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Several of the staff from Hope Church participated in Catalyst, a one-day leadership conference in Atlanta. Below are some of the learnings I took away from the conference.

1. Business can quickly change – because the bottom line is easily measurable. Businesses exist to make money. If money is not being made, changes happen – quickly.

Ministry and churches do not change quickly – because the bottom line often is not easily measurable. The tendency is to be content if the bills are paid and ministries are maintained.

Think about this – if we were as concerned as business people about the bottom line (changed lives, people being saved from eternal hell, families being redeemed), we would make changes more rapidly. We would be more bothered by mediocrity and ineffectiveness.

2. Evaluation is the key to improvement. Andy Stanley pointed to a table-top filled with products – toothpaste, toilet paper, car wax, etc. Every container stated – “new and improved,” even if the improvement was negligible. The marketplace knows momentum in sales is only sustained through continuous improvement.

Contrast that with the church – which has a “product” infinitely more important than toothpaste or car wax. And we resist evaluation which might lead to improvement. We worry about hurting the feelings of people should changes take place which will improve our capacity to present the gospel.

The point Andy made – always sacrifice the one for the many. Never sacrifice the many for the one.

3. What might the “new” be in church life?

New personnel
New programs
New season – shut down a program for a while, and then relaunch it – new and improved.
New series of messages
New look (staging, clean up the building, paint)
New venues (a new class, new service, etc.)

The message does not change, but the presentation of the message can be upgraded, improved.

4. What stops momentum?

A disengaged leader (too many hobbies, slowing down for retirement)
Too much management and too little leadership
A breach of trust.



  1. Amen and amen! I’m glad to know that people are starting to say these things. The church is failing to reach our neighbors because we’ve become complacent and comfortable. We like our “country club” atmosphere and are content to let evangelism occur from the pulpit.

  2. We don’t believe the bottom line because we aren’t convinced that God will do what He says He will do. He don’t really believe what we say we believe. If we did, we would act radically different. We’re committing to changing that in our lives.

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