Carey Nieuwhof: The Change You Need to Embrace
First Things First
Carey Nieuwhof seems to be a pretty great guy.
Next week at the Orange Conference, he’s going to be explaining to Senior Pastors from across the country why they need to take on the mission of reaching families in their communities. I’d imagine that anyone attending his breakout would have a foot up on everyone else in the room if they read this chapter.
I’m just saying.
So, I’ve loved some chapters of this book, and I’ve wanted to scream at others… this chapter did a little bit of both for me. It would be easy for me to miss the chance to explain why this chapter is awesome… so I’ll first speak to what spoke to me and our church’s current context.
Our church is a church that cares more about those who are not attending our church than those who are. So, reasons #1 for why Carey embraced family ministry is one that I think would resonate with our staff: Family Ministry Might Be The Greatest Outreach Opportunity The Church Has Today. That is huge. Parents in our community aren’t staying awake at night, wondering what our senior pastor is going to be preaching on Sunday morning… they’re worrying about their kids. The crazy thing is – I’m staying up at night worrying about their kids too. I think we can leverage that.
Okay… the thing that drove me crazy…
Carey talks about different kinds of changes a Senior Pastor has to face in leadership. He talks about how it’s important for someone in leadership to be able to overhaul entire systems for the hope of a better tomorrow. Then, Carey shares his own story… a story in which he realized that a massive restructuring would have to happen in order for his church’s ministries to align. Then, after realizing his system needed a huge overhaul, he left his denomination and started a new church.
If I’m being totally honest, this made me scream a little bit in my head.
I understand that someone’s story is someone’s story. Carey can’t change the way in which God led him to embracing family ministry. But, the last thing I want to do is have my Senior Pastor read this chapter and get some crazy idea about leaving our church to plant one with a clean slate. I want to know that a church which thrived in the 70’s and 80’s can reinvent itself as a church that exists to serve and equip families in the year 2010. If I pass this chapter on to our pastor, I may actually white-out these two sentences:
Ironically, two years later, in late 2007, a few of us left the denomination we were serving to start Connexus Community Church. When we had a chance to plant a church for the first time, we built it around a family ministry model.
Seriously, I am a big fan of Carey. I’m stoked for the way that he’s reaching uncommitted families in his community with the Gospel of Jesus. And, if I seriously cut out those two sentences, then I’m going to pass this chapter on to our senior leadership team.