Pastor’s Desk 2018-04-10

Chuck Sheridan Avatar

Good Morning Church Family,
*  What a special day on Sunday as we baptized Rhonda Johnson. She was so excited about this day, (some butterflies too) but she was all smiles and shared just a little of what the Lord did in her heart. I love the sweet innocence of a person just desiring to do what God would have her to do. There is some pictures on the church’s facebook page of Rhonda’s baptism. Congratulations Rhonda!!! Safe travels as you & Sam leave for your Alaska home this week.
* Just a reminder – the baptism tank is still up if you’re interested or have any questions about baptism.
* We had another huge treat this weekend with Selene Diaz. Selene came to look at the Youth Ministry Director’s role. She participated in a number of ways in both youth and worship. She is from Villa Juarez, Potassi and has co pastored with her father in a church he planted there. She is presently on assignment in Iowa, developing the worship ministry in a church plant. She is a gifted musician and leads the youth in the church in Potassi. Her greatest claim to fame is that she went to Bible School with our Mayra!
* Outreach Pancake Breakfast – Sat, April 14, 9:00AM – If you’d like to help or bring some supplies, please contact Ed. Purpose of the Breakfast – Each of the children at the Semana Santa event were given invitations to invite their families to this outreach breakfast. Our hope is to see youth, kids and families come and share in this breakfast, and through this event to encourage the continuing growth of the wed evening service, along with the youth and children’s ministries. These three ministries of our church continue to cross pollinate in such a healthy way. So grateful for Ed Hudson and the vision he has to influence the Hispanic folks in our community.
* From Gabriela and the Guaymas Women’s Prison Ministry Team: Every year the prison organizes a celebration for children and mother´s day. This year it will be held on Sunday, April 29. Gifts of toys, cakes for the children and little gifts for the mothers would be greatly appreciated. All donations must be received by Sunday, April 22.
* Prayer – go to

    * Missionary of the Week: Gabriela Montemayor (Women’s Prison)
    * Elder of the Week: Grant Dafoe
    * Fran & Dean Swift – Fran had surgery last week again, related to the kidney transplant. She has an infection once again. This time they went in and removed the old kidneys. Please pray for her recovery. Dean’s text just expresses so much his gratitude for our prayers.
* Read a great article the other day written by Carey Nieuwhof. He’s a former pastor whose leadership articles I receive regularly. This article is about church growth and several of the things that can frustrate leaders when growth happens. I’ve included the article at the end of this Pastor’s desk. See what you think!
* For the month of April, we are looking at some heroes of the faith – ordinary men and women from the Old Testament, people who faced specific challenges in their lives, yet the Lord loved and used them in extraordinary ways. They serve as wonderful examples in many ways of how the Lord desires to use us, but they also provide warnings for us in how easy it is get off track in our spiritual journey. I pray that you are encouraged as we look at the lives of Gideon, Esther, Samson and Ruth.
     This week we looked at Gideon (Judges 6-8) and we saw a number of ways God uses to grow our faith. One of these will relate to each of us in some way and may be something we can explore further as we grow in our faith.

  1. God uses adversity to get our attention.
  2. God always sees more in us than we do.
  3. God confirms His priorities with His presence.
  4. Private faithfulness is a prerequisite to public fruitfulness.
  5. God is patient with our faith process.
  6. Success is determined by God’s power, not ours.
  7. God gives us assurance when we do things His way
  8. Be careful to give God the credit!

Next week, we’re looking at Esther. Its not a long book, so take the time to read her story in advance. Email me any relevant points you discover and I’ll preach your sermon next Sunday!
Praying you all have a great week,
Glenn & Jeannine
5 Truths About Growth And Scale That Frustrate Most Leaders Carey Nieuwhof 

Every leader I know hopes their church or organization grows. The challenge is that few are prepared for what happens when it does.
     As strange as it seems, most of us think growth will be easy—that when everything is up and to the right, all problems and stresses just go away.
     Nothing could be further from the truth. Growth presents its own challenges, challenges that leaders don’t automatically overcome.
Every leader hopes their church grows. Few are prepared for what happens when it does.
     Growth challenges are one of the key reasons 85% of all churches that are reaching people and have a heart to reach their city never pass the 200 attendance barrier, and 98% never pass the 1000 attendance mark.
     In the corporate world, it’s why most businesses remain small businesses despite the dreams of the founders.
     So what surprises leaders about growth? Well, having led churches past the 200 and 1000 attendance level and led through explosive growth in different ventures, here are five things I’ve felt again and again as things grow.
     But as I always tell my team, Growth may present problems, but so do decline and stagnation. I’ll sign up for growth problems all day long. 
     So with that in mind, here are the challenges you’ll likely feel.

1.  People Will Criticize You
     As amazing as growth sounds, rapid growth produces critics—both internal and external critics.
     Internally, some of your people will long for the good old days when things were simpler, when everyone knew everyone and when they felt more important than they do in a bigger organization.
     Externally, some of your colleagues will criticize you, taking shots at your new growth and questioning whether you’ve sold out, compromised or taken short cuts. You know what’s underneath 99% of the criticism? Jealousy.
     Here’s what you need to look for. Most of the criticism will come from people who have never led at your level. You’re accomplishing what they long to accomplish, and because they haven’t, their insecurity pushes them into critical mode.
    You’ll also find that people who are leading something as large as what you’re leading or larger become your friends. They’ve been there and almost always they want to help. Listen to those voices. They can light the path for you.
     What do you do with the critics? Well, here are 5 tips that can help.
But above all, consider the source. Don’t let someone who’s only been on the sidelines tell you how to play the game.

2. All Your Systems Break
     Even if you don’t think of yourself as a highly structured organization, you have a structure. And as W. Edwards Denings has famously said, every system is perfectly designed to get the result that it does.
     So when you grow, all your systems break. In a church pushing 200, one of the first things to completely break down is the pastoral care system, which simply can’t scale past 200 if the pastor is the primary caregiver.
      Similarly, in any organization, the senior leader has to stop doing ‘everything’.
What systems will you need to redesign as you grow? All of them. Here’s why. What got you to 200 won’t get you to 2000. It won’t even get you to 500. All your systems will break, and it’s your job to fix them.
What systems will you need to redesign as you grow? All of them. 

3. If You Don’t Change Your Strategy, You Shrink Back To Your Old Size
     You’re probably thinking, well what if I don’t want to change all the systems? What if I want to do more than most leaders do and be responsible for everything, refusing to delegate or change as we grow? 
      The answer to that is clear: your growth will be temporary. Very temporary.
Before long, you’ll shrink back down to your old size.
     This explains why many churches grow to 200 and slide back to 150, or spike in a season to 500 and then slide back to 400, or can never push past the 1000 barrier, no matter how many new guests they attract.  
     Your growth gives you a chance to build a new system, but if you don’t build it soon enough, your growth will disappear. What systems do you need to rethink and rebuild?
The senior leader’s role
Staff roles (develop leaders, not doers)
The role of key volunteers
Decision making
     And that’s just a few things to get us started. The short answer is you need to rethink everything. The best way to insulate against future growth is to change nothing. Do that, and you’re guaranteed to never reach your potential.

4. You Need To Release Things You Used To Love Doing
     This is an emotional journey for leaders. There are things you loved doing when your church was smaller that you’ll have to give up.
     Pastoral care is a tough one for many leaders. But it has to go. You can care for 30 people. You just can’t care for 300, let alone 3000.
     It’s not that you stop caring, it’s just you change who you care for. Eventually, you’ll end up caring for you key staff and elders. Do that well, and build a great group structure and counselling referral system and you’ll have a very healthy church.
     It also means you need to stop doing everything, even some things you love. You may love graphic design or programming computers,  but if you’re the senior leader that’s an utter waste of your time.
     Before you think all of this is unscriptural, it’s not. You’re actually releasing people to do the very things God gifted them to do. Pastors, To claim all the leadership in a church yourself is far less faithful than to empower God’s people.

5. You Feel Less Important Than You Used To
     Maybe the biggest shock for leaders of growing churches is that they feel less important than they used to.
      I still remember the first time I got to church and really felt ‘unneeded’. Everything had been given away so extensively that my only task was to deliver the message. I wasn’t used to that. And while it’s become very normal, it can make you feel unnecessary.
     It is a little strange to reach a lot of people and know you’ll never know their names and you’ll likely never hear their stories. It’s strange not to be involved in hiring decisions or be told “this is our new team member.” It’s odd when you don’t even know the names of volunteers anymore, despite the fact that you try to learn them. Eventually, there are just too many because the mission is thriving.
     But here’s the point. If you’re going to accomplish your mission of reaching your community, you can’t be at the centre of it all.  You can have a small thing you can control, or a large thing that you can’t control, but you can’t have both. And leadership is not control. It’s leadership.
     You’ll never have multiple locations and reach hundreds—or thousands—of people if you want to run it all yourself.
     Ironically, the fact that you don’t feel as valuable because you’re not at the centre of everything makes you more valuable. Leaders who raise up other leaders are far more valuable to an organization than leaders who don’t. And sometimes, that makes you feel less valuable.
     Deal with it. Hammer that out on your knees or in a counselor office. Everyone will be thankful you did. And the mission will move forward. Leaders who raise up other leaders are far more valuable to an organization than leaders who don’t.

Useful Links

Previous Posts