Spiritual Life and Leadership

53. Growing Hearts, Not Attendance, with Mike McClenahan

September 23, 2019
Spiritual Life and Leadership
53. Growing Hearts, Not Attendance, with Mike McClenahan
Chapters
Spiritual Life and Leadership
53. Growing Hearts, Not Attendance, with Mike McClenahan
Sep 23, 2019
Markus Watson
Mike McClenahan shares the story of his journey from trying to lead a successful church to recognizing that it’s more important to grow people’s hearts than it is to grow people’s church attendance.
Show Notes

What happened to Solana Beach Presbyterian Church?  Oh, it's still a big church, but it's half the size it was twenty years ago.  Some would say that Mike McClenahan, the Senior Pastor, failed in some way.  He must have done something wrong and that's why this church has declined so much.

Maybe.  Or maybe it's just a reflection of what's going on everywhere in our culture.

Mike and his team have been wrestling with these challenges for almost two decades.  And what they have found is that maybe they've been measuring the wrong thing.  Maybe, rather than measuring weekly church attendance, what they needed to measure was what was going on in people's hearts.

In this episode, Mike McClenahan shares the story of his journey from trying to lead a successful church to recognizing that it’s more important to grow people’s hearts than it is to grow people’s church attendance.


THIS EPISODE’S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

  • Mike McClenahan is the Senior Pastor at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church in Solana Beach, CA.
  • When Mike was nine years old, his three-year-old brother tragically died. Two years later, Mike’s dad left and his parents divorced when he was thirteen.
  • These events were significant moments of loss in Mike’s life that taught him about the importance of the church.
  • If you understand attendance as a measure of success, pastors experience loss and feelings of lack of success all the time.
  • Solana Beach Presbyterian Church engaged in the Reveal Study, which showed that people in the church were engaged in the things that the church did together, but they were not experiencing their own personal spirituality.
  • In the book Move, Greg Hawkins and Cally Parkinson identify four qualities of leaders whose churches were the most spiritually vital: 
    • Disarmingly humble
    • Modeled a surrendered life
    • Grow hearts, not attendance
    • They had one passion: Intimacy with Jesus
  • Mike had to vulnerably admit to his congregation that he was committing to deeper spiritual intimacy with God.
  • The most important thing for pastors to do—as they lead their churches into deeper intimacy with Jesus—is surrender.


RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS


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