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Published every Thursday the goal of the unSeminary podcast is to be an encouragement to Pastors and Church Leaders with practical help you can apply to your ministry right away.
Get a Head Start on Your Church’s Multi-Use Strategy with Frank Bealer
Thanks for joining us for the unSeminary podcast. I’m talking with Frank Bealer, the co-founder and Chief Growth Officer of Phase Family Centers as well as Chief of Staff at Local Church.
Is your church considering a multi-use strategy? Does it seem overwhelming as you think about how to get started and all that you need to learn? Listen in as Frank shares how to get the resources and coaching you need while mitigating the distractions that can come with multi-use.
* Preschool, parents, and events. // Phase Family Centers were started with a desire to help churches both fund their ministry and engage communities differently. The idea was broken down into three boxes: preschool, parents, and events. Frank, along with Reggie Joiner, worked on figuring out how to structure a multi-use strategy that was really intentional about coming alongside churches for the purposes of improved stewardship and community engagement.
* Uniquely suited. // Churches are uniquely suited to help meet the needs of the community around us. It could be something such as offering preschool, which is one of the crises in America right now. Churches already have the facilities and the posture needed to help address the childcare crisis, and permeate the operations of a preschool with warmth, safety, care, kindness.
* Do a site and market analysis. // Rather than assuming that preschool or event space is the thing needed in your community, first do a site and market analysis like any other business would. What are the actual needs in your unique community? Determine what is the business plan, what is the strategy, and what are the end goals.
* Mitigate the distraction. // Any extra program or ministry you do is a distraction from something. It’s important to mitigate that distraction when you get involved with multi-use. Hire a manager who is a good culture fit with your church and also has experience for the business you are adding (ex. preschool, coffee shop, event center, etc.) Then instead of using Google to figure out your manuals and policies, partner with Phase Family Centers to put together the resources you need. You get to run the operation but you’re not alone in figuring things out. When the manager is having a hard time, they can call Phase for help instead of distracting the church’s executive leadership team with their questions.
* Have a marketing plan. // Preschool is a proven business. Events are a proven business. However, don’t assume that people will show up as soon as you open just because you’re a church. It’s important to have a marketing plan and budget as you seek to serve and meet the needs of the broader community.
* Phase helps anywhere on the multi-use journey. // Phase will work with churches who know where they want to go as well as those who are stuck figuring out where to begin. The Phase Family Center website provides more information about working together, and starts by exploring questions with you. Then a call with someone at Phase will unpack your ideas, dreams, and what may be your barriers.
You can learn more about teaming up with Phase at www.phase.center/partners, plus find Frank on social media @fbealer.
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Help to Fight the Scourge of Predictability in Your Church Services with Lance Burch
Welcome back to the unSeminary podcast. I’m talking with Lance Burch from Reality Church in Omaha, Nebraska. He often explores and identifies current cultural phenomena and then tries to find a way to connect them to biblical truth.
Listen in as Lance shares how to pay attention to the questions the culture around us is asking while presenting ancient truths in a novel way.
* Do what Jesus did. // Our churches can be way too predictable, which can hold us back from what God calls us to do. By contrast, Jesus was never predictable; his stories often had surprise endings yet communicated truth in a way that resonated with the culture. If we are to be like Jesus, then we need to do things the way he did.
* Look at things in a new way. // One of Reality Church’s core values is surprise. Adding even small elements of surprise, such as a prop during a sermon or spontaneous baptisms in a service, keeps things from being too predictable. One way the church incorporated this value on New Year’s Day was by changing the seating to be in a circle and sharing stories of God’s faithfulness.
* Holding to the truth. // While digging into scripture and singing truth to each other will always be core, Reality Church looks for novel ways to present these ancient truths. The goal isn’t to change the truth of scripture, but rather to have the church experience it in a new way.
* Be clear to your listeners. // When writing messages and engaging culture, Reality Church is careful to stay true to the Bible by using a framework that asks: Is this accurate? Is it clear? They want to stay true to the scriptures while also creating a bridge to listeners in their cultural context. How are your listeners interpreting their entire world? What “language” do they speak? What questions are they asking? One way to tap into this is by paying attention to the questions that popular music and entertainment are asking.
* Connecting with the culture. // One of the elements of surprise that Reality Church has used is rewriting popular songs to create parodies that can be used for teaching moments and to convey a certain idea from scripture. These songs are fun and really accessible, plus serve as a great invite tool on “big days” like Christmas. A couple of songs from the last few years include We Don’t Talk About Rudolph, which is a parody of Encanto’s We Don’t Talk About Bruno, and also a parody of a song from Hamilton.
* Be clear that it’s a parody. // Creating parodies are legal under fair use, however make it evident that your work is a parody and that you’re not trying to appear as if the music or other content is your original work. It’s not legal to claim that the music or media is yours, so do reference the original work that you’re making the parody from.
You can learn more about Reality Church at reality.church and you can see their parody videos on YouTube at Reality Church Omaha.
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Tithes & Offerings Are No Longer Enough To Fund Your Church with Mark DeYmaz
Welcome back to the unSeminary podcast. I’m excited to be talking with Mark DeYmaz, who planted Mosaic Church in Arkansas and is co-founder of Mosaix Global Network.
We’re nearly a quarter of our way through the 21st century and yet some churches are still operating on models from the 1960s. In spite of good intentions and a lot of activity, many pastors are merely managing the decline of their churches. Listen in as Mark talks about the 20th century metrics we need to stop chasing and where we need to shift our focus.
* Works over words. // In order for the church to continue to move forward, we need to be thoughtful about the time we’re living in. We are in a Matthew 5:16 century – one where the works of churches impact unbelievers more powerfully than words. Whereas the 20th century was about explanation, the 21st century is about demonstration and getting out into the community rather than staying behind closed doors.
* Play for influence. // In the 20th century churches played for size; in the 21st century churches need to play for influence. Influence is not tied to size, but rather to diversity. The greater your church’s diversity, both in terms of the structures and the demographics, the greater your influence will be in your community. People in a smaller, more multi-ethnic church can go into a larger swath of the community with the messaging of Christ compared to a larger homogenous church.
* Multiple streams of income. // In the 20th century churches were funded by tithes and offerings, but in the 21st century we need to look at multiple streams of income. This doesn’t mean we get rid of tithes and offerings. Rather we revisit what good stewardship looks like according to Jesus’ teachings. Consider the parable of the talents; the wicked, lazy servant is the one who did nothing with his assets. Our assets are people, money and facilities – how are we stewarding them to fund the mission of the church?
* Look at the buried assets. // So many things in today’s world have changed the way that younger generations are giving to the church and how much the church is receiving. Churches should take a look at their buried assets in order to release the economic engine to make money to both pay their bills and provide for their ministry. This includes connections that your people have to others and how you can aggregate money quickly.
* Rent your facilities. // Even pre-pandemic, most church facilities sat empty from Monday to Saturday. That’s not good stewardship. The simplest way to earn income is to rent your facilities. Get a commercial realtor to come into the church and tell you how much unused areas of your church would be worth in the commercial market.
* Monetize existing services. // Another option for earning money is to monetize existing services. One example might be using the coffee shop in the church to cover your costs as well as fund ministry. You may not have enough in tithes and offerings to cover expenses in the coffee shop. However by charging for something like coffee and breakfast biscuits, you can cover your costs as well as generate income to provide for ministry and outreach.
* Earn through business for God’s work. // You can also start a for-profit LLC under your nonprofit. Create a business and hire employees, provide services, or sell items. Some of the profits earned by the business can then help to fund ministry at your church. Create a sister nonprofit under your church to handle outreach ministry in the community. Through the separate nonprofit, pursue grants and donations from local, state, federal, and outside entities.
* Follow the law to keep tax exempt status.
Reflecting on Seasons of Life, Leadership & Their Impact on Your Team with Lee Coate
Welcome back to the unSeminary podcast. We’re talking with Lee Coate, the executive pastor at The Crossing in Las Vegas, and the president of Growmentum Group.
Today Lee is talking with us about Growmentum Group, how they are helping church leaders accomplish their missions, and how to use the different seasons of leadership that are found on your teams.
* Accomplish your mission. // Growmentum works with churches to help them accomplish their missions. They value partnerships and offer a full access relationship with the executive leaders that come to them. By providing an outside voice and reaching out to church leaders on a regular basis, they help you to work on the ministry while working in it.
* Become farsighted again. // The last few years forced church leaders to plan more short-term. As a result we’ve become shortsighted in our leadership and vision and are struggling to think in a more futuristic way. Growmentum works with churches to become more farsighted in their vision and examine if their values are more actual, or aspirational. It’s ok to have aspirational values, but then we need to build some farsighted vision around how to make them more actual.
* Work on it, not just in it. // As leaders we have to be really intentional to model farsightedness by looking ahead in ministry and not only focusing on today. Schedule “work on it” meetings that are isolated from your normal work. Get your team together to work on ministry, uninterrupted, at least once a month. Hold quarterly half-day “work on it” meetings with the decision makers, and annually get away a day or two away to set the farsighted vision.
* Widen the targets. // If most churches could get a 10 year target, paint a three year picture, and operate on a one year plan, quarter by quarter, on a regular basis they would start to see their mission gain some ground. Target more widely and not only specifically.
* Seasons of life and leadership. // Everyone wants high capacity leaders on their teams, but would we be prepared for what they’d demand from us? Different age groups translate to different seasons of leadership, and each brings different strengths and weaknesses to the table. Lee has identified these four main seasons as: Princes and Princesses (18-25 year olds), Warriors and Warrioresses (roughly between 25-40 years old); Kings and Queens, and then Sages and Muses.
You can find Lee Coate on most social media sites or send him an email. If you’d like to know more about Growmentum Group you can learn more at growmentumgroup.com. Or follow along with The Crossing at thecrossinglv.com.
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Doing the Right Things for the Right Reasons with the Right People at Your Church with Scot Longyear & Heath Bottomly
Thanks for tuning in to the unSeminary podcast. We’re with returning guests Scot Longyear and Heath Bottomly today. Heath is the Lead Pastor of the Creative Teams at Pure Heart Church in Arizona and Scot is the Senior Pastor of Maryland Community Church in Indiana.
Scot and Heath talk with us about their book Fight For The Future: Creating The Right Blueprint For Building God-Sized Dreams.
* From dreaming to doing. // Individuals, ministries and churches often talk about things that they should do, things that are a good vision or a good dream, but we don’t take action. In Fight For The Future, Scot and Heath talk about moving from the dreaming stage to the doing stage. This process consists of three key elements: the right things, the right reasons, and the right people.
* Right things. // One of the hardest things churches wrestle with is believing that the right things are simply good things. Because we all want to do good things, churches can have an avalanche of good things thrown in our laps. Before we know it, we’re giving a small amount of energy to a large number of good things and aren’t accomplishing significant milestones in any of them. Fight For The Future asks what is that thing you are called to; what is that dream in your mind and heart, and how can you intentionally pursue it?
* Discovering the right things. // To find what your church is called to do, ask what are your church’s passions? Where has the Lord placed you in your city or in certain relationships that you have? What are your resources, and what is the Lord stirring up in your heart?
* Right reasons. // We are all creative beings and we’re all building something. The question is why we are building what we’re building. Is what you’re building largely about yourself and your empire or legacy, or is it about God’s kingdom?
* Right people. // We all struggle with finding the right people in ministry. At Maryland Community Church, the team filters potential hires through a long process to see if they are the right culture fit. During this process Scot asks the potential hire just two questions: What am I going to learn about you in six months that will surprise or embarrass me? If I have to stand in front of our congregation and read a resignation letter from you because of a moral failure, what would that moral failure be?
* Missional unity. // In some cases we need to hire people who are really specialized at what they do. But if someone is super-talented and not aligned with the mission of your church, they are not the right person. The mission needs to be more important than the talent, and the work can’t be about perfection, but rather excellence – knowing you did your best.
* Hand off leadership to the next generation. // If we’re not in the process of working to figure out how to hand off leadership and responsibilities to the next generation, it goes back to the mindset that we’re building an empire around ourselves. A kingdom-focused mindset goes out and multiplies.
You can learn more about the book at www.scotlongyear.com and pick it up online.
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There are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, but you chose unSeminary, and I’m grateful for that. If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it by using the social media buttons you see at the left hand side of this page....
Lessons from Inside a Rapidly Multiplying Church with DeWayne McNally & Paul Schulz
Welcome back to the unSeminary podcast. We’re talking with DeWayne McNally and Paul Schulz from Hill Country Bible Church in Austin, Texas. DeWayne and Paul both serve as executive pastors of ministry by dividing the responsibilities; DeWayne handles the operations, multiplication and family ministries while Paul takes care of the personal/spiritual growth related ministries, including the worship experience and multisite.
To reach people in our communities, our churches can’t just grow; they need to multiply. Listen in as DeWayne and Paul share how Hill Country Bible Church has used both church plants and multisite campuses to reach the city of Austin and how disciple-making starts at the individual level.
* Spread out on each level. // Everything Hill Country Bible Church does is driven by their God-given mission to saturate and reach Austin. Their strategy is two-fold, including both the launch of new multisite campuses, and planting new churches around Austin. The original Hill County location is on the cusp of the suburban part of Austin, so campuses will be placed in locations that are congruent with the psychographics of this area. Church plants, on the other hand, are established in areas that might have a different makeup which Hill Country can’t reach as easily. Either way, the goal is for multisite locations or churches to continue to multiply.* Multiplication starts with you. // At Hill Country, multiplication starts at the individual level, then moves into small groups, and then becomes what they do at the church level. If you’re a disciple-maker who isn’t reproducing disciples, then you’re not multiplying. Start from that point and then raise up a church planter who will in turn infuse the DNA into the elder board of a new church plant. Here the church planter’s purpose is to reach the people close by, but also send out the next set of church plants.* Create a disciple-making focus. // Hill Country casts vision for multiplication on all levels of ministry. In addition to small groups there is a disciple-making initiative which is a more focused and intentional program. People either self-identify that they want to grow in this way, or they are invited into discipling relationships. The whole goal of these discipling relationships is to teach people to multiply and become disciple-makers.* Three step ministry philosophy. // Personal connection and discipling relationships are key to Hill Country’s DNA. DeWayne shares how he is currently discipling three men and they in turn each disciple three men which leads to exponential multiplication. This structure includes a three step philosophy of ministry where they ask: Who are you? Where are you at spiritually? How can I help you take your next step? All of these questions are explored within personal discipling relationships.* Are you actually creating disciple makers? // If you want to multiply, begin by looking at yourself and how you’re doing discipleship. Are you actually creating disciple-makers or are you just creating scholars filled with head knowledge? How are you multiplying your leadership? Now is the time to think about multiplication and create a strategy. Normalize it while your church is small and make it a part of your culture and DNA.
You can learn more about Hill Country Bible Church at www.hcbc.com and connect with DeWayne or Paul on the staff page.
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There are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, but you chose unSeminary, and I’m grateful for that. If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it by using the social media buttons you see at the left hand s...
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I’m very thankful for Rich and his team at UnSeminary. The content is regularly updated and always applicable to leaders in church and ministry. I’ve experienced significant growth through the application of wisdom shared in this podcast. So many tools and resources shared here to help answer questions and help our teams serve the community in greater ways for the Kingdom!
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Add this one to your weekly listening routine. You’ll be encouraged and glad you did. Tremendous guests. Excellent insight in ministry leadership. I love the detailed show notes.
Thank you Mr. Birch for your podcast. I came across your work about a week before Covid-19 impacted the Houston area and signed up to Unseminary. I’ve been the lead pastor at The Life Church-Baytown going on 3 months, I look forward to your emails, podcast, and resources... thank you and your staff for you’re commitment, especially in these times.