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Do the math, Young advises

GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP)—Calculating a church’s creative ID is simple math: God’s math.

Ed Young Jr., senior pastor of Fellowship Church, told Creative Church Conference participants that the Great Commission “is all about math.”

“God is always adding, dividing, subtracting and multiplying,” Young said during the Jan. 24-25 gathering at the Dallas-Fort Worth-area church in Grapevine. “What kind of math does God want to do in your life?”

To do the math, Young voiced such counsel as:

ADD clarity to vision and keep it pure.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish,” Young said, referring to Proverbs 29:18. “… Put another way, where there is vision, people flourish. All of us should have a constant craving to keep the vision pure.”

Find and equip leaders, Young then counseled.

“Most church members want control without responsibility. Equip leaders in your church who say, ‘I want control and responsibility.’ Every leader at Fellowship Church is a ‘control freak’ — freaky about the church’s vision and the innovation to get there.”

SUBTRACT the surplus

“Subtraction refines the vision and keeps it sharp,” Young said. “Ruthlessly subtract anything that gets in the way of God’s vision for the church. … Don’t try to be all things to all people.”

Keep people wanting more, he continued. “Simplify for the sake of reaching more people for Christ.”

Most churches, he said, “have worship formats that go too long — they sing too long or preach too long. Creativity challenges us to check our egos at the door. …”

MULTIPLY to evangelize

Measure everything, Young advised. “We count people because people count,” he said.

“Is your church effective at multiplying?” he asked. “Measure your effectiveness by detailed attendance records, baptisms, giving and life-changing stories.”

Young also voiced a principle of thirds: “One third of church attendees should be non-Christians; one-third new believers, and one-third mature believers. … Which one of these needs growth in your own church?”

Explain the Gospel often, he said.

“Evangelism should be in the DNA of a believer. The greatest growth in a believer’s life occurs when they get out and share their faith.”

DIVIDE and conquer

Never do what you can delegate, Young counseled.

“[Always keep in mind that] discernment and timing play crucial factors in delegation. … Give tasks to people who have strengths in those areas and save unnecessary stress.”

And develop a team approach.

“Don’t be afraid to seek input from your staff when planning your messages,” Young said. “By facilitating the message planning, you’re training people to speak when you’re not there. God wants to use other vocal cords to communicate His truth. Your wife and kids will thank you.”

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