I think my first introduction (as with many) to Tony Morgan was via social networking. He is brilliant at leveraging the digital media space to influence church leadership theory and practice. When our paths crossed several months ago and we finally met in person, I realized that not only did he live up to his tweets and blog posts but he is a really cool guy to hang out with.
I first learned about The Leisure Suit series concept through a mutual friend. Before I saw the connection between the work we are doing at Church Community Builder and the series, I personally connected with it. The leisure suit was a great way to describe what I have seen too many times in my own church experience and in my work with churches across the country. It's just too easy to stay focused on what is functional and operationally sound while avoiding the tough questions which reveal whether or not you are really making an impact. Sometimes, it feels better to focus on whether more people are showing up than it does to focus on how we are really changing lives. Tony goes right at this issue in a very practical way and I love that!
After several conversations, I decided to approach our leadership team with the idea of sponsoring the entire series. The concept itself was new for us but the content was right at the core of what we hope to be; a catalyst for positive impact on the people, systems and processes in churches we serve. The technology we provide is simply a tool to empower the much bigger picture of how you "do church". In the absence of solid "business" process, church management systems are glorified rolodexes at best. Tony addresses those things head-on in the Leisure Suite Series thus it felt like a terrific "fit" for us to partner with him in the journey.
The other part of the equation which sent us over the top was the opportunity to see our involvement make an impact on Engage Burkina, a nonprofit working in powerful ways to meet people's physical and spiritual needs. In fact, we've even rolled out support options beyond the sponsorship of this series to our entire team.
This wasn't another marketing idea for us; we saw it as a chance to engage people with the Gospel and put our faith into action.
I hope you'll take the opportunity to download your copy of The Leisure Suit Series: 8 Reasons Why Your Church Is Stuck and work through this material as a staff. I know you'll be challenged!
Are there parts of your ministry that feel like a leisure suit — functional but not exciting or relevant? What steps are you taking to ensure you maximizing your opportunity for Kingdom impact?