Helping new families stick: podcast on family ministry with Nick Blevins

Joe and I had a blast being interviewed by Nick Blevins on his Family Ministry Podcast. Nick's podcast is a must for anyone serving families in any way through the local church. Joe Schmaltz oversees Next Gen Ministries at Eastside and is a good friend. I thought I would share this with all Sherpas who are helping families make the climb toward a more vital connection with a local church.

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3 different guests are coming to your church this Sunday. Are you ready? (Part 1 of 1)

In these next 3 posts, I will be breaking down some profound assimilation takeaways from Horst Schultze, former President and COO of Ritz-Carlton Hotels. If you are like me, you have heard about Horst and what he did to revolutionize the hospitality industry through books, conferences like Willow Creek's Leadership Summit and podcasts like Andy Stanley's. As Sherpas hoping to help climbers reach the summit of full connection in our churches, we can learn from guys like this in the hospitality industry.

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The #1 objection church's have to forming an assimilation strategy

The movie Field of Dreams debuted in just a few theaters on April 21st, 1989 in hopes to gain more of a summer audience. It gained such a growing and epic following that it showed in theaters nationwide through December that year. With it's iconic line, "If you build it, they will come", this film left a Mark on American men that still resonates with them whenever it's brought up in conversation. Without exaggeration, lives were changed by this film, movements were born, and the American Film Association recently listed it as the 6th greatest fantasy film ever made (The Wizard of Oz being #1).

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This old saying could change your church forever

Today's English Bible translates Proverbs 18:1 as saying, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". This piece of ancient wisdom speaks volumes as to why I believe that connecting with our guests at church, and connecting them to each other, is priority #1 if we want to see our churches grow.

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Assimilation learnings from the eclipse

Yesterday was an exciting day in our country. As the solar eclipse made it's way across North America, it unified our polarized nation, even just for an hour and a half. 

As I reflect on the people who gathered together from sea to sea yesterday to catch a glimpse of the sun's corona, I am thinking these thoughts about connecting guests at our churches:

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Ways we are navigating assimilation and discipleship

After listening to this Breakout Session sponsored by Church Community Builders, discuss with your team...

  • What is working right now when it comes to connecting guests at our church?
  • What creates potential disconnection between our church and guests?
  • What are possible initiatives that would bridge those disconnects?
  • Pick one to implement and evaluate over the next 3 months.
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We struck assimilation gold!

The Gold Rush had begun.

That's how I felt while on a getaway with my wife Michelle up in the California mountains for our anniversary. We decided on Sunday morning to watch the live stream of our church's worship service and took communion together. When the live stream was over, I had my Jim Marshall moment: my fingers grazed the mousepad on my laptop after I paused the video.

That's when it happened.

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The unusual leadership style of a Sherpa

I've never heard of a downhill climb. Ever. Yet many times when spiritual leaders don't see the results they are praying for, the disappointment colors everything: their time with God, their home life, their joy. So I am going to take some time to encourage you right now with the example of some extraordinary men:

When you are not seeing the results that you want to see, that is your cue to return to the leadership style of a Sherpa

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8 Questions to Ask Every Guest (and When and Where to ask them)

One interesting way to mark the journey of a relationship might be the important questions asked that brought the relationship to new levels. 

I believe the questions we ask guests at our church also have the power to take the relationship we are building between them and our church, and between them and God, to a deeper level. Here is a list of 8 questions to ask your guests, and great places to ask them: 

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Previewing new thoughts for connecting people to your church

I had an incredible April and May investing in Church staff where I did Base Camps at One Love in Hawaii and at Crossroads Christian Church in Corona CA. Sherpa-type leaders are so easy to bond with and learn from. I feel like we all come up a level or two just through the time spent together. The Base Camp at Crossroads had Sherpas on staff from churches in Virginia, Oklahoma, Washington DC and Southern CA. What a fun group.

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Look who's comin' to Base Camp...

I am proud to have my friend Julie Liem, Volunteer Director at Eastside Christian Church, as a session leader at my Climbing the Assimilayas Base Camp next week at Crossroads Christian Church in Corona CA. This opportunity was made possible by my good friend Rob Meaux at Thrivant Financial.

Julie will be doing a session on how to recruit and onboard healthy volunteers. To hear a 20 minute podcast interview with Julie on "Unseminary" (with Rich Birch), click here

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What to do when you want to see different results (3 of 3)

Despite being a record holder for dominating the basket, Koby is far and away the least valuable scoring champion according to win shares. His high scores simply did not produce the winning games and winning seasons that he and the Lakers would have thought.

This gives me pause as an Assimilation Director. Is it possible for our assimilation environment (our "one program") to be stuffed with people, lots of energy, and stellar evaluations and still not connect people to in a big way to small groups and ministry teams?

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Design this right and assimilating guests will happen automatically (Guest environment blast 2 of 3)

I am grateful to live in a small home with a big view. I love being outside to enjoy it whenever I can and naturally expected others would too. Surprisingly, my patio table and chairs weren't enough to get people to venture out 10 yards to see the "bigger view" where a small lake appears with wildlife and a golf course surrounding it.  

Thats when I became a genius in my own mind...

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