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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Tipping Points for the Church

Tippingpoint_1 Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point:  How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference is a great book... now, Brian Orme has put together a list of "Tipping Points for the Church".  Take a look at this list, and see how you think some of these small things, done very well in your local church, could cause you to read 'the tipping point'

  • The ability to renew a grassroots leadership model/strategy (Eph 4) may be a factor in tipping.
  • Cultivating a strength-based ministry. 
  • Creating a simpler more modest approach to church--no bloated marketing campaigns. People in our culture don't respond to mass media advertising because of the information overload.  That's not to say we shouldn't have some great info out there.
  • Doing a few things well--create a movement through word-of-mouth.
  • Building connections in culture with an eye that sees how people are thinking about church and God and meeting them on their ground.
  • Focusing on slow and steady growth--making small changes every week and allowing God to produce the tipping point, which may not come in numbers and statistics, but more of an organic movement with stories and relationships.
  • Always evalute and adjust in the small detials of ministry.  Shows like Sesame Street and Blues Clues evaluate every episode and use test groups and study their results--this may not be a bad idea for churches to adopt.  At least in the fact that some evaluation should occur on a regular basis.
  • Use repitition to create memory markers.  Jesus may have preached the same sermons numerous times--for a reason.
  • Focusing on the movement over stats.  Looking for unique ways to disperse the gospel should be more important than trying to fill every seat in the church.  This may seem subtle but people can see this a mile away--having integrity in our motives is crucial.
  • Study and look at the history of your church in your community and make an evaluation of the underlying philosophy both from inside the church and out.  Don't be afraid to ask someone in the community what they think about your church--and take it seriously.
  • Redevelop a philosophy that is centered on the non-negotiables and not on the negotiables.
  • Make every effort to care for people over programs; there's perhaps no better way to create an epidemic than the simple art of caring.
  • Understand that the movement may be underground--below the radar--but that's how epidemics really begin, with a select and passionate few that influence others that influence others that influence others.
  • Of course, focus on following Christ in the small and big details of living and being the church.

What do you think?

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May 31, 2006 in Leadership Issues | Permalink

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Posted by: Rev. Dr. Trimble | Jul 7, 2005 6:38:30 PM

I had to look up the definition of tipping point, but I understand the concept of it now. Ok, our church is experiencing sort of an inner rebirth but we're not at the tipping point yet. We are doing many of the things that are bulletted above, and we are seeing some definite results.

It's slow going, but when you consider that we've been without a pastor for a year, and yet we're growing, God must be working!

A big part of the "re-education" of our members is teaching or encouraging the experienced Christians to grow as well - they who think they've got it down, or those who have expectations of others as being on the same spiritual growth plane. And then it's frustrating when your people say they want to read thru the Bible on Wed nights and you have 10 folks show up and none has read the assignment. *sigh* But I guess that falls into the category of looking for unique ways to dispense the gospel.

I guess you can't do everything at once, or expect everyone to "get it" even the first 10 times you say/do it (like Jesus preaching sermons over and over) and sometimes you have to focus on one area of growth or improvement, and watch for those areas under the radar. Trouble is, what about when you feel like you and maybe two or three others are the only ones who understand/care about stuff like this? It seems like when you give the people what they ask for (read thru Bible on Weds) they are surprised when they are expected to actually participate and be accountable. Are we that spiritually immature and lazy? Whew. God has a lot of work to do before we get to the tipping point, but I know it's ahead of us anyway.

Posted by: Abbey | Jun 1, 2006 12:13:44 PM

Wow, this brings back so many Tipping Point comment memories! Oh, the good ol' days.

Posted by: Terry Storch | Jun 2, 2006 6:05:02 PM

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