Is your church eating itself?
Author and management consultant Peter Drucker once said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
As a pastor, you experience it when you step on the platform and attempt to motivate your congregation. You see heads nod in agreement and even hear a few say “Amen!” But then enthusiasm fizzles out in a short time.
“Who’s Your One?” may be the most significant initiative Southern Baptists have ever undertaken. What would it look like if you utilized a strategy that got your groups on and off campus involved in “Who’s Your One?” as a group strategy?
Mark Clifton of the North American Mission Board says, “If you want your church to become a congregation that makes disciples that make disciples, you have to get your people into discipling relationships with one another.”
It’s both efficient and effective to teach evangelistic tools like the “3 Circles” in a group setting. It’s even more important to teach not only what the gospel is but what the gospel does. The gospel restores our relationship with God, our relationships with others and our relationship to ourselves. Relationships are important — not only to those inside the church but to those outside as well.
Groups decentralize your church. In group life people are more focused on “being” the church in everyday life rather than “doing” church. People outside of the church are not looking for religion. They are looking for relationships.
“Who’s your One?” may be the most significant initiative Southern Baptists have ever undertaken.
In an article for Lifeway’s Facts & Trends, Alex Himaya wrote:
“Starting with love and relationship rather than religion doesn’t change my beliefs; it changes how I communicate my beliefs. Everyday I’m trying to mimic the same manner that Jesus used when he talked to people. When he encountered the woman at the well (John 4) he didn’t start with her multiple marriages and adulterous lifestyle. He started with a simple request that began a relationship, ‘Can I have a drink of water?’”
Why is this important? The Bible says so.
Scripture teaches us to be disciples and to live and share the gospel. A new strategy is to use your groups to create action for the “Who’s Your One?” initiative in your church. Here are a few ideas:
- Train your group leaders and teachers in the “3 Circles.” Teach them what the gospel is and what it does.
- Have every member of your group identify one person they know. Encourage them to love and build an authentic relationship with that person.
- Invite those individuals to the group and group functions so they can experience relationships instead of religion.
- Have gospel conversations with new people once you have established trust with them.
- Fight for them and not against them.
John O’Brien, co-author of The Power of Purpose offers an additional insight into Drucker’s famous quote about culture eating strategy for breakfast. O’Brien writes, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast, but culture gets its appetite from purpose.”
Going beyond an understanding of what the gospel is to what the gospel does will significantly impact your congregation and those with whom they share the gospel.