Benny Ferguson on the Balance of Culture & Systems in Growing Churches

Welcome back to another episode of the unSeminary podcast. We’re happy to have you here with us today as we talk with Benny Ferguson, the executive pastor of LifePoint Church in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Benny is with us today to talk about how LifePoint has developed its culture and systems in order to build a healthy, growing church.

  • The culture and system “zipper”. // Most evangelical Christian churches have the same mission, vision and purpose. What separates your church from others around the country is a healthy culture and healthy systems. Culture is all about: how do people feel?, while systems are: how do people move? Benny thinks of these two aspects of ministry as two sides of a zipper that come together, working hand-in-hand. God is both creative and orderly – in scripture we see there was a culture around Jesus and how He made people feel, and a system of how to move: “Come, follow me.” How your church feels determines if people will come to your church in the first place, and how you move the people who come determines if they will stay and get plugged in. Both are measures of church health.
  • Comfortable and connected. // When we prepare for guests at home we tidy things up, create a welcoming environment and even make things smell nice. LifePoint does the same within their church to make people feel at home and comfortable. Hospitality is a big deal. Your preaching should also make people feel welcome as well as encouraged. Worship should make them feel connected to God. Is there a culture of connection and belonging within your church? Even on your social media, examine what emotions it communicates and how it makes people feel when they check out your church. Does social media show other human faces, or are they images of a building and other things that might cause disconnect?
  • Take it slow. // Newcomers to your church can feel overwhelmed by all the activity and how to grow on their faith journey. LifePoint is intentional about directing everyone through Growth Track to take their one, simple next step. A system around moving people is important because without it people will feel disconnected and you’ll lose them. But throwing too much at them at once can cause you to lose them as well.
  • Go deeper. // Within Growth Track the purpose is to get people serving on a team and attending a life group. But at LifePoint they want people to go even deeper. They are currently kicking around the idea of doing something similar to Rooted, by the Mariners Church in California, which is a ten-week discipleship process that helps people go deeper in their faith for the purpose of personal transformation.

You can learn more about LifePoint Church at their website www.lifepointchurch.tv or email Benny at [email protected].

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Lightning Round

Helpful Tech Tools // Slack, Wunderlist

Ministries Following // Church of the Highlands, Church on the Move, River Valley Church

Influential Book // Divine Direction: 7 Decisions That Will Change Your Life by Craig Groeschel, Broken Escalators: Funny & Frightful Lessons about Moth Eating and Moving to the Next Level by Peter Haas and Chris Hodges, Simple Church by Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger, Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You by John Ortberg

Inspiring Leader // Mike Matheny, Joe Torre

What you do for fun // Baseball, Real Estate

Contact // http://www.lifepointchurch.tv or [email protected]

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.