Speakers: Jim Wideman & Reggie Joiner
Title: Exposing Half-Truths: The Strategy Wars
  • There are many competing voices about discipleship strategies.
  • A half-truth is any truth that once divorced from the original truth, loses it’s meaning.
    • Our tendency is to lean to one half-truth or another instead of accepting both as truth.
    • Tension makes a difference and it’s important to keep the tension between the 2 truths.
    • Any coin that has one side is a counterfit. If you only have one side of the truth, its a counterfit.
  • There is tension between the home and church as spiritual leadership.
    • Is it the home?
    • Is it the church?
    • Is it both?
  • Parents and Leaders both are responsible for leadership, but the leaders are responsibile for the tension.
    • 2 combined influences have greater tension (strength) than 2 influences that are separated.
  • Another tension is between ourselves as Shepherd vs. Leader.
    • Everything you need to learn about being a leader is not necessarily in the Bible.
    • All truth is not in the Bible, but the entire Bible is true.
    • There are things we must learn from others about leadership.
    • 1 Peter 5 says to feed the flock of God as an overseer.
      • If you’re doing all the work, you’re not an overseer.
      • To be the leader you need to be, you must be a shepherd and a leader.
  • Strategy vs. Mission
    • Just because you have a mission doesn’t mean you have a successful strategy.
    • You will be successful at your mission because you have created a successful strategy.
    • You can’t have one without the other.
  • Ministry Area vs. Ministry Area
    • There is a tendency to think our ministry area is most important.
    • We tend to think our budget is most important.
    • When we create “Silos” in our ministry (ministries do not crossover or communicate) we create something that will be detrimental to the people in our church.
      • If others on your staff are creating silos, then you take the initiative to tear them down.
  • Insiders vs. Outsiders
    • Discipleship isn’t making people who believe in Jesus believe more in Jesus.
    • Discipleship is finding people who don’t follow Jesus and getting them to follow him.
    • When children are with leaders, they all come from different backgrounds and are all in different places, but they all matter.
      • Help them take the next step, whatever that is for them.
    • The only difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is Jesus.
      • God’s message is life-changing for everyone and can be applied to each situation.
    • We must be looking to reach insiders and outsiders.
      • It takes more intention to reach outsiders because they aren’t there (we don’t see them all the time).

Questions to ask:

  1. Which one of these sides is my church swinging the pendulum toward?
  2. Which one does my ministry swing toward?
  3. Which one do I swing toward?
  • Surround yourself with the right kind of people who are smart enough to ask difficult questions, are open-minded about strategy, and can help you view both sides of the tension.
  • Creative tension is healthy and will make the difference in your ministry if you value it correctly.
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GJ Farmer is a husband, a dad, the founder of ChildrensMinistryBlog.com, and is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in Somerset, Kentucky. He has completed a Bachelor’s degree in Church Ministries and a Master’s degree in Children’s Ministry. He has also been fortunate to lead and teach groups at children’s ministry conferences and to have had some of his writing published. Apart from working with kids, he enjoys reading, performing magic tricks, playing video games, and University of Kentucky basketball.