Look, I don’t mean to criticize pastors all the time. Many of my best friends are pastors. I’ve given my life to help pastors lead and live well.

It’s just that most of what the Church does doesn’t have anything to do with what Christ’s followers are supposed to be about.

It’s not that we’re not working hard or that we’re insincere. Most ministers, elders, and lay leaders I know serve pretty diligently and they’re very sincere about what they’re doing. I’m suggesting that we’re just diligently and sincerely in the wrong game.

And, when we get into the right game, it’s amazing what can happen.

When I met Dave Scott, Pastor of New Hope, a Free Methodist Church a few years ago, he was a very sincere, hard-working guy. And, discouraged. Attendance was stagnant, money was tight. More troubling, through, was the pervasive fatigue inside Dave and his congregation. 

New Hope wanted to be an effective, community-impacting church. So they entered CRM’s reFocusing process and, within a few months Dave’s leaders experienced a powerful paradigm shift. During the Awaken and Activate Workshops they discovered that God has been preparing and positioning each person to care for people in their community who don’t attend church. Encouraged, members began strengthening relationships with those outside the congregation.

As New Hope redirected its focus from itself to the needs of the community, they wanted to get off the church property to serve those outside.

They examined the makeup of their members and the surrounding community and identified a few focused, consistent, intentional ways to demonstrate Christ to others. Realizing that a number of congregation members work in law enforcement, they began serving the correctional officers at a state prison nearby.

In the next few years, teams of New Hope members put on barbecues and picnics for the correctional officers on their turf, invented creative ways to express appreciation to the guards inside the prison, partnered with them in community events, offered classes requested by prison employees, and made themselves available to serve any way they can.

Along the way, attitudes are changing. The officers—curious about what motivates these regular, genuine expressions of support—are having important, meaningful conversations with Dave’s folks that are becoming easy and common. New Hope members are maturing in Christ and those they’re going to are experiencing “good news” in human form.

Not long ago, an exec indicated that the culture in the prison is changing. Why?

Dave’s people are in the right game.

Are you?

Coaching Distinctions 32.doc