New Hope is in a wonderful place right now. Lives are being transformed by the love of God in amazing ways. Its a privilege to behold and an honor to be part of a movement of God. As the lead Pastor, you have probably heard me speak of being a "movement" many times. About two weeks ago, Pastor Louis Colon of Heart and Soul Church in Rochester, asked me about this term, "movements". I shared with him that as I labor in prayer for New Hope (its members, its ministries, and its mission) and God's presence and power in Rochester, God continually impresses upon my heart that He desires New Hope to be a movement that fulfills the mission of Jesus to bless the world. A movement is:
I believe that God desires that we begin to be a movement or a catalyst of change for the Rochester community. Our movement is centered around the person of Jesus Christ and led by His Holy Spirit to radically change the lives of those in our local, regional, and global communities.
As we become more and more like a movement, and less like an institution, we will grow and sometimes that growth will be explosive. The essence of being a movement is to grow virally when we have opportunities to impact communities (families, co-workers, neighbors, friends, neighborhood) in flexible ways, depending on the need of that community. This requires a different approach to ministry and a different type of leadership. I have listed five specific changes in leadership approaches that will be necessary if New Hope is to become a movement of God.
1. Leadership must think according to mission and purpose, over and sometimes against programs.
- Traditional churches look at programming and set an agenda according to what programs they would like to offer.
- Missional movements consider the mission of Jesus Christ and focuses on people (who) in order to develop ministry (what).
2. Pastors must work "on the church" and "for the church", but not necessarily "in the church".
- A movement is based upon advancing the message of God in areas where it is not received or recognized. This requires strategic deployment of resources to maximize contact with peoples and networks who are unreached.
3. Pastors must transition from a "small church" model to a mission/mid-sized church model.
- The small church pastoral model is highly relational. Everyone has access to the Pastor and most decisions are made by or through the Pastor. The Pastor's main focus is visiting, preaching, and administrative. These skills are essential to build a church up to about 150 members. The Pastor is seen by most as a very good friend.
- The mid-sized church pastoral model is team based. Ministry is no longer "pastor centered", but team based. The Pastor's main focus is vision casting, preaching, and community organization. These skills are essential to take a church from the 150 member level to the 500 level. The Pastor is seen by most as a good leader, and is closest to the other leaders.
4. The church must think growth and prepare
- What would New Hope need to be like to accomodate 300 members? How many worship services would we need to have? What would the children's ministries look like? What type of staffing would we need to have? All of these things come in play when we think growth.
- When was the last time you asked God to grow New Hope? Every significant movement of God began with a prayer movement.
5. New Hope members must become New Hope missionaries
- Epidemics begin when one infected person comes in contact with lots of uninfected people. New Hope can not reach thousands with the healing message of the gospel, if we require that you spend a lot of time at New Hope. The best way to extinguish a raging fire is to burn the areas around it. The best way to put out a movement is to insulate it from those who need its message.
- New Hope core ministries must be equipping ministries. They must prepare New Hope missionaries by equipping them with the inspiration, skills and disciplines necessary for success in the world outside of New Hope
- One New Hope leader stated that we must become more of "EMT's" than hospitals. We will begin to measure our impact and influence in the community as a measure of our success in fulfilling the mission of Jesus.
There's a lot to chew on. Please consider leaving your thoughts as this blog is a means to facilitate conversation about New Hope and its mission.
May God bless you all,
Pastor Mike Traylor