Multi-site Exposed 4

munsonThe fourth session of Leadership Network’s Multi-site Exposed conference was a break-out with multiple options.  I went to one on the story (with a focus on multi-site) of Mars Hill with Mark Driscoll and Jamie Munson.  After a recent restructuring to increase the effectiveness and outflow of ministry at Mars Hill, Munson is the Lead Pastor (and Executive Elder and President) and Driscoll is the Preaching Pastor (and Executive Elder and Vice-President).  I noticed from this and from the beginning of the session, that Driscoll has driscollbecome a great leaders because he has developed and deployed young leaders who he can fully trust.  I’ve got a ton of notes and ideas from the session, so here they are.  Please remember that some of this I heard and some of this I just thought up, much of this material did not come from what Munson or Driscoll said, it was synthesized through my brain and then came out like this:

  • Right away I noticed that Driscoll was using his social capital to empower Munson.  He deferred leadership to Munson and didn’t speak until 15 minutes into the session.
  • Munson fits the typical Mars Hill elder profile: saved at MH and went through the leadership pipeline.  also, there seems to be some social capital within the culture of MH to be able to say you came to MH when the number of attenders was lower.  For example, someone who came when there were 80 people has more inherent social capital than someone who came when there where 800.
  • Mars Hill Shoreline meets at a Christian School.  Great set-up if there are Christian schools in your target community for planting a new site.
  • For MH, multi-site was a reactive strategy that changed them for the better.  So much so that it has now become a pro-active approach to increasing effectiveness and outflow of ministry.
  • Mars Hill Underground: How are you utilizing the resources we are creating?  A great question for church leaders to ask members.
  • Death by Ministryfrom the ReSurgence
  • How can the church have spring training?  Some minor league guys need to be cut and, if not given great roles, great young guys are going to leave to other teams.
  • Both Driscoll and Munson carry a little black book to write down ideas for later.  This is a great an easy step for a leader to create a culture of innovation.
  • change, not medicate
  • develop a home library; as you develop and deploy younger leaders, your presence should not be needed as much at the office.
  • Preaching is the most important thing a church does.  You need a preacher that believes this.
  • MH employs a first among equals structure of leadership.
  • I wonder how much of the growth in MH (and in Living Hope) is caused by extremely gifted preachers?  Driscoll comments that all churches are built on the personalities of the leaders.  Small churches likely have leaders with small personalities.
  • Leaders must know the difference between a culture of innovation and a culture of permission.
  • MH leadership structure: Jesus>elders>deacons>members>guests>mission field
  • Driscoll believes that teaching teams (in a multi-site) only work with very similar giftedness or when the two teachers are radically different.  The church has been built on Driscoll’s pulpit.
  • at MH the campus pastors preach 10-12 times each year.  They choose their own topics.
  • Not giving the pulpit to support staff will degrade their leadership potential.  When a pastor is in the pulpit every single week he creates a ministry based on his personality.
  • Members who went to new campuses give twice as much as people at the original campus of MH.  They beleive this is because planting teams are on mission, while people who stayed at the original campus were there for the show
  • in order to maximize availble media, Driscoll now works his sermons into 5-7 minute thought chunks.  This format is easily distributablethrough YouTube, Facebook and itunes.
  • Leaders need to answer the question of what’s best for the church against the question of what’s best for particular individuals.  The goal is success in both, but tension is there all the time.
  • find a way to work around the guy who is always riding the emergency brake.
  • if you have to accomodate people when going through change you will end up with a half-broken system just like you began with.  People who insist on comprimise instead of consensus have got to be let go.
  • in change the question is not, ‘will you lose people?’ it is, ‘who will you lose?  If you chose to change you will loose old people and old opportunities.  If you choose to stay the same you will loose young leaders and new opportunities.
  • the mission can (frustratingly) become satisfying leaders if you let the leaders think they have a right to anything.
  • The best book on unity in senior leadership is Larry Osbourne’s The Unity Factor (“Churches don’t just grow, they change”).
  • Compromise reveals distrust and only gives the appearance of unity.  Thus, compromise leads to disunity and destruction.
  • Influence works by capacity of leaders.

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