NO MAGIC PILLS, NO SHORT CUTS
There is no shortage of church consultants.
No matter what denomination you’re part of, what size church you lead, or what region of the country you live in, there are leadership gurus with strategies designed to make you more successful. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of programs and people competing for your attention or to grow cynical about the promises they make.
Intentional Churches is not about quick fixes or cookie-cutter solutions. Instead, the following five values guide our work with every church.
Begin with the Great Commission
Jesus commanded every Christian and every church to obey the Great Commission by making disciples. This is why the church exists, and we exist to help local churches accomplish this mission.
Churches have more opportunities than ever before to make a difference in the world, and as senior leaders explore these opportunities they often become passionate about initiatives like church planting, digging wells in Africa, or serving the poor of their own community. These are all great, God-honoring choices, but we’ve found that churches often become enamored with very good things and forget the best thing. Every outreach initiative, mission project, and church program must be grounded in the discipleship of the individual believer.
For instance, it’s great if your church takes an offering to build a church in South America. But unless you tell the stories of people who personally changed their lifestyle so they could give sacrificially or the stories of those who used vacation time to be there for the groundbreaking, it just becomes another cause that needs funding. Linking the work of the church to the work of God in the life of individuals in your congregation is key. When the church is accomplishing the Great Commission one person and one family at a time, it will naturally grow and do more good around the world.
Churches SHOULD NOT compete with each other
In addition to the Great Commission, which is the ultimate call for every congregation, we believe God has uniquely blessed each church and given each one a specific vision for how to reach its community. Our goal at Intentional Churches is to unlock that potential and help each church discover (or remember) its distinctive calling from God. Because our team has more than 1400 years of senior level church leadership experience across all types and sizes of churches, we have a “from the trenches of ministry” approach rooted in your God-given unique story and specific vision. We will remind and challenge you to focus your energy on why God has placed you in this community at this time.
No cookie-cutter solutions
You know the truth of your situation more than any expert, so we combine our experience with yours. Our approach is team-based and collaborative, adding our insights to your self-discovery. The finished plan will not only be grounded in the Great Commission, it will give you next steps to accomplish that mission in your community, with your resources, to reach your “primary newcomer.” Your church and your leaders are the “heroes” who understand your mission field. Our team is there to help you discover the most strategic way to reach it.
Execution is (almost) everything
It’s crucial to know your goal, but it’s just as important to have a plan. Once you’ve clarified your vision and calling, we help you develop a detailed strategy to make it happen. Instead of trying to “focus” on a dozen or more initiatives, you’ll agree as a team on your priorities and align around next steps. A Vision Dashboard will clarify what matters most, a Roadmap will outline the process, and one of our coaches will meet with you each week to help your church accomplish the work.
One mission, many methods
We don’t spend much time assessing your church against some unknown standardized pool of church statistics. Why compare yourself to a group if you don’t know what other churches are in the mix?
In fact, we can work with four different congregations in the same area and end the GrowthPlan process with four very different results. Each church is “wired up” differently by God and called to reach a different segment of their community, so each team will develop a different strategy to accomplish the Great Commission. Instead of comparing your church to some outside criteria, we’ll help you develop a standard of health rooted in mission and resourced with specific action steps, and we’ll support you as you move forward.