One of the greatest joys of church planting is the search for new answers and new ideas. At Compass Point we learned a long time ago that when you stop searching you stop learning. When you stop learning you stop growing. When you stop growing you die. We check out EVERYTHING…and I do mean everything. We negate nothing until we have thoroughly researched it. We don’t care if it’s an idea or strategy from another church, denomination or organization…we check it out. It doesn’t matter if it’s an Emergent church idea or a senior adult ministry at an 200-year-old church…we check it out. We do not care if the idea comes from a Fortune 500 company or a mad-axe murderer…we check it out. Anything that can possibly help us achieve the vision that God planted in our hearts…we check it out.
In my previous post I talked about how we tossed out the whole Purpose-Driven church concept because it didn’t make sense to us. We only did that after going to a Purpose-Driven church conference, reading the "ancient text" several times through and sitting down with several Purpose-Driven church pastors. It wasn’t that the ideas and concepts of Purpose-Driven were not good, they just weren’t very effective in reaching younger, artsy-based 20-somethings. Therefore, we decided to move in another direction. We reached that conclusion only after we did extensive research.
Because of my Crap-O-La posting back in January, some readers of this blog think I have a thing against Tony Morgan or Granger Community Church. Nothing could be further from the truth. I didn’t like a list he was a part of, it doesn’t mean I negate everything he does, blogs or says. The truth be told, Granger, Tony and the other Strategic Stuff folks have been a HUGE influence on Compass Point.
While not everything from Granger was a home run for us, several of the ideas and concepts in the Strategic books have been put into practice at Compass Point…with some tweaking, of course. While we don’t make a fuss over guests (more on this in a later post), the First Impressions book has some really great concepts about hospitality that were helpful to us in the early days. While we found most of their sermon graphics to be complete cheese…some of the tools, hardware and software they used to create them has been utilized by Compass Point from day one.
The biggest influence that Tony and Granger has had on us is in the area of staff leadership. When they first made their office forms available for purchase and download, we jumped on them. They are…by far…the best collection of church business/staffing forms on the market. Better than the free stuff from North Point and WAY BETTER than the crap being sold (for stupid amounts) by Fellowship. They provide great insight into the structure of a very effective staff (Granger’s) and establish a starting point for developing your own structure or forms. If Compass Point had just dismissed the Granger resources as being from a modern mega-church with very little in common with us, we would have missed out on some tremendous resources!!!
I guess the point of this post is to say…never just toss out an idea, concept or direction in church planting/leadership until you have thoroughly researched it. There is a nugget of gold in almost everything out there today. It may take some innovation and creativity to make it a reality in your church…but it’s out there. Look at everything, test the waters, pray over it, be guided by your individual vision and then utilize what you can. The greatest form of flattery is to take something someone else did and tweak to fit your situation.