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What To Do When It’s “Working” At Your Church with Dave Vance

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Welcome to the unSeminary podcast. You’re going to be rewarded with a great interview today. We have Dave Vance, the lead pastor at Crossroads Church in Ohio. They are one of the fastest growing churches in the country.

Crossroads is a contemporary, non-denominational church that has launched a few campuses in the last couple of years. It is 22 years old and began as a typical mid-90s seeker model, but slowly changed into a deeper discipleship model. In the last four years, the church brought the pendulum back to the approach of being deep and discipleship-focused while also being attractional to the people who are looking for answers.

Dave is with us today to talk about the pressures we face in leading our church to success.

  • Facing external and internal pressures. // There are both internal and external pressures in leading your church. External pressures can come when you see success; your church may be viewed negatively because ministry is thought to be grueling and difficult. Culturally, there can be a myth that if a church is doing really well, they must be compromising in some way, or they are doing something weird to make people want to go there. But internally it happens as well. You feel that lingering question, “Are we doing something wrong?” Part of that job as the cultural architect is to realize this season is exactly what God is moving you in.
  • Celebrate your goals. // Part of the struggle across churches is defining what success looks like. It is about coming back to your goals and mission. You are fulfilling them and doing a faithful job at that, so now pause and celebrate what you have seen happen as a result of God’s moving and the goals you set.
  • Core values. // Dave’s team has three core values on their mission statement of leading people to the truth that transforms logic. Those are committing to glorifying God, connecting the community, and called to share. They try to center every celebration around at least one of those core values by telling stories about someone taking a next step in their faith. This gives them the chance to glorify God. With community, people connect through the small groups in the church and they share those stories throughout the year to celebrate what God is doing.
  • Connect the celebration. // Crossroads church had already been in existence for almost 20 years when Dave arrived. One of the things he tries to do is really respect the past of the church and where the vision of the church was leading. When celebrating there’s a connection to the past as they see fulfillments of the dream of what Crossroads could be.
  • Intentional approachability. // As you grow, holes in your processes and strategy become more apparent. Crossroads has had to create “intentional approachability” to repair some of these gaps. What this looks like is being intentional about being welcoming and providing guides for the people who come to Crossroads from the moment they drive into the parking lot. As the church has grown, they’ve developed a clear path for when people first walk into the church so they know what to do and where to go. Additionally Crossroads has become more involved in sponsoring community events as a way to be more approachable to the cities in which they serve.
  • Ground your identity. // Ministry success is not your identity. Celebrate it, but remember it’s God, not you. Ask Him what is the next thing. Allow God to move your heart and mind into the future. Ground your identity in Christ, not in the success of the church.

You can learn more about Crossroads Church at their website http://www.crossroadswired.com. You can find Dave on Twitter at @PastorDaveVance.

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Thank You to This Episode’s Sponsor: Purpose Driven Church Conference

Capture a vision and pathway for your church’s local and global impact at Purpose Driven Church Conference 2019.

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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.