The heart of the leaders at this 150-year-old legacy church has always been to love the community they were in. However, other than loving people, there was no clear strategy for growth and impact.
The church has been running ChurchOS since 2017. Prior to that, they did IC’s Lap One course, which affirmed their belief that IC could help them grow.
What problem they needed to solve
The First Baptist Church team was siloed with members having their own agenda/vision instead of being aligned and integrated. There was also no system in place for ministry evaluation.
What they thought of IC’s process
IC’s back to basics approach resonated with the staff and gave them clarity about their roles as shepherds and leaders. Having the pistons of the Great Commission Engine explained visually gave them a mental image of what they were trying to integrate.
What their biggest learnings were
1. Baseline for evaluation: Understanding the vision for multiple impact and how the pistons work together changed things for the team. They now have a baseline for how to evaluate.
2. Maximizing the weekend experience: The ‘site to seat’ concept has changed their notion of the weekend experience. They no longer focus only on the 60 minutes but cover everything from the website to the seat and back home again.
To make campus visits pleasant for visitors, they improved navigation and refined the language used in announcements, songs, etc. As a result, the church saw an increase in the retention of visitors.
3. Tapping latent volunteers: There were a lot of unutilized volunteers who were willing to serve but hadn’t been asked. The church created a and started inviting people to serve. It was such a success that staff roles now include recruiting, training, and motivating volunteers.
4. Identifying the ONE: This was a struggle as they wanted to be a church for all people. After intense debate, they reframed the ONE and . If it worked for the ONE, it would create ripple effects for everyone else.
5. Taking simple steps: Asking the question, “Can this work for the ONE and his family?” helped the team make important decisions on how they talked and what they were doing. They integrated some simple experiences to to help the ONE move inward.
Where their church stands now
1. Team unity: What’s most important is the unity of their executive team. They also bring others into the departmental meetings on a rotation basis to hear what they’re doing.
2. Common language: Having a common language about what they’re trying to accomplish has been paramount. They were not all speaking the same language before but are now aligned.
3. Cross-functionality: The church team has been trying to integrate cross-functionality through departmental meetings. This representation of voices speaking into things helps them to pull and row in the same direction.
4. Measurement: They now have a dashboard centered around the Great Commission Engine. The biggest number they’re looking at now – which they didn’t before – is new family check-ins and the retention of those kids. That has been the best indicator for the church.
5. Multiplying Kingdom impact: First Baptist Church is actively implementing ChurchOS beyond its walls by planting and training other churches to activate the Great Commission.