Our good friend, Lee Button, who is from the UK (although we learned his favorite sport is American football) and is Founder of Thinking Church and a consultant with The Unstuck Group, was recently staying with me for a couple days. While he was here, we figured we should record a podcast episode with him!
So for Episode 21 of the podcast, we were grateful to be able to talk with Lee about what he's seeing in churches over in the UK, how we all can reshape our ministries to better reach people in our community, how they've done ministry in a context where people are suspicious of the Church, and the list goes on.
Lee has so much wisdom to share with an incredibly thoughtful and strategic approach to ministry. It was fun to hear his thoughts because Lee was sharing a lot of similar things to what we say about ministry. Give it a listen!
Here are some key takeaways from today's conversation:
We can't ignore our church's context and individual mission. So often we focus so deeply on the content that we teach as a church (which is important!), we miss out on how to shape our ministry to the context that we minister in. This is where your mission comes in: It's not about a "cookie cutter" approach. It's about how we accomplish our specific mission in our specific context.
The Church in the UK is facing very similar challenges to the Church in America. "We encounter the same issues. Most of the differences are just about scale." It's interesting to hear how the trends in the UK are very similar to what we see in America and how those trends play out there.
A lot of our churches are overly focused on people who are already part of the faith. We hear the term "insider-focused" discussed a lot, but Lee really expands that idea to be about people who are already part of the faith, not just people already in our church. How can we shift our ministry to reach people who don't already believe in Jesus?
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Dale is the Executive Director here at 95Network. He has been in ministry for almost 40 years and is dedicated to helping small and mid-size churches get healthy. Dale has served in nearly every role of church leadership (except Worship Pastor), and has had a wide variety of coaching and consulting experience. He and his wife Gina have been married for 37 years and live in Greenville, SC.