Seeds Conference 2015 | Main Session 6 – Willie George

Seeds Conf - MS 6

No music this session, but Whit did set up this hilarious video about the importance of audio volunteers for the bands.  Basically, they overdubbed some live video of the band with instruments that aren’t quite and comically bad vocals, insenuating that audio tech have a suck button they can dial up and down (which still may or may not be true).  If I can find it, I’ll link it here later.

Message Recap – Willie George

Pastor Willie opened up his time by talking about an example from the Heath brother’s book, Made to Stick.  He said that the reason the Southwest is such a successful company is because they know exactly their driving mission.

They say, “We are THE low fare airline.”  This clarity gives them direction for how to make decisions, how to use their money, everything.  Pastor Willie called this the “Commander’s Intent.”

The Commander’s Intent is a military term, which describes a top down directive that dictates the strategy and plans in a crisp, plain talk way to describe the desired outcome. 

Pastor Willie went on to outline how we stay true to Jesus as His bride is by following three directives that he delivered to us.  He believes, and I’m with him on this, that these three directives, or missions, were given in a specific order and should be viewed in that order:

Mission Statement #1 – We exist to reach people who do not know Christ.

Win people to Christ. 

  • Mark 16:14-15, John 20:19
  • We give lip service to soul winning in our churches, but most of us don’t have the results.
  • Results tell the story about whether you’re following through well.

Then Willie made a distinct note that if you want to be a church that exists to reach people who do not know Christ, you NEED to have a sinner friendly environment.  He gave two key insights into having a sinner friendly environment.

1. The platform must always be aware of guests.

  • Consider the language and vocabulary you’re using from stage (minimize Christianeese).
  • Educate your people to be “bringers.”
  • Maybe you need to change how you do things, like the length of your service or what you’re teaching on.
  • Create a sense of spiritual safety (i.e. people know things aren’t going to get weird).

2. The regular attenders need to be aware of guests.

  • Hospitality must be built into your culture.
  • Don’t train people to simply open doors, but rather to find ways to be helpful.
  • Are your systems built to be easy to use for guests?  Kids check in, getting information, etc.
  • Share stories often, especially about how people are being saved.

Mission Statement #2 – We exist to facilitate life change in people who know Christ.

Disciple your people.

  • Matthew 28:16, 18-20, Mark 3:13-14
  • Dicipleship doesn’t happen in the rows, it happen in circles (groups).
  • People can easily hide in rows and not be known, but its almost impossible to do that face-to-face in a circle.
  • Accountability happens in smaller groups.

There are 4 things he suggests measuring when it comes to your people’s spiritual maturity.  He frames them by asking these 4 questions routinely:

  1. Am I becoming more responsible to God and my church?
  2. Am I becoming more responsible to my family?
  3. Am I becoming more responsible with my resources?
  4. Am I becoming more responsible with my influence?

Mission Statement #3 – We rely on the presence of the Holy Spirit to accomplish our mission.

Teach your people about the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Pastor Willie focused for a moment on the importance of the other two mission statements NEEDING to come before this one.  He said in the 70’s and 80’s, people were churched, but were thirsty for more of God.  This lead to a big emphasis on the Holy Spirit, without much focus on discipleship or even evangelism.

Pastor Willie went as far to say that if you push this mission statement in front of the other two missions, you will not accomplish any of them.

He talked about how some denominations believe that God has to always last minute, having the freshest word from him.  However, God is clearly a God of organization, planning, and direction.  He shared a really cool illustation using the names of the first men of the Bible and what their names meant.  Google it, its awesome.

For too long, we’ve placed a huge emphasis on the POWER of the Holy Spirit, but we really need to be emphasizing the importance of the PRESENCE of the Holy Spirit in our day-to-day lives. 

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