Now that the story has been told…it’s time to add a few final observations, comments and conclusions. I came close to not posting any of it for fear of offending friends, being too open, being seen as a negative person, people getting the wrong idea…and of other pastors trying copy what we are doing…thus perpetuating the clone cycle.
I want to make a few things perfectly clear…
- Compass Point is not a huge church. Most other pastors that blog are reaching thousands. Compass Point is reaching dozens and sometimes hundreds during any given week. We are not a success compared to what is seen as successful churches these days. That is fine with us…but might not be fine with you. We are reaching people that no other church in Lakeland is reaching…thus it means slow growth…but no overnight success. So I wanted to give full disclosure…nothing I wrote about will make you a megachurch in 30 days or less. I think it will eventually…but who knows?
- The things we are seeing in Lakeland…most other communities in America are not seeing (maybe they are and I just don’t know it). We are growing into a very large town…a bedroom community for Orlando and Tampa. Most of the folks here are blue collar workers, lower income white collar and artsy college students. What works for us will probably not work for you.
- The folks that we are reaching…and the numbers we are seeing…doesn’t look too good on paper or in denominational reports. But it sure is rewarding…and humbling.
- I have nothing against megachurches, modern worship technology or stool-sitting communicators. Those things are fine and work in many situations around the country. They didn’t work for us or our people…so we ditched them.
- While the leadership of Compass Point and I have limited the amount of input from other resources…it doesn’t mean we have completely cut them out of our lives. We still read books, check out blogs, hang out with other pastors, listen to podcasts and go to conferences. However, we make sure the resources more closely match the direction that Compass Point is moving and are affecting the kind of folks that Compass Point is reaching (more on that in a later post). God uses others to speak to pastors…it would be pretty dumb to ignore what other churches and pastors are doing.
- This is all still just an experiment. In the end we could be really wrong…and wouldn’t you look like the fool for following what God called us to do. 🙂
- There are a bunch of people going to Hell everyday. There are way better things to do than argue over what may or may not be the best church planting or outreach strategies out there. The purpose of the posts were to help others avoid the mistakes we made…convey what was working for us…but not to start some asinine online argument.
- So far the negative emails about the series have been criticizing my honesty. Look guys…church planting isn’t easy…and some days just stink!!! If you want cute, happy stories there are plenty of blogs out there that will pump sunshine up your skirt. This isn’t one of them. I love church planting…I love being a shepherd…I love being used by God…I’m having the time of my life right now….but I refuse to pretend that there aren’t difficult days…or that I know what I’m doing. If I knew what I was doing I wouldn’t have to worry about seeking God’s guidance everyday…and someone would ask me to speak at a pastor’s conference. 🙂
Now it’s time to move on…