“Culture” with Chris Hodges (Grow Leader Regional)

You cannot create a culture. You can only be one.

You have to become what you want your congregation to become.

The church building is empty most of the week. You can spend that time praying and preparing. Don’t spend time doing either of those when the people are there!

Don’t tell people to invite someone. Tell stories about who I am inviting.

Sundays tend to be the engine that drives everything else.

Know why the unchurched are unchurched.

None of the reasons tend to be theological. They tend to be about the church.

Most of the unchurched are dechurched.

Every church can teach us something.

Example: What Chris Hodges learned from Highpoint University:

  • Create value. Help them understand what they are missing that they can experience with us.
  • Interpret the value. Say it. Say it again. Interpret what you are saying.
  • Remove the irritants from the system. People make decisions based on little things we may not even consider (examples: time it takes to register for kids, leave the parking lot, etc.).
  • Add wow to the experience.

Make everything we do a “wow” experience.

You need to impress someone new within the first 10 minutes.

Children’s ministry should be well-staffed, safe, clean, and fun. They need to be all four.

Do you have a plan in case of an emergency?

You cannot preach good enough to overcome a child who tells his parents that he doesn’t want to go back.

Put energy and resources into great praise and worship.

Praise is horizontal. We are singing to each other about what God has done.

Worship is vertical. We are singing to God about what He has done.

Add tracks as needed.

“Play skillfully before the Lord.”

Deliver messages that are interesting, clear, relevant, entertaining, biblical, and transformational.

Interesting – does it pass the test of “who cares?”

Clear – “put the cookies on the bottom shelf so all can get one”

Relevant – dealing with issues people are facing

Entertaining – “to hold one’s attention”

Biblical – of course

Transformational – we believe God is going to change lives!

Focus on excellence because excellence creates comfort.

Get great at a few things before adding more.

Be passionate.

You cannot understate the importance of passion. According to Gallup, the most effective way to gain credibility is to be passionate.

Minister from the “tree of life.”

The two trees represent two ways to approach God.

Tree of good and evil or Tree of life.

You can learn the behavior or have the behavior in your heart.

External rules or the rules written on our hearts.

I’m not going to tell you that you should do it. I’m going to tell you how great it is so you will want to do it!

Show them how to be in love in Jesus!

The commands of God are hard when you are not in love.
“In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,… Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” – 1 John 5:3, 12

Be authentic.

Be relevant.

It fits into everyday life.

Be enjoyable.

“I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.” – Psalm 122:1

Be accepting.

This is not the same as approving.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14
Grace and truth and grace comes first. Connect before you correct. Truth without grace is mean. Grace without truth is meaningless.

Be powerful. When marriages are healed, singles find freedom, and teens love Jesus then you won’t have to advertise anymore.

Teach personal evangelism.

  • Accept the personal responsibility. You are ambassadors of faith! Focus on your sphere of influence. “You get your friends here. I promise I won’t embarrass you.”
  • Develop a personal relationship. Connect before you correct. Daniel stood for his faith and still had influence.
  • Share your personal story. Don’t tell them what is wrong with them. Tell them what happened to you! We are to be witnesses. We are not the judge, prosecutor, or even the defense.
  • Give a personal invitation. If you ask them, people are saying “yes”!

The church is growing in 183 countries but the USA is one of the 17 countries in the world where the Church is static or declining.

Revival comes about every 50 years. We are due!

3 out of 4 say they need to grow spiritually

Nearly half of all Americans say they are open now to God than when they were before the pandemic.

Revival happens first in you and then in the church and then in the culture. That’s how we an awakening begins!

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