The funny thing about blogs is that anyone can look like an expert and appear to have millions of readers. This blog is no exception. On any given day I post about a myriad of things and topics…church planting, music, other bloggers, football, my life, humorous stories, current events and a bunch of other stuff. The truth is I am an expert at nothing and this blog only gets about 100 hits a day. Compared to folks like Tony Morgan or Mark Batterson…who get thousands of hits a day and speak at major conferences…I am nothing more than a pimple on the butt of church planting leaders.
However, over the last several months a strange thing has happened. People have been emailing or calling me asking for more information about how we do Compass Point. I find it weird and disturbing at times. It makes me wonder what kind of image I have portrayed to folks through my blog postings. Compass Point is not a modern, technology-driven mega-church. We are small, simple and do things completely different than what most church leadership conferences tell you to do. In essence, we are an experiment. Yet…even after explaining this to inquiring folks…they still seem intrigued by some of things we are doing.
Due to some recent conversations with the Compass Point Elders, some other bloggers and a couple of church planters, I’ve been encouraged to post some things about how we do church. I talked about doing this when I had my other blog, but then chickened out. This time…I must admit…I am willing do it because I’m getting a little tired of answering the same questions. It’s really cool that some folks seemed interested in what we do at Compass Point, but trying to respond to each individual email or phone call has been daunting.
In the effort of full disclosure, there are few things that I’d like the readers of this blog to know before I begin posting about Compass Point:
#1 – We are not a large church. Our numbers are still relatively small compared to other bloggers out there. What we do have is pretty amazing percentages. 83% of our folks never had a church home before Compass Point. 61% are involved in one of our small groups (the national average for other churches is around 30%). While we have attenders of every age group, the majority are younger 20-somethings that are very art driven. We do our best to run people off that come over from other churches. The hard-headed ones stay and usually find themselves in leadership at some point. 🙂
#2 – The Big Mo has just started to really move for us over the last three months. We started as a Bible study three years ago and have been meeting as an actual church for a little over two years. In that time we have seen steady growth, but we are just now getting to place where the momentum is beginning to really shift into high gear.
#3 – We thrive on being told something can’t be done or an idea we have won’t work. I guess it’s our bullish nature, but when we’re told that something has to be done a certain way, we normally head the other direction.
#4 – As I said before, we are an experiment. We are still becoming. We don’t have all the answers…in fact, probably very few.
#5 – We are neither a modern church nor an Emergent church. We are not Calvinists or Armenians. We are not conservative or charismatic. We just really despise labels. Compass Point is what it is.
#6 – We have begun to pull away from our denomination. I am a Southern Baptist ordained pastor. The Florida Baptist Convention provided many resources for us when we began. However, the Southern Baptist Convention has been doing some really stupid stuff lately that makes us all look like idiots to the world. While we love…and support…our local association (South Florida Baptist Association), we have very little to do with the state or national Southern Baptist Convention.
#7 – We have nothing against modern church techniques or mega-churches. In talking with 20-somethings, we have begun to realize that Purpose-Driven, modern church principle and techniques will not reach the coming generations. Those techniques and ideas still work for many churches reaching aged 30+ and are needed in church plants today. It’s just not for us.
#8 – The Compass Point way is not the way any other church should do things. It is what God led us to after many years of searching Scripture, praying, crying, working, etc. If readers of this blog want to experiment with some of these ideas, that’s cool. If you are expecting to take what I write here, apply it to your church situation and expect results…well…it ain’t going to happen. God will lead you and your church where it needs to go. I don’t know where that is, but copying what God has led Compass Point to do is definitely not it.
#9 – Church planting and leadership is hard work. A normal work week for me is 60+ hours. I’m bi-vocational (I substitute teach in middle school and high school) so I’m in a class room about 20 hours a week. The 60+ hours mentioned above is over and above my teaching job. I guess what I’m saying is that you have to work hard or things just don’t happen.
#10 – We screw up a lot. For everything we do right at Compass Point, we screw up ten things. As I said above, we are an experiment that is constantly pushing the edge of what is considered the norm in church planting. The point is that some of what I might blog here over the next several weeks could actually be a mistake. It’ll be a few more months down the road before we know for sure.
That’s about it, in a nutshell. The first post in this series will be sometime over the weekend or Monday. I’m going to try and blog straight through about Compass Point, with no postings about life, liberty or the pursuit of great music.