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LIVE From the Intentional Churches Conference

Last week the Intentional Churches Podcast was recorded LIVE at ICCON 24 in Orlando! Erin Johnston and Doug Parks were joined by a panel of church leaders from across the country to answer questions submitted by the conference attendees.

Our panel members included:

  • Allie Bryant, Strategic Alignment Exec at Traders Point in Indianapolis, IN
  • Bishop McRae, Senior Pastor and CEO of The Experience Christian Center in Orlando FL
  • Mike Hickerson, Lead Pastor at Mission in Ventura, CA

There were dozens of questions submitted, but the following questions addressed by the panel rose to the top:

1. How do we deal with team members who aren’t moving forward with us?

Navigating the challenges of building culture within a church can feel like trying to untangle a knot of Christmas lights. You know what you want it to look like, but getting there is a different story. How do we get everyone on our team rowing in the same direction?

Mike Hickerson points out the awkward situation we’ve all been in–having that one team member who’s great as a person but just isn’t clicking with the team vibe. He stresses the importance of everyone personally living out the church’s mission, not just giving it lip service. Bishop McRae jumps in, talking about how people’s growth paths can sometimes veer off from where the church is headed, and that’s okay. Doug adds his two cents, breaking down the different aspects of alignment like character and culture. Allie brings it home with some practical tips, like taking the pulse of your culture and making sure everyone’s clear on your values.

Erin Johnston wraps up with a reminder that building culture is not just about strategies and plans, but about genuine relationships and personal growth. It’s like untangling those lights—it takes patience, communication, and maybe a little bit of holiday spirit. But hey, once you get it right, it’s a sight to behold!

2. How do I develop an outreach strategy for our church? 

Outreach is really about meeting your community’s needs and building genuine connections. Bishop McRae emphasized the importance of understanding and addressing the needs of the community before offering solutions, and advocating for collaboration with civic leaders. He highlighted the distinction between missions and evangelism, emphasizing the need to prioritize meeting tangible needs first. The conversation underscored the significance of personal engagement and institutional involvement in outreach efforts. Mike shared his church’s experience during a wildfire in Ventura, showcasing the impact of community outreach on reputation and relationships. Outreach should be integrated into the fabric of church life, moving beyond mere programs to embody a culture of care and connection with the community.

3. How can my church make our engagement process more relational?

The post-Covid church revival is centered on shifting from institutional approaches to fostering genuine relationships. Erin highlighted the prevalent desire for personalized connections in church engagement processes. The panel explored strategies for making every interaction relational, emphasizing the importance of understanding individual needs. Allie added the role of the “One” concept in engagement pathways is about advocating for a personalized approach from the outset. Mike underscored the need for churches to prioritize personal connections over institutional visions, likening the church’s role to that of a helpful companion rather than an imposing institution. Doug shared the importance of fostering relational connections in the digital age, urging churches to focus on facilitating meaningful relationships rather than merely disseminating content. The panel also reflected on the essence of church culture, outreach, and the power of authentic relationships, prompting leaders to ponder questions about the value they add, their understanding of their congregants, and their approach to facilitating meaningful connections.

Check out the full episode wherever you download your podcasts, or watch it on YouTube!

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