Four Reasons I Believe NewSpring Is Working

Jul 31, 2007

Recently I had lunch with a pastor who asked me this question, “OK dude, you are in Anderson, SC and have over 7,000 people per weekend—what would you say are the reasons NewSpring has been successful?”

Well—the quick answer is, “God!”  But—as I have said before—the God factor is only a part of the equation.  If God were the ONLY reason for the success of a church—then every church in the world would be experiencing growth…so not only is their the God factor—but there are four other things that I can think of.

#1 - I Am Desperate To Hear God’s Voice!

Like it or not—leadership matters.  And as a leader I know that, like Andy Stanley said at Catalyst last year…leadership is stewardship, it’s temporary and I am accountable.

That is why I would have to say that I am more desperate to hear the voice of God than ever before.  I am not smart enough to make the right decisions when it comes to leading this church, nor do I have the experience to do so.  I have not received the education that many have had the privilege of receiving…BUT…the one thing I do have is desperation to hear God’s voice, leading me along His path.

One of the most dangerous things a leader can do is slip into cruise control and neglect the role of the Holy Spirit in his life…I pray that never happens to me or anyone on our staff.  I can honestly say that I have NEVER made a mistake when I follow God’s leadership…our screw ups have always been when I thought that I didn’t need His guidance to make a particular decision.

#2 - I Do Not Think I Am Better Than The Team I Serve With.  

A leader who sits in a room with a group of people and perceives that he or she is better than the people in the room will NEVER see what they are capable of because of his insecurities.

When I sit around the table with the leadership team God has put around me…it isn’t like they are in awe of me OR like Moses coming down off the mountain and they are sitting there and saying, “Yes Oni-Wan, what is thy bidding?”

As a leader I recognize that God’s voice to these guys is just as real as it is to me…and when they talk I listen and seriously consider what they are saying.  Now there have been times when a decision has to be made and I have had to be the one to make the final call—but before doing so I make sure everyone has been heard and understood…that HAS to be in any leadership environment for it to be successful long term.

#3 - We Really Do Love The People We Work With.  

I have heard leaders at conferences say, “In ministry you just cannot be a senior pastor and be friends with the people on your staff.”  People who say that are more full of crap than a constipated elephant!

I LOVE the people I work with—we hang out all the time…do NOT underestimate the value of chemistry in a church.  Not only should we rejoice in our calling—but we should also rejoice in who we are called to serve with.

In many churches the pastor is neutered because he isn’t allowed to hire and fire…some personal committee hires someone and then the church wonders why in the world there are staff conflicts.  DUH!

#4 - Our Volunteers!!!

If you took me out of the equation we would STILL have an awesome service this coming Sunday.  BUT if you took our volunteers out we would fall on our face!  We could NOT do ministry without the volunteers in this church…they are amazing…all 2,000+ of them.

I say it all the time—a church is NOT effective when the pastor ministers to the people…but rather when the body ministers to the body…and that is what happens every Sunday here at NewSpring.

I always tell pastors that they need to hire staff that can recruit, train and encourage volunteers…because a healthy volunteer structure is KEY in growing a great church.