Andy Stanley – Creating a Come-and-See Culture – Catalyst One Day

You are best advantaged as a leader when you spend time with people who think differently than you.

When I was young, Charlie Renfro mentored me, and he thought big.  He kept coming in and asking me, "What you working on big?"

Programming Culture, Ministry Environments

There is a way in which your church is nothing but a series of environments.  Every single week your environments are being evaluated.

If you have not clarified the win in every single environment, your people will come up with their own definition of a win.

One point of clarification: We are unapologetically an attractional model.  We will do anything to attract people because I have never seen an empty seat make a profession of faith in Christ.  I think it's very much a New Testament model.  So people say, "You're appealing to a consumer mentality."  And I say, "Yes, I am, because every human I have met is a consumer."  But before you get all spiritual, that's what Jesus did.  They did not follow Jesus because of his teaching.  You don't.  They certainly didn't.  He attracted crowds because he healed them.  Yes, there were some moving moments and people listened, but the thing that attracted the crowd was the miracles.  If I could do in the moment miracles, I would, but I can't, so we have moving lights and a band.  I don't care.  I don't apologize, whatever it takes to get people to come and come back.  The win in my service is that an unchurched man between the ages of 25 and 55 comes, likes it enough to leave and come back next week with a friend.

Ultimately, we want people to fall in love with Jesus, but you can't make people fall in love.  All you can do is arrange the date.

With that in mind, we stood back and asked the question, "What's an irresistable ministry environment for middle schoolers, high schoolers, young adults, small groups, etc."  And then we asked more generally the question, "What's an irresistable ministry environment in general.

Here's the three we came up with.  You might not like our three.  You may not care about our three.  I don't care.  I just want to prod you to go home and come up with your own with your team.  Every single ministry environment you create is being evaluated.  You know why people don't come back to your church?  They didn't think there was something worth coming back for. You owe it to your staff and you owe it to your team, because in your staff you have created some sort of environmental or programming culture.

  1. An appealing setting
    1. Setting - the physical environment
    2. Settings create first impressions.
    3. An uncomfortable or distracting setting can derail ministry before it begins.
      You have worked in your church for so long there are things you do not see anymore.  We have to figure out how to get fresh eyes on our ministry environments so we see our physical environments how outsiders see them.
    4. Every physical environment communicates something.
      There are no neutral environments.  A pastor friend of mine put Harleys in the lobby.  The guys stuck around and hung out.
      You walk in this room you feel like you're in a concert hall.

      1. Clean - We were expecting you, and we're glad you're here.  Your campus, if it's not clean, it communicates we weren't expecting anybody new.
      2. Organized - We're serious about what we're doing.  The eMyth, the first book I took my staff through, it's a book on franchising, "A business that looks orderly says to your customer that your people know what they are doing."
      3. Safe - Communicates that you value other people's children as you value your own.
    5. Design, decor, and attention to detail communicates what and who you value most.
      When you walk through the halls of this church, you get the impression this church values children. We want parents to think we love little Johnny.  Johnny doesn't notice any of that stuff.  Johnny only cares whether there are goldfish. If there are goldfish, he's in.
      I visited a really large church four years ago.  It had a great auditorium.  I talked them into giving me a tour of the children's area.  It was awful.
    6. Design, decor, and attention to detail communicates whether or not you are expecting guests.
      You need a parking lot attendant.  I don't are how big or small your church is.  It communicates you were expecting guests.
    7. Periodically, we all need fresh eyes on our ministry environments.
      There are two kinds of people in the world.  People who see a mess and people do not see a mess.  And you are one or the other.  If you do not see a mess, you need someone who does.  When you go home, look in the backseat of your car, and if you'd have to move a bunch of stuff around for someone to sit there, you might need someone else's eyes on your ministry environments.


    1. Are your ministry settings appealing to your target audience?
    2. Does the design, decor, and attention to detail of your environments reflect what and who is most important to you?
    3. What's starting to look tired?
  2. An Engaging Presentation
    1. Engaging presentations are central to the success of our mission
      1. Presenting the gospel is a primary responsibility of the church.
      2. "Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" is the unique responsibility of the Church.
    2. To engage is to capture one's attention.  It's not just what you say.  We're all speaking truth.  You have to present it in an interesting way.
      1. Information doesn't have to be unique or new, the presentation has to be good.  You don't go to a restaurant and get upset because they don't have unique meats.
    3. Generally speaking, it's the presentation that makes information interesting.
      David beats Goliath every time. There are always 10 commandments.  And they have the book at home.  You have to make it interesting.  You don't have to come up with unique information.  You shouldn't come up with unique information
      An audience's attention span is directly related to the the interest of the presentation.
      The reason comedians are funny is that they don't say anything unique.  They just say common things in a funny way.
    4. Engaging presentations require engaging presenters or an engaging means of presentations.
      We look for great presenters and great content creators.  We have people who are great at presenters but cannot create good content.  We have people who are great content creators but are not good presenters.  We take people we're not even sure we want around children... that's an exaggeration, give them a script, and they love getting up there and teaching kids.  We have teachers who are great content creators but don't want to present because they do it all week long.
      If we want great presentations, we've got to find great presenters.  If you're in charge of the children's ministry, you might not be a great presenter, you just have to find one.  No matter what it takes, if someone gets up in front of a group of kids, we want them to love the Bible more not less. Typically youth ministries teach what three things: The Bible is boring, God is boring, Church is boring.
      Every Sunday we spend millions and billions of dollars on creating services, but we're undermining our mission by not having engaging messages.
      If you are the senior leader of the church and you're not an engaging communicator, you have to find them.  You don't have to talk all of the time.  That's a model.  Don't spend one more day of your life boring people with a book that has the potential to change your life.
      The churches making a difference are the ones that have decided it's not about a personality, it's about getting it done.


    1. Is your culture characterized by a relentless commitment to engaging presentations at every level of the organization?
    2. Does your system allow you to put your best presenters in your most strategic presentation environments?
    3. Are your presenters evaluted and coached?
    4. Does your system create opportunites for your best content creators to partner with your presenters?
  3. Helpful Content
    It's not just was it true, was it helpful?

    1. Helpful = Useful
    2. Helpful content is content that directly addresses thinking and living.
      Every message should help someone think differently or live differently.
    3. Content should be stage-of-life specific.
      All Scripture is equally inspired, but it is not all equally relevant to every age and stage of life.
      We have 7 things we try to teach to our middle school and high school students.  That's what every camp and every group and everything does.
      You don't have time to teach the whole Bible.  You will die first, and people will leave your church.  You would have to teach such large chunks of it you wouldn't get anything out of it. Ask what people need to know.  If you want to teach verse by verse, fine, but it's got to be helpful.

      1. Information that does not address a felt need is perceived as irrelevant.
        It may not be irrelevant, but if it does not touch on a felt need, it seems irrelevant.
      2. Information that isn't perceived as useful is perceived as irrelevant.


        1. Is your content helpful?
        2. Do your content creators and communicators understand that the goals are renewed minds and changed behaviors?
        3. Is your content age and stage-of-life specific?

      Of every enviornment, program, and production, ask:

      1. Was the context appealing?
      2. Was the presentation engaging?
      3. Was the content helpful?

You have to define the win.

Posted at 4:55 PM on November 15th, 2012
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