Tired of Being Lonely and Anonymous in Church

More from David Murrow on coaching churches:

“One of the biggest drawbacks with church planting today is we start at Acts 2. We gather a few families and open our doors, trying to attract a crowd. Our very first offering is a public worship service. We build not upon the foundation of men who’ve served Jesus together, but upon the foundation of the pastor and his ability to deliver inspiring sermons.

Staging this weekly music-and-preaching event takes so much time, effort and money that there are few resources left for personal discipling. From day one we train people to become worshippers, not disciples, because worship is what we do.”

David suggests that the Gospel of Luke includes a more man-friendly model of ministry focused on personal coaching, rather than large group teaching. He admits there’s a lot to flesh out, but the fundamental proposition is pretty exciting:

“So what if we planted churches based on the model we see in the Gospel of Luke? The church planter(s) would build the congregation not around a weekly preaching-and-music event, but around weekly coaching sessions with small groups of men.

In other words, the men of this church don’t “go to church” on Sunday. Their church would be their weekly time of coaching.”

Where do I sign up?


Just Get Everyone to Think Exactly Like You and You’re Set

I like the questions Jennifer asks, and it’s fun to rethink the assumptions of Western ministry models, but don’t expect the rest of churchianity to join you. Instead, we need to encourage believers to establish new ministries along side the old, and we need to encourage camaraderie and collaboration among the institutionally inclined.

Truly disruptive innovations don’t replace old paradigms wholesale, they displace the old paradigms slowly as markets change.


A Few Highly Committed People

Neil Cole:

“Too often, in our desire to keep people, we change church to accommodate bad soil and end up with larger fruitless congregations that want all their needs met and have no desire to serve others. Open the back door!”

I wonder how many pastors are facing the realization that they can grow a church or reach a community?


We Are Not Called to Cater to Customers

Ed Stetzer:

“Too many churches love their comfort more than their mission.

The fact is, your church probably needs to be less focused on what makes it happy and more focused on what pleases Jesus. This is an easy trap to fall into because it happens very subtly.

The fact is that most churches have worked very hard to get to a place where congregational customers are happy–their needs are met. The problem is that we are not called to cater to customers. We are called to equip co-laborers.”

The problem is that customers pay money. Co-laborers are not a dependable income base.


You’re Probably Not as Good as Francis Chan

Neil Cole addresses a key question for professional ministers considering the validity of organic church:

“No matter how good you are at preaching (and lets face it, you’re probably not as good as Francis Chan), you need to weigh your own personal fulfillment against the fulfillment of the ministry of the Saints in the body.”


We Need a Sustainable Christian Lifestyle

Actually, this already exists. It’s called “listening to Jesus and doing what he says.”

We need to ween ourselves off of systems and formulas and role models and tune in to Jesus’s real-time leading.


Speaking of Nourishment

Shaun King:

“This is going to sound terrible, but I’m surprised how little church means to me now that I’m not a church insider. When I was a church insider, I operated under the assumption that what we were offering people was going to fill some deep gap that they had and knew that they had, but now that I am a church outsider, I’m a perfectly content guy. I don’t feel like something is missing.”


Coaches or Professors

David Murrow:

“There are 330,000 places in America for the professorial learners to find God. We’re planting 4,000 more every year. Yet the majority of men relate better to a coaching model. Is there even one church in America that’s built around their needs? Such churches were common in the first three centuries AD – could they be resurrected today?”


How Do You “Get Fed”?


“My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.”

Our bodies are designed for nourishment by consumption. Our spirits are different. Many of us make the mistake of projecting the dynamics of physical nourishment to our spiritual lives. The result is spiritual famine.

Jesus explained to his disciples that his spiritual food consisted of listening to God and obeying his direction. If God told Jesus to encourage someone and Jesus obeyed, Jesus’s spirit was nourished. If God directed Jesus to heal someone and Jesus followed God’s lead, Jesus’s spirit was nourished. If God directed Jesus to be silent and Jesus obeyed, nourishment.

If God directs me to go to church on a Sunday morning and listen to a sermon, and I sincerely obey, my spirit will be nourished by God’s leading and my obedience. If I go to church week after week hoping that listening to sermon after sermon will perpetually nourish me, I will be disappointed and I will starve.

The Problem With “It’s Not About You”

It’s a pretty short walk to “It doesn’t really matter if you’re here or not.”

True, “it” isn’t mainly about you, but it involves you. Eventually, “it” should benefit you in some way, even if that benefit is helping you to realize that you are an irreplaceable part of the body.

Because you are. Or you should be. Your value in the Kingdom is not limited to a tally on a headcount, or the number of volunteer hours you donate to keep the machine of the church running week in, week out.

God has prepared good works out in the world that only you can complete. If you aren’t ready, or don’t have the eyes to see those good works, or don’t have the courage to complete them, then by all means, don’t waste another second. Get equipped. Because that’s where you’ll experience God, when you join him in the work he’s already doing.

Hopefully, whatever it is that you’re doing in church will prepare you to complete those good works. If church isn’t helping you, then it’s just a distraction and something needs to change.