Jimmy Scroggins on Keeping the Message Core in a Fast Growing Multisite Church
Thanks so much for joining us for another episode of the unSeminary podcast. We have Jimmy Scroggins from Family Church in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Jimmy is with us today to talk about growing a church in a changing culture, while staying focused on the unchanging Gospel message.
- Encourage change without changing beliefs. // Our culture is quickly moving away from traditional Christianity and there are churches that have stepped away from the Gospel message in order to grow. But Family Church holds firmly to conservative doctrines and the Gospel message while still being one of the fastest growing churches in the country. Jimmy explains, “We haven’t changed our theology, we haven’t changed our network affiliations, we haven’t changed our historic roots, but we’ve changed our tone.” He believes that in today’s culture having a more direct approach to the Gospel is necessary because Christianity has thrived throughout the centuries as more of a subversive movement. While Family Church hasn’t changed their beliefs and what they preach, they have changed their tone in order to fully embrace the community in South Florida. Jimmy says this means being more culturally or racially inclusive, and speaking differently to people who disagree with them on cultural and theological issues.
- We are all sinners in need of repentance. // The most important thing to keep in mind is that no matter a person’s sexual orientation, race or belief system, we are all sinners in need of a Savior. Family Church is very open about this belief, and this is the conversation they have with people. As Jimmy says, it’s okay if you’re not okay, because none of us are okay: “We believe that Jesus is calling every sinner who will repent to Himself. So regardless what your lifestyle issue is, we’re inviting and calling and trying to persuade every sinner who will repent to come repent with us.” Family Church welcomes all, wanting no one to be made to feel outcast or inferior, because we are all sinners in need of a Savior.
- Diversity versus inclusion. // South Florida is a diverse and integrated environment, and the churches there should be reflecting that. But Jimmy says they need to move even beyond diversity to inclusion. Inclusion means that the diverse group of people in the room are now speaking into what is going on and are invited into leadership at the church. The Gospel is the great equalizer and as followers of Christ, we need to be willing to put ourselves in each other’s shoes and be willing to see the world differently.
- Gospel conversations are vital. // Jimmy estimates that there are about 5.5 million unchurched people in the South Florida Corridor. There’s no way all of those people can be reached simply by inviting them to church. “If you really want to move the needle on 5.5 million people, you’ve gotta have hundreds of thousands of Christians from thousands of churches having millions of Gospel conversations every day,” Jimmy says. Through a variety of resources, including a book written by Jimmy, Steve Wright and Leslee Bennett, titled Turning Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations, Family Church is focusing on training their people to have Gospel conversations. In their book they talk about ways to naturally have these Gospel conversations when talking with people outside the church.
You can learn more about Family Church at gofamilychurch.org, see the resources and podcast they offer at Familychurchnetwork.com, and find the book Turning Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations on Amazon.
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