Eight

EIGHT QUALITY CHARACTERISTICS

The following characteristics are critical to the life of healthy, growing churches.



Empowering leaders do not use the members of the church body merely as “helpers” in attaining the leader’s own goals and to fufill the leader’s own visions. Rather, they invert the pyramid of authority so they can serve and assist Christians to realize their full potential in God. Core values of these leaders are to equip, empower, and encourage others.

Effective leadership begins with an intimate relationship with God, resulting in Christ-like character and a clear sense of God’s calling for leaders’ lives. Effective pastors and leaders multiply, guide, empower and equip disciples to realize their full potential in Christ and to work together to accomplish God’s vision. Empowering leadership forms the essential foundation upon which a church grows and moves toward accomplishing its mission.

Each leader has a different, personal style. Some may be relational, managerial, charismatic, results-driven, laissez-faire, etc.; but all effective leadership seeks to empower others. Not only tasks are delegated, but so also is responsibility. The empowering leader is not asking the question, “How can I get things done?” but “How can I develop others?” Tasks and responsibilities are centered on the purpose of such development of others, stretching them into new areas of growth.

Sometimes people will fail, but that is part of the learning process. Only as leaders obey their calling in the development of others, can the church move toward reaching its vision.

Resources:

Summary: Aqua Church
Summary: Developing the Leaders Around You
Summary: Doing Church as a Team
Summary: Facing Opposition
Transitioning
IDEO Book Notes from Jordon
Summary: Leadership by the Book
Summary: The Leader of the Future Drucker
Summary: Leadership for a Changing Church
Summary: Managing Transitions
Summary: Mentoring by Fred Smith
Summary: Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership
Presentation on Empowering Leadership for Toronto Regional Meeting
Summary: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

All book resources are available at READ On Books, 416-620-2946

 


The gift-based approach reflects the conviction that God sovereignly enables each believer in the fruitful involvement in respective ministries. When Christians serve in their area of giftedness, they generally function less in their own strength and more in the power of the Holy Spirit. In this way, ordinary people can accomplish the extraordinary!

As many as 85% of church members have not identified their gift(s). Knowing one’s giftedness helps to bring peace, purpose, contentment and greater personal involvement in ministry. Leaders should seek to help each member of the Body to discern, develop and deploy all aspects of their giftedness.

As Christians minister according to spiritual giftedness they no longer work solely or even primarily in one’s own strength, but by the power of God’s Spirit working in and through us. When disciples serve in ways that align with their gifts, the church is freed to work together in healthy and productive ways. Conversely, people who consistently serve outside of their area of giftedness experience physical and spiritual burnout. In validating and encouraging people in their areas of giftedness, we help them grow spiritually and in their service to others.

I Cor. 12:12, “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.”

Resources:

Summary: Discovering Your Ministry

All book resources are available at READ On Books, 416-620-2946

Effective ministry flows from a passionate spirituality. Spiritual intimacy leads to a strong conviction that God will act in powerful ways. A godly vision can only be accomplished through an optimistic faith that views obstacles as opportunities and turns defeats into victories.

Passionate spirituality is the energy source that fuels every church, providing the energy and momentum to move forward toward mission. Where passionate spirituality is in short supply, other quality characteristics and ministry areas will feel the impact as the fuel supply runs short. God’s people will begin to feel drained, burned out and used up.

Fortunately, passionate spirituality is a renewable energy form — more like solar or wind energy than like gasoline. It never runs out. It continues reproducing itself when we tap into the source and stay connected to it. Passionate spirituality goes beyond our personal devotional times to our encounters with God in moments of daily life, and the various ways we experience and engage with his presence.

The outpouring of passionate spirituality is an integration of our inner life with God into every aspect of our outward lives as well, resulting in changed lives and transformation.

Resources:

Summary: The River of God
Summary: As Iron Sharpens Iron
Summary: Discovering Spiritual Maturity
Summary: Emotional Intelligence
Summary: Fresh Wind
Summary: Making Life Work
Summary: Stuck in Half Time
Summary: The Life Giving Church

All book resources are available at READ On Books, 416-620-2946

The church is the living Body of Christ. Like all healthy organisms, it requires numerous systems that work together to fulfill its intended purpose. Each must be evaluated regularly to determine if it is still the best way to accomplish the intended purpose.

A church can have wonderful ministries, innovative outreach programs, godly staff people, and a heart for God, but without effective structures, it will still be prevented from reaching its full potential for ministry. People will not know how to get involved with those ministries or access those outreach programs. Time will be spent duplicating efforts or expending energy in diffuse directions. Leadership development will be haphazard and inconsistent.

By assessing the structures of a church, necessary realignments can be made that will help information flow smoothly and each part of the organization function effectively in its role.

Resources:

Summary: Turn-Around Churches
Summary: The Small Church is Different
Summary: The Second Coming of the Church
Summary: The New Thing
Summary: The Change Agent
Summary: The Bridger Generation
Summary: Small, Strong Congregations
Summary: SEVEN Plus Plan
Summary: Sacred Cows Make Gourmet Burgers
Summary: Reinventing Your Church
Position Review Worksheet
Summary: Planting and Growing Urban Churches
Summary: Paradigm Shift in the Church
Master-planning
Maple Ridge Church Plant
Job Description – Sr. Pastor
Job Description – Assoc. Pastor
Summary: Eating the Elephant
ECC Goals
Summary: Developing a Vision for Ministry in the 21st Century
Summary: Death of the Church
Core Competency Guidelines
Summary: Built To Last
Advanced Strategic Planning
Summary: Unlocking Church Doors

All book resources are available at READ On Books, 416-620-2946

Inspiring worship involves both personal and corporate encounter with the living God. Such worship is infused with the Presence of God, resulting in times of joyous exultation and times of quiet reverence.

Inspiring worship is not driven by a particular style or ministry focus group—but rather the shared experience of God’s awesome presence. Such worship is not about one style being better than another; worship styles and services vary widely between cultures. That’s not merely okay—that’s good!A traditional service with hymns and liturgy can be equally as inspiring as a contemporary service with electric guitars.

Inspiring worship, also, is not a matter of big budgets. It is ultimately about what leads those gathered to a personal and corporate encounter with God, who is both immanent and transcendent.

Resources:

Summary: The New Worship
Summary: Sunday Morning Live- 6 dramas – assorted
Summary: Sermon Rating
Video: Breaking Out of your Box
Summary: Traditionally Incorrect

All book resources are available at READ On Books, 416-620-2946

Holistic small groups are disciple-making communities that endeavor to reach the unchurched, meet individual needs, develop each person according to his or her God-given gifts, and raise leaders to sustain the growth of the church.

Like healthy body cells, holistic small groups are designed to grow and multiply. No matter the denomination, size, or style of a church, holistic small groups are the smallest building block of the church’s structure. They contain the DNA of the rest of the church.

Small groups are the places where people connect relationally with one another for spiritual growth. It is the context for their both knowing others and being known; the place where they seek to know God in the context of a small community of believers.

Small groups are an essential microcosm of the healthy, local church. Ensuring the health of these groups helps to position and enable the other aspects of the church’s life and ministry.

Resources:

Summary: 101 Best Ideas for Small Groups
Summary: Cultivating a Life for God
Summary: Home Cell Group Explosion
Summary: How To Build A Small Groups Ministry
Summary: Nine Keys to Effective Small Group Leadership
Summary: Small Group Outreach
Small Groups – Willow Creek

All book resources are available at READ On Books, 416-620-2946

Need-oriented evangelism intentionally cultivates relationships with pre-Christian people so they can become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ who actively participate within the life of the church and community.

Evangelism must be woven through the entire fabric of the church. Using appropriate ministries and authentic relationships, believers can guide others into the family of God.  From special events geared toward non-Christians to considering how the services feel to newcomers to members practicing relational evangelism, the approach needs to be holistic.

Consider the level of value placed on evangelism and the degree to which it is practiced. Underlying beliefs about evangelism affect its practice and need to be regularly evaluated for faithfulness to Scripture.

Resources:

Summary: Surprising Insights from the Unchurched
Summary: SoulTsunami
Video: Living Proof
Summary: How to Start a New Service
Summary: Discovering Your Mission
Summary: Church for the Unchurched
Summary: 9 Aftershocks
The Church of Irresistible Influence

All book resources are available at READ On Books, 416-620-2946

Loving relationships are the heart of a healthy, growing church. Jesus said people will know we are his disciples by our love. Practical demonstration of love builds authentic Christian community and brings others into God’s kingdom. Jesus called his followers to a life of love, characterized by grace, acceptance, forgiveness and joy.

This love is primary in how we are identified by those outside the church, the outward expression of our faith. That love expressed by followers of Christ has the power to draw people who experience it toward the perfect love of God.

Too often loving relationships in churches are hobbled by unresolved conflicts, judgmentalism or pride. By removing obstacles and discovering fresh ways to give and receive love, we can become more and more the kind of churches God had in mind: authentic Christian communities who love sacrificially and without reservation.

Resources:

Exceptional Customer Service
Exceptional Customer Service – outline

All book resources are available at READ On Books, 416-620-2946