Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Articles

Community Outreach as a Core Church Growth Tactic with Jeff Maness

Posted by on Apr 19, 2018 in podcast, strategy | 0 comments

Community Outreach as a Core Church Growth Tactic with Jeff Maness

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS | MoreWelcome back with this week’s episode of the unSeminary podcast. I’m honored to have our guest Jeff Maness with us today. Jeff is the founding and lead pastor of Element Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Element Church is an eclectic church in Cheyenne, passionate about being the type of church that would be missed if it was no longer a part of its community. Before ever holding a church service as a new church plant, they first wanted to serve their city. Jeff is with us today to talk about getting out into the community to serve, even and especially when first starting out. Serve from the start. // Pastors may think they have to hit a certain number of people at their church before they can do an outreach to their community, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Element Church started out with six people in Jeff’s basement, so for the first outreach program they did, they called family and friends from out-of-town to help. Don’t let the size of your congregation hold you back from reaching out and making an impact on the community. You are called to serve, no matter the size of your church. Find out what the community needs. // A coach taught Jeff to find out what his community really needed before deciding on an outreach project. In order to do that, the staff at Element Church planned to reach out to leaders and influencers in their community. These “11 spheres of influence” included people from a wide range of categories—politics, religion, education, military, medical fields, and so on. The staff then split up and asked each leader for thirty minutes of their time to sit and talk with them. During these meetings, they asked seven or eight different questions about the community, what Cheyenne needed most, and how a church could help meet that need. Keep meetings simple. // It may seem that you are bothering them, but Jeff found most people were willing to sit down and talk when Element Church reached out. Keep it simple: Look up a leader’s name and number on the internet and call: “Hi, I’m Jeff Maness. I’m starting a church here in town and would love to have thirty minutes of your time. You pick the time and we’ll make it happen. We just want to ask you some questions and learn more about you and your community.” Respect the time of the community leader you are meeting with. Stick to the thirty-minute block you agreed on, even if you don’t get through all the questions you have planned during that time. Small projects are never insignificant. // Through these conversations with community leaders, Jeff discovered ways that his small church could help save the city man power and money, whether it was staining fences or putting down new wood chips in the local playground. Too often churches try to reinvent the wheel. There are already things happening in your community that you can come alongside and help with. Don’t be afraid of those things that seem insignificant. The more you serve your community, the more people will come to value your church and see you as an asset to the community. Serve...

read more

5 Tell-Tale Signs of a Remarkable Church

Posted by on Apr 17, 2018 in communications, strategy | 0 comments

5 Tell-Tale Signs of a Remarkable Church

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS | More“Be genuine. Be remarkable. Be worth connecting with.” – Seth Godin Your church grows when people tell their friends about it. It really is that simple. In my recent book, Church Growth Flywheel, we explored how to add regular prompts to remind your people to talk with their friends about your church. At its core, the book is all about how to make your church more remarkable — literally a church that people remark more about. As I’ve studied and observed churches over the years, I’ve noticed that growing churches are the kind of churches that people talk about. There is something happening to them that is different enough that people are talking about them. Here are five tell-tale signs that I see repeatedly in churches that people are remarking about. Remarkable Churches Have Messages that Connect with Real Life ¾ of church attendees, studied by Gallup, say that messages based on scripture and are relevant to life are a major factor in choosing the church they attend. [ref] Churches continue to be teaching driven communities. It might seem blindingly obvious, but it can be an easily overlooked part of what our churches “do”. Remarkable churches have messages that people talk about. They connect the timeless truths of scripture to people’s everyday lives. They devote time, energy and resources to ensuring that the message portion of what happens every weekend is of as high quality as possible. 5 Ways Most Churches Could Improve Their Messages Delegate More // Most pastors are doing too many other things that aren’t core to generating a great message this weekend. Narrow the focus of how to spend your time to ensure a large portion of the week is given to this task. Seek (Honest) Feedback // Building a community of people who will give honest feedback on messages is a vitally important part of improvement. Push beyond the “Great sermon, pastor!” backslapping that happens on Sundays. Get More Visual // Jesus was constantly using what he saw around him as an object lesson to drive home a deep truth. Your people are visual learners and using a well-placed “prop” in a message will make your messages more sticky. Practice // Please don’t have the first service be the place where you first run through the message. Professionals practice while amateurs wing it. Drive to Application // When we encounter transcendent truth it should move us to live differently. Work hard to move beyond vague platitudes and push towards practical applications to real life. Remarkable Churches Serve Their Community Volunteerism is at a 30-year high. Every age group is volunteering more today than in the past. [ref] Getting people out of their seats and into the streets continues to be something that many churches are doing to impact their communities. Remarkable churches know that people want to make a difference in their cities and so create platforms for these opportunities. People want to be a part of churches that model a selfless lifestyle, and community service is one important way that the church displays this. 3 Reasons Community Service Drives a Church’s Remarkability Good Thing vs. God Thing // We think that caring for the last, least and lost in our communities is...

read more

Church Restarts & Live Teaching in an Urban Multisite Context with Mark Jobe

Posted by on Apr 12, 2018 in multisite, podcast, strategy | 0 comments

Church Restarts & Live Teaching in an Urban Multisite Context with Mark Jobe

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS | MoreWelcome back for another episode of the unSeminary podcast. I’m excited to have Mark Jobe from New Life Chicago with us today. New Life is an amazing church with 25 locations and 43 worship services. It is not only multisite, but also multicultural. Mark is talking with us today about how to keep so many different locations on the same page while reaching different communities and also about rebirthing churches. Pursue a clear vision. // What you’ll find when you visit one of New Life’s sites depends on which location you visit. The campuses range in size from 100 to 1500 people, and also vary in the style of services each location has, from loud music and dancing to quiet services, depending on the community and culture that is being served. New Life brings that diverse multicultural and multilingual element together by finding a common clear vision that all locations pursue together. Define the reality and God given mission that all of your locations are called to do and pursue it as one. Building a strong community. // In order to keep the New Life staff like a family, each of the pastors from the twenty-five locations meet every Monday. Twice a month they all come together in the same place and twice a month they break up into coaching groups of about 5 each led by a seasoned pastor. During these meetings you hear a lot of laughter and prayer. Building that fellowship and community is the strong foundation in creating a diverse multisite church that knows each other and works together. Allow for customization. // New Life uses live teaching in all of their services that are both woven together so that there is a common focus, and yet customized to each location. At first, Mark prepared all of the outlines for the live teaching, but over time began to tap into the giftedness of the other pastors, and so messages were prepped as a group. When the group grew larger, sermon prep began to take up too much of the meeting time, so now message outlines are prepared in subgroups by pastors that have giftedness with sermon development. To keep the campuses aligned, the pastors plan out the entire year’s sermon series together. Then each series is assigned to a different subgroup and each group works on their series, creating the outlines and working with the communications director to plan the graphics and videos. All the pastors will then give input on sermon prep. There are no manuscripts to follow word-for-word and you don’t have to deliver your sermon the same way someone else delivers theirs. The emphasis and flow of the sermon is the same, but the delivery and style is contextualized to the community that each campus is trying to reach. Church restarts begin with trust. // Out of the 25 locations at New Life, 14 of them are restarts. Church restarts are hard for both groups involved. When you first sit down with the group from the church, keep mind that it’s not really about strategy but about trust. It’s easy to get into the mechanics and what it all will look like, but that first meeting needs to be about showing...

read more

5 Functions Your Church Needs to Outsource This Year (Plus 27 Tips on How to Help You Do It Well!)

Posted by on Apr 10, 2018 in communications, strategy | 1 comment

5 Functions Your Church Needs to Outsource This Year (Plus 27 Tips on How to Help You Do It Well!)

On a recent episode of Thom Rainer’s leadership podcast, he reflected on “SIX FUTURE PROJECTIONS ABOUT CHURCHES THAT ARE BECOMING REALITY”. He identified a number of trends that are impacting churches across the country. While each of the trends he highlighted is worth considering I was struck by the fact that “virtual staff is becoming more common” in churches. On the podcast, Thom gave a few examples of how churches could leverage outsourcing and virtual staff to help make their ministry more effective. In an effort to support churches, I’ve provided the following examples of more areas that churches are successfully outsourcing today. Your church needs to be actively considering which parts of its operations should be outsourced to remote and virtual teams. Below are just a few examples of functions that many churches today are already handing off to people outside their walls. If you are looking for a deeper dive into the “why” and “how” of building a virtual team, I would strongly recommend the book “Virtual Culture: The Way We Work Doesn’t Work Anymore” by Bryan Miles. This book is a great conversation driver around this topic and includes a great look at what Thom Rainer’s organization, LifeWay, has done to become more virtual too! Clear Bookkeeping Your church is a business after all, and you need to deal with the financial and operations side of what you do with excellence. At the core of that is having solid financial reporting that can support the church going forward. Clear financial reporting helps your church make critical decisions today as well as when it faces future direction decisions. The paradox here is that this area is really important to your church but it’s not a core ministry function at all. Many ministry leaders struggle with the basic requirements of financial reporting like collecting receipts. Outsourcing this by hiring a bookkeeper to focus on this function can free the ministry staff to work with people and not be bogged down by these requirements. 4 Groups of People Looking for Excellent Financial Reporting from Your Church Donors Demand It // Discerning donors are going to be looking for clear financial reporting as a sign of good stewardship. They won’t want (or need) to dive into the details but they do need to see that you have your financial house in order. Third Party Requirements // Most churches have some other organizations that they have some level of financial accountability to. Whether it’s your denomination or even a loose coaching network, having solid numbers helps others to get a sense of what is happening at your church. Lending Institutions // Banks or other lenders are going to want to look into your financial track record before they extend financial help. You need a long track record of organizing books for them to examine. If you wait until the time you need their help to put together these reports you’ll be too late. You need to start when you don’t need their help in anticipation of a future where you’ll be passing this information over. Decision Makers // Down the road your leadership team will need clear financial reporting to help them make decisions about where they should go next. Clear financials move the conversation beyond just how people “feel” about...

read more

Help with Your Church’s Team Culture & Development with Ben Gowell

Posted by on Apr 5, 2018 in podcast, strategy | 0 comments

Help with Your Church’s Team Culture & Development with Ben Gowell

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS | MoreThanks so much for joining us for another episode of the unSeminary podcast. Today we’re talking with Ben Gowell, an Executive Pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley. Christ’s Church is a fast growing church in the Phoenix Valley area with 8 campuses that serve about 35,000 people each Sunday. Ben is with us today about how to develop a healthy culture at your church. What makes a healthy culture? // What are the things that stick out to make a healthy culture? You have to develop what you want the culture to be in your church, but it’s not enough to just cast that vision one time and hope it sticks. Vision leaks so it requires reinforcement from an unified staff that is aligned to catch that vision. You must rearticulate that vision time and again so that it doesn’t leak and disappear from view. Lean in to practicing awkward conversations. // We need to lean in to practicing awkward conversations. Practicing face-to-face conversations and confrontations when necessary (as opposed to avoidance) help reinforce these healthy aspects of the culture we are developing. Over time the culture becomes infused with healthy communication practices and helps prevent things like gossip or suspicion building up behind the scenes. Without healthy and open communication, these sins build up like a cancer and before you know it, trust has been eroded within your staff. Work on your tone and your response. // Don’t be over reactive. Go to each other with the intent of helping to make the team better rather than focusing on your own anger or hurt. Let an offense sit for a bit before going to someone in anger or writing that email. Go with a clear head. Face-to-face is much more productive than email or text because it’s easier to read someone’s tone. Have enough respect for someone to sit and talk with them. Spend more time in interviews. // At Christ’s Church of the Valley, they’ve formalized their hiring process to a day long event once a month. During this time, the HR team and entire leadership team to sit with prospective hires and go through a table by table interview process with them, This allows for more discernment as the team gets to know potential hires. Ben sits down with each person for 15-30 minutes to talk with them and get a gauge on where their heart is. As Christ’s Church spends more time on pre-interviews, they are seeing more hires sticking because the leadership knows prospective team members better before hiring them. Ministry should be a place where you put your whole heart into serving and not just get a paycheck. Know exactly who your target audience is. // At Christ’s Church of the Valley, they are very intentional about targeting the man so that they can reach the whole family. Hearing this statement may make it sound like they only care about the men, but that’s not the case. The gospel is for everyone, however, statistically speaking women are much more active in churches on their own. By contrast, more often men are lagging behind in spiritual leadership in their homes. Christ’s Church has clearly seen that when they engage the man of the...

read more

5 Healthy Meeting Habits in High Performance Church Teams

Posted by on Apr 3, 2018 in communications, personal productivity, strategy | 0 comments

5 Healthy Meeting Habits in High Performance Church Teams

Stop and think about how much of your time is spent in meeting in an average week at your church. Now, do some quick math to calculate that across your team. Wowsers! That’s a lot of time! (Bonus: Assign some monetary value to each of those hours.) Clearly, you need to work on ensuring that your team is being a good steward of all that meeting time. Although it can seem like a “plumbing” issue of how the church does its work, in many ways the meeting culture of your church could be a make-or-break aspect of what is either pushing your ministry forward or holding it back. As I’ve had the honor of being in the orbits of some fantastic churches over the years, I’ve noticed some healthy habits that those leadership teams live by to get the most out of their meetings. Rather than seeing meetings as a necessary evil of “doing church”, these teams are looking for ways to optimize their meeting culture towards performance that pushes them forward. Here are some healthy habits I’ve seen in churches that are making a difference today: Use meetings to make decisions, not to disseminate information. Meetings are disagreements to move the organization forward. Healthy teams use meetings as a place to come together to make decisions. More pointedly, leaders use meetings to make decisions. A good meeting should be built around ideas that need to be debated and discussed in the context of an impending decision. Meetings are not a place to simply pass out information or keep everyone informed. It’s a waste of your team’s time to use meetings as a place to ensure they are up to speed on what’s happening at the church. Adults are basically “just in time” learners, so when you use a meeting to simply pass along information, they are almost hardwired to not pay attention because they can’t put the information into practice right away. However, you can turn this same dynamic on its head by using meetings to present a desired and debatable outcome that you’re going to discuss. People can’t help but lean in and want to participate when change is on the horizon based on this meeting. When there are consequences to meetings, people show up and are ready to jump in. If the meeting feels inconsequential, your team will disengage at best or maybe even resent the meeting. 3 Other Ways to Disseminate Information to Your Team Besides Calling a Meeting Voice Messages // You’d be amazed how much information you can pass in a 5 minute audio message recorded on your phone. It’s easy to record your voice and email it out to your team. “What to Expect” Documents // In just one page, you can outline a lot of information that people need to know about an upcoming event or activity at the church. Weekly Check in Email // Many churches have a standard report email that is generated every week with data that the entire team needs to know. Get your information to hijack on the back of that communication. Ensure people come prepared to discuss. No agenda? No meeting! If whoever is calling the meeting doesn’t have time to prepare the people attending the meeting for what is being discussed, it’s probably best...

read more

Welcoming Guests without Compromising the Gospel with Danny Franks

Posted by on Mar 29, 2018 in podcast, strategy | 0 comments

Welcoming Guests without Compromising the Gospel with Danny Franks

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS | MoreWelcome back to another episode of the unSeminary podcast. This week we’re joined by Danny Franks, the Pastor of Guest Services at The Summit Church in the triangle region of North Carolina. The Summit Church has a goal to plant 1000 churches in this generation, and part of that success depends on how they welcome people who visit the church. Today Danny is with us to talk about the importance of getting into the heads of your guests so you can receive and serve them well. Keep your guest in mind. // As church leaders, we might not think about the discomfort we’re asking people to submit themselves to when they show up to a strange place for the very first time. At the Summit Church, Danny really works to get into the minds of their guests. Think about what your guests need to know when they come to your church. What questions might they be asking? What are things that would make them feel comfortable versus very, very uncomfortable? Watch carefully for things that could be confusing and need to be interpreted for your guests. For example, how can you help them understand what communion is and what it means to eat and drink the body and blood of Jesus? How can you explain baptisms, the offering, or theological terms? Keeping your guest in mind isn’t about glossing over the Gospel, it’s about breaking down barriers and helping your guest to understand things that are completely foreign to them. More than just coffee. // If you don’t think about how guest services is connecting to the mission and vision of your church, it can feel like what you do is just fluff. But as Danny explains, “We’re not trying to simply park cars and pour coffee.” The Summit Church works hard to give their guests an excellent guest service experience, not to impress them with their systems, but to point beyond the process to Jesus. Guest services is ultimately about taking the biblical command of hospitality and putting that together on an institutional level. Ultimately what our guests need is Jesus, but when they first show up at church, they don’t know that all that they need is Jesus. You need to be able to build a relationship with them first, and oftentimes that happens before you introduce them to a relationship with Jesus. However if their visit isn’t stewarded well, you may not ever get that chance. Serve your city. // If there’s one bit of advice Danny could give to any church out there who wants to improve their guest services experience, it’s to define where you are now and where you want to go. Begin by asking yourself how you can serve your city better. What would make people feel welcome at your church? Start here and make changes little by little. Danny has written a book called People Are the Mission to answer the questions like the ones asked during today’s podcast. You can get a study guide to go along with Danny’s book at peoplearethemission.com, or learn more from Danny at his website www.dfranks.com. Thank You for Tuning In! There are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, but you chose unSeminary, and I’m...

read more

All About Multisite: Campus Growth Barriers, Multisite vs. Church Planting & Leadership Development

Posted by on Mar 28, 2018 in All About Multisite, multisite, podcast | 0 comments

All About Multisite: Campus Growth Barriers, Multisite vs. Church Planting & Leadership Development

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS | MoreWelcome to our new podcast all about multisite! I’m chatting with a group of multisite ninjas and answering your questions about the ins and outs of launching new campuses. Our group is as follows: Natalie Frisk is our family ministry expert. She is a key leader from The Meeting House. This church has 19 (!) locations and is doing all kinds of great stuff, including a killer kids’ & youth curriculum that they give away for free. Natalie’s a lot of fun and will have so many great insights around leading in a thriving multisite church. Greg Curtis is our guest connections and assimilation expert. He leads at Eastside Christian Church, one of the fastest growing churches in the country, and literally, is the “go to” source for getting people to stick and stay in the church. (Eastside has assimilated something like 1,500 people in the last 18 months!) His coaching practice around assimilation is amazing. Ben Stapley is our communications and service programming expert. Ben is one of the most helpful leaders I know. His day job is at Liquid Church in NJ, but he does so much to help other leaders with the “big show” part of church world. And I, Rich, have been involved with 14 different campus launches over the years and enjoy helping churches that are thinking about multisite. We are here to answer your questions about running a multisite church and are excited to be here today with our second episode. Opening Question: A surprise you had when you got into leading within a multisite church? Natalie Frisk – How important developing the right system is. I get a little uncomfortable when people bring up systems and structures, but seeing their value and how they help us do ministry well was my biggest surprise. Greg Curtis – How franchisable what we do is. I was surprised we could use sites that were a school or where we were taking over their facility. Whether we had a new facility or an old facility, either way it always felt like our own campus. And the other surprise was navigating the dotted and solid line relationships that we talked about in our last podcast. Ben Stapley – Seeing the change in terms in arts and creativity and what we were able to do in a single site was different in what we did in a multisite. I thought I used to be open handed in passing off leadership pretty easily, but you need to do that much faster at a multisite. Q1: How do you break through the growth barrier of your church? What is a healthy size for your church and how do you help it grow? Are you structured for growth to get past the 200, 500, etc. barrier? Leadership development and volunteer structure is one of the biggest hindrances or accelerators to breaking a growth barrier. Not preparing people to take on more ownership and responsibility, especially in a volunteer capacity, can cap growth. Are you structured to grow? The health of the size of a site depends on the health of the culture. We can forget to set a tone for prayer, spiritual health, and really listening to what God wants...

read more

7 Realities of Recruiting Multisite Church Launch Teams

Posted by on Mar 27, 2018 in multisite, strategy | 2 comments

7 Realities of Recruiting Multisite Church Launch Teams

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS | MoreThere is no doubt that the multisite church movement has blossomed, and has a massive impact on the church today. In fact, today in North America one in six people attend a multisite church campus. That fact astonishes me! Each one of those campuses has had a group of volunteers at the core of the opening process that we’re calling a launch team. This is a group of people who have committed to be a part of starting up the new location and ensuring that it’s healthy and ready to impact its community. Since the early 2000s, I’ve had the honor of being at the forefront of fourteen campus launches. We’ve seen around 1,500 volunteers join our launch teams. Today, over 9,000 people attend the campuses that sprung from the combined efforts of all those people. It has been a privilege to have a front row seat to this amazing approach to reaching new people with the message of Jesus. Seeing the multisite revolution from the inside has given me a perspective that is second to no other! As I reflect on what I’ve seen in all those teams, I’ve attempted to boil down some common lessons about these critically important teams, which I have discussed below. Stop trying to find people like you. At the core of the challenge of recruiting healthy launch teams is a sociological fact that we tend to attract people like ourselves. We need to consciously push against this reality. You don’t want to find people like you because most people leading these endeavors are innovators and early adopters, which is a minority number among people in the world. While being an innovator is great for leading the launch of campuses, they don’t make great volunteers long term because those “early adopters” tend to get bored after the initial launch phase and just want to move onto something new. 5 Categories of the Adoption Curve: Innovators // Eager to try new ideas, products, and services, almost as an obsession. Early Adopters // Rely more on group norms and values, as opposed to Innovators who rely on their own values. Early Majority // Collect more information about products and services to weigh the pros and cons before they make a decision. Late Majority // Adopt the new mainly because their friends have all adopted it and they feel the need to conform. Laggards // Do not rely on group norms and values, just like Innovators. Their past heavily influences their current decision process. Your approach to finding volunteers needs to tread slowly with people and ideally be built around finding “early majority” people who will take some time convincing them to get plugged in. However, when these people make a decision to be a part of the campus they will be more likely to stick and stay. It’s only when this group starts to pile in en masse that the late majority will decide to be a part of the team! You need more. A lot more. Stop trying to find the minimum number of volunteers needed. There is evidence across the movement that campuses with larger launch teams have better initial campus launch sizes but then also tend to reach more people over...

read more

Best Practices in Elder Selection & Development Process with Phil Taylor

Posted by on Mar 22, 2018 in Developing a Leadership Pipeline, podcast, strategy | 0 comments

Best Practices in Elder Selection & Development Process with Phil Taylor

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS | MoreWelcome back for another episode of the unSeminary podcast. I’m excited to have Pastor Phil Taylor with us this week. He is the executive pastor at Mosaic Church in Winter Garden, Florida. Phil is with us today to talk about the elder development process at Mosaic and how you can implement it into your own church. Two-year eldership development. // When Phil came to Mosaic five years ago, one of their biggest needs was leadership and eldership development and so they decided to build a two-year elder development program. Since a lot of the men who become elders are not formally trained at the seminary level, the process involves a lot of reading about theology, spiritual life, marriage, prayer, Church history and so on. The two-year process is broken into the first year being the book learning side and the second year the more practical side. During the first year the group meets every month, and the second year they meet every other month. First 15 Focus. // Part of the training process is called the First 15 Focus. When the group meets, the first 15 minutes will be focused on something related to the life of the church. The hospitality director may come in and talk about why they do hospitality services they way the church does it. The youth director may come in and talk about the youth activities and areas the church has. It gives the men a thorough look and understanding of the church during their training time. Pre-requisites before the requisites. // Phil explains that when it comes to elder selection, Mosaic does not pursue people to fill this role, but rather lets interested persons approach them. It’s important that the men who come forward feel called to serve in this role, rather than feeling pressured by a pastor to do so. Before men who come forward are even considered for the two-year development program though, there are certain pre-requisites that must be met. For example, an individual must have read the entire bible at least once in the last two years. This is an obstacle to a surprising number of people. Once all the pre-requisites are met, the two-year training begins. Not everyone makes it to the training program, and many don’t complete it. But those who do understand their responsibility as an elder and are committed to the role they are called to serve in. Shepherd the people. // Mosaic has elders for life, but not all elders work the same way. Some elders are directional elders and others are shepherding elders. The directional elders have the bigger role of coming together to work on decisions for the church such as salaries for the executive team. But for all elders of any position the primary job is to actively shepherd the people of the church. Let the program evolve over time. // At first, the trainees would receive all of the information at once at the very beginning—if someone said they were interested in being an elder, Phil would give them a file that contained the pre-requisite list, the application, the reading list, everything. But he found that gave the assumption that they were automatically accepted into the elder program without...

read more