The REVEAL conference came about after Willowcreek took a deep look at whether they were really helping people grow closer to Christ. They created a survey that helped measure people’s hearts instead of gauging their spiritual growth by their outward involvement.
Over 500 churches took the survey and it has helped hundreds of churches make course corrections in how they disciple adults. We went to learn how this tool might help Stillwater improve our structures & systems.
- Our goal is to catalyze how people truly grow closer to Christ
- It’s all about love. Love of God and love of people
- How do you measure someone’s heart?
- It would be nice to scan people’s hearts as they enter sanctuary, but we can’t. So we create services, teach classes, do small groups, extend care and serve. We tend to think if we get people participating in those activities, then we’ve produced more disciples.
- We think through the lens of activity
- But people who are minimally involved can have huge hearts for people while those very involved can have a small heart for God
- It’s about intimacy, not activity
There are four kinds of people in our churches…
- Exploring Christ – I believe in God but I’m not sure about Jesus
- Growing in Christ – I’m working on what this all means
- Close to Christ – I depend on Jesus daily for guidance
- Christ-Centered – Jesus is the most important relationship in my life
- Most people go to conference so they’ll have affirmed what they’re already doing. This conference will encourage you to overturn the apple cart at your church. Are people truly growing closer to Christ?
- They found that engagement with the Bible most often helped people move forward
- What do we do that helps people move from minimal engagement to maximum engagement with the Bible?
- Serving opportunities for brand new explorers help immensely
- The toughest chasm for people to move from is Close to Christ to Christ-Centered
Top 5 Findings from REVEAL study:
- Reading & reflecting on the Bible is the most powerful catalyst for individual spiritual growth
- Developing core Christian beliefs is crucial for those in the early stages of spiritual growth
- Personal spiritual practices are the building blocks for a Christ-centered life
- Serving is the most catalytic experience offered by churches
- Spiritual community is vital and migrates from Organized to Organic
What do people want from the church?
- Help me understand the Bible in greater depth 87%
- Help me develop a relationship with Christ 86%
- Provide strong programs for children 85%
- Challenge me to grow and take next steps 83%
- Provide compelling worship services 80%
David Loveless from Discovery Church in Orlando
- If you don’t reinvent your church every 3-5 years, you’ll be irrelevant in the 21st century
- Help people evaluate where they are
- Your people should be able to draw your discipleship map and explain it to others
- Senior pastor must drive the survey – if they buy in, everyone else will too
Difference between Good & Great Reveal Churches
- Get people moving – set high expectations – give obvious first steps
- Embed the Bible in everything & everyone – accessible through classes, online
- Create ownership – body of Christ – train people to lead & disciple others
- Pastor the local community – figure out needs of community & meet those needs
- Bottom line is a leader who is consumed with making disciples
Weekend Worship Experiences
- Many people are bored with their current spiritual experiences when they walk in our doors
- If we’re to get the weekends right, it starts with us getting in the authentic presence of God
- Make it accessible to people, no matter where they are in their journey
- How can we facilitate moments of cooperation with the Holy Spirit?
- Worship is not about observing God, it’s about experiencing God
- People will know if the leadership does worship just to do it or if it’s authentically who they are
- In worship, we honor God, the Bible, and people
- Worship is taking people from the front porch to the altar
- Worship leaders are on a platform, not a stage. Stages are built for performance. Platforms are built for influence.
- Are you providing an atmosphere where as many people as possible can have an experience with God?
- (Front of Tshirt) I don’t go to church (Back) I am the church
- Cancel worship services sometime and send people into community to be the church
- Give the church away – give power away
- Sometimes we think if we just meet people’s needs, they’ll become disciples
- We can become enablers
- We admire Michael Phelps, but we’re not his disciples
- An admirer approves, a follower obeys
- Jesus taught to 2 groups in Matthew – one group was impressed with Jesus, the other group felt something deep in them awaken and say, “I could do that, I can help, I must do this”
- We’re trying to move people from an admirer of Jesus to a follower – requires a cost many don’t want to pay
- The process to knowing Jesus in the NT: Strangers to Jesus –> Admirers –> Users (use Jesus to get to heaven and that’s it) –> Followers
- The New Testament uses the word Christian twice – uses disciple 268 times
- It’s easier to make a Christian than a disciple
Three Kinds of Faith
- Public convictions: Things I say because I want you to think I believe them
- Private convictions: Things I actually say I believe, but when situation changes, I didn’t actually believe them
- Core convictions: Things I believe by what I actually do
- In Jesus, all three of these match
and done. 🙂