by Mike Durbin
PLYMOUTH, MI – A small group of pastors from across Michigan gathered at Chapel Pointe Church in Hudsonville. Months of pandemic separation were quickly shaken off as they caught up with old friends and made new ones. They were drawn together by the compelling vision of "Be The Church: Healthy leaders strengthening and starting churches to advance a gospel movement.”
“Be The Church” was born out of Chapel Pointe’s prayer to see the spiritual leaders of today and tomorrow equipped through authentic leadership development, to foster relationships that weather any storm, and discover the massive impact they can make in churches and communities for the kingdom of God.
Tim Patterson, Executive Director of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan (BSCM), quickly recognized a kindred spirit when he met Chapel Pointe’s Pastor, Joel Wayne. Both men are driven by the passion to advance God’s Kingdom by strengthening existing churches and starting new ones.
Patterson says, “When churches and pastors come together for the advancement of the Kingdom and for mutual encouragement and benefit, we then have the Spirit empowered opportunity to truly Be The Church.”
Biblical leadership presentations and engaging round table discussions filled the encounter. Questions were energetically discussed like:
“What is the one thing we should be learning from you and your church?”
“What does your church get most distracted by?”
“If we were to start over today, what would we continue doing? What would we stop doing?”
“What are you learning? Who are you learning it from?”
The lively table and large group discussion vividly demonstrated that great ministry is happening in churches of all sizes all over Michigan, that there is much we can learn from each other, and that we are better together.
“The 'Be The Church' encounter was well worth the trip. It was insightful in its practical approach and inspirational in its outlook and vision. Pastor Wayne and his staff were wonderful hosts, and I would strongly encourage any Pastor to be a part of this ministry initiative” (Billy Walker, Calvary Baptist).
“I am highly excited about a greater collaboration of churches for the further advancement of the Gospel, more fruitful Kingdom work, and brighter ways to be the light of Christ to our dark world. “Be The Church” is an extraordinarily providential channel in the hands of the Lord in these days through which the work of many churches can flow with exceptional effectiveness” (Jerome Taylor, Eastgate Baptist).
Biblical Leadership Traits
Be honest and have Biblical relationships with other leaders. Mature leaders invite accountability. Focus on Christ.
Be “helpable”—let other people help you. Labor together. “If you’re doing it alone, it’s by your own choice.”
Recruit and invest in the spiritually motivated (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Surround yourself with leaders who can do what you’re asking better than you, not ones who are just like you.
Evaluate Desire vs. Design. Are we doing what we desire to do? Or are we doing what we are designed for?
Pursue Biblical Metrics: Have people share stories of transformation; How many does your church have in small groups? Are they multiplying themselves? How long does it take before someone is serving in your church? How many and who are we sending out?
Pastor Ed Emmerling of Westside Church captured the potential of the movement: “Be the Church" will bring churches and leaders together in a way that we have not seen in our lifetime. Partnering, in the trenches to punch holes in the darkness of Michigan. It will raise up leaders to a new level and in turn launch our churches into greater impact than we have ever dreamed or even thought to pray for.”
For more information, visit BeTheChurch.org.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Durbin is the State Evangelism Director for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before joining the state convention staff, Mike served as Church Planting Catalyst and Director of Missions in Metro Detroit since 2007. He also has served as a pastor and bi-vocational pastor in Michigan, as well as International Missionary to Brazil.