24toDouble Members Live Q&A – February 2019
We've got a lot of newcomers this time. Here are some of the questions they asked:
- In trying to develop time to do 24toDouble, how do we break everything down to develop more 24toDouble teams?
- Can this work for my church of only 20 members?
- How quickly should I move through 24toDouble?
- How long should I spend on each module?
- How often should we meet?
- What happens if you don’t have all of the roles filled within each 24toDouble team?
- I had some fundraising planned during the time of Easter. Should I pause that and just focus on Easter?
- How is 24toDouble different from other church growth programs?
Hey, this is Richard Chancy with 24toDouble. Welcome to the live call with Pastor Jerry Lawson and I. We just wanted to welcome you back on today. I know that there's ... As usual this time of year, we're gonna have a lot of new people in the queue probably today, Jerry, because we just had a lot of churches that signed up for 24toDouble in this first quarter of the year.
If this is your first time with us, let me tell you how it works. If you click star-six on your phone, it'll put you into the queue. In the queue, when you get prompted, you can ask your question. What I like to remind you of throughout is, give us your first name and your church name and then go ahead and ask your question. Then we'll do our dead level best to be able to answer that.
Jerry, thanks for being on with me again.
Absolutely, Richard. It's great to be here with you and especially great to get to talk to pastors today. We're pumped up about your questions and hope we can add value to your day.
Yeah, for sure. Hey, two things before we get started. I'm gonna throw it to Jerry. Or really one thing. If you don't know this ... If you're new, this doesn't impact you. But if you've been with us for a while, you may notice that the membership site is gone. We did not realize that many of you had not switched to our new membership site. You can find the new membership site at 24login.com. That's where you'll always log in, no matter where the membership site winds up finding its home over the years. If you go to 24login.com, that'll always take you to the login page for wherever the site is.
We actually had to move our site from where we had built it and it had its home for the last six years on a platform called CustomerHub, which is owned by the email service provider that we use, Infusionsoft. Infusionsoft has used a kind term in relationship to CustomerHub over the last six months, and the term is sunsetting, which is not they're going into retirement and gonna play golf in Florida. Apparently they were getting ready to shut down our membership site. Not just ours, but the entire platform. So we moved it to a new and what we think is a better site. It's got some features that CustomerHub didn't have as far as helping you understand exactly where you are in the process.
If you haven't checked it out yet, go to 24login. Your login credentials that you've been using will still work for that.
Hey, Jerry. Easter's coming. Let's talk about where we're at, right here, middle of February. Feels like we got plenty of runway to get ready for it. Why don't you dive in and talk about what we were talking about before we got on.
Okay, yeah. You guys should ... I could talk about this forever. I'm gonna try to parse my words and pick how much time I spend on this. Easter is a Super Bowl. Every Sunday, you want people to come out. You wanna have your shot at sharing the gospel. Really, as valuable as sharing the gospel is, your opportunity to create a buy-in so that those people come back. Why is that just as important? Because you can't do discipleship on Easter. You can only get started.
So you wanna build momentum leading into Easter, and you wanna have a reason for people to come back after Easter. It's a huge, huge ordeal. You should be knowing right now kinda what you're doing to build momentum. I had a meeting just this week or last week with some of my team members about what we're gonna do to build momentum into Easter. That involves small groups, sermon development, all the things like that. Then what is the big hook to get the people to come back after Easter?
I'll give you something that probably has been the best for us. We for several years ... We're not doing it this year 'cause we've done it so often. But many other churches are catching on and doing the same thing, and that is doing a "You Asked for It" series. Easter's a great time to update data, make sure you've got all the best contact information for your church members and your guests. So you get every single person to fill out a connect card. Then on that connect card, you put, "Give me your top three questions you'd like to know the Bible's answer to." That could be any question they have. It could be about divorce and remarriage, it could be the unpardonable sin. You'll get a lot of stuff like that. "What does the Bible say about homosexuality?" Lot of different topics.
Here's the beautiful thing. You get to pick and choose which one of those you wanna answer. But if you can tell the people, "Hey, starting next Sunday, we're gonna be answering the questions you wanted to know," that's a great hook to get people bought back in. You'll want to, on Easter, go ahead and announce, "Hey, we've already had some questions about this particular topic, so I can go ahead and tell you that next Sunday, we're gonna hit this question."
In 2016, we hit the question, "How should I vote?" That was our question. If you know Daystar at all, we're not a political church at all. So it was not whom should I vote for, it was how should I vote. But anyways, it was a big hot topic. The year before, there was a big push about homosexual marriage, so that was the big question. I told people on Easter, "Give us any question you have. We're gonna answer that over this next series. But I'll go ahead and tell you, next Sunday we're gonna jump on this topic. What does the Bible say about homosexuality and homosexual marriage?"
You may not wanna be quite that controversial, but get ahold of something that'll grab the heart of the people. Don't just do what we do so many times. A big Easter comes and goes. The next Sunday, nobody's there. Let me tell you what's gonna happen. They're hit and miss. They're every other Sunday. Some of them are only once-a-month people, so they're hit and miss. The congregation you preached to last Sunday, that's half of your actual congregation. So on Easter, that's the Sunday everybody hits. Guess what? The Sunday after Easter is a Sunday a lot of people miss. So don't give up and cry and ask what you did wrong, but plan on it. Plan on how to hook those people in.
Richard, this is the time to be making those plans. This is the time to be getting yourself ready for that. I've just come off of a couple weeks of not exactly off time, but sort of slow time, where I didn't take appointments and I didn't go in the office very often, just kinda getting myself ready for the grind that is the Easter season. You'll have Easter. We'll push hard all the way through Mother's Day before Memorial Day weekend will be my first time off again after that.
Pastors, take care of yourselves. Do a lot of planning. Get ready for a big Easter. As importantly as Easter, what are we gonna do after Easter, and how can we hook them on Easter to come back after Easter? That's probably what should be going on right now in your churches, in addition to just growing through the 24toDouble model.
Yeah. Hey, if you're just getting on the call, if you hit star-six, you can get into the queue and ask your question. To Jerry, Jerry, hey, can you dive just a little bit deeper on that? Because I feel like what you just said is super important for most professionals. Let's call it professional Christians, professional leaders. We just don't know how to get ready for seasons like this, where we know it's about to be a full-stream blitz and from 110% to try to dial it up to 150. What do you do right now to get yourself ready so that you know that you can push hard through Mother's Day?
Hey Richard, I kinda lost your audio there just for a minute. I don't know if you did something there. I could kinda hear you, but not through your mic. I think your mic went out and I'm only hearing it through your phone right now.
Okay. Yeah, my earpod kicked out on me. I don't know if they could hear me, either. But go ahead and dive in.
Yeah, the question being, how do you prepare for these kind of seasons? I think most pastors, we just grind all the time and we're warriors, so we don't take time off and we don't consider things to be seasons. As in, four weeks is a season. We think of the seasons of my life, like I'm married and I've got no kids, and then there's a season where I have kids, and there's a season where I'm an empty nester. I'm talking about smaller seasons, where you know that you're gonna hit it crazy hard through Easter and after, and then you're gonna take a break around summertime. If 40% of America goes on vacation in June, guess what pastors oughta be doing? You oughta be on vacation. Youth pastor oughta be preaching. A guest speaker, if you don't have a youth pastor, oughta be preaching. I'll go to the beach. I've got a couple pastors down there that have been in the 24toDouble system before, and I'll just preach for them while I'm down there.
To be honest, I write so many sermons a year. Unless the Holy Spirit wakes me up in the night, I'm not writing a new sermon for those churches down there. It was pretty dang strong here at Daystar. It's probably gonna be good at theirs, too. And I'll be better at it 'cause I've already practiced it. So it's kind of a break for me. It's a break for them. It's a little bit of vacation money for me if I get an honorarium.
You should be thinking about your life in those terms, pastor. If you think to yourself, "Our church is small. We don't have staff. I'm not able to take time off." What you don't realize is the gradual downgrading as you're grinding through and preaching. Some of you guys are preaching ... I used to preach 52 Sundays a year, and I preached Sunday nights and Wednesday nights. I didn't realize how I was just degrading a little bit at a time. My energy level, certainly my creativity. Man, if you find ways to maintain your energy, you still can't maintain creativity and new ideas.
So this is a really good season for you to take some time away. Don't always preach. My goodness. Every preacher I know thinks that your church is gonna fall apart if you're not there. Let me tell you something. There's gonna come a time that you're not gonna be there. It's gonna be over. And I bet you the cause of Christ will continue on without you.
That would be my call. A lot of you guys, just 'cause I know so many of you and I interact with you so often, I know that you're fighting the same battle I fought, that battle I used to have where I just couldn't take time away. What I do right now is I'll take about 10 Sundays a year that I don't preach. 10 Sundays a year that I don't preach in my pulpit. This is one of them. I'll be visiting one of our other campuses besides the broadcast campus where I normally am. It's not that I'm off. It's just a valuable time for me to do some other things and plan for the future.
Pastors, every argument you're bouncing around in your head, I had them, too. You remember I started this church with 60 people, all right? I had to find that same balance in my own life, so I hope you'll do the same and take yourself seriously. Take care of yourself. Take care of your wife, because she needs some time away, too.
Or your husband if you're some of the female preachers that are in 24toDouble. Just taking time to care for your family and recharge. I think that's such good advice, Jerry, 'cause nobody can go 100% all the time. I think here's one of the tell-tale signs. If you're scrambling on Saturday to get your message ready, you might be preaching too much. It's possible. What are the other symptoms?
One of the lessons for me was when I took my first sabbatical. I literally took five weeks off. I came back and the people were like, "Wow." I was afraid to take time off, because I was afraid they were gonna expect some Moses coming off the mountain moment, and my face is gonna glow. I was not feeling spiritual. I was not feeling like I was definitely just necessarily hearing fresh new things from God. But when I came back, the people were just so over the top about how great the preaching was. It gave me a complex that, man, I must have really stunk it up the last several months.
I thought I was just fighting. I was being a warrior, I was grinding it out. What I didn't know was I was actually cheating myself, my family, and my congregation by not taking care of myself. So pastors, take care of yourself.
Yeah, that brings up an interesting point. If you put somebody on the stage when you're not there that's terrible, people are gonna love you when you come back.
[crosstalk 00:12:49]. They will.
Hey pastors, if you wanna get in the queue, it's star-six. Hey, if you wanna get in the queue and tell us what's going well, what's not going well. There are sticking points through this process, and some of them are quite predictable, like the first time you get your people together to talk through 24toDouble. The first time you try to put a leader in place and take your hands off them to run one of these teams, there are predictable sticking points in this process. So if you wanna get on those and share one of those, or share something that's good that's happening, go ahead and jump in the queue. There's quite a few of y'all in here today, but nobody's in the queue yet.
Hey Jerry, lean in for the new members, which we've got quite a few of them right now, that may not understand the big event methodology that you teach in 24toDouble. Talk about the big event methodology as it relates to Easter and how you engage it.
Everybody listening to me can take this moment right now to find the big event component and watch it, listen to it. I know that we have audio available. We have 1.5, 1.75, 2.0 time speed, so you can listen to it in the gym, kinda refresh you. If you've been through the big event component already, I would encourage you to listen to it again. If you've never done it, find it and go through that big event component. Because heading into Easter, this is the time to get your Easter big event plan in place.
That's gonna involve utilizing everybody that's in the ... If you're doing a production or everybody's in the choir or anything like that, doing a lot of invites. We talk about how to print invite cards, how to mobilize your church to invite guests. We talk about that the difference in a growing church and a dying church is one word, and that's "invite."
I've seen 24toDouble churches ... I wouldn't call them out, 'cause this is kind of an insult. But I've been to some 24toDouble churches or watched online that I just wouldn't go to. Preaching's not very good, the songs are not very good. But man, they figured out the invite culture and they are booming. I'm talking multiple services, building new buildings. You don't have to be awesome.
On the other hand, man, I've been to some churches that have great singing and great preaching and just not very big, not that many people in attendance. That's why I'll reinforce that the difference in a growing church and a dying church is not if the preacher preaches every week, not if he preaches better sermons. It's invite. If you can convince your people that they grow the church and that the church has to grow ... Because there's a steep decline in the American church, and if they want their children and grandchildren to live in a culture where God and the 10 Commandments are as valuable as it has been in our upbringing, then it's on them to grow the church, to reach people. I know Jesus will build his church, but he told me to go to the highways and edges and compel them to come in. That word "compel," that's the word that I hear when I'm up talking about invite cards.
Now here's the thing, too. Pastors, I don't make announcements anymore. I just do not make announcements. I made a decision years ago that if it's worth taking time in my worship service ... Our worship services are around an hour and 15 minutes. That's a small amount of time I've got with my people. I'm not talking about bake sales and Sunday school picnics in that hour and 15 minutes. If I'm gonna use that time on my platform, it's gonna be something that I can preach, that I can be passionate about. So I don't talk about, "Hey, pass out invite cards." I preach about passing out invite cards. I preach out the lost sheep, the Prodigal Son. I preach Jesus. By the way, these cards are one of the many ways to honor Jesus' heart for his lost sheep. So don't announce this. Don't just guilt people into it. You wanna inspire people. You wanna craft messages that are built around inspiring people to use their gifts and their platform to reach people.
In our 24toDouble teaching, we talk about how that every person has a sphere of influence of at least seven people. We talk about how the majority of people who don't go to church say if a friend invited them, they would go. So we teach you how to teach your people how to make that invite happen. It's really not rocket science. It's just being intentional and it's being focused. I wanna challenge you to get blinders on. "I'm just gonna focus on Easter. I'm just gonna get intentional about the invite culture." You can make this the biggest Easter that you've ever had.
Yeah. Two things on that, Jerry, that I wanted to point out. There's a psychological law that says that people tend to gravitate towards environments where they're accepted and away from environments where they are rejected. Now I'm not saying any of our churches are intentionally rejecting people. But if you're not going over the top to make people feel accepted, they're gonna naturally feel rejected, because you think about ...
We've talked about this before. I think I even used the term "deweirdify." But when people come into an environment where they don't know anybody for the very first time, especially if they're ... If they're dechurched, that's one thing. If they're unchurched, meaning they don't have any experience with it, what we do is weird. If you're not going over the top trying to help people understand what's going on and make them feel like they're a part of being there and creating a culture where the people in your church are doing that as well, then people are gonna naturally feel rejected.
Think about this. Every time the church is in the media, it's always negative. It's always Westboro Baptist is painting signs that say, "God hates fags," or it's the Roman Catholic church that's been caught up in this scandal, and it's this pastor over here who cheated the federal government, cheated the IRS because of tax-exempt status. It's always negative. When there're movies and there's dramas, miniseries that you might watch on ABC or whatever, if there's a church person in there, the clean-cut guy that looks like Richard right there, looks like a good-looking dad, he's always the guy who did it. I always say to my wife-
He's the bad guy. Yeah. You're like, "This guy did it." yeah.
Yeah. It's always the Christian guy. That's the culture that we live in. It's a post-Christian world. It's an anti-Christ culture that we live in. So Richard's point is perfect. We cannot just be the truth. We are the truth. I know you love people. I know you'd accept anybody that came to the door. That's not enough. Because the rest of the world doesn't know that.
That's why the week leading into Easter we call Love Week. We talk about the Passion of Christ and what great lengths he went into to love on people. The week leading into Easter, we mobilize our entire church. We actually have, last count, about 80% of our church attendance on Sunday is in small groups at some point through the week. So we mobilize every small group to do a serve project that week. It's sort of an understated invite to Easter. We're gonna be doing some work for the community. It might be a nursing home, it could be a local school. Schools are underfunded in many places and a lot of things they can't do, whether it's sprucing up a playground or doing some repainting. We [inaudible 00:20:42] the local high school that's just a couple miles from where I'm sitting right now. We're doing those kinda projects. We're blowing it up on social media and just hashtagging it #EasteratDaystar or whatever our focus is that year. It's kind of an understated thing.
The big statement is, "We're gonna love this community. We're gonna love you. Oh, by the way, come on out and be a part of what we're doing on Easter." That's really how you have to rebrand your church. You have to tell people who you really are, because they've got the wrong impression of you.
That's for sure. Hey, we've got somebody in the queue now, so i wanna get to him, Jerry. Then I got a follow-up question for you on that.
I think this is Mike.
Yeah. Mike from Harker Heights, New Beginnings Church. Hey, a quick question. We're putting some emphasis on our children's ministry, and in doing so, it's grown. That's wonderful, except now it needs more time and energy. If I can have a follow-up, which is a little bit disconnected from that, in that I'm wanting ... I need to then invest more volunteers and time into the children's, and it seems to me like the more I put into it, the more it will need. If you can address that, and maybe if I could just fast-forward to the children's area, maybe that would answer that.
But the second is, in trying to develop time to work on the things that you bring ... You said this is gonna develop over time. Do you recommend two weeks after, or do you just develop time ... I'm just trying to figure out how to do these things in a timely manner. We're only corporately under Mission 1, which is vision, and you said that'll take time. So I'm just trying to figure out, when do I carve out time to go through this? We're just doing a "y'all come" for everyone being there. We have about 40 people in a church of about 100 involved in watching the video. I wanna know, how do I break that down into helping develop more teams?
Okay. What you're gonna do with that 40 people, which, Mike, that's a great number. That's a good number of people. We call that the coalition of the willing. I kinda brand that in the teaching. I just kinda tell the people ... 'Cause I know that they may not be as willing as I want them to be, but I act like they are, because whatever you call a person, they'll kind of become that. So I just start telling them, "You guys are willing to do anything. You'll serve on any team. You'll go wherever we focus."
Early on, probably around Module 2, maybe 3, we start talking about gift testing those key leaders that are volunteering. We start placing them in different ministries that you wanna focus on. Now, we encourage your front-end focus to be the areas that bear the most fruit, and that is first impressions and big events and some of the things that we talk about early on. But children's ministry is hugely important. You talk about a family that ... Excuse me. I've seen many families that come from a completely different background, they're not too crazy about our brand of music, it's a little bit too young for them, but they love the children's ministry. They will hang around because they love children's ministry.
What you're gonna wanna do is pick ... Mike, pick one or two areas that you can focus on and tell your people that, "As we grow, as we learn the different modules and as they are rolled out to us, we're gonna pick certain areas. We're not gonna change everything at one time. We don't have the personnel. We don't know how yet." That would create too much conflict, frankly, in your church. But you're gonna pick the areas that you can get the most emphasis on. Like I said, we're gonna aim you toward things like follow-up, the pastor's breakfast. 'Cause you're gonna get new people from the big events that you host, so we wanna have follow-up, and then first impressions. But if you wanna also focus in on children's, I think that's fine. But the teaching that we're gonna do is a little bit later.
The core of this, though, the main core of 24toDouble is the same in every team, and that is that you're gonna put administratively gifted people in leadership. You're gonna put prophetically gifted people in prayer ministry. You're gonna put merciful and encouraging people in the greeting and in the people part of this. That's gonna work ... You're so early in this, you're gonna hear a lot more about that as you continue on. You can put that same training to work in every area of the church.
Just don't do too much at one time or you'll spread yourself too thin. Then you won't see the results that you wanna see. Because while everybody may be happy about it right now, when you start really changing things, somebody's gonna get upset. You need to be able to say, "Listen, I know we've changed some things, but look at all these new people and look at the progress we've made." That's why we lay it out the way we do. We roll out things like first impressions and big events and follow-up early on, because those are the things you're gonna get numbers in the building. That's not enough. The numbers aren't enough. But we realize that if you get numbers in the building, people notice, so you're gonna get a positive momentum rolling. Does that make sense?
It does. Again, just trying to understand, how soon after ... 'Cause we're a busy schedule, as usual, 'cause we're doing multiple jobs. I know your goal is to get them into one job and getting new people in there. But say we're planning for the big event. Do you meet a week or two later? If the "y'all come" is ... Yeah, yeah. I'm just trying to think through ... I'm sorry.
Yeah. I think I know what you're saying now, Mike. No, I think I know what you're saying now. Mike, when do you meet for the 24toDouble training?
We do it in lieu of a Sunday evening service. That is what we're doing on Sunday afternoon/evening.
Just once a month, right?
Yes. Yes, sir.
Do you have Sunday evening service the other three weeks?
We do not. Our people stopped coming out, so I canceled it.
Yeah. Great move. Here's what I would say. I would say go to every other week. Some groups will go every week. We have some churches that'll go ... They'll take their Wednesday night program and they'll watch the module the first of the month, and then the next three weeks, they'll work on implementing it. You could do something similar on Sunday night, where it's either every week or it's every other week. You have a week to watch and learn, and then a week to work on implementation. That's what I would do. I would get them together more often. Either every week, or at least every other week.
Okay. I certainly appreciate that. Thank you.
Yeah. Thanks for the call, Mike.
Thanks, Mike. Hey Jerry, I thought he was saying something different than he was actually saying, and it reminded me of a value that I'm trying to instill in the way that I work and the way that I lead. 'Cause the first question I usually ask when faced with a situation like the one that Mike's dealing with is, okay, how are we gonna get all this done? The first question for me is usually how. I am the how guy. I'm the how guy with 24toDouble. How are we gonna go from here to there?
What I'm realizing is, we're at the point now where I need to be the who guy. I need to ask who before I ask how. Then I need to get good how people working with us. We've done that. I think if you're in 24toDouble and you've been in for more than six months and you're still asking how, you might be missing the big idea, which is how do you build these teams? You find the who that builds the team. You don't need to know how to do follow-up. You don't need to know how to do outreach or a WOW team. You don't need to know how to do that stuff. You need to know how to find the who people. Does that make sense?
Yeah. Yeah. You should always be doing that. I'm thinking through the early days of our church and when the church was a good bit smaller. The people I leaned on sometimes reminded of that old proverb that says, "Leaning on an unfaithful servant's like putting your hand in a thorn bush." I know there's some pastors right now listening to me that you're nodding your head. You're like, "Yeah, I've been there."
But here's what I've learned over the years, is I always empower deputies to do things for me. Some of them could do it really well, but early on, most of them could not. I had to coach them a lot more. I had to stay close to them. But I fought my natural desire to control and to keep my hands on everything. That never goes away. Leaders, it never goes away. When you're at ground zero and you're just getting started, your hand has to be on everything.
I used to run sound at my church, play the keyboard, lead worship, teach Sunday school, and preach the morning and evening and Wednesday night message. I did all of that at what is now Daystar Church. And you know why I did it? Because it was literally nobody else who could do it at the time. But from day one, I put everybody with a pulse who was willing ... If I had a chimpanzee back there turning the knobs on the ... And sometimes it seemed like he was. I started empowering people. I drug a guy out of a bar, and he became my first drummer. He still goes to my church, by the way. He's playing drums in a club. Just slowly and slowly and surely, we kept putting people in positions of influence, and we kept asking more from people.
Pastors, our fear of asking too much causes us to ask too little. I wanna just remind you that in the same way that you oughta be asking big of God, you oughta be asking big of your volunteers and giving them opportunities.
You wanna have an exit strategy, because if you do this, you're gonna ask someone to do something, you're gonna give them authority to do something, and you find out they're terrible at it. Maybe they realize it and they hand it right back to you. But sometimes they're terrible and they don't realize it. So here's my exit strategy. I'll say, "Hey Richard, would you help me with this for just a little while? If I had somebody just to help me through the next month in this area, man, that would be so good." And if I find out he stinks, then I just have to endure it for a month. But if he's great, I'm gonna say, "Man. You've done so amazing. I feel like maybe God might be empowering you for this. How do you feel?" They're gonna feel the same thing.
So little by little, step by step, you're gonna get some of this stuff off of your plate. But it's gonna be by trial and error. You're not gonna know who's gonna be your champions until you give them a little rope and you find out if they can pull the load or if they're gonna fall in front of you.
That never goes away. Today, I'm at the same place. It's a completely different set of circumstances, but it's literally, "Who's gonna run my church?" I'm not running the church anymore. I'm way out in front and I'm casting [inaudible 00:32:23] and I'm thinking about new campuses and big idea things. There's other people literally running the church. Step by step, gradually through the entire history of my ministry, it's been that way. It's just been smaller things I handed off early on, and now I'm handing off much, much bigger things. But it's a struggle always. You always feel like you're the only one that can do it. You always feel like if you hand this part off, it's gonna be a big failure. You're gonna have to always fight your own natural desire to control, pastor. If you're ever gonna rise above, you're ever gonna ...
Jesus, look what he handed off. He handed off the gospel to 11 jokers that I wouldn't have trusted for much of anything. And here we are 2,000 years later, and we're preaching that same gospel. So it works, and Jesus modeled it.
Yeah. Funny thing is, is if he'd have thought, "I'll only hand it off if they can do what I do," there'd be no church.
Hey, star-six to get into the queue. We've got another one in the queue here, so I'll save my question for next. I think this is Karen. Hey, Karen. Is this Karen?
Hi. Hi. Hello, how are you?
Good. How you doing?
Doing well today, thanks. I'm with Bethel AME Church in Lebanon, Ohio. We are recovering from a devastating fire that destroyed much of our historic church in December of 2017. We're being blessed immensely as we walk through this time of recovery and rebuilding. It is a small congregation with very talented people.
What I'm doing right now as it comes to 24toDouble is I'm looking at the program. I have linked in to the 15-day kind of look-around-and-see-what-we-have. I'm excited about what I'm seeing. But my question is very pragmatic. The Gifts and Passions survey, the spiritual gifts survey ... I'm not able to access that. That's one of the things that I really wanted to take a look at in terms of the content of obviously just the part that comes with the bonus, with the preview kind of content.
Yeah. I know what you're talking about. Let me look it up right now and make sure ... I feel confident that it's working, but I have felt confident in technology many times and been wrong. Let me look real-
It may be a cross-platform issue, although it looks to me from your videos that you are using Macs, which is what I'm using. But it's just not being responsive in terms of allowing me to download the PDF or to print a copy so I can look at the items and see ... Just look at it from a point of view of base validity.
Are you finding that at volunteertest.com, Karen?
I am looking at it on members.mychurchtraining.com. I accessed it through-
Okay. Hey, go to-
Yeah. It should be working there. But we have that. That Gifts and Passions test is online now. If you go to volunteertest.com, you can check that out. That is the free version of it.
What's that? Yeah, volunteertest.com. It's working. I just looked. After I had my mild heart attack when I thought it wasn't gonna be working.
Now I see it. I see it now. It's right there. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Yeah. Yeah. There's a customized version of that you can get if you decide to go that route down the road. We took this thing online years ago, because the Excel document part of it was hard to implement and hard to manage after the fact. This one's free and it's gonna be free, and it's fairly simple to use.
Let me just tell you this, to give a shoutout to Jerry and Lance for creating this thing. I've been doing ministry in my church for 21 years, and I've done everything. When I took this test, it told me exactly where I needed to be, which is where I am in my church now, leading a high school men's small group in my church. I was actually doing that before I took the volunteer test. I'm thinking, "I could've missed all of these steps leading starting point groups and adult small groups and all of these things." Because it combines both your gifts, the things that God created with you, and the things that you're most passionate about. It really is awesome.
I'm looking forward to checking it out, and I appreciate the work that you all have done to build the ministry that you're doing. My hope is to be able to show the introductory video to my leadership team either this evening or next Thursday evening. Right now we're meeting with our architect every Thursday evening. But every other Thursday, we have just the leadership of the church meets, and on alternate weeks, the architect is here meeting with us. So I'm thinking that on those alternate Thursdays when the architect is not here ... Because I've really been emphasizing that we're not just building a building, we're also building the congregation. So I think that on those alternate Thursdays would be a good time to utilize these modules so that we're simultaneously ...
It may take us four years instead of two years to work all the way through the modules, because realistically, we are literally building the building as well as building the church community. We may be on the, it takes us two months to do what others may do in a month, but there's 25 of us as opposed to 100 of us. God is blessing us-
Yeah, I think you'll be surprised. Yeah. You don't know this about me, Karen, but before Jerry and I started doing 24toDouble, I actually did church construction consulting before this. I'd walk churches through that construction process. Here's what I learned. I had the opportunity to do a couple of rebuilds with churches that were going through similar, whether it was devastation from a natural disaster or ... I don't know if I worked on one with a fire. But here's the thing. Don't waste the crisis. 'Cause God works through this kind of disruption.
Yes, he does.
Jerry can attest to this. You build anything, it's gonna be disruptive in the life of your church. Don't waste it. Make sure that you leverage it. People will come and see the inside of your church just because it looks like something's going on. You need to be able to leverage that. God works through disruption left and right. This is a crisis that you can absolutely leverage to reach people that are far from God but right outside the doors of your church.
The other thing I would tell you, when you're meeting with an architect ... Money is first. Anybody listening to this, forever now, if you're listening live or on the podcast, money is first. God is with you, but money is going to matter. I would sit in meetings where ... We led the construction project. We were a design-build firm. I would bring the architect in. But I would sit in the meetings sometimes and the architect would say, "If God was with you and money wasn't an issue, what would you build?" That's a dangerous question in a church, because then you start dreaming outside of the bounds of the provision that God has given you. I'm just gonna tell you, if God can't do it inside of the provision he's given you, you can't do it outside it, either. Right? He can absolutely call the ministry he's called you to do within your margin.
Margin, that's why the average pastor that builds a church is only there two and a half years after that. It's because they don't adhere to financial principles as they move through it. If you don't know exactly how much money you can spend comfortably on a building, then you shouldn't be drawing anything yet. That's just Richard's ... I did that for six years. Every church I went into had designs for a building that they couldn't afford to build. Literally, Karen, every single church I went into had money that they had spent on a design that they couldn't build. They'd never be able to build it. So just keep that in mind as you go forward.
That felt a little harsher than I wanted it to be. I shouldn't say that right here at the end of that.
Oh, no. You're saying what-
Yeah. But it's important.
You're saying what our sectional trustees are saying and will say, as well. That's wisdom. Wisdom is important. I appreciate your sharing that. Yes.
Yes. Thank you. All right. Next question here.
Richard, just real quick, I wanna jump on something you said with Karen about not wasting a crisis. One of the things we teach about in 24toDouble is the four stages of organizational change, and that is storming, forming, norming, and performing. When I learned this ... Much like you said, after feeling your way through ministry and finally landing where you landed, and then you took our test and it told you ... This is kinda like the same light bulb moment for me, that any time you have change, it creates a storm. The people who say they want change are a part of that storm, because they don't know what change really is. All right? It's like you blow up what is there. That's step one, storming.
Then you start to form. You start forming things and things start to change just a little bit, but because it's not just right yet, we chicken out and we don't continue to push the change forward, so we go back to the old model. Then the old model doesn't work and we rehash all of that, and so we start another change. We think, "It was 24toDouble is why it didn't work. It was the wrong process." So we go get another program, and because all organizational change goes through storming, forming, norming, and performing, the same thing happens, so we're back in storm again. Long story short, that's why churches stay in conflict all the time.
What you have to do is you have to get through the storm. Things start to formulate as to what it's going to be like. Guys, in 24toDouble, it may be six or 12 months before it starts to really form into the new thing. Then it norms. Storming, forming, norming. It becomes normalized. "This is who we are now. This is what we're going to be now." Then stage four, performing.
Guys don't understand that. Pastors and leaders don't understand that you started the change because you wanted to get to stage four. You wanted to get to performing. But you can't get to stage four without doing one, two, and three. So buckle up. I don't mean to turn this boat like a speedboat. You'll hear me say 100 times, "Your church is a cruise ship, not a speedboat." I don't mean to create a storm that you don't have to. But organizational change will create its own storm, and you won't go from a storm into performing. That's skipping steps two and three.
It takes time. Utilize the crisis you're in. Keep preaching vision, keep telling people to picture what it's gonna look like when we get there so that they don't bail out too soon. And you, pastor, don't give up on it before you get there.
Yeah, that's awesome. Okay. We got a couple more questions in here. Let's keep moving. Let's see.
Hi, this is-
All right. Give us your first name. Hey. I'm sorry, go ahead.
Hi. Rebecca. Rebecca from New York, Grace Community Church. My situation is unique because we are a replant, so we have been going at changing, right, norming all of this for the last three years. Right now is when we really have hit the restart button.
We're mobile church. We have about 40 to 45 in attendance on Sundays when we meet at the hotel. We have about 20 volunteers. So just wanted to know ... For me, the most important thing that I want to get right is the assimilation process, right, the follow-up and care. We're working on the welcome committee, on the worship experience. We kinda have to build everything from the ground up, but as I said, we only have 20 people that are willing and able. I know it's a good number when you look at the ratio, right, but it's a smaller church. So I wanted to know, have you gotten churches with this number of people, and how has it played out? What would your recommendation be?
Yeah, Rebecca, we absolutely have had churches with 40 in attendance, and less, actually. The principles work no matter what the size is, because they're based on the teachings of Jesus.
One thing that works well for a smaller congregation is that we tend to be more nimble when we're smaller. One of our Daystar campuses right now is meeting in an elementary school. It's our smallest campus. We have the highest percentage of people that are on the dream team serving. Just like your ... Half of our congregation serves, too. You do have a family, a tight family, like us versus the world kinda feeling that I don't feel at our larger campuses. But when I'm at the smallest one, the newest one, it feels that way.
I think you have to accentuate that. You have to lean in to what's special and precious about that. But some churches will take an à la carte approach, and that is they'll say, "We're gonna skip the normal schedule and we're gonna jump over here to small groups, 'cause that's what we're passionate about. Then we're gonna jump over here to children's ministry, 'cause we don't have a good children's program." But especially the smaller the church, the more I feel it's important to follow the process as it's laid out. Depending on what level you bought in at, you may be able to go Module 1, 12, 14, 7 and just cherry-pick it. But the smaller the congregation, the more necessary it is that you follow step by step by step and don't try to do too much.
One of the things that I tell people all the time is, when you're starting off and you're a replant ... Which, by the way, is what Daystar Church was. It was a replant. It started with about 60 people when we replanted. But when you're a replant or a church plant, when you're starting off, you don't need to have everything else. Your people will give you a lot of grace. You don't have to have a youth group to start with. You don't have to have a choir. You don't have to have programs. There's a lot of things that people will kind of not even expect you to be able to do.
So what you can do, Rebecca, is maintain a level of excellence. Say, "We're gonna be at this level and we're gonna be excellent at it, and we're not gonna move on to doing something else until we get this level right."
First thing you gotta get right is that weekend worship experience. It's got to be excellent. It's gotta have a great atmosphere, which is created by first impressions and greeters. It's gotta have good worship, and it's gotta have good children's services, nurseries and children's church. And it's gotta have a good message. If you can get that part right, then you can move on to follow-up. Follow-up, very important that you get that right. But you don't have to throw it all out at one time. That's one of the things that I would say to a smaller congregation.
In terms of pacing ourselves, I know that you said don't rush into it. What's normal in terms of working out each module?
One module a month is how we want you to learn it. For instance, a vision component module might take longer. That's why it's 24 months and not 12 months. You could cram this into 12 months. But it's kind of laid out to where you'll revisit a lot of this that you focus on in year one. We'll revisit it in year two.
I encourage you to meet weekly, even though you're only looking at modules monthly. Meet weekly and get a game plan and a strategy of what you feel like you can work on. If you have to push back a month and you say, "We looked at first impressions at the beginning of the month, but we're not quite there yet. We're gonna rewatch it, or we're just gonna do some additional training." We have downloadable resources for you to train in things like spiritual gifts and otherwise. You can set your own pace at that level.
But I do believe that unless you have some major internal conflict, I do believe that you should be able to do this in 24 months and for the most part, roll out all 24 modules. May be some adjustment to ... You might have to slow down for one thing here or there. But it's been my experience with hundreds of churches, big and small, that one month at a time, you can roll this thing out.
My last question is, I know that you have the different roles per teams. So when you have a small group of volunteers, how does that work? Because you might not have all the people, like the leader, the encourager. I guess having the leader would be the most important one and then you fill as you go. How does that work?
It would be. The leader's the most important. However, the leader is the smallest percentage of spiritual gift testing that you're gonna find, is leader. That's kind of disappointing that you need the leader most of all and you don't find a leader.
We'll tell you that in places that you don't have an administratively gifted leader, put a teacher, someone who has the gift of teaching, in their place and roll it out that way. You will find out that you have people serving on multiple teams, and that's okay. Early on, you'll have to do that for a while.
Yeah. That's how we are right now.
Sure. In our smaller campuses, we still have that same thing going on. But don't go so far that you spread your team so thin that your people are overworked. Stick with a standard of excellence. If we don't have enough people to roll out the next team that's on our radar, let's just keep working on what we do have. 'Cause if you've got a recruiter in place, and if you've got your pastor's breakfast in place, that pastor's breakfast is going to be rolling out new volunteers weekly. And even in a small church, you would hope at least monthly there'll be a new volunteer or two or three. So you build it that way. If you stretch your people too thin, you lose the momentum. You don't have the right culture that you want.
I would focus on the things that matter the most, and what replicates and builds new volunteers is that pastor's breakfast. So emphasize that early on.
Thank you very much.
Hey Jerry, we've got three more questions here, so we're just gonna take three more questions, if you guys don't mind. If you're not in the queue, you missed it. Okay, so let's dive into the next question here.
Hello, my name is Antonio. I'm in Bakersfield, California. I called I think maybe two or three sessions ago. My question I have is, we're a medium-sized church, 300 in attendance, in a building that can hold 1,000 at least, maybe 1200. We had our first meeting planning for Easter. But at the same time, because we're dealing with financial ... We have a mortgage, so we're dealing with financial challenges. I was wanting to do a fundraising as well. Should I not do the fundraising and just concentrate on Easter, or is it okay to do both? I was thinking about maybe just doing ... I was looking up some things. It was like "Give It Up" or something where you give to God, just for the month of March and April during Lent period. Anyway, just wanted to get your advice on that.
Hey, can I ask if you ... Do you have your blinker on? Ah, you [crosstalk 00:54:16].
I do. It should be going off. Sorry.
I think we're good now.
I'm driving. I'm headed to a meeting. Sorry about that.
That's all right, man. I'm glad you're on board with us. I know everybody's busy.
So yeah, you can do that, Antonio. You can raise funds. Some people will have a big sacrifice Sunday, just a big push on Easter. That's thousands and thousands of dollars, tens of thousands, come in on Easter, and you lead into it with a sacrifice emphasis.
The one thing I would say is, the number-one turnoff to first-time guests and non-church people with churches is money issues. So if you have a big offering or if you're pushing towards some kind of a fundraiser stewardship-type program, you've gotta be incredibly intentional on Easter to let those people know, "Here's why we're doing this. The why is people. The why is your family. The why is we believe that the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ is the best thing that could happen to your family, and so the whole reason we are doing this offering is, man, we just wanna reach more people. Your coworkers, your family, your children. And oh, by the way, if you're a first-time guest, we don't want anything from you. This service is our gift to you. You don't need to give us anything. But please give us your name so we can be praying for you. Fill out that connect card and we'll be praying for you." You wanna use that kind of language so that they know you're not into their money. You wanna win their hearts. When you win their hearts, you'll get their pocketbook also. But you wanna not focus on the money, so you wanna be real careful about that.
But hey, sometimes if you've got a mortgage on a 1200-seat auditorium ... By the way, I've got one. I've got a mortgage on a 1200-seat auditorium. Sometimes you've gotta do some things to raise those funds. I think you can fight two wars at one time for sure.
All right. Thank you. I'm gonna take that advice. I appreciate it so much. Appreciate you guys. You guys [inaudible 00:56:13].
Thanks for your question.
Thanks, Antonio. All right. Hey, give us your first name and church name.
Hi there. It's [inaudible 00:56:26]. We're here from New Zealand, St. James Presbyterian Church.
Nice to meet you.
Yeah, same. Same. We've just bought the 15-day trial, and I've shown the video of Jerry ... What's it called? Answering the question of what is 24toDouble is about. The elders and myself were just wondering where to go from here, whether to involve the whole congregation to have a buy-in, whether to go ahead with the 24toDouble or not. So something along those lines, whether we just nudge it out ourselves, or to involve the whole congregation. It's a very small congregation. There's four elders plus myself, and 34 other adults, so just under 40 adults in our congregation.
To answer that question, first of all, welcome aboard. I'm glad you guys are checking 24toDouble out. I would say in a congregation like that, you are right. In other words, your congregation is perfectly the size to foster a family unity approach and say, "New Zealand, our community, our city needs the gospel. They need a strong ... St. James Presbyterian Church needs to be strong. So we need everybody. We need to link arms and we need everybody."
I would try to put together, as I've mentioned to some of these other pastors who've called in, a weekly session where one time a month, you listen to my teaching, and the other three times, you talk about how to flesh it out in your own environment. You as the leader, you wanna lay out a lot of vision and talk about a lot of why. There's a lot of whats you can talk about. "We need to fix this. We need to change this. We need to do ..." But talk more about why. Talk about the lost sheep, the Prodigal Son, the need for the gospel in your part of the world.
That's what I would do. I would try to involve everyone. If you have a Sunday night or a Wednesday program that is easy for the people to get to, just take it over and make it Team 24 or whatever rally cry you wanna give to it, and get as many people there as you can.
Right, right. No, thanks for that. The other question I have is coming from the background of being a very traditional church, and we've tried many different models of church, including with just experimenting also with the Purpose Driven church model by Rick Warren. My elders were asking me, "What will this 24toDouble do that will be different from the other models that we've tried before?" I showed them the seven modules that 24toDouble has to offer. Some of them were excited and some were not convinced. So how do I go about pointing them forward to say that this 24toDouble will help us, perhaps even to conflate it with the Purpose Driven church model? Or should I just go with one, not both?
I would say this. The Purpose Driven Life and Rick Warren's church has had a great influence on me. I feel like 24toDouble takes it to the next level in that it's holistic. Whereas Purpose Driven Life and that Purpose Driven church model is incredible philosophy that I adhere to, this is specific nuts and bolts of how to make it happen. At the core of it is something that I've never seen a church growth model ever put in place. The core of it is finding your spiritual gift uniqueness and mirroring it with what you're passionate about. That's not just the church or the leader, but it's every single person on your volunteer team.
That's where I think 24toDouble is beautifully unique, in that you're gonna help every person find their purpose. We tell people, "Where your spiritual gift meets your passion is your destiny." That's why Purpose Driven Life is the second-best-selling book in the history of the world, is it leans into everyone's natural desire to know their destiny. So that's what we tell people, is, "We're gonna show you through the pastor's breakfast, through the inventories that we take, the spiritual gifts and passions inventory ... We're gonna show you where you fit not only in this church, but in God's kingdom." That's what's very special and unique about it.
Excellent. Thank you very much. I will try and run with that.
Okay, I'll be praying for you guys. Welcome.
Thanks so much.
All right. Last one here, Jerry.
Hello. Yes, my name is Drew Johnson. I'm lead pastor at Church of the Bay down here in League City, Texas. Can you guys hear me?
Oh yeah, we got you, Drew.
Okay. I just wanted to let everyone know this works. If you have any reservations, any questions ... I'm a third-generation pastor, and we planted this church. It was a replant. I think I heard someone say that earlier. It was a struggle. It was real hard. We replanted this two years ago. As soon as we started 24toDouble, I was looking online. I was just looking at some YouTubes and I found Dr. Owen Weston. He was talking about this, and it led me to the whole program. We started last year. We've already doubled. Already doubled.
We started in the summer of last year and we've already doubled. So this works.
You doubled in less than a year.
Yes, sir. Yes, sir. We were at 40 and now we are 120.
God's good. We're in a facility that's 2200 square feet, and we're looking to get the two spaces that are next to us, which will give us 4675. God is just good. God has given us favor in the city. I owe it to God and, of course, this program, this model. I've tried many models. I was a ARC plant, but I didn't get the resources in terms of financial. I got a lot of their resources in regards to the trainings and things of that sort. I've been to Grow with Chris Hodges. Those are some really, really great resources.
But 24toDouble, hands down. Hands down. Because it walks us through how we should bring a person in and assimilate them with a easy process, with the pastor's breakfast. The first time I let my wife do it last week, because I had another meeting to go into with some other leaders that I'm training. It's just been phenomenal. Phenomenal.
So thank you guys so much.
Thanks for getting on and saying that, Drew. That makes our day, and hopefully that helps some of the other pastors that are hearing this. It's one thing for us to say we got a pretty baby, but it's another thing for somebody else to say that.
A lady on the call earlier was saying, "Hey, will this work in a church this size?" I would say that probably 50% or more of the churches that we partner with at 24toDouble start in that 40 to 70 range. We talk to a lot of pastors that are probably 25 to 70 in the starting point. It's awesome.
Hey, let me ask you this, Drew. Are you in a retail facility? You're not in a building, right?
Yes. yes, we're [crosstalk 01:05:02] retail-
[crosstalk 01:05:02] ... That's a great way to plant and grow a church, because it takes a lot of the risk out of it. Because when you build a building on raw land, you don't know what's in the ground. There's so many variables that you just don't understand. If you buy and renovate a building, you know exactly what you're getting, number one. Number two, most of the time, you can ... I helped a church buy a building in Athens, Georgia. I think we bought 110,000 square feet. They now own 250,000 square feet. They own an entire shopping center. I helped them buy the first 110,000 square feet. We bought it for $1.2 million. Four years earlier, it sold for $6.6 million. The economy had gone down and all that kinda stuff.
Here's the bottom line, is if you're looking to expand your church and you're not looking at retail spaces around your town, you may be missing out on an incredible opportunity for space.
But anyway. I hijacked your thing there. Hey, thanks so much for that testimonial. Did you have a question, too, Drew? Or just a testimonial?
No, I just wanted to testify and let everybody know, keep it simple. Listen to Richard. Listen to Jerry. As a matter of fact, I listen to them still all the time. I just keep it going. If I'm working out, I have it playing in my ears. Dr. Owen Weston, Jerry Lawson, Richard. I just keep it playing all the time. So I come out looking like I'm a genius. People think I am a genius, I'm telling you. But it's because I have these guys playing in my ears all the time. I buy it hook, line, and sinker. It works.
I did want to testify and let anybody know, whoever was in the valley of decision, get this. Do this. It works.
That's awesome. That is a great way to end the day, too. Thank you, Drew, for that testimonial.
Just to remind you, Easter's coming. Don't let it sneak up on you. Number two, if you need to log in to the membership site and can't find it, you'll find it at 24login.com. Hey Jerry, thanks so much for today. I may have actually turned off the hold button. Yeah, that's what that does. You got anything you wanna say in signing off, Jerry?
No, man. Great to talk to all you guys. Man, it's just a great list of churches from all over the country and outside of the country, so glad you guys are all a part of the 24toDouble family. We're praying for you and we'll talk to you in about a month.