Leading a Growing Church in an Unlikely Location with McKenzie Schreck

I’m so glad you tuned in to today’s unSeminary podcast. Today I’m chatting with McKenzie Schreck, the executive pastor at Capital Church in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Capital Church just celebrated their twentieth anniversary this past fall. They began from a group of college kids who followed their professor to Salt Lake City to plant a church, and they now have a couple of locations in Utah.

Salt Lake City may be thought of as a difficult place to begin a Christian church and expect it to thrive, but McKenzie is with us today to talk about what they’ve done at Capital over the past 20 years and what you can do in your church too.

  • Be intentional. // At Capital they make it a point to be very intentional about knowing who is in the room. In order to do that, recognize that everyone is at a different place on their spiritual journey. Capital presents the truth of the Gospel and demonstrates that it’s applicable to all of life, but they do that with grace for wherever people are at. If you do that in a safe and intentional way, it will encourage people to bring others with them to church because they know it won’t be shaming or hostile to those raised with a different faith.
  • Make shifts when needed. // Capital Church started a class called Conversations on Christianity, which aren’t targeted toward Mormons in particular, but rather are geared toward individuals with any faith or non-faith background who can come to find out what Christianity is all about. People can sort through what they believe Christianity may be and what it really is. For a long time, the Conversations on Christianity was held in a classroom setting with everyone in one large group. But over time, they began to see the attendance of the class taper. During that time, the church shifted into more of a focus on small groups which was well received all around. So they decided to take a cue from that decision and incorporated the Conversations on Christianity class within the small groups setting.
  • Small groups open conversations. // Capital Church has many people with Mormon backgrounds exploring their church and dealing with a variety of emotions, from anger about what they had been taught, to fear of leaving their family with their Mormon faith, to excitement at discovering who Jesus really is. Capital has learned that placing these people in a small group environment to process their emotions while working through Conversations on Christianity provides a safe community where they can also build relationships with others experiencing the same things.
  • Live out the joy of journeying with Jesus. // As your life transforms, people you come in contact with will see that change within you. Create a safe space within your church so that when someone is curious, you can lead them to check it out for themselves and explore what it means to follow Jesus.

You can learn more about Capital Church at www.capitalchurch.com.

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Lightning Round

Helpful Tech Tools // Church Law & Tax, Slack with missions teams

Ministries Following // National Community Church

Influential Book // The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues by Patrick Lencioni

Inspiring Leader // Heather Larson

What you do for fun // Cooking

Contact // website capitalchurch.com or email [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.