Today is the second and final segment of Jeff’s conversation with Rob Tarnoviski who is the Lead Pastor at Bethel Fellowship - The Church @ Franklin Mills. We think you will find it transparent and refreshing as they openly discuss the following topics:
As pastors, we have to balance two competing agendas: 1) those on the inside, and 2) those on the outside. The challenge is that the agenda for those on the outside of the Body of Christ will never be brought to the table, unless ministry leaders bring it for them. When they do, they are often opposed by those inside the church, seeking the insiders’ agendas. Rob talks about how he has created a culture in his church that thinks about the outsiders.
This is a balancing act we have to maneuver all the time as pastors. We must feed the sheep, and we must leave the ninety-nine to find the lost sheep. We have to serve the body of Christ, while at the same time reach out to those who are far from Christ.
In the last half of the 20th century, so many churches created climates where Christians were encouraged to separate themselves from unbelievers and segregate themselves into Christian schools, Christian social clubs, and Christian communities. Even mega churches created a one stop shop for all of the needs of a Christian family. They increasingly removed the need for the church to associate with the world.
Next week we are going to hear the conversation that Jeff and Jonny have with Jim Powell, pastor of Richwoods Christian Church in Peoria, IL. He is the author of the book, Dirt Matters - The Foundation For a Healthy, Vibrant, And Effective Congregation and the founder of the 95Network. We will talk about how the culture of the church matters! His book compares the culture of a church, to the soil that plants grow in – and he surmises that dirt matters. The composition of soil is foundational to how well things grow.
In the same way, the culture of a church is foundational to how a church grows. In today’s and last week’s podcast, Pastor Rob essentially talks about the culture of Bethel Fellowship. It is a solidly outsiders oriented culture. They think intentionally about those who aren't there… YET! Bethel has had staff members who have stayed on for many years, and the stability of the church is to their credit!
How about you and your church?
We wonder what kind of culture your church has? What kind of church culture are you trying to create? If you listed the things that bother you most about your ministry, you would see how the culture of your church is causing those very challenges.
As you listen to today’s and next week’s podcasts, consider your church culture, and think about how you might begin to shape it intentionally into a culture and environment that will accomplish the very things which comprise the vision of your church.
Finally, if you know of other 200church pastors who could be encouraged by the 200churches Podcast, pass along the website to them: www.200churches.com. If you want to share a topic you would like us to spend a week on in the near future, use the speakpipe pop-out on the homepage and send us a voice message, or email either of us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
YOU are so important to the people who are your church. These are the ones God has called you to care for, feed, love, and protect. Do it with diligence and love.
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