loren Eric Swanson: Community of Kindness Review

Friday, March 24, 2006

Community of Kindness Review

Came across this on my son Andy's newly minted blog (www.abswanson.blogspot.com). He pulled out some real gems so I thought I'd pilfer it and pass it on.

Community of Kindness by Steve Sjogren and Rob Lewin (can purchase at amazon.com)A few months ago i read this book and it really helped me and the people on our team to think about doing ministry differently. Here are some of the key points from the book modified a little to go along with our current situation. the numbers refer to the pages in the book where the notes and quotes are fromWhat do you dream about? Is it a big movement or changed lives?How can we build disciples that will be world changers? “Discipline yourselves to count only changed lives and new believers launched into the world to be with people in real ways and enabled to live big lives that count for eternity.” P. 22What are the actions that you and your team believe make up a true disciple? What transforming actions do you want them to do? Lives need to be transformed not just information passed along.28 the goal of a transformational community is to build people who do something that fundamentally changes the way the world works.LeadersWhich of the people I spoke to were excited about going and doing? They might have ideas, they might have tried, they might have failed. Who do you work with? These people. “Focus your energy on the people who are already doing something, not the people who are waiting for you to do something.”24If honoring others ideas and traditions causes you to ignore the current calling of God in your life, you must choose the way of Christ.26Belonging = doing“Servant evangelism is about activating people into the ministry. There are no observers.”27Give people an opportunity to give of themselves. If people are only there to take, they are going to get too full and pretty soon you start a barf-o-rama.Coach and care for the small group leaders. You aren’t going to pastor the city, you aare going to pastor the pastors of the city. Your job isn’t to care for everyone, you job is to train caregivers.176Model- Being a believer has to do with action directed at someone else. Have them bring their friends with them to serve. Action changes people. Seeing that you mean what you say changes people who change the world.In building disciples focus on modeling behavior you want your disciples to do. They will more rapidly display the behavior you are seeking to reproduce by doing the ministry with you.48Let everything you do be a double purposed matter: Do it for the purpose of doing it and do it to train someone else. Take someone along wherever you go. Let them watch you doing ministry. Model your ministry values all the time.Your leaders need to see beyond themselves to the needs of others in your ministry. They need to see that it is not just about them getting their needs met but loving the people God has brought to your ministry.49If outreach isn’t the first point in your discipleship model, it will be no point in your discipleship activity.114;If you aren’t requiring people to delegate, you are crippling them, itf you are requiring them to delegate, then you are drawing out the best tin them.5 steps to conveying a new behavior1491. Do it alone2. Do it with someone watching you do it.3. Do it with someone helping you do it.4. The other person does it while you watch them.5. The other person does it with someone else watching them.Love the peopleIs there anything that can stop you from loving these people? If you can think of anything, you better face it fast. Lack of love is something that will eat away at the possibility of you being successful in that city.67Learn the top 10 negative and positive things the city is known for.Wherever you are is ok. Don’t spend time hating the things you can’t change right now, spend that time loving people.72Serving is the fastest way to recalibrate your heart to why you are working this hard and investing your life in this ministry. A simple act of kindness that wants to honor Christ makes everything clear again.88people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. 76The role of the catalytic staff is to coach leaders who will make this unified statement: We love you, we welcome you, we want the dynamic life of Christ to shine in you so that you will make difference in the world!87Our prayer is that a newcomer would experience a sense of coming home- of being truly wanted180There is an environment of joy, of genuine friendship, of grace-come as you are, and you’ll be loved; come as you are and you’ll be changed; come as you are and you’ll never be the same. 181FailureThere is a lot of latitude and a lot of forgiveness which allows for experimentation to see what works. Don’t call it failure, it is a chance to see what doesn’t work.Live openhandedly. Don’t grab people. Allow them to come in, and allow them to leave. No shame, no angst. Don’t keep folks from leaving. If they stay, they’ll be bitter ad poisonous, and their attitudes will spill over to many others. It’s not worth it. Allow people to make their own decisions and respect them- even if you know their reasoning is stupid. 93Do more outreach. Do focus on the person who just left, but instead focus on the person who isn’t in your movement yet. The more time you spend obsessing, the less time you have to find the person who can’t wait to be involved in the vision you’re bithing.97Begin today building the skills you will need for the rest of you life of ministry.118When less people show up than you expected or than those that said they would be there, it is easy to get frustrated. You focus on who is not there instead of who has come. The challenge is to teach the 2 that did show up as through there were 5000. these are the 2 people Jesus has given you right now. They are the two most important people in the world.Abandon you expectations- give the whole thing to GodSelect one person who needs to hear what you have to say and speak to them.Think of Jesus and how many time this sort of thing happened to him. He is the son of God!144Never cancel an event. When you say you’ll be there, be there.What do we do?In choosing what to do, determine what will give spiritual life to your city and do those things.Gather lots and lots of people. Have lots of different interests. Get exposure to things that are not ministry. Be able to talk to a wide variety of people about a wide variety of things.Read significant magazines like, The Economist, Utne Reader, Wired, Christianity Today, Charisma, Fast Company and Rolling Stone. Regeneration.org, ooze.com, Hollywoodjesus.com soulerize.com smallfire.com sacriments.com freshworship.com churchplanting.com servantevangelism.com topfive.orgPromote the name of Christ and the cause of the kingdom. Involve people in service to meet the needs of someone. Do what Jesus did.Focus on: gathering, training small group leaders, assimilating newcomers into your group. Praying in the community you are trying to impact. Leave the house every day before 9:00am. Do service evangelism project between appointments. Give substantially to the ministry. Take an outside job and get to know the people of your community in a different way.Define yourself179What do you think a disciple is?What kind of church is going to be effective at reaching your community in 10 years?Who do you need to become in order to lead your church in 5 years?What’s the most important spiritual need you have in your life right now?Are there new models and new styles that need to be involved to help you evolve?VolunteersLive openhandedly. Don’t grab people. Allow them to come in, and allow them to leave. No shame, no angst. Don’t keep folks from leaving. If they stay, they’ll be bitter ad poisonous, and their attitudes will spill over to many others. It’s not worth it. Allow people to make their own decisions and respect them- even if you know their reasoning is stupid. 93Plan a vacation for each person with in the first 12 months. It helps morale and helps people feel like you care. It is professional and it forces you to plan for others to do their roles during those times.157Thank your leaders and volunteers. Write them thank you notes. Let them know that they are appreciated. Celebrate success even when it seems insignificantVisionTell your vision from the perspective of how it will benefit the hearer and the Kingdom rather than haw it will benefit you or the organization. Your story is part of God’s Story. He is doing Big stuff through you and your min. He wants to do big stuff through the people he brings to you.Communicate to your people: “We intend to make a difference. Our dream for this is not small. If you are ready for a wild ride, hitch your wagon to us.”172Fund RaisingPicture each person as a gift God has given you. If they aren’t your gift they are someone else’s. It is your job to direct that gift to where he or she belongs.159


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