Learning Lessons as a Congregation Leader

A lot has happened since I last wrote for Broadcast. In fact, my previous blog series, Learning Lessons as a Developing Leader, was almost two years ago. Since then the church I serve has gone through a lot of changes, and so have I. The biggest change being my transition to a congregation leader. So this next series is a brief reflection on that, which I hope will be encouraging.

FYI – I’ll use the phrase, congregation leader, as that’s my context, but feel free to insert your own language as suits your situation.

Brief Background

Before I begin reflecting I thought I’d focus this first article around the context of these recent developments and briefly fill you in on what has happened to Hope Church Worcester in the last two years.

Before COVID-19 we were two congregations with one leadership team that met on Sunday mornings and Friday evenings as Hope Central and Hope Encounter. We were gathering in a hired high school auditorium but had recently bought a city centre building through the incredible generosity of our people. As lockdowns were easing and we were eventually able to regather, our elders felt the Lord’s call to occupy our new building, called The Granary, but with a few changes. In preparation for our first gathering, our elders, leadership team, and apostolic friends discussed the God-inspired opportunity to restructure ourselves for this new season in anticipation of growth and fruit for the future.

At this point in the discussions, I was asked if I would like to establish a core team to lead a new congregation. We were going to reorganise and become one church with three congregations; but each congregation having its own Core Team. Different leadership teams, different sermon series, different serving teams, different worship vibe, different people, different hosts. Yet, with the same doctrine, elders, vision, values, culture, and building. Here was a new wineskin for a new wine that would produce fresh opportunities to have what we as one church hold together but expressed in different ways. Along with this included the chance to recognise, raise and release new gifts, leaders, and influencers unique to our separate congregations. So not so much multi-site, but rather multi-gatherings.

So now it’s been two years since that time and here I am writing in reflection on all that’s happened. Granted two years isn’t very long, but it felt long enough to be able to reflect, yet short enough to know there’s much more to learn!

As you’ll read in upcoming posts, developing more sites or congregations or gatherings may be incredibly challenging, but it also provides a load of opportunities for growth, taking responsibility and serving in new ways.

That being the background, the next article will kick off with looking at what was probably the area that saw the most changes, and taught me the hardest lessons, establishing a core team.