Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Early Edition

In college I knew a guy who received free shoes from Nike. He'd get them well in advance of the public and get to simply wear them around to see how they felt, held up and, I guess, see how other people responded to them. As a shoe loving college student who was living on a shoestring, pun intended, I wanted in on that action! But

But this all changed when I (and several thousand others) we able to buy an advance copy of a book by Chip & Dan Heath. Willow Creek was able to secure advance copies of their latest book, Switch, for those who attended the Leadership Summit. The book will be released in the spring of 2010 but I have already read it. They've asked that we not blog, teach, or quote from the book until January. I'm being careful to honor that request. Although last Sunday I wanted to use some of it in my sermon. It's cool to have read a pre-release book but even more is the timing. It's helping me visualize how we might be able to make a Switch in some areas at our church.

It's on my heart to lead in a particular direction in our church. Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger categorize pastors in 2 ways in their book Simple Church; a programmer or a designer. I am living the prior but aiming toward the latter. It's going to take a Switch. Church can program for discipleship or can move people in a discipleship process. We currently practice the former but will be moving toward the latter.

I believe my passions started pointing this way about 6 years ago. In my small office at Faith Community Church, Osceola, Indiana, I wrote down a one word description of making disciples. I didn't do anything with it except type it and stick it in a desk drawer. (Sounds about right for a pastor.) I moved that piece of paper and it's lived in my desk over the past 5 years in Michigan. The book 7 Practices of Effective Ministry fired me up about what church could be and look like. Follow that with 3 Big Questions for the Franctic Family, some podcasts, prayer and journaling and baboom...there's a flame inside. That piece of paper is part of a collage of stuff I'm compiling in this process of understanding change and how to shape the environment around people so that they will be apt to change.

The board of our church has already heard my heart.
It's coming soon to other leaders and the full congregation.
I'm excited about our church.
There are some crazy events happening in our area that we have to engage--some people know what I'm talking about already--but we will still get there.