I've known Shannon O'Dell for around twenty years. We reconnected a couple years ago and I've been jazzed about what is happening in rural Arkansas at Brand New Church. You might remember me writing about him earlier this year.
I twittered yesterday that I think Brand New Church is the most innovative, happenin', got-it-going-on church I've ever been to of any size. More on that later.
Here are some of my take-aways from Shannon as he closed the Sticks conference...
- The key to Brand New Church is changed lives.
- The greatest hurdle in reaching the lost is those already saved.
- Some of us won't make decisions because we are afraid people will leave the church. Get this...Jesus' own disciples left Him.
- Pastors are to be "hospitable." That means their home is like a hospital.
- The biggest gossips in the world are pastors.
- A church is not a democracy. It is a theocracy. If your church is set up as a democracy, it is unbiblical.
- Jesus isn't interested in programs for saving the saved--he's only interested in programs for saving the lost.
- When you get to be a church of our size, the only thing that can split your church is staff. That's why we quickly get rid of dissatisfied or disloyal staff.
- I don't think the office of pastor is even biblical. The word is only used once in the New Testament and it is a spiritual gift, not a position.
- When people are giving or serving--they are more like God at that moment than any other time in their life. So we encourage people to give and serve. We do people a disservice if we train people theology who aren't serving.