Lessons From Casting Vision & Pushing Forward During the Pandemic with Drew Sherman

Thanks for joining us for this week’s unSeminary podcast. Today we’re talking with Drew Sherman, lead pastor of Compass Christian Church in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Compass has four physical locations as well as an online campus and is one of the fastest growing churches in the country.

The most fruitful seasons of our lives are usually not the easiest seasons. For many people 2020 may have been one of the hardest years they experienced, but it may also be the year they learned the most. Listen in as Drew Sherman shares how to take hold of teachable moments for your congregation, move forward to thrive, and cast vision for the future.

  • Foster connection. // Churches today must be a “both/and” church, not “either/or.” Online services aren’t any less important than in-person services and the church needs to invest heavily in both. Connect with the online crowd too and bring attendees from both types of services together into one congregation through programs and events, such as outreach in your community.
  • Cast vision for the future. // Compass Christian Church currently has a generosity initiative underway called “Unstoppable”. This initiative was planned before the pandemic and they knew they couldn’t let the coronavirus stop it from moving forward! Right now is the time to cast vision for the future. People are stuck in neutral, just trying to survive, so it’s important to give them a vision for what your church is going to be doing next. Even if some activities may be on hold right now, you don’t have to pause everything. Keep moving forward and your church can thrive.
  • Grow in the hard times. // Generally the most fruitful seasons of a person’s life are not the easiest seasons. 2020 was the hardest year of many people’s lives, but in some ways it might be the year they learn the most. Don’t let the pain of this season be wasted. What is your church, staff, and congregation learning during this time? Rather than looking at 2020 as a throwaway year, think about the many teachable moments for your people and lean into them.
  • Pay attention to your team. // Some of your staff may be better than ever during this season while others may be drained and need coaching and counseling. A lot of this depletion can point back to how over the years we’ve ignored the value of soul-care. Provide pastoral care for your staff, listen to them, and teach and encourage them to care for their souls. Remember that hurry and love are not compatible.
  • Reevaluate and shift. // There’s never been a better time to reevaluate staff and programs and do some shifting. You may have the right people on the bus, but they need to be moved to different seats. If you had a ministry, strategy or event that wasn’t working well prior to COVID, don’t restart it. It’s time to kill those sacred cows. Transition to more of a simple church model that is focused on mission. Eliminate things that don’t support your mission and remember that complexity is the enemy of clarity.
  • Enhance online services. // Don’t become overly focused on getting your pre-COVID in-person congregation back. A certain percentage of people may never return and if you have a solid online ministry, others may stay online. Rather than fighting this trend, explore creating house churches or micro-sites. Ask what a digital disciple looks like. Can you become a fully devoted follower if you’re just committed to online church? Don’t just broadcast your in-person service to serve people online, but create an online experience. Lastly, remember that all the oppression, trials, and obstacles in the book of Acts led to the early church growing and enlarging their circle. Churches today need to think similarly.

You can learn more about Compass Christian Church at www.compass.church.

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Thank You to This Episode’s Sponsor: Carey Nieuwhof

Leadership has felt pretty uncertain and divisive this past year. How do you make decisions when the future isn’t predictable and your team has different opinions?

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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.