Kindred Spirits . . .

Do you ever meet someone who you feel like you’ve known for years?  Do you ever bump into a group of people who seem to asking the same questions and attempting the same stuff?  I totally had that happen today!

A friend of mine, Jim Tomberlin, works helping churches multiply their impact.  Jim is a pioneer, visionary leader, and a lot of fun to hang out with.  So when he asked me to spend a day with him it was easy to take the day to do that.

Anyways . . . today I was with the leadership team of an incredible church in New Jersey called Liquid Church.  As I was sitting around the table I was thinking . . . I wish I could have my leaders sitting here and listening to this group.    They launched a year ago with 400 people and today they are around 1200 on Sundays – not in the Bible belt – but in New Jersey (insert Sopranos joke here)!  Incredible growth on the surface . . . but it was some of the "below the surface" stuff that impressed me most.

In talking with Lauren, their groups guru, I found out that just over 1/3 of their adults are in groups.  That’s fantastic when you consider that means they’ve added hundred and hundreds of new people while their weekend attendance is exploding.

Mike, their lead "get it all done" dude, was telling me about the commitment of their set up team.  This might sound familiar . . . 3 transport trailers full of gear every Sunday – the majority of the team rolls in at 5:30 am.  They start so early that some of the team actually sleeps over at the hotel they meet at!

Tim – their "Carey" – I was very impressed with.  Can I be honest?  I would think if the church I was pastoring grew by 300% in 12 months my head would be huge.  (Can I be a little too honest?  I’ve met pastors who churches aren’t growing anywhere that fast who’s heads are huge.)  But Tim is a down to earth dude.  (Although he does have really big hair.)  It was my privilege to watch his interactions with his team – showing so much respect and care for the team.  Not a sense of "this is all about me".  Quality dude.  I think God is going to use that humility.

Dave serves as their Executive Pastor . . . A solid guy who has left the marketplace to throw his leadership behind this church.  He serves as the CFO . . . and is the guy standing up driving the vision and saying "let’s go farther, faster!"   

I wish you could have been here today (although fitting a few more dozen people in the room would have made it tight!).  I count it a privilege to interact with leaders like this.  If your ever in NJ – drop by Liquid.  If you are looking for a podcast to follow – tune in!

Rich Birch
rich.birch@connexuscommunity.com
Executive Director of Operations
Connexus Community Church

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