Archive for April, 2009

Selecting leaders!

Posted in church, Leadership with tags , on April 28, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Selecting and appointing the right leaders in your team or ministry can be quite challenging at times. There are several things I think you should do as you approach this important task:

  1. Clarify your vision for the organisation 
  2. Identify your current and future needs
  3. Identify who you have to work with
  4. Look for people with call (evidenced by fruit)
  5. Look for people with character
  6. Look for people with competency
  7. Look for people with chemistry
  8. Pray over who God wants for the role
  9. Recruit with confidence
  10. Under-promise and over-deliver
  11. Don’t say somebody’s NO for them
  12. Communicate clear expectations
  13. Assign responsibilities 
  14. Observe the person in action
  15. Give ongoing feedback

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What is Activate Church Pt5?

Posted in activate church, church, Leadership, ministry, mission, Theology, Uncategorized with tags , on April 28, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

How a church organizes itself is really important. The organisational structure has a direct impact upon most things within the life of the church, both inside and outside in the community. It’s important that the bible be the standard rule for all church based organisational models. Corporate models can inform but must not become the rule.

The question needs to be asked, what is the best organisational model for your current context without compromising biblical standards. There are several models that are seen in church life and they consist of the following:

Congregational Ecclesiology is organised in this order:

  • Congregation
  • Staff
  • Pastor

Comment: Congregation holds the highest authority and leaders are employed to serve the whim and will of the congregation and if they don’t , they get fired. Biblical study reveals that there is more of a case for the church being led by zebras than by majority vote. Maturity is always in the minority and when the majority get the vote immaturity will always rise to the surface.   

Senior Pastor Ecclesiology is organised in this order:

  • Pastor
  • Staff
  • Congregation

Comment: This model is borrowed from the CEO corporate model. This model allows a church to grow quickly but is unable to stop the senior leader from dumb ideas and teaching heretical doctrine. The church is also vulnerable to sin more than other models as the leader doesn’t have adequate accountability. 

Eldership Board Ecclesiology is organised in this order:

  • Senior Pastor
  • Board of Elders (Separate to the staff)
  • Staff
  • Congregation

Comment: At first glance this seems a great model and more reflective of biblical models but in reality many churches who embrace this model do so more as a result of corporate models again with a separate board made up of non-pastors administering the big picture functions of the church. This includes approval of plans made by senior pastor and generous giving to underwrite the churches programs.  

Purpose-Driven Ecclesiology (Rick Warren model) is organised like this:

  • Core lay ministers
  • Committed maturing members
  • Congregation members
  • Crowd who regularly attend
  • Community who are the unchurched

Comment: Rick Warren’s model is popular amongst evangelical churches who particularly reach a lot of baby boomers. Rick Warren is a great leader who has had a massive impact upon the local church and the way it organises itself. I don’t think it’s sufficient from a biblical understanding of eldership. However it is very good because it includes an emphasis on the core ministers being equippers of the saints (Eph 4:11-16). 

Note: Activate Church is transitioning to the following organisational model.

Missional Ecclesiology is organised like this:

  • Trinitarian God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit
  • Elders (Executive Leadership Team: not separate board but senior leaders of the church and senior pastor is first among equals)
  • Deacons (Ministry Leadership Team)
  • Members
  • Attractional & Missional ministries
  • Culture (Pre-Christian)

Comment: Missional ecclesiology has Jesus as the Senior Pastor with the human senior pastor exercising senior leadership as first among equals on the eldership team. The church has one mission with 2 expressions. There is a gospel thread that aligns everything to mission. Structurally, it is based more on biblical theology rather than secular theory. Elders are player-coaches leading and training people at the same time. The term deacon is re-instituted for both male and female associate leaders (MLT).

Lead the Change!

Authentic Christianity!

Posted in activate church, apologetics, church, spiritual gifts, Spirituality, Theology, time management with tags , , , , , , on April 26, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

2809727356_feb9b8555f_mEvery serious Coke drinker knows the difference between K-Mart AC Cola and Coca Cola – the real thing. Ps 34:8 says, “Taste and see that God is good.” How people taste and see that God is good is they taste and see his followers. When people taste of you, what picture do they get of God? Do they get the real thing or a cheap imitation like AC Cola?

We’re living in a culture that celebrates image but yearns for authentic reality. We desperately want to keep up appearances but under the surface we want the real thing. When followers of Christ misrepresent Christ we are giving the world a false reality of who Christ is.

Authentic Christianity is characterized by LOVE in 3 contexts. Matt 22:37 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…and you shall love your neighbour as yourself.”

Unfortunately, both in the church and in the world there is a distorted picture of what love is. Love isn’t romantic feelings, warm fuzzies, avoiding issues and seeping them under the carpet because you don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. Biblical love is sacrificial, it’s commitment and responsibility, truth, obedience to Scripture, patient, etc (1 Cor 13 gives us a great authentic definition of love). 

Authentic Christianity expresses God’s love in 3 contexts:

Christology: The way you think about and love Christ and his gospel.

Many people have a distorted perception of who Jesus is but there are 2 dimensions of Jesus divinity that we must embrace. The incarnation of Jesus into the world (John 1:14) and the triumphant exaltation of Jesus (Rev 19:11).

Ecclesiology: The way you think about and love the Church

Rom 12:10 calls us to love one another with brotherly affection. Jesus said in John 13:35 “By this shall all people know that you are my disciples, that you have love for one another.” The church is not a business or a building but a community of regenerated believers who confess JC as Lord. In obedience to Scripture organize themselves under qualified leadership, gather regularly together for preaching and worship, observe the biblical sacraments of baptism and communion, are unified by the Spirit, are disciplined for holiness, and go to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission as missionaries to the world for God’s glory and joy.

Missiology: The way you think about mission and love people in the culture

Christianity falls short if it doesn’t include love for people in the culture. Christ has called us to be missionaries to the culture and not to be simply spectators or consumers of spiritual goods and services. You cannot say you are a Christ follower and ignore the culture. Christians exist in culture to lead and love people into Jesus way of life.

Lead the Change!

What is Activate Church Pt4?

Posted in activate church, church, Church Planting, Leadership, ministry, Theology with tags , , on April 25, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

I am continuing a series on the DNA of Activate Church and what makes it what it is and what it will be. Here are some further insights into the church.

Activate Church is biblically faithful, yet culturally accessible

We seek to stay true to the literal interpretation of Scripture without taking the scripture out of historical context and misapplying it in the contemporary context.

As well as this, we recognize that the bible does not speak to some issues in our culture that some churches make tabboo and end up polarizing themselves from the culture around them. We seek to be culturally accessible in our tools and methodologies of preaching the gospel, our relationships with ‘sinners and tax collectors’, our casual dress code, our music, and our attitude towards alcohol in moderation, tattoos and the like, which the bible is silent on.

Activate Church preaches a gospel of freedom not fulfillment

Many churches preach a gospel of fulfillment that treats Jesus like a motivational life coach who will help you lose weight, become rich and fulfill the desires of your heart. This is a false gospel and is false teaching. The health, wealth and prosperity gospel is not the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jesus came preaching repentance for the forgiveness of sins and freedom from the destructive consequences of sin by grace through faith in Jesus Christ(Gal 2:8). Jesus preached, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The fulfillment gospel is based upon humanist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs from survival to self-actualization and not on Scriptural orthodoxy. Jesus does not exist to help you succeed in life. Jesus lived, died, was buried and rose again to set you free from sin and give you eternal life.

Activate Church is a large church

We do not apologize for seeking to lead as many people as possible into Jesus way of life. We have grown exponentially over the last three years through both transfer growth and conversion growth. We have seen nearly 250 people make decisions to follow Christ in the last 3 years as well as over 300 people connect to our church from other churches.

We’re not fixated on numbers but we do measure the stats to keep up to date with where the church growth is at statistically. Acts 2 recalls 3,000 people were added to the church in one day and the Old Testament has a book called ‘Numbers’ within it. God measures because every soul in God’s kingdom matters.

We have a vision to be a really BIG church that leads thousands of people into Jesus way of life in the coming years. 

Lead the Change!

What is Activate Church Pt3?

Posted in activate church, church, Church Planting, Leadership, ministry, mission with tags , , on April 25, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

The eldership of Activate Church has a clear vision for the future, as well as a primary purpose for why we exist. The vision is inspired by the Spirit and imparted to the Senior Pastor of the Church and collaborated with by the elders. The mission is biblically centered and is informed by Scripture (Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:15).

Our vision as a church is to be a really BIG church that activates a generation to lead thousands of people into Jesus way of life.

Our mission and the sole reason why we exist is to Lead the Change! For us this means that we exist to lead people into Jesus way of life. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man shall come to the Father except through me.” Jesus life, teaching and salvation is the only way to live and his primary mission when he incarnated himself as the Son of God was to seek and save the lost. Every local church is called to the same mission.

Lead the Change!

What is Activate Church Pt2?

Posted in activate church, church, Leadership, ministry with tags , on April 25, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Activate Church has 3 core values that act as culture markers and pillars that establish what’s most important in the life of the church. These 3 values are:

Biblical Life

The Bible and preaching is very important to us and we are creating a culture where people’s thinking, relationships and lifestyles are being shaped by God’s Word.

Innovative Leadership

To innovate is to renew, make changes and start again. As leaders we seek to innovate our ministry to fulfill our mission to inspire people to live Jesus way of life. Additionally, we seek to be tech savvy and cutting edge with the tools and methodologies needed to proclaim the gospel in an effective way.

Authentic Relationships

Christ-centered community is essential for the church to embrace and model. Authentic Christianity is characterized in part by genuine love for God’s people (Rom 12:9). Jesus said in John 10:35, “By this shall all people know that you are my disciples, that you have love for one another.” How we treat each other and have fellowship with each other is a litmus test of our relationship with Jesus and our witness to the world of the reality of the Spirit of God living in us.

Lead the Change!

What is Activate Church Pt1?

Posted in activate church, church, Theology, Uncategorized with tags on April 23, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

A lot of people unfamiliar with Activate Church, ask us what type of church we are. As well as these people, there are others who have a certain perception of the type of church we are and in this blog I want to share with you my thoughts on the model of Church that we are embracing both in the present and moving forward into the future.

I have been and we as a church have been, and still are, on a journey of clarifying and establishing the foundational doctrines, culture and expression of the Activate Community.   

Activate Church is a Missional & Attractional church in practice 

We believe that the primary task of the church is to send Christians into the culture as missionaries of the gospel through relationships rather than primarily through programming. Jesus incarnation is missional and Jesus sent us out into the world to be missionaries, preaching the gospel to all creation and making disciples of all nations (Matt 28:18-20; John 20:21; Acts 1:7-8).

We have both a ‘come and see’ (attractional) emphasis and a ‘go and make’ (missional) emphasis. It’s not ‘either or’ but it’s ‘both and’. We gather together for corporate worship and biblical teaching on Sundays and invite people to these gatherings and we gather together during the week for biblical community in life groups to encourage one another and establish new believers in their relationship with Jesus (Acts 2:42-47). We  are sent out as missionaries into the culture the rest of the week sharing the gospel in word and deed wherever we get the opportunity. 

 Pure attractional churches need to move members from consumers to contributers and pure missional churches need to gather crowds to hear hard preaching to expose hearts and establish foundations. The overall goal is to see more people saved and more influence for God’s kingdom in the earth.

Activate Church is both closed-handed theologically and open-handed culturally

We are closed hand theologically (Jude 3) believing, teaching and practicing the unchanging truth of God’s Word. But we are open hand culturally as we engage with the culture as a missionary of the gospel (1 Cor 9:9-23). This means that we do not restrict people from drinking alcohol in moderation or getting tattoos for example because the bible remains open handed about this from a cultural perspective.

Activate Church is Pentecostal in expression and Biblical in Theology

We believe in the biblical expression of all of the gifts of the Spirit according to the limitations of Scripture. We believe in the essential need of being Spirit-filled and Spirit-led in life and ministry. Being Spirit-filled is ultimately evidenced by being like Jesus in mission and character, not simply by expressing a certain gift. Yes, we believe that speaking in tongues is the normal evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit but we believe more importantly that being like Jesus on mission is the fruit of being filled with the Spirit.

The point of Pentecost is mission, not tongues (Acts 2). The Corinthian Church were tongue talkers but a terrible witness for Christ in their community (1 Cor 14). That’s why Paul addresses them as he does.

We are also evangelical in our theology embracing the sacraments of baptism and communion, the centrality of the cross and Christ as our saviour God-man, the Godhead as trinity, the revelation of God, the inspiration of scripture, the autonomy of the local church, the total depravity of man and salvation of sin by grace through faith. For a more in depth study of our doctrines I will link you to our soon to be updated doctrinal statement on our new website currently being built.

Activate Church is an elder led church

We believe and practice the oversight of eldership according to 1 Tim 3:1-7. Elders are not a separate board to the leadership of the church. They are the pastoral oversight and doctrinal teachers of the church. The elders lead the church by example in character and family life, able to teach, set and protect doctrine and appoint, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, deacons and associate leaders of church-wide ministries.

We have embraced the egalitarian-complementarian position on women in eldership whereby we believe that men and women in church life can occupy and fulfill any role or office according to the Holy Spirit’s calling and gifting. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Chief Shepherd and senior pastor of the Church and I am the lead pastor as the first among equals and the rest of the eldership is made up of senior-associate pastors, male and female.

Within the home we believe and practice that Christ is the head of the church, the husband is the head of the wife and the husband is to use the authority and leadership role within the home not to manipulate or control but to serve, love and give himself up for the wife and family just as Christ gave himself up for the Church (Eph 5:22-33).

Stay tuned for more in the coming days.

Lead the Change!