Joshua Gagnon

thoughts on Jesus, leadership, and the Church.

Ep 023: Healthy Trends of Growing Churches - An interview with Warren Bird

Welcome to Episode 23 of the Joshua Gagnon Leadership Podcast!

Congratulations to username Joseph Velarde for being the winner of this week’s book giveaway! Please send an email to info@joshuagagnon.com with your contact information so we can send you Brad Lomenick’s book, “H3 Leadership”. If you have not left a review of the podcast, please make sure you to do so and send an email to info@joshuagagnon.com with the username you used. Anyone who leaves a review over the next two weeks will be entered into a drawing to win the book “God Dreams: 12 Vision Templates for Finding and Focusing Your Church's Future” by Will Mancini and Warren Bird, which will be released on January 1, 2016.

Our guest on today’s show is Dr. Warren Bird, a name you might be familiar with as he has authored or co-authored over 28 books. Perhaps the world’s most prolific researcher and writer on fast-growing and larger churches, Warren is also the leading researcher on multisite churches, high-visibility pastoral succession and compensation issues for megachurches. A pastor and church planter by background, he currently oversees the research division at Leadership Network, he’s a long-time adjunct professor at Alliance Theological Seminary in Metro New York City where he and his wife live.

Learn More About Warren:

Warren’s Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/warrenbird

Warren’s Website: http://warrenbird.com/

Warren’s Books: http://warrenbird.com/books-2

Mentioned In This Episode:

www.leadnet.org

www.leadnet.org/megachurch

http://leadnet.org/available-now-the-leadership-networkgeneris-multisite-church-scorecard/

3 Takeaways for Leaders:

1. Statistics can help, but statistics can also hurt. While some statistics offer education in the context of church and ministry, often times, pastors and church leaders will be turned off by negative statistics concerning the church. Warren explains how he tries to do some myth-busting on church statistics so that church leaders will be more encouraged in their ministries.

2. True church growth is not based on numbers, but on discipleship. The easy way to measure a growing church may be to count the number of bodies, but physical numbers is not everything. It may be easy to idolize numbers, but refrain from doing this. Look at the spiritual growth over the physical growth, which includes how many disciples the church is raising. Warren explains two ways of measuring growth: lag measures and lead measures. A lag measure is how many people showed up; A lead measure is what produced those people to show up and how did those people respond in faith to the challenges given.

3. Leadership development is core to a healthy and growing church. Warren mentions that 74% of large churches have a structure for internships so that they are continually training new leaders. Whether it is an internship that grows new campus pastors or a small group that is developing new leaders within, it is imperative that churches find structures to raise leaders who are not only capable of leadership, but who understand the culture of the church.

Quotes Mentioned In This Episode:

Let's be more excited about discipleship growth rather than just numerical growth. - Josh Gagnon

The greatest task the church has to overcome with millennials is trust. - Josh Gagnon

Momentum according to size is going to look different depending on where you are. - Josh Gagnon

If done well, multi-site is a releasing function for training and moving people from spectators to greater levels of participation. - Warren Bird

If the focus is on our comfort, then you're not making disciples. - Warren Bird

When we stand before God, it's not going to be about how fruitful we were, it's going to about how faithful we were with what we were given. - Josh Gagnon

Don't resent disappointment, embrace it because the moment you start resenting disappointment is the moment you stop dreaming. - Josh Gagnon