January 5, 2017
According to Doug Parks, co-founder and CEO of Intentional Churches, the gospel is for growth and there is untapped energy waiting to be unleashed for growing more and better disciples in your church.
Continue reading to see how his group helps churches align and prioritize evangelism and discipleship through “The Great Commission Engine.” Or click the image below to discover four tools you can leverage today to unleash your church’s Great Commission potential.
The Great Commission Engine has three basic parts (or pistons, as Intentional Churches call them):
- Temple Courts – The catalytic weekend experience
- Rich Community – Small groups and/or Sunday school
- Serving & Sending – Outreach, gift-based ministry, and giving
At the center of The Great Commission Engine is the newcomer. Doug explains that churches must think about the outsider (guests and newcomers) first if they want to unlock their potential. In fact, he says as church leaders, “we must place an imbalance on the outside.” If you don’t do this, you risk having an insider-only mentality.
Before you can reach the newcomer, however, you must know them. Who are they? What are they looking for? What do they need or value? What simple steps can they take to connect with your church?
One of the main things to remember when connecting with newcomers is to create baby steps toward belonging. Often as churches we create leaps for our newcomers. Evaluate your steps often, and make sure they’re working. And always remember, don’t place the responsibility on the newcomer to connect and engage with your church community. Keep it simple and clear. This includes, but is not limited to, your facility and the spaces you create.
The primary job of church leaders should be to catalyze, foster, and facilitate spiritual decisions for newcomers and current church members. Define the path you plan for people to take as they engage with your church and grow in their faith. Your facility should support this pathway. You can create the primary path, but it probably won’t be the only pathway. Many people will create their own path of connection to your ministry.
Doug also reminded us that when ministries collaborate and work together, they can reach their full Great Commission potential. Cross-ministry teams should have clear objectives, the right deliverables to reach those objectives, action required to get the deliverables done, a due date for each, and an owner. Your cross-ministry teams can help you strive for innovation.
The goal of Intentional Churches is to help churches create a strategic plan for building relationships and reaching people with the love and hope that only Christ can bring. This is directly illustrated in one of the three foundational scriptures Doug focuses on in his talk: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).