Couple questions on the docket this week on BETA SHOW: Jeff, can you talk about ways that your attendees can engage that’s outside/beyond a physical location? // Really, THE biggie in light of seeing churches come back with 50% attendance is this: How can we reach new people while not meeting in person? I’m thinking we need to more than double, or it will feel too discouraging to come to a very small gathering.
Answering Your Questions: THE BETA SHOW
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ON THE SHOW
Q: Can you talk about ways that your attendees can engage that’s outside/beyond a physical location?
- Pastor, Don’t Be Upset People Aren’t in Your Building. Be Upset People Have No Spiritual Purpose When They’re Not in Your Building!
- The Goal is not the Building: It’s not physical. It’s not digital. It’s Disciple-making.
- Don’t push them to a building. Train them in evangelism & disciple-making.
- “We’re Already Doing This!?!” Pastor, ask yourself, really, is it working?
- Worship Services, Small Groups… Disciple-making training needs to be a third thing… Ed Stetzer
- Church, Let’s Use Covid To Get Our People Off Milk and Onto Solid Food.
- 1 Corinthians 3:2 - I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
- Hebrews 5:12 - In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!
- BETA: Run some test groups through a Disciple-making process. Test out a third thing, an intentional disciple-making initiative? Did it work?
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THE BETA SHOW Transcript
Jeff Reed (00:01):
All right. Hey, we are live here with Beta Episode 03, Beta Show. Once again, Jeff Reed here with TheChurch.Digital, Stadia Church Planting. I got Rey DeArmas jumping on here. Digital Pastor at Christ Fellowship Miami, Rey. You want to say hey to somebody.
Rey DeArmas (00:15):
It's so varied to be with you all a special shout out to, to a Tagaloa Dova I can't even pronounce his last name, starting quarterback for the Miami dolphins. We know you're watching so glad you were born.
Jeff Reed (00:26):
Yeah. To a well done, man. His stock rose quickly this week, and this is not a sport show, but when I see the dolphins, when it, when it was in a way game, too, right, it was an away game. 24 to nothing.
Rey DeArmas (00:35):
It was, it was our, it was against our hated rivals the jets, which has always, it was a home game whenever we can. But, God bless you. Miami Dolphins, God willing. You'll finally do something, right? We'll see.
Jeff Reed (00:48):
Guess what? It's the mommy dolphins. They'll find a point at some point this year, they're going to end up making me cry. So we are not going to talk about the Miami dolphins. We've got far better things to talk about here on the beta show upfront. Remember here with the beta show. We are quite literally answering your questions on, on digital church, online church, online ministry. So if you've got questions, go ahead and text us here. (484) 324-8724. It's literally number 4the-church. If you speak telephone, alphabet, that's awesome. Text your questions for us. I just, even this morning, I had somebody contact me with this incredible question. We'll tease it maybe at the end of the show, but we're going to get into that next week. As a matter of fact, the show, last week we had a question that popped up from, from Christian here in the conference, by the way, while we're doing this, if you're on Facebook, go ahead and comment your questions, your thoughts with us here, with the magic software that we're using here, stream yard.
Jeff Reed (01:48):
We're going to be able to put some of those con those comments here on the air. So go and do that. But Christian asked this great question. Can you talk about ways that your attendees can engage? That's outside, that's beyond a physical location. So we're feeling this tension. Every church across the country has we got to open up, we got to open up all these pastors are pushing towards getting back in the building, but 30% maybe are going back to the building and oftentimes it'll drop down before it drops before it goes up again. I don't know that I've heard anybody say a number over 50% right now that's attending. It's usually 30 to 40. And so how do we get that engagement to come back? As a matter of fact, another question was asked here in light of seeing churches come back with 50% attendance, is this, how can we reach new people while not in the building?
Jeff Reed (02:40):
And Ken Cavenaugh continues on. I think we need more to double than double what we're currently seeing, or it'll feel discouraging to kind of come back to that, that very small building. So we're trying to figure out how do we engage with people in, in the, in the digital space when they're not in the building to get a back into the building, if we're doing kind of this, this phygital approach here. And so Rey, just kind of hearing those questions, what, what thoughts kind of come to your head? Just an intro level.
Rey DeArmas (03:09):
Jeff, we were talking about this before we went live. And for many of us, we're going to have to kind of scrap what we had done before, even over the last few months and kind of take a pause and kind of rethink because in many ways we're relaunching again, we're kind of going at things from a new perspective. And if the goal is engagement and not necessarily attendance, then we have to ask ourselves, well, how can we get our people involved and not necessarily just attending? And so we have to really go beyond just Sunday and think about what, what are other times, what are the opportunities for folks to engage? Because many times we're still stuck in the mode of kind of like what you mentioned, Jeff here comes Sunday. We keep thinking about that over and over and over again. If that's our thought process in terms of building followers of Jesus, then obviously we kind of got a pause and I think many of us, even prior to this broadcast would have said that, but now we've got to ask ourselves practically, okay, are our people engaged and things like small group Bible ship, or assume you bought small group Bible study.
Rey DeArmas (04:01):
Are they engaged in those things? Are they engaged in, in reaching their community? Are you doing anything that allows a volunteer, not staff volunteers, are you providing opportunities for them to engage their community? Whether it's massed up some kind of socially distant manner that we've got to provide more than just Sunday opportunities for folks to exercise their spiritual gifts.
Jeff Reed (04:21):
I love that Rey. Man, I could listen to you talk like that all day long. Cause it, it feeds so well into what I wanted to say here, pastor, don't be upset. Your people are not in your building. Be upset. They have no spiritual purpose when they're not in your building. So much of Rey's talking about, about, about serving and, and, and being in the community, engaging with people like for me, this is the lesson of, of 2020, because the building stopped working. And when the building stopped working, we discovered honestly, and I don't mean this rudely. Many Christians didn't know what to do. Like they had so defined their Christianity by that one hour on Sunday, when that was taken a wave from them, Christians were walking around mean, without purpose, without figuring out how to exist, how to do things in that world, which, which honestly kind of brings up this, this point that I would say the goal is not the building.
Jeff Reed (05:19):
It felt like in this COVID season, the goal was, Hey, let's get back to the building as quickly as possible. And even still in this covert season, churches are struggling to get back to the, to the building. It's it's not the building. It's, it's not physical. And honestly, like even as a digital guy, I'll tell you it's not digital. It's the great commission. It's Matthew 28 it's disciple-making and figure out how to do that. I would suggest physically and digitally. So as, as much as we want to, Hey, you know what? We've only got 30% attendance. It's embarrassing low in the building. I mean, even within my own family, we're having conversations. Our church is going back to the building. It's just starting to open up November 1st. You know, my wife and I having conversations. Do we trust that environment? Nothing against the church, but do we want to go back to that? And we want to hold off a little bit and wait towards later. So many people across the country are wrestling with that. And if we church are putting all our pressure on the building, but our people are not there. We're missing a great opportunity. Go ahead. Right?
Rey DeArmas (06:22):
Yeah. And you know, speaking of that, Jeff, like just being completely transparent as a staff, as a staff member to church. And even though I oversee our digital and church online, we, my family has not physically gone back to church as of yet, even though our church campuses have reopened. And part of the reason is because I have a lot of family with preexisting conditions. So the thought of us catching COVID and then passing it on to them and being a risk factor for them. It's not fear it's practicality for us. And so we're not there yet for right now. That's not to say we'll never be there again. That's where we're, we're not there yet for right now. And if that's me as a leader, then I can only imagine that other people don't feel that comfortable either. But then it kind of also goes back to, well, you know, beforehand, we thought that folks were really taking steps spiritually when they were in the worship center, arms raised up and singing along.
Rey DeArmas (07:06):
And we thought, man, that person is engaged. Well, that's one form of engagement, but that's not complete engagement. And I think that's what we're finding now, because as you said, Jeff, once we took that pro that part of church away from them now, what are the other aspects of their faith that they're practicing it and how are they growing together with the family of God? Because that's what church is supposed to be. It's a local recognition of the family of God, wherever you're at. And you know, if I couldn't meet with my parents physically right now, I wouldn't see spring part of the family either way. And so we've got to check in, we've got to see how those folks are integrating in with the fam.
Jeff Reed (07:40):
Yeah. And so it, as, as, as much as we want to make it about the building, let's get back to the building. We want to get more energy into the building. You got two guys here, giving coaching here, giving, giving some direction. We cannot make it about the building because people are going to be hesitant to go back to the building. And the judge, either one of our spiritual walks, forgive me, Rey, I'm going to speak for you, but I know you pretty well to judge either of our spiritual walks because we're, we're not sitting in a Pew at Sunday night at nine o'clock. That's not the right direction to go, which would lead us to number two, don't push us into a building. Don't push people to a building, take this opportunity and engagement to train them in evangelism, to train them in. Disciple-making what if we flipped the script on this whole COVID season, instead of making it the struggle to get back to the building, make it the win of where we took this opportunity of engagement, to train people on how to share Christ, to hold people accountable on sharing their faith and to do things much more towards this style of let us empower you to reach the people that are in your life, your circle of influence.
Jeff Reed (08:53):
It's, it's a, it's a completely different approach, but it's one instead of being negative, because I'm not in the building, I'm taking advantage of the season where people may or may not be in the building and using engagement outside the church to do something far more healthier, I think for the church overall. Right? What are you thinking on that?
Rey DeArmas (09:11):
Well, I mean, you know, and there's so much truth in that Jeff and the big thing is, is that we have an opportunity to equip people to do ministry where they're at. And I think that's another thing that covert taught us was, is not so much about the church, you know, taking that away from them because then it's just a one way broadcast, right? Which is what many of us were afraid of. Oh, it's a one way broadcast. There's no interaction, there's no engagement. How are people going to be able to serve? How are people going to be able to do that? But we thought that just in context of Sundays, we weren't necessarily thinking about that in terms of how are they serving your community? How are they engaging their community? And so for many of us, maybe it's time to go back to even the Saddleback style of small groups, right?
Rey DeArmas (09:45):
The one, four, one, four, or the four, one, one, depending on how Steve Gladen versed it to you once upon a time where it was four weeks of Bible study, one week of get together and party and one week of serving your community. And if you've got that kind of structure as a small group, and the idea is you can spend one week inviting people who aren't Christians to come and take part in your small group and see that you guys are normal and invite them to come back for Bible study the next week. And then you spend four weeks of Bible study with them, just kind of journeying with them on a spiritual journey. And then the last week you serve your community together. That's an easy, basic structure. And what you got evangelism, you've got discipleship, you're reaching out to your neighborhoods. And at the same time, if they come to Christ, guess where they're connected at your church.
Jeff Reed (10:25):
Love that because we get that. That's where, that's where we connect. That's where we win by getting people in the church. But the churches is not the Pew. Like let's not kid ourselves in 2020. The church is not that physical seats, hopefully over the past eight to 10 months here, however long COVID has been so hard for me to keep up. yeah, it's, it's, it's a thing, but listen, it feels like it, right? Here's the deal. Some of you, some of you out there, pastor, you're telling me right now, but Jeff, we're already doing this. Disciple-making we're, we're already focusing on that. I would ask, take a section here. And Rey was kind of hinting at it. Pause and ask yourself some of these questions, honestly. Is it working? Are you seeing results? Are you seeing multiplication? Are you seeing not people getting saved in a building, but were you seeing even pre COVID or mid COVID where you seeing people within your church reach out to others?
Jeff Reed (11:21):
You know, here in stadia, we use the language of the 99 and the one that, and it's the parable of the, the shepherd that leaves the 99 sheep to go after the one lost sheep. And so the, the idea is, okay, the 99 people, these are people that are warm to Christ. They're, they're warm to your church, they're your faithful following your, your, your core. And so the one is that last person that doesn't know Christ, are you seeing situations where you're 99 are going after your one or your 99 consuming a product? Are they just being part of the church without necessarily reaching out and being aggressive in the community
Rey DeArmas (11:59):
It's secure? And you know, the last big thing is, is that we need to make sure and try and keep the character body together. There's a lot of division. There's a lot of things that are, that are dividing us right now. We're being divided along all sorts of lines and all sorts of opinions. And we have to do with the best that we can to keep the family together. And so it's not that I want you to change who you are at first family, but you also got to recognize that this is a tough time to disciple your church. This really is because you've got to kind of bring up the fact that, Hey, listen, I understand that there's all sorts of reasons to divide right now. But the one thing that Jesus prayed for before he went to the cross was unity. Will you stay United with us? Will you be one with us? Whether you're Crow coming into the services or whether you're posting at home, this is a time now, more than ever for the sake of our witness to be United as one.
Jeff Reed (12:41):
Yeah. And so it was really, even with that unity, if we were focused in unity towards the cause of, of sharing Christ, of being serious about disciple-making and, and empowering people towards this idea of reaching their ones, what, what would unity in this season look like? You know, so often I hear I, and this is crazy to me. I don't understand 2020, because I'll talk with a pastor and I've had this conversation at least a dozen times where a past in this COVID season where a pastor tells me something to the extent of Jeff, I think my church is going to split because of masks. There is so much passion within the church centered around this idea of masks, of race, of, of political. Like a 2020 has been a very bifurcated year. Totally recognize that. But even in the context of all of these different ideas, what we really are looking at are people who are passionate about something.
Jeff Reed (13:42):
And as much as we're separated right now and are not able to engage in, in physical space together, what if we, the church, what if we figured out how to redirect that passion towards masks or not masks to redirect some of the outspokenness that we have and get that directed towards helping people, evangelize, helping people understand disciple-making processes, what Matthew 28 calls us to do, and then unleashing them out church. What if the call for COVID in this season, isn't get back to the building, but it's created an army of disciple makers and unleash them to reach their people, mobilize them to go. And we've got incredible opportunities in the season. Looking at like rooted is, is a platform that exists online. Disciples made no place left. Like these are all evangelism, disciple-making disciple training systems that allow people like me, pastors, to train others on how to share their faith.
Jeff Reed (14:44):
And through that process, releasing them out. What if, instead of being worried about how I get, you know, max capacity in the building and force people into a situation they may or may not be comfortable with, or even I'm trying to reach out to ones to get into the building where the ones don't necessarily want to get back to the building. What if we stopped in this season and said, Hey, let's intentionally train up our 99. Let's focus on the people, whether they're in the building or at home, and let's disciple them, let's engage with them and hold them to a higher standard so that we can now release them out. So they can be released out to reach the people that God's called them to reach.
Rey DeArmas (15:31):
Yeah. And it creates a different sense of raising the bar, right? In terms of maturity. And it's ironic because many of us know this, somebody who comes to faith brand new is usually most excited about sharing their faith. Why is it that we try to screw up some of that by saying, well, if we want, we want to get you into our different system or try to mold you into our thing, as opposed to saying, all right, let's equip you to share your faith wherever you're at, because this is the most excited you're ever going to be about it. And the reality is is in this covert season, you have lots of people who are coming to Christ. Lots of people are coming to Christ online, digitally, or even some of them who are showing up in person as possible. So if that's the case, why not equip them with the basics of the faith, turn them around and send them right back into their workplace, send them right back into their zoom rooms, into their, their places where they have influence in saying guys, here's this Jesus that I found here is this forgiveness that I found, come with me, come and see, come and taste and see that my Lord is good.
Rey DeArmas (16:20):
Find all those things. That's real. Why do we want to stop all that? The answer is, is because we don't. But at the same time, we feel like we're, ill-equipped, it doesn't matter if you're going back to some of the stuff that Jeff talked about or evangelism, explosion, like go all the way back and dig up whatever evangelism training you were taught when you were a teenager and train somebody else and how to do that and figure that out. Because right now it's not about all man. We do great worship here. Oh, Hey, we got great production. Hey, we got wonderful guest services. It's not really about that right now. And it might not be about that over the next six months. So what can it be about right now? Reaching somebody for Christ.
Jeff Reed (16:54):
Yeah. Love that. Hey, what can it be about right now? Well said, Rey, let's use right now, right now. Not the right now network, you know, whatever. And that's okay. Maybe anyway, let's let right now let's use Kobe to get people off a spiritual milk and to get them on solid food. Now I'm paralleling here. First Corinthians three, two. I gave you milk. Not solid food for you are not ready for it. Indeed. You are still not ready. Swing over here to Hebrews five 12. In fact, by this time you ought to be teachers. You need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You still haven't gotten it. Paraphrase a you need milk, not solid food. So there there's, there's a call. I think for us to understand, Hey, there's an opportunity for people to be on milk, but we need to grow them towards a solid food point. And I would suggest here sitting in your well now virtual pews, because your physical buildings are relatively empty. There's an opportunity for us to aggressively engage with our people outside of the building or inside of the building, but to create the them, to be the disciple makers, to get them on this biblical solid food, to the point where they can now feed themselves and maybe even take care of feeding and leading someone else to Christ. Rey, what are you thinking on that?
Rey DeArmas (18:13):
Well, I love that, you know, Jeff, but so often, so many folks that I've talked to about these particular verses have taken this and think, well, my folks need more knowledge. And the reality of it is, is that there's enough books. There's enough material. There's enough content out there. Now, many of your churches have access to right now, media kind of like how Jeff talked about a little bit earlier, you know, you have access to all the content in the world. And yet we have very knowledgeable Christians, but not a lot of that Christians that are putting into practice. Some of the things that they've done. And that's really where the issue of spiritual health comes into play and really meat because it's listen, if you can give me a full discourse and a background on Corinth or on the book of Hebrews or anything, I'll tell you all of that's wonderful, but is it really pushing somebody forward in terms of practicing their Christianity?
Rey DeArmas (18:57):
Are they really loving their neighbor as themselves more because of it? That's what we're talking about in terms of moving them up through the pipeline, in terms of discipleship, making, not just in terms of knowledge, knowledge is great. But once again, just like we learned in scripture, knowledge can also puff up. And so we have to be careful that we're not just trying to create knowledgeable Christians, but we're trying to create people who actually practice their faith, actively loving the people that are around them, bringing them to Christ and then discipling them right after. That's the important thing, love that,
Jeff Reed (19:25):
You know, it's, it's a James one 22, don't just be hearers of the word. You know, I paraphrase online. And so to save yourselves, do what it says. Once again, paraphrasing in the real world, don't just hear the word, do what it says. And so having that executed love, love that there, Hey look, we're, we do a show, a beta, and somebody called me out. They were like, well, Jeff, you're not giving us any, any practical insights on how to do this. So here's your beta moment for the show. Run some test groups through a disciple-making process. Disciples made rooted no place left alpha, even as an, as an opportunity to engage with that platform, test this out, test this out and intentional disciple making initiative, run it in small. And did it work? What do you need to improve on? Like, you can grab 30 people right now, break them up into groups, some of the leaders of your church and start to do this. Even in a, in a skunkworks, even in a small situation, experiment with it. And then, and then see where you get
Rey DeArmas (20:24):
Right or start very small. You know, I did, a program called growing up by Rob legality with three guys, intentionally at my church and I hand selected them. I, and then when it came time, when we were done, I told them that they had to handset, select somebody to, and intentionally let them know that they were in a discipleship relationship. I told him, there's no Ninja discipleship. There's no, Hey, I'm going to do this. And they're not even going to know it. This is going to be like, Hey, you know the floor and then, all right, I'm gonna teach you how to block. It's not going to be any of that. You have to make sure that they identify that they're in an accountable relationship and that you are going to keep them accountable to things like reading your Bible, praying evangelism, et cetera, because then it's understood that there's expectations. Then it's understood that you guys are going to live in conversation about these things. It's not going to be something that's all. And by the way, no, no, no. We're meeting for an explicit person purpose to move you forward in terms of being a follower of Jesus, disciple people on purpose start small, like the master did. And then over time go big,
Jeff Reed (21:23):
Well done on the karate kid reference that. That was great. I got to tell you, I'm a little disappointed. We made it to the end of the show without working in a back to the future reference. Since today's back to the future day. When it, when in the future, I feel like we failed a little bit here in the show. We'll have to work harder on that next time. Hey, listen, we stadia. We want to help churches. Like you figure out how to develop a digital strategy, a digital strategy, one where you're creating those disciple makers and unleashing them federally and digital and physical space. if you are interested in more of these types of conversations and how we can practically help your church, check out stadia, church planning.org/phygital. Next week, we are talking about Christmas. I don't know, seriously sitting here today, August, October 21st.
Jeff Reed (22:10):
I don't know that I have an answer for Christmas. We're going to work on it this week. We're going to ask around as, see what some churches are doing to figure it out. But how do you do Christmas in a phygital environment? What is that going to look like? December 23rd, 24th, 25th, 2020. It's going to be crazy. Texting your questions here too. For the church (484) 324-8724. We would love to hear your questions and one of the along this episode, but loved every second of it. I knew this was going to be a rich conversation. Rey, any closing thoughts as we're landing the plane?
Rey DeArmas (22:43):
Nope. Much loves you all. Don't forget. Hey, it's okay to try things. you know, we haven't mastered these things. We're, we're not in a new normal, Jeff and I talked about this. You know, there's no sense of new normal because what we're facing right now, we've not been doing long enough to be normal. And so I want to just encourage you church, pastor. It's okay to experiment right now. It's okay to try something, try and make sure that the mission stays the same, but the way that you're accomplishing that mission, keep loose hands with that.
Jeff Reed (23:09):
Awesome. Love that. Hey, for Rey, I'm Jeff with TheChurch.Digital and Stadia Church Planting. Thanks for jumping on this Episode of Beta 03. And we'll see you next time, here at the Beta Show. You all have a good day.
Rey DeArmas (23:22):
See you later.