- Beth Colletti
Thanks so much for stopping by for another episode of the unSeminary podcast. Today we’re talking with Mark Einersen, Operations Pastor of Relevant Church in Locust Grove, Georgia. Relevant was founded in 2010 and is in a suburb of the Atlanta community. When Relevant was first founded about 87-89 percent of their community did not attend church on a regular basis, and about 75 percent had no connection with a church at all. Relevant was founded with the mission to be a church that unchurched people would be drawn to. It is a booming, busy atmosphere, but also a place where people are authentic and really care about you. Mark is with us today to talk about expanding church leadership to reach the unchurched in your community. • A leadership vacuum. In the early years of a church’s life cycle, finding volunteers can feel a little like just getting warm bodies into a position, rather than identifying who is the best fit for a role. That might have worked initially, but as Relevant grew, so did their teams. At first, it was OK to have one person overseeing the teams, but as they multiplied with the church, Relevant needed to develop additional leaders. • Develop a plan to develop leaders. As church leaders, when it comes to looking for potential leaders, we tend to default to the person with the best attitude or natural skill for leadership. However, sometimes a person is capable, but their heart isn’t in it. Or sometimes a potential leader is not gifted or trained in leadership. Mark explains that Relevant’s senior pastor does a great job of creating a leadership culture, but the church began to realize they didn’t have a good plan for multiplying leadership. As a result, Relevant began to address the levels of leadership as well as the skill involved in leadership. • Over the horizon plan. Churches are good at declaring a mission statement and core values, but many times this mission statement doesn’t fully address the unique and strategic vision God has for a church in a certain community. Realizing this, Relevant Church began to ask themselves questions around this idea. Think about whether you are articulating a vision that is truly unique to what God has called you to do in your community. What will you be doing in five, 10 or 20 years from now? How will you paint a clear and compelling picture of that vision for people? The staff at Relevant took the time to think about where they wanted to be in five years. They then crafted an over the horizon plan to get to that vision. They considered what they needed to do in the next 90 days, next year and next three years to get there. If a church wants to multiply their influence, they have to multiply leadership. So this became Relevant’s yearlong focus: What leadership do we need? How do we get there? and, How do we define it? • Very generic vision versus very specific vision. A church’s general vision is ultimately to reach the lost. Narrowing that goal into a specific vision with clear next steps over a limited period of time makes it tangible in people’s minds and easier to work toward. Once they had spent the first 90 days developing a road map for their potential leaders, the staff at Relevant decided to spend the next 90 days going through the class so that they could give feedback on the plan. They met every two to three weeks, and one of the staff members would pretend to be the leader while the rest would be the fresh group in training. They did their homework and completed what the plan required, then came back to discuss it. Looking back, breaking down the goals into bite-sized next steps has really helped to push the church forward. You can learn more about Relevant Church at www.gorelevant.com. This article originally appeared here.