loren Eric Swanson: Thomas Rainer and Bully's East for Prime Rib

Friday, November 04, 2005

Thomas Rainer and Bully's East for Prime Rib

Thomas Rainer was the keynote speaker this morning at the National Outreach Convention. A few years ago he (along with most every Christian leader) was facinated by Jim Collin's best-seller, Good to Great--how companies that had had average performance for years became great perfomers. Rainer pondered if there were any churches that he could study. [Citing his study] So of the 400,000 churches in the US they had data on 52,333. Of the 52,333 churches there were 1,936 churches that met the "evangelistic criteria" of at least 26 conversions per year and a sustained conversion rate of one new convert / 20 members / year. (The average church in America takes 86 Christians and one year to make one convert. Another criteria was it had to be the same senior pastor. Now of the 1,936 they received historical data from 881 churches and of these 881 there were 13 churches that were good to great, or "breakout," churches. Now to me...it seems that out of 52,000 churches there are 13 that changed their vector, statistically is like a thousand monkeys typing or the proverbial blind squirrel finding a nut every once in a while. I think Collins had the advantage of real data from public companies whereas churches tend to be more anecdotal or change their measurements from year to year... But all in all, not a bad session. The study is contained in Rainer's latest book called Breakout Churches.

On a more interesting note I ate three straight nights at Bully's East in San Diego. Bully's has the best prime rib in San Diego and I was not disappointed. Thirty years ago I played rugby with the owner, JD for Old Mission Beach Rugby Club. Attached are a couple of before and after pictures of my dinner.


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