What started with a Bible study with another couple quickly snowballed into a megachurch that draws thousands of people to Gateway Church every weekend.
What did it? Pastor John Burke says: a deep concentration on meeting people at their place of need.
John admits he never planned, nor expected, this faith community go grow as it has, and in this interview he tells us how his strategy of going to the people (in secular Austin, TX) has paid off.
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John Burke says churches need to be three things: 1) a place that blesses, 2) a place where people can belong, 3) and a come as you are learning space. Here are my notes from the interview:
Bridge to Everyday People
John says too many churches are too far away from how people live their day to day lives – and that congregations need to create cultures that cut that drastically reduce that distance.
Lost to Leading
While churches traditionally count attendance and budget as markers of success, he goes looks at the ‘Lost to Leading’ statistic: how long does it take someone who entered the church not knowing Jesus to take on a leadership role.
Am I Drinking the Product I’m Selling?
John say the most authentic and effective witness one can make is by living (or trying to live) the words one uses in teaching and preaching. How are we doing at that?
About John Burke
John Burke is the lead pastor at Gateway Community Church in Austin, Texas. He is the author of No Perfect People Allowed and Soul Revolution, How Imperfect People Become All God Intended (www.soulrevolution.net). John is also the president of Emerging Leadership Initiative (ELI), a non-profit organization founded to help establish a multiplying network of missional churches that envision, equip, and empower young emerging leaders to raise the church up out of the culture while maintaining biblical integrity. Before starting Gateway, John was the executive director of ministries at Willow Creek Community Church. He and his wife Kathy are the parents of two children, Ashley and Justin.
Sponsors I Mentioned
Turnaround 20/20 – Learn from experts who have conquered obstacles to growth and watched God turn things around. Turnaround 20/20 is a unique congregational development conference that brings together 20 experts who speak for 20 minutes each. People like Nelson Searcy, Charles Arn, George Hunter, and Elmer Towns will focus on a specific area of congregational development and are out to spark new ideas and innovations for you and your church. Turnaround 20./20 is Tuesday, October 23 in Nashville, TN.