As a pastor’s daughter and granddaughter, I know church. Many individuals have visited a church on a Sunday morning for worship or perhaps even on Wednesday evening for Bible Research. But throughout these other days of the week, different business is occurring, trust and consider that. And lots of occasions, a church is scuffling with rising its membership, creating a robust church and placing in place visionary management. When my father retired because the pastor of my church after 38 years in 2017, our church has been in this place because we’re in a new part of the church. So once I obtained the prospect to interview Pastor Olu Brown, I used to be excited to do so. Under is his bio.
Olujimi (Olu) Brown is the daddy of Daya Elom Brown and Langston Wesley Brown. Olu is a native of Lufkin, Texas. He graduated from Jarvis Christian School in Hawkins, Texas and earned a Master of Divinity degree from Gammon Theological Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Middle in Atlanta, Georgia.
He serves as the Lead Pastor of Impact Church, a younger congregation in the East Point group of Metropolitan Atlanta (impactdcd.org). With Olu’s imaginative and prescient and management, since its founding in 2007, Impact has grown from a core workforce of 25 individuals to greater than 2,400 attendees every Sunday in individual and 1,600 online with a $4M finances, and listed at quantity 5 in the 25 Quickest Growing Giant United Methodists Churches, 2018 Version.
Olu strongly believes in an lively church, one that makes a meaningful influence in the lives of people and communities. Impact is a multicultural group dedicated to Doing Church In another way™. Impact DCD redefines the church experience via inclusiveness, relatable messages, energetic weekly gatherings, unique occasions and activities, related youth packages and group outreach. The individuals of Impact are compelled to help deliver healing, justice and compassion to the world.
Pastor Brown wrote about church administration and leadership in his latest books 4D Impact: Smash Limitations Like a Sensible Church and Management Directions from Moses: On the Option to a Promised Land. Under is my interview with him about these books.
1. Why did you are feeling the need to write “4D Impact: Smash Barriers Like a Smart Church?” Have been you approached to put in writing this e-book?
I felt the need because in half I travel fairly a bit and in touring, I get a chance to satisfy totally different leaders and totally different pastors and I’m discovering that though many have great instructional backgrounds and have had great experiences in their local churches, the techniques, individuals and tradition modifications so shortly that they’re not capable of adapt to those modifications fast sufficient. And so I wrote ‘4 D’ to say, ‘Hey, there are four critical areas in every church, wherever you happen to be, if you could focus on these areas, you could have a healthy, more vital, growing church.’ And people areas in fact from the guide are know-how, worship, methods and hospitality, which on the surface sounds very straightforward, low-hanging fruit. However as you dig via that and apply it to your local church, it becomes a few of the hardest however most rewarding work that you’ll ever do.
2. You latterly hosted a web-based conference relating to the rules you shared in “4D Impact.” How did you train the rules you discovered in the one-hour convention?
It wasn’t designed to show all the rules in one hour. It was an introductory course. It was an introduction for people who may be skeptical, individuals who have heard this stuff before they usually’re not quite positive and people who are completely bought out they usually really need to tell their leaders, ‘Here is what I’ve been talking about. Right here is someone else saying it.’
three. In this ebook, you share stories of success and failure from Impact Church’s ongoing journey. Tell me about one success and one failure and what you discovered?
One story of success is starting round literal coffee tables in Starbucks with a gaggle of volunteers who are nonetheless so passionate concerning the imaginative and prescient we’re casting that 12 years later, Impact is what it is. So though now we’ve employees and our finances is bigger, we historically have all the time and will all the time be dependent on volunteers. In order it relates to volunteerism, that is certainly one of our successes.
One failure story which was really a learning alternative is around what it means to actually disciple individuals to the subsequent degree. When you consider church buildings, most churches do discipleship or ought to do discipleship, which means, ‘Hey, I want to be a Christian. I accept Christ and 10 years later, I shouldn’t be in the identical place.’ So I don’t call it a failure but a chance. It’s typical of latest church buildings, which means we begin like gangbusters after which someday, you get up and you understand, ‘Oh my God, we have to take these people somewhere.’ So that may be a constant question for us, ‘How do we take people to a place of Christian maturity while knowing that as a 12-year-old, preteen church, we can’t take individuals all the means. But what is that a part of the best way that God is looking us to? So that’s been a chance for us to study. We don’t all the time get it right but in the future, we hope to say, ‘If you hang out at Impact, this is what you will look like as a Christian.’
How did you impress those volunteers?
I was blessed to work at a big church for about five and a half years before we began Impact. Whereas I was there, I constructed some nice relationships and I additionally constructed some nice relationships in the marketplace who I used to be capable of pull in. And it wasn’t simply me. The volunteers invited individuals so we all pulled in people. So it was relationships.
What do you mean by “you can’t take people all of the way?”
If you consider a discipleship model in the alphabet, starting with A and going all the best way to Z, some church buildings will say, we will take you all the best way to Z, however that’s actually not true. You must think of a church like a supermarket or another retailer. Goal is nice, however they’re not going to promote the whole lot. Wal-Mart is great, but they’re not going to promote every little thing. And so sometimes a client has to piecemeal their purchasing listing along the strains of two or three places. And that’s the truth of where spirituality is in the 21st century. No one church can do every part for one individual or ought to we. But we should always be capable of know what we do very nicely.
So once we speak about a discipleship mannequin, which will mean you meet Impact as a seeker, making an attempt to know who Jesus Christ is after which if you depart Impact, every time that is, perhaps you’ll have taken a Bible Research or been part of a small group that helps you perceive the Bible, that helps you understand prayer, that helps you perceive other religious disciplines. After which you possibly can go on to a different church and go deeper in one other religious dynamic or in one other area and when you’re with them, you’re learning even more than what you discovered than if you have been with us. However we have been part of that foundational story that helped you get to the subsequent degree of your religious progress.
So that you don’t assume a church should attempt to hold members for their lifetimes?
It is dependent upon the life and stage of the church and the life and stage of the member. For example, a month in the past, I was at a church they usually have been celebrating their 154th church anniversary. There are some members who’ve been members of that church for all of their lives and that works for them. However I feel the best way that tradition is shifting because of jobs, due to geography, because people right now don’t mind dwelling in a city two or three years, it’s going to be nearly unimaginable for healthy, thriving growing churches to say we’ve lifetime members. We now have lifetime help. We’ve got lifetime encouragement. And we’ve got lifetime shared tales however for you to be here your whole life is unlikely and sometimes in the event you’re a younger adult.
four. Some individuals are skeptical of megachurches. I’m unsure if Impact is taken into account a megachurch however it is a giant church. For example, my husband was just saying to me that he wonders how some churches develop to megachurch measurement with out some shenanigans being involved or the message of the gospel being compromised someway. As a church progress skilled, do you are feeling that each church should have hundreds of members in order to be wholesome?
I don’t. The numerical measurement doesn’t determine health or vitality of an area church. What most individuals don’t know is in America, the typical measurement church is 75 individuals so once you see these giant churches and megachurches or gigachurches, those are a minority. They don’t seem to be the norm. It’s like what you see in the USA of America. It’s principally made up of these small towns. You’ve received these big cities like Atlanta but should you travel outdoors of Atlanta, numerous America is rural, grassroots individuals who grow crops, who have industries that literally service the world. And it’s the identical thing with the native church. I consider my expertise comes in by saying, ‘I don’t necessarily need you to grow larger for the sake of; I would like you to be as healthy as you could be and as very important as you may be. And should you do this, you will attain the world for Jesus Christ.’
However to your husband’s point, I do consider some church buildings can grow that enormous without any abnormalities, with out something occurring that can be indifferent or dangerous as a result of there are just some church buildings and yeah, it’s religious and it’s favor, but God’s favor is on each church. Some individuals assume this church is massive as a result of God’s favor is on it. No God’s favor is simply as present in that church with 80 individuals however there are just a few issues that work for that church. It might be a robust lay chief. It might be a robust Sunday Faculty system. It might be a robust small group system.
Or they’re simply are in the proper geography. Typically if you watch soccer, you will notice these small towns that have school groups. As an example, you’re taking the University of Georgia. I’m right here right now in Michigan and I just passed Notre Dame. Now Notre Dame is a small city, however it has a huge faculty. And I feel typically these faculties are situated in locations where there isn’t a professional staff presence so that the school group is the pro workforce and there is a lot invested in that. You possibly can simply be in the proper group and you’re the only present in city. So by nature of being the only show in city, you’re going to be greater should you’re wholesome.
5. To evaluate the “health” of a church, you assess tradition, hospitality, worship, and know-how. Tell me extra about this assessment process and the diagnostic tools in the ebook.
The very first thing I do is to return in and get to know the church’s story and meaning attending to know their history and their current after which from that you will start to listen to the culture of the church as a result of every church has a tradition. Culture might mean very robust pastoral management. Tradition might mean very robust lay leadership. Tradition might imply that is an outreach and missions church. You get to know their stories and their culture.
And you then observe their worship as a result of individuals can inform you about their worship however you actually have to take a seat in on their worship. A few weeks ago, I was in Florida, sitting in on Sunday morning, on a worship expertise at a church. After that, I was capable of give some written suggestions and oral suggestions to the leader of that church or the pastor who will soon be the chief so that he and the opposite leaders can take that and work by means of each of these details associated to worship and make that extra very important.
Know-how is extra of an Excel spreadsheet where you’re taking stock of current know-how, outdated know-how. You’re breaking that into software program as a result of a lot of people don’t think about that. And you additionally break that into hardware. And from that you would be able to tackle finances selections and directional path selections about what we need to seem like as a church in know-how.
Methods could be broad but one of many things I tell individuals about techniques is that there are open techniques and closed techniques. And you consider language for instance. Each time someone stands and provides an announcement and says, ‘Hey, thank you for being a part of church family. We’re glad you’re right here.’ Words like which might be closed system words which means once you say family, meaning we have now everyone we’d like and we don’t necessarily want new individuals. So your language is a system and other people don’t take into consideration that. So myself and my staff leaders will come in as outsiders with neutral opinions, wanting to help and never hurt you as a result of all of us need to reach individuals for Jesus Christ.
6. What inspired you to put in writing “Leadership Directions from Moses?” which is described a useful software for those coping with the departure of key members from the church.
It doesn’t matter the age or stage of a church, individuals depart from day 1. The very first Sunday service that we had Impact, some individuals left afterward. Individuals come with preconceived expectations. And we started in a center faculty. And there weren’t any crosses up. There were no stained glass windows. Some individuals stated, ‘This is great for y’all however it’s not for me.’ So individuals are all the time leaving and individuals are all the time coming.
But I wrote this e-book for leaders like me who wrestle with sharing vision, wrestle with delegation and in addition who wrestle with understanding that the same means God speaks to me, God additionally speaks to different individuals. So once we read Moses’ story that then leads into Joshua, we all the time assume at all 12 tribes made it into the Promised Land. However in the event you learn Numbers 32, the Reubenites and the Gadites come to Moses when they’re in a geographic space referred to as the Transjordan, they say, ‘Hey Moses, we like where we are.’ Moses makes a compromise and says, ‘Okay, if you help us go fight for the land, then you and your families can come back here.’ So time moves on. Moses dies. Joshua is the brand new leader. Joshua divides out the land and that’s when Joshua tells these two tribes, now you can return to that place.
What sometimes occurs with leaders is that we demonize individuals for having a unique vision or a special path, and we then solely concentrate on those people who don’t need to go where you are feeling God has referred to as you to go and people are two deadly errors in leadership. As a result of one, we don’t honor different individuals’s vision and the way they hear God and two, we take our eyes off of the majority of people that still need to move ahead and we put all of our emphasis on the minority group of people who don’t necessarily need to transfer ahead. So it works by means of three important conversations: self-conversation round self-awareness and self-differentiation, dialog with others round casting vision and helping them perceive what God is sharing in your coronary heart, and eventually those troublesome conversations that we have now with God once you’re down and out. Finally, we all have a promise and we will get there however we solely get there by way of these troublesome conversations.
7. Is there anything you want to add?
To begin with, thank you for this interview. I do share with groups as I travel and at house, that in spite of all the difficulties with leaders in basic, but particularly with leaders of native church buildings, each clergy and lay individuals, are dealing with, this is the greatest evangelistic opportunity of our lifetime. I know we’re seeing a decline in church attendance and increasingly more individuals are opting out of faith in basic, however I nonetheless consider this an incredible opportunity if we’re prepared to succeed in individuals in a 21st century method with the same theology we’ve all the time had but we’ve got to be prepared to retool, we now have to be prepared to reshape and we’ve got to be prepared to succeed in tradition the place they’re and not anticipate them to walk by way of our doorways and simply show up.
For more details about 4D Impact: Smash Obstacles Like a Sensible Church and Leadership Directions from Moses: On the Solution to a Promised Land and Pastor Olu Brown, go to @pastorolubrown on Instagram and his web site olubrown.org.