministry outputs. That’s at the heart of what I mean by “real church growth.”

How to Measure Ministry Output

Let me give you an example of what I mean by ministry outputs.

We can all agree that genuine biblical community is something God wants to see in his people. So how will you measure that?

You could ask people, “Are you in a small group?” That’s an input or throughput question.

But instead, you could ask, “How many ‘2 AM friends’ do you have?” That’s an output question. It’s a result that we want a mechanism like small groups to produce.

See? The question you ask makes all the difference to the answer you get.

“2 AM friends” is an example of real “engagement”—not just people’s engagement with the church program apparatus, but engagement with each other in the most sensitive spaces of life.

Organized disciple-making generates results like this. And that is what I mean by “real church growth.”

A Shift of Focus

Your results mainly stem from from your ministry model, not from your preaching. We can urge the importance of biblical community week in and week out without it ever really growing. Meanwhile, we justify our activity to ourselves by pointing to the number of people attending small groups. As I wrote in my book Innovating Discipleship, “We allow generic output language to validate our intent while we use input data to validate our success.”

But imagine if we shifted our focus to discipleship outputs. Imagine if we measured not just the number of people engaged in our weekend services but the number of people engaged with the Bible every day. Imagine if we measured not just the number of baptisms but the number of believers who influence people who end up getting baptized.

When we focus on outputs, we focus on the value we pour into people. And when the church provides value, attendance tends to take care of itself.

I realize that this raises all kinds of questions about how to measure outputs. One of the most important things we do at Auxano is to help churches define their disciple-making outcomes. Then we teach them how to capture the wealth of data of this kind sitting in their churches right now. Finally, we help them do something with what they learn.

Real Church Growth

Do you know why I gave my consulting organization the unusual name “Auxano”? The name is Greek for “I grow (it).”

Paul told the Corinthians that there’s really only person who can say auxano: it’s “God who gives the growth” (1 Cor. 3:7). So what does God want his harvest in your church to look like?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Esther Mahgoube — 01/21/20 5:21 pm

I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Leaders Should Know – and Tell – Their Organization’s Creation Story

Will Mancini, founder of Auxano and Younique, writes about the importance of leadership stories here. He believes that storytelling and understanding the nuances of story will help leaders in the daily ebb and flow of communication. The first, appropriately, is your organization’s creation story.

As a leader, you should know more about the creation story of your organization than anyone on the planet. What are the circumstances—passions, problems, and people—surrounding how the organization got started to begin with? 

Mastering the richness of the creation story will help in two major ways. First, it will hold insight into the unique culture of the organization and therefore future decision-making and vision. Second, your mastery of the story itself will bring tremendous credibility with people when initiating change.

With a passion of Disney history, I’m always grateful to visit Disney properties and immerse myself in the stories and culture of Walt Disney and the “kingdom” he began. During a recent multi-day visit to California, I had the opportunity to visit Disneyland several days, experiencing both the familiar and new perspectives.

Take this image, for example:

In talking with current Cast Members, Tour Guides, and former Imagineers, various stories were given as to the origin of Disneyland:

  1. It was Walt Disney’s fascination with trains, beginning as a boy, that led him to first create a scale model railroad in his backyard. Not satisfied, he begin to develop an ever-growing park that would include a railroad. When Disneyland opened in 1955, the first object you saw approaching the park was a train station, and a 5/8 scale railroad encircled the park.
  2. Saturday’s were “Daddy’s Day,” and Walt often took his daughters to play in nearby parks. While sitting on a bench in Griffith Park, Walt imagined what a park would look like that would allow both parents and children to be immersed in a story-rich, safe, clean park.
  3. Fascinated by miniatures, Walt began a hobby of crafting extremely detailed miniature items, building entire rooms filled with objects that were not only beautiful to look at, but fully functional. He envisioned a place to display these miniatures so that people from all over the country could enjoy them.
  4. By the late 1940’s-early 1950’s, Walt had grown tired of making animated pictures, and even his recent venture into live-action motion pictures left him dissatisfied. He imagined a place were people could actually be a part of a story, immersed in all the rich details that a “theme park” could provide.

What is the true origin of Disneyland?

I believe that all of the above contributed to the creation of Disneyland. And the common denominator of all of them?

Passion.

> What about your organization?

ACTION STEP: Write a one-page, 2-minute creation story talk. If you have any gaps in your knowledge, interview people in your organization until you know more than anyone else.

> Read more by Bob.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bob Adams

Bob Adams

Bob is an absolute fanatic about Guest Experiences, growing up watching his father serve customers at the gas station he built and operated for 44 years. Bob is continually connecting with corporate leaders in the customer experience world, learning and then translating practices for ChurchWorld. He writes, speaks, and consults on the topic frequently. Vocationally, Bob has a dual role at Auxano, a clarity first consulting firm serving the church. As Vision Room Curator and Digital Engagement Leader he researches, edits, writes and publishes online content. As Guest Experience Navigator, he leverages his passion, providing Guest Perspective Evaluations and Guest Experience Blueprints. Bob and his wife Anita have been married for 40 years. They have 4 children, 3 daughters-in-law, 1 son-in-law, and 5 grandchildren.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.