Values influence behaviour and decision making – both implicitly and explicitly. They are essentially the personality of an organization, or in this case regarding mid-size communities, the personality of a movement.

If these six BELONG core values are embraced in your mid-size community, then you will not only find your mid-size community to be a place of community and mission, but you will discover that others will be irresistibly attracted to your mid-size community.

What do you think? Would you change anything about these six BELONG values?

MSC Core Values

While I was reading The Next Evangelicalism, which is a must read for every North American church leader, I was deeply impacted with the profound truths that Rah put forth regarding the current state of our churches and the way forward (Click here to read my review of the book)

Like Rah, I am a second-generation Korean immigrant, the only difference is that I am Korean-Canadian, and not American. As a result, for the past 10 years, I have been reflecting on issues of ethnicity and the second generation, but I have never heard someone state the importance of my experience and the potential of my role quite like he has. For example, “in the next evangelicalism, the second generation, with their unique ethos and strength…will be the ones best equipped to face the next stage of the church” (181). Continue Reading…

Soong-Chan Rah is the Milton B. Engebretson Assistant Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. He has experience in church planting, as well as campus ministry experience. He also serves on several boards, such as the Catalyst Leadership Center, and he has involvement across many organizations, such as the Boston Ten-Point Coalition. His upbringing as a Korean American second generation immigrant is deeply reflected in his life work as portrayed in this book.

The thesis of this book is that Christianity, in the United States, needs to be released from the captivity of the white, Western American culture, in order for the gospel to spread effectively into the future. Rah accomplishes this feat by organizing his book into three different sections.

Continue Reading…

Why I’m Getting Ordained

November 10, 2013 — 1 Comment

Growing up in a Korean Presbyterian church, I was always starkly aware of the difference between an ordained pastor and a non-ordained pastor. In Korean, it’s the difference between being a Moksanim and a Jundosanim. The difference is so stark that you are almost, in a sense, involved in child’s play until you become an ordained pastor.

It wasn’t until I responded to this call to ministry that I began questioning the whole matter of ordination. Why did it bother me so much that Koreans were calling me a non-ordained pastor? Why did they treat me very differently from the ordained pastors? Why would their mood and attitude towards me shift once they discovered that I wasn’t ordained?

Yes, I understand that in Acts 13 the church set apart Paul and Barnabas for the work of ministry, and then prayed for them and sent them off. And I also understand the whole concept of the priesthood in the Old Testament and their required role for the Israelites.

But what about the call in Ephesians 4 to the whole church? That “grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift?” That God has given EACH OF US a calling and a measure of grace to do the work that God has set out for us?

I guess what bothered me about this ordained and non-ordained distinction was that it felt like the plain wasn’t level.

Continue Reading…

From my research and years of leading mid-size communities, coaching others, and forming them, here are my top 10 insights to successfully launch and grow mid-size communities:

10. Plan your gathering schedule 3-4 months out at a time.

9. Meet bi-weekly with your leadership team to have a meal where you are discipling one another, rather than a meeting where you are planning together.

8. Share resources, lessons, and email template ideas with other mid-size community leaders.

7. It’s better to delay the launch date of your mid-size community than starting it with a thin or small leadership team.

6. The gathering focus of your mid-size community (affinity, geography, or societal need) becomes your mission focus.

5. Don’t create rules to obtain behavior; instead, be a cultural architect that shapes an ethos, which leads to your desired behavior.

4. Inclusivity and smaller groups meeting in the off weeks are key factors for depth and growth.

3. Don’t let attendance become your success factor. Instead, look for vital behaviors that you can control to measure success. In other words, create a dashboard for health.

2. A clear mission focus for your mid-size community will keep it on track and ensure that it does not become a lame social gathering without purpose.

1. The health of your leadership team determines the health and longevity of the mid-size community.

What are your thoughts?