It’s Time For The Church To Tell a New Story

If we are serious about changing the culture within the church, then we must begin to change the narrative that leaders tell. If the only stories we are telling through social media are who is preaching, what you’re preaching, and how amazing everything was on Sunday, then we will continue to get and BE what we continue to highlight.

In this episode, Caesar is joined by author and missional strategist, Brad Brisco. They discuss how the types of stories we’re commonly telling about our churches are having damaging consequences. It’s time to change all that!

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • How silly our stories about our church sound and look online.
  • How many of our stories betray a deep sense of consumerism.
  • Why changing the narratives we tell will reshape the Church itself.
  • Ways to discover and discern what God is already doing, and then tell those stories.

Get started here…

It's Time For The Church To Tell a New Story

From this episode:

“If our relationship with God is largely transactional, then that’s how we’ll view the Church. God desires a relationship of trust with you that is real and present. He is longing to draw you into His big Story and in so doing, rewrite the story of your life. And not just your afterlife, but today, tomorrow… with your family and friends, and within the Church.”

Each week the Big 3 will give you immediate action steps to get you started.
Download today’s BIG 3 right now. Read and think over them again later. You might even want to share them with others…

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Join us on Facebook and take part in the discussion!

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Also, please subscribe and leave an honest review for The Everyday Disciple Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Free Download of the Big 3 For Episode #351

10 Missional Benchmarks Test and Assessment 

Coaching with Caesar and Tina in discipleship and missional living.

Brad Briscomissionalchurchnetwork.com

Discipleship and Missional Resources

 

Join us on Facebook

Transcript
Brad:

I think it's just a misunderstanding of the nature and essence of the church.

Brad:

And that comes from almost five decades of church growth, movement mentality.

Brad:

And there's lots of good things that came out of the church growth movement, lots of good things, but one of the things is that it, it made us think that the church.

Brad:

It was all about the Sunday gathering and, and the church really did become a vendor, religious goods and services.

Brad:

And that's why people, I mean, if you ask somebody, why do they attend?

Brad:

Or why are they are part of a certain church, 99% of the time?

Brad:

They'll give you an a consumeristic answer.

Brad:

They'll say, oh, cause we love the preaching or we love the youth ministry or whatever it might be.

Brad:

So I think part of it is we just, there's a misunderstanding of the nature and essence of the church that it's what happens on Sunday morning, but then related to that is what you just.

Brad:

Absolutely it has to do with misguided metrics and those metrics.

Brad:

You know, a lot of times we, all of us use different language and, you know, kind of silly, you know, we'll talk about buildings, budgets, and butts.

Brad:

It's the number of people that show up how much money they give and then like what's our seating capacity or what the size of our campus.

Announcer:

Welcome to the Everyday Disciple podcast where you learn how to live with greater intentionality and an integrated faith that naturally fits into every area of.

Announcer:

In other words, discipleship as a lifestyle.

Announcer:

This is the stuff your parents, pastors, and seminary professors probably forgot to tell you.

Announcer:

And now here's your host Caesar Kalinowski.

Caesar:

Wow.

Caesar:

What a great day it is here.

Caesar:

I don't know what.

Caesar:

Doing where you're at, but it's a great day.

Caesar:

We're definitely getting into fall here in the Pacific Northwest, which just makes me want more coffee.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

I'll tell you what I love coffee probably more than I should.

Caesar:

I joke about this with our family, because my dad who was lifelong Midwesterner, where I was born and raised, he just had a pot of coffee on all day and just drank it morning till night.

Caesar:

It never kept him up.

Caesar:

Nothing, whatever I'm sorta becoming that guy.

Caesar:

But boy, I love coffee and I'm a bit of a coffee snob.

Caesar:

Got a little spoiled out here.

Caesar:

You know, we owned a very, very popular coffee shop and restaurant here in Tacoma, the Shaka brah Java for eight years and a wonderful coffee we had there always brought that home ground up and made that after we sold it, couldn't get it for a while.

Caesar:

Try to everything, not so good.

Caesar:

But now we got our hookup.

Caesar:

Back to getting the Shaka blend.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Love it here.

Caesar:

Some right now.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Loving that coffee.

Caesar:

Hey, let me tell you about an upcoming opportunity for us to hang out, live together for some of y'all, but I guess any of you could, if you wanted to travel, I'm going to be doing an Everyday Disciple workshop in Dallas.

Caesar:th here in:Caesar:

And that is going to be a packed day, very experiential learning, where I'm going to set some of the foundations for understanding our Gospel identity and gospel fluency and the rhythms of life.

Caesar:

As a disciple maker in all of life, it's going to be a packed day, really excited about it.

Caesar:

If you want to join us for that, it's not my event.

Caesar:

I'm being brought in to do this, but if you want to join us for that, it's open to the public.

Caesar:

Bring some folks, bring your spouse, bring teams to get all the information on where that's at and how to register.

Caesar:

You can go to Everyday Disciple dot com forward slash Dallas.

Caesar:

That'll take you to a registration page, plenty of info, and you can get some tickets.

Caesar:

I think it's going to fill right on up.

Caesar:

So you might check that out if you're anywhere within striking distance of Dallas and you want to hang out and do some interactive training on discipleship as a lifestyle.

Caesar:

And Tina will be there with me too.

Caesar:

How fun will that be?

Caesar:

Also pretty soon here, we're closing the door on the upcoming coaching cohort that we're doing together.

Caesar:

Tina and I, coaches couples, and we coach couples.

Caesar:

If you're interested in that at all now is your time go to Everyday Disciple dot com forward slash.

Caesar:

coaching There's a little short form there.

Caesar:

Page it'll explain lots of stuff.

Caesar:

We can get in touch with each other.

Caesar:

I can get on a zoom call, explain it.

Caesar:

And maybe there's still slots and time for you to join us here real soon.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

I hope you will.

Caesar:

Now.

Caesar:

I have a guest today.

Caesar:

If you listened last week, I promised you someone special.

Caesar:

My guest is Brad.

Caesar:

Brisco Some of, you know, Brad or maybe, you know, of Brad from his decades of work within missional movement.

Caesar:

But Brad is currently the director of bi-vocational church planning for the north American mission board.

Caesar:

So he's a pretty busy dude.

Caesar:

I was excited to be able to get him here, to talk to us on the Podcast.

Caesar:

Super smart guy holds a doctorate in the area of missional, ecclesiology.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

And his doctoral thesis.

Caesar:

Like, this is what he lives and breathes was on assisting existing congregations in transitioning in a missional direction.

Caesar:

He's also authored a whole bunch of books.

Caesar:

Maybe you've read them.

Caesar:

He's got Missional elements, which is a 12 week study for small groups to help them move towards that.

Caesar:

He wrote missional quest and next door, as it is in heaven.

Caesar:

I love this guy, him and his wife have three kids.

Caesar:

And, but here's also.

Caesar:

You can just kind of understand his heart.

Caesar:

They fostered more than 50 other kids besides their three.

Caesar:

You can read a lot of his stuff and get more of his heart.

Caesar:

He blogs regularly over@themissionalchurchnetworkdotcom missionalchurchnetwork.com I'm going to let you listen to a conversation that he and I had about the stories that we are telling as the church And how maybe it's time.

Caesar:

We started to tell new fuller stories of being the church and not just posting loads of pictures and social posts about our Sunday service and our worship band.

Caesar:

I love this guy and his heart for God and the church and for the mission, I think you will to take a listen.

Caesar:

I'll be back afterward to give you a few more thoughts and tell you just how to start to change all of this in your world.

Caesar:

And then I'll give you the big three for the day.

Caesar:

here we go Hey, Brad, thank you so much for being on.

Caesar:

I really appreciate this.

Caesar:

You maybe the busiest man in rock and roll and or church planting and discipleship.

Caesar:

I, I know, but I, I'm also kind of excited because I've just not seen you in a while and I get to see you while we talk about this.

Caesar:

But, uh, I, man, I miss you, brother.

Caesar:

What are you given the best efforts and time to these days?

Caesar:

I know you not too long ago, you were just telling me before we get started, you've moved to Tampa area.

Caesar:

That's pretty exciting, but what are you giving your heart and your effort and your time to.

Caesar:

Yeah,

Brad:

well, first Caesar.

Brad:

Yeah.

Brad:

It's great to be with you.

Brad:

And yeah, it's been good grief.

Brad:

I don't know, three years, four years, maybe since we've actually hung out together.

Brad:

So all the conferences

Caesar:

died that's right.

Caesar:

Butwe use to get paid very, very little to come and party together, you know?

Caesar:

Very

Brad:

little so.

Brad:

Yeah.

Brad:

What am I giving my time to?

Brad:

Probably the most right now, just lots and lots of conversations with leaders, you know, navigating COVID rethinking church a bit, a lot of it's around by vocational and co vocationalism.

Brad:

Um, so yeah, I would say.

Brad:

Especially the last year and the, and definitely the last few months, I'm giving more of my time to conversations around those topics than

Caesar:

anything.

Caesar:

Yeah, for sure.

Caesar:

And you have really been the guy to coin that term, co-vocational you know, we've always, we've all used Bi-vo for a long time and you entered in co-vo

Caesar:

so now I'm hearing people hyphenated, you know, Bi-vo Covo like that.

Brad:

Yeah.

Brad:

I usually use both.

Brad:

I'll say all the time.

Brad:

I still use both bivocational and covocational and just really quick.

Brad:

The little nuance for me is bi-vo is somebody that has a part-time job in the marketplace.

Brad:

So they kind of see as temporary.

Brad:

So their hope is the church grows large enough.

Brad:

They can leave their part-time job and focus on the church.

Brad:

Covo for me as someone that has a primary calling in the marketplace that they never intend to leave.

Brad:

So in other words, they know God's called and wired them to be a web designer or an architect or a school teacher.

Brad:

But at the same time, God's call, they feel like God's called them to start something.

Brad:

So I just want to say, look, you don't have to choose between like, you know, Calling in the marketplace and mission or ministry.

Brad:

You can actually align those two things together.

Brad:

So I just hope that the word co vocational just kind of cracks open the imagination a little bit for some people to see that there's actually a way to align those two things.

Brad:

Yeah.

Caesar:

And I think that's part of, what's kept my heart knit close to you.

Caesar:

And what you talk about and write about and blog about because Tina and I we've been serial entrepreneurs our whole life.

Caesar:

I think we're on business number 17.

Caesar:

That's crazy.

Caesar:

Right.

Caesar:

But we've always been fully engaged in ministry, even when it wasn't a vocational thing.

Caesar:

You know, we were running multiple companies and just serving and traveling and all that.

Caesar:

And then along the way, it kind of flipped where our primary focus is making disciples and equipping and coaching and working with churches and leaders.

Caesar:

And.

Caesar:

But we still run other businesses, you know, it's like, I guess it's maybe some of it that entrepreneurial heart and the apostolic heart, it's very similar.

Caesar:

And it beats very strong in us.

Caesar:

We love starting things and I love that passing on, you know, so.

Caesar:

What are some of the effects on the church you're seeing right now within this post pandemic, mid pandemic, who knows what we we're experiencing, what are you seeing right now?

Caesar:

What's bringing you hope.

Caesar:

And what is maybe concerning you a little bit.

Caesar:

There's a lot of talk about this.

Caesar:

I've talked a lot about it here on the podcast, but yeah.

Caesar:

What are you seeing?

Caesar:

What's bringing you hope and what's concerning you.

Brad:

It's funny.

Brad:

Those two things they're actually related.

Brad:

I would say they're kind of coming out of the same framework a bit.

Brad:

I mean, some of the hope is seeing.

Brad:

Members in the church, but then also church leaders at the pandemic has forced them to reconsider their strategies of mission and ministry.

Brad:

So I see people starting new things, certainly becoming more local.

Brad:

There's a lot more, I think, local engagement.

Brad:

And when I say local, I mean neighborhood type of engagement, but then on the flip side, what's most concerning is relating to that as well.

Brad:

I mean, I just have lots of, and I'm sure you have to Caesar, I've had lots of conversations.

Brad:

Over the past several months with church leaders who in a sense are experiencing just an enormous crisis in their own ministry, uh, because they thought the pandemic was going to help kind of push their church and, and kind of new ways or creative directions towards mission.

Brad:

But now they realize that that default kind of mechanism is so strong to just go back to the way things were before the pandemic.

Brad:

But what's happened.

Brad:

I think is a lot of people haven't come back, but the people that have come back want to go back to the way it was before, but they're trying to do what they've always done with fewer people, because there's other people that, that haven't returned kind of to the Sunday gathering.

Brad:

Are there the programs and activities of the church?

Brad:

Because they want to move in a different direction.

Brad:

So there's, so it's funny in the midst of COVID yeah, there there's both hope and concern.

Brad:

There's hope that there's some people that really are moving in a new direction and they see that we've got to rethink the nature and essence of the church.

Brad:

And at the same time, there's those that just want to go back and we all know we can't go back.

Brad:

It's just never going to be the same, regardless of how much.

Brad:

Uh, it, it's a very, it's, it's a radically different day that we're

Caesar:

well, and go back to what was dying and not working and producing disciples anyway.

Caesar:

Right.

Caesar:

Just to hit the nail on the head there a little bit, right.

Caesar:

fewer people with fewer people, fewer resources.

Caesar:

Right, right.

Caesar:

I've talked about this, the whole pandemic.

Caesar:

I'm sure you have too, that I'd like for us, we've been praying for years.

Caesar:

thatsomething that would shake us up as the church to cause us to have to rethink and reimagine and, and start to look more outward and all that.

Caesar:

And while I've talked about it being an exciting time.

Caesar:

'cause, it's kind of forcing our hand in many ways.

Caesar:

And like you said, a lot of people have sort of moved out to try new things, try on for size Community in a new way or micro churches and all the things that we're excited about.

Caesar:

Uh, most of the people who come back are not.

Caesar:

But, um, I recently read from a friend of ours.

Caesar:

I won't name him, but he's actually been on the podcast with us before, but he wrote recently that pastors are burned out and they're at the bottom of the barrel scraping the bottom.

Caesar:

And they're just tired of being told they should be excitedand I, and I, and I read that and my heart twinge, both hopeful and like, Put on your big boy pants, you know, like not to be like callous, but I felt like here's what my heartbreaks is that to hope that people who've never seen discipleship as a lifestyle to hope that pastors who've never really been discipled in how the gospel speaks in and transforms every bit of life and their culture and their neighborhood and how to be with not yet believers and help people move from unbelief to belief to expect that people who've never experienced that will just magically figure it out.

Caesar:

It's never, that's not happened and it's not happening.

Caesar:

And I think that's probably why we're both as busy as we've ever been trying to help people move some of those ways.

Caesar:

And I think there's key tipping points.

Caesar:

I think there's dominoes that start to tip us and go, Hey, now that's starting to fall in the right direction.

Caesar:

And you recently wrote a post.

Caesar:

Maybe you've wrote like, longer about it, but I just saw it as a Facebook post.

Caesar:

And you, and you said if we are serious about changing the culture within the church.

Caesar:

Then we must begin to shape the narrative that leaders tell.

Caesar:

And, oh man, that immediately caught my eye.

Caesar:

That just, oh, in my heart.

Caesar:

And then you went on and he said, I'm all for celebrating.

Caesar:

What we do is the gathered church on Sundays.

Caesar:

But if that's the only story we're telling through social media, in other words, who's preaching, what are you preaching?

Caesar:

How great the worship band is, how many people showed up, then we'll continue to get what we continue to highlight that being more consumers who think.

Caesar:

Church is simply the things we do on Sunday mornings.

Caesar:

Wow, man, what, what are you, what caused you to write that?

Caesar:

What do you see?

Caesar:

That's, you know, brought that up.

Caesar:

Cause man, I'm still turning that over in the soil of my head and heart.

Brad:

Yeah, there's probably several things there.

Brad:

Caesar, I think one is having conversations with church leaders that are like lamenting or bemoaning the fact that many people aren't coming back.

Brad:

Um, so it just, just having those conversations, just thinking my goodness.

Brad:

What, what for me, what the pandemic and what those kinds of conversations does, is it just emphasizes how amazingly centralized.

Brad:

The church in north America has been an is to where everything is tied into the Sunday gathering in some way.

Brad:

So that was part of it.

Brad:

And then the other piece is just comments.

Brad:

I see on social media, most of the time on Saturday night, sometimes on Sunday mornings where there's comments over and over and over again, things like, you know, can't wait to don't miss tomorrow, or I can't wait to see you tomorrow or be there, you know, or there's one guy I I've seen him post this multiple times.

Brad:

Uh, he'll he'll post on Twitter.

Brad:

That church is a Saturday night decision.

Brad:

Well, I just think, well, wait a minute.

Brad:

Yeah, I get what he's saying.

Brad:

Oh, that breaks my heart.

Brad:

Right now.

Caesar:

I know

Brad:

church is a Saturday night decision, like, so it's all about the Sunday gathering.

Brad:

So that that's the narrative.

Brad:

I mean, that is the current narrative that is churches just about Sunday.

Brad:

And that's why we have preaching conferences and worship conferences that, and I just think.

Brad:

Yeah, probably the greatest paradigm shift that needs to happen in our, in our heads and in our hearts is the way we understand the nature and essence of the church.

Brad:

That for, for most people, the church is just a place where certain things happen on Sunday morning or even worse yet.

Brad:

And you alluded to this, the church is a vendor of religious goods and services that the people just think, well, church is what I do on Sunday or churches, where I go for great preaching or great worship or great children's ministry or youth programs.

Brad:

And I just think that's a narrative that we have to change.

Brad:

And, and, and I, again, a lot of people thought the pandemic would do that.

Brad:

The pandemic would force us in a different direction and think differently about the church, but the part that I'm concerned about and, and sometimes can be discouraged is all those comments, you know, on social media on Saturday night and Sundays where you see pictures of the church.

Brad:

The gathered people just on Sunday that, uh, that's just not helpful.

Brad:

I would say it's not biblical and it's not helpful.

Brad:

We just so change that

Caesar:

narrative.

Caesar:

I'm sorry.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

I also see people that I know are live missionally and they they'll barely ever post anything.

Caesar:

And then they post they're so excited because they got a new space.

Caesar:

And then for like two, three weeks, they're just posting tons and tons of pictures of some dumpy warehouse that now has a bunch of folding chairs set up.

Caesar:

And then they post Sunday after Sunday what they're preaching there and they're so stoked about it.

Caesar:

And I'm like, well, I'm glad that the family has grown and it needs a bigger livingroom.

Caesar:

I'm all for it, but wow.

Caesar:

And then I'll tell you what, on the Everyday Disciple Podcast, a Facebook group, which we got thousands of people in there, um, there's we always get these rogue posts.

Caesar:

It's it's supposed to just be for discussing Missional things and the episodes and asking questions and being able to stay connected as a community a little bit.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

But I, I always get people who rogue, post they're not supposed to do, but they do guess what a hundred percent of it is.

Caesar:

It's Sunday morning.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

It's there and it, by the way, but other, it's not just north American, it's all over the world.

Caesar:

It's tons of really grainy videos of them preaching or their worship conference, or, you know, and I'm like always like delete posts, bro.

Caesar:

That's like this, isn't what we're here to talk about.

Caesar:

Did you listen to the Podcast at all?

Caesar:

Like, you know, like I'm all for that stuff, but this isn't a place for it and that's not even the primary goal.

Caesar:

W let me ask, uh, like the next question then, what do you think has caused all of this, where that's such the story we tell and it's the only thing we focused on and why it's still remains after so many years of guys like you and me and, and Hersh and halter and, and Lance, and I mean, so many people pushing on it is it caused by bad metrics and measurements of what health and success looks like for the church?

Brad:

Yeah, so Caesar, I think there's, it's multifaceted, but I think the two big buckets one is what you just mentioned.

Brad:

And before we talk about that, I would go back to just a comment I made earlier.

Brad:

I think it's just a misunderstanding of the nature and essence of the church.

Brad:

And that comes from almost five decades of church growth, movement mentality.

Brad:

And there's lots of good things that came out of the church growth movement, lots of good things, but one of the things is that it, it made us think that the church was all about the Sunday.

Brad:

And it, and the church really did become a vendor, religious goods and services.

Brad:

And that's why people, I mean, if you ask somebody, why do they attend or why are they are part of a certain church, 99% of the time?

Brad:

They'll give you an a consumeristic answer.

Brad:

They'll say, oh, because we love the preaching or we love the youth ministry or whatever it might be.

Brad:

Yeah.

Brad:

Part of it is we just, there's a misunderstanding of the nature and essence of the church that it's what happens on Sunday morning, but then related to that is what you just said.

Brad:

Absolutely.

Brad:

It has to do with misguided metrics and those metrics.

Brad:

You know, a lot of times w all of us use different language and, you know, kind of silly, you know, we'll talk about buildings, budgets, and butts.

Brad:

It's the number of people that show up how much money they give, and then like, what's our seating capacity, or what's the size of our campus.

Caesar:

Here's what you're running on Sunday.

Caesar:

That's

Brad:

right.

Brad:

That's what people, how big is your church?

Brad:

All of that.

Brad:

That's right.

Brad:

But I think the reason we do that, Is it's tied into what we value or think is important, which is the Sunday gathering.

Brad:

But also because it's easy.

Brad:

I mean, counting those things are very easy.

Brad:

It's count.

Brad:

It's easy to count how many people show up.

Brad:

So I talk about all the time that if we're going to make a shift, we have to change the scorecard.

Brad:

We have to change what, both, what we count and what we measure.

Brad:

And I like to say we use those two words interchangeably, but they're not, they're different.

Brad:

Counting is quantitative.

Brad:

Measuring is qualitative.

Brad:

So we say counting is quantitative and then measuring as qualitative.

Brad:

So they're both good and important, but typically in the church world and the nonprofit world, we only count.

Brad:

We just, and we count the things that are easy.

Brad:

Well, I would say.

Brad:

You don't have to stop counting.

Brad:

We just have to, we need account different things.

Brad:

We need to count missionary behaviors and activities.

Brad:

So in the church, we need to count things like how many meals did you have with lost people?

Brad:

How many lost people have you had in your home?

Brad:

How many hours of people in the church mentoring.

Brad:

Kids at the elementary school, down the street.

Brad:

I mean, the sky's the limit.

Brad:

There are dozens and dozens of things.

Caesar:

I've got a whole list and a download.

Caesar:

We send people excellent new measurements of success for instance, and here's a page worth.

Caesar:

That's awesome.

Caesar:

I

Brad:

love it.

Brad:

Well, and then just real quick, the difference for me with counting and, and measuring is measuring, as I said, it's qualitative.

Brad:

It's about change.

Brad:

So I'll say, look, we need to measure.

Brad:

Change inside the church, which is discipleship and then change outside the church, as it relates to change that we want to see take place in the communities in which our church and where we live.

Brad:

So things around education and around crime and around employment, all of those sorts of things.

Brad:

So, so yeah, I think absolutely.

Brad:

You said as part of the issue.

Brad:

Is our metrics.

Brad:

I would agree with that a hundred percent

Caesar:

and I, and the tah sort of get to the thing behind the thing a little further again, is I wonder if what we measure being all those sort of consumeristic, you know, sort of business measurements has a lot to do with like, do we view or understand our relationship with God is one that's transactional.

Caesar:

You know, like I, if I do this, then God does that, or Jesus did this, but I have to say this.

Caesar:

And then I have to stop sending and do a lot of behavioral management.

Caesar:

And then if I do that, I think the scales tip, then I'm probably making it to heaven and in all that.

Caesar:

And I think when we see our relationship with God is largely transactional.

Caesar:

Now what he did and what we do.

Caesar:

Like there's a lot that he did.

Caesar:

There's so much like the cosmos, it all shifted at the cross.

Caesar:

But if we only see who God is something, someone who does this and does that, and did this, then that's how our relationship flows.

Caesar:

And when we do, I think then of course, we're going to see the church and its services through transactional lenses and consumeristic choices as well.

Caesar:

And maybe that's why we hear the stories we do.

Brad:

Yeah.

Brad:

I've never thought about like that Caesar, right.

Brad:

That's really good.

Brad:

So, yeah.

Brad:

So I want to ask you a question then.

Brad:

What's the flip side of that?

Brad:

I mean, my, my initial thought is that instead of being transactional, that if we have more of a, what I would call a Missio DEI theology that we're participating in, what God's already doing in the lives of other people, then hopefully it's not transactional.

Brad:

I just wonder.

Brad:

Yeah.

Brad:

What are your, yeah.

Brad:

How would you flesh that out a little

Caesar:

bit?

Caesar:

I really don't think our relationship with God is that relational.

Caesar:

We talk a lot about it.

Caesar:

We talk a lot about, you know, my personal relationship with Jesus and I'm like, okay, how many decisions did you make today?

Caesar:

I don't know hundreds.

Caesar:

How many of those did you talk to Jesus about now?

Caesar:

I'm not saying you have to stop and go.

Caesar:

Should I have a sip of water?

Caesar:

Should I have a sip of water?

Caesar:

I'm not talking about that, but I'm saying we make huge life decisions and you'd go, like, did you pray about that?

Caesar:

Did you talk to God?

Caesar:

Did you check in with Community to check the spirit together and all that?

Caesar:

No, we don't.

Caesar:

So we, when we teach gospel fluency Brad, We often do.

Caesar:

And I've talked a lot about it here in the Podcast, through the, the tool lenses of these four questions.

Caesar:

And it's always starts out with whatever issue let's start with.

Caesar:

What do we know to be true about God and his character, who he is?

Caesar:

The second question is we don't want to just talk proposition.

Caesar:

So can we prove that like where we see what he's done throughout scripture and in our own life and church and in recent years and all that.

Caesar:

And whenever we asked this question, So, what do we know may be true of God and what he's like in light of this, everybody always goes to, well, he does this, he did that.

Caesar:

And so what we do is because we live in such a do to be in and what we do equals our value culture.

Caesar:

That's the beast.

Caesar:

I believe at a hundred percent of scripture when it talks about the beast, it's that world system of what you do equals your value versus it flows from God as image bearers.

Caesar:

When we live under that do to be tyranny

Caesar:

. And no one corrects that, then we had to guess what we do to be God, you know, when your people get super pissed off at God, they're angry.

Caesar:

I used to be a Christian, but then, you know, I lost my job or I used to be a Christian and my dad got sick and I asked God to heal him.

Caesar:

And he didn't.

Caesar:

And that's it I'm done with, you know, it's all this genie in a bottle do to be transactional relationship with God and no kidding because for all of humanity, we've always wanted to paint God in our image.

Caesar:

And so I think we're do to be God that's transactional.

Caesar:

And I think that how we start to flip that as we start to help people understand who the character of God is and that he does what he does flowing from his identity, the reality of who he is, and guess what we get to as well, boy oh boy, we've seen the lights go on for so many people we've seen the lights go on was so I think that might be some of the stuff behind the thing.

Caesar:

Well, how do we begin to tell an alternate . You know, a story.

Caesar:

How do we tell alternative stories and narratives within the church?

Caesar:

What do you

Brad:

think?

Brad:

Well, first I think we need to just tap into or recognize the power of stories.

Brad:

And I know you've talked about this before Caesar, but we just don't tell enough stories and stories.

Brad:

I mean, we are a story people, right.

Brad:

And we.

Brad:

It just cracks, open the imagination of people.

Brad:

They, it stories, help people see things that like bullet points don't, but also stories help us to recognize that this isn't rocket science and it's like, you know, we'll tell a story and sometimes a light bulb will go off or somebody and they'll say things like, oh, well I could do that.

Brad:

So I think we need to just.

Brad:

We need to recognize the power of stories.

Brad:

Great.

Brad:

But then when I think we need to tell an alternative story and you know, and I'll say to people, look, you don't have to stop talking about your Sunday gathering.

Brad:

You don't have to stop posting pictures of the worship band.

Brad:

Maybe don't post as many, but what if we start posting stories and pictures of people actually engaging in mission outside the walls of the church on Sunday morning.

Brad:

I mean, there's all kinds of beautiful.

Brad:

I mean, we know every single church has people in that body that are engaging in radical hospitality and they're serving their neighbors and there's issues of injustice and reconciliation and restoration and compassion that they're engaging in.

Brad:

But for some reason we don't like telling those stories.

Brad:

And part of it, I think is, you know, again, we, we kinda miss the.

Brad:

The understanding of the nature of the church and the essence of the church.

Brad:

But it also, it's funny almost every time I talk about this, someone will say, yeah, but it sounds kind of prideful.

Brad:

It's like, Hey here, you know, here's a picture of me doing such and such.

Brad:

And I think, well, first off, what, so posting a picture of you preaching

Caesar:

isn't prideful with a bunch of lights and a little bit of smoke, right?

Brad:

But I will say, look, if you really have a problem with it, first off, tell the stories of other people then.

Brad:

I mean, but there's times you just got to get over it and say, look, I'm going to tell this story of something that I, I had the privilege or opportunity to engage in, in my neighborhood and just hope that it cracks open the imagination of some other people.

Brad:

So.

Brad:

Yeah, we just have to tell some of those stories.

Brad:

It just helps people see what's going on, helps them get a little different, bigger, broader, more concert, comprehensive view of the church.

Brad:

That is not just about the Sunday gathering, but it's about what the, really what all the people of God are engaging in the other six days of the week.

Brad:

So I think that's part of telling an alternative story and that

Caesar:

takes great intentionality though.

Caesar:

It really takes that takes like, Hey decidedly, we are going to start telling different stories.

Caesar:

Right.

Caesar:

I can remember, uh, like early on here in Tacoma when I was still, you know, one of the leaders at the helm, we were very, obviously big on story.

Caesar:

We always were.

Caesar:

We would do whole preaching series.

Caesar:

And how we would communicate everything through like lots and lots of people coming up and telling their stories good, bad, and ugly, you know, of how this is working out in their life or how their kids are experiencing this, or what's changed for them and their heart or their neighbors.

Caesar:

And at one point we actually appointed a scribe.

Caesar:

You know, how there used to be, you know, in kingdoms there'll be a scribe.

Caesar:

And we just had someone who had a really good watchful eye and they could really capture story.

Caesar:

And that became their blessing within our community was to be the scribed and capture stories.

Caesar:

And sometimes, you know, just iPhone that stuff, we would do a big days of service.

Caesar:

We call it sacred space.

Caesar:

We go out, we always had that stuff filmed, like not really professionally or expensive, but we'd edit it up.

Caesar:

Just seeing people serve and have meals with their neighbors and have deep conversation and, you know, fixing some mess that was going on in the neighborhood or, you know, repairing that's on building out a garden area, or none of it was like amazing.

Caesar:

But those things, those things are still what people talk.

Caesar:

And I even encouraged people in their preaching and teaching.

Caesar:

Like we give out outlines, we give out a full sermon out sermon series outline for the Gospel primer.

Caesar:

And so for each of the eight weeks and that thing, we go, okay.

Caesar:

So here's where you want to have people who were just gone through this week, come up and ask them these three questions.

Caesar:

And I talked to the churches all the time and they're like, oh, we're loving this.

Caesar:

We're doing the whole thing.

Caesar:

I'm like, tell me about the interviews you've been having.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

We kind of blew that part off because it took a little bit of extra work and I'm like, oh, but listen, that's the gold.

Caesar:

I promise you.

Caesar:

I, I promise you someone just yesterday on one of our coaching calls told me a story of they taught something.

Caesar:

We were coaching them on about just the simplicity of asking God, what's next Lord.

Caesar:

And then doing that.

Caesar:

And so this, this elderly woman did that and God said, oh, take that lady some flowers.

Caesar:

You know, a neighbor, right.

Caesar:

Or someone they had met at target.

Caesar:

And she says, but I don't know where they live.

Caesar:

So she took the lady flowers at target and then bawling that lady's bawling her eyes out at work and all this and all my gosh.

Caesar:

And here's my connection.

Caesar:

Here's how to get ahold of me.

Caesar:

And will they, I said, you told that story Sunday, right?

Caesar:

You know, if you, did you gather, he said, yeah.

Caesar:

I said, did you tell that?

Caesar:

Oh yeah, like I'm like do that every week, bro.

Caesar:

Do that every week.

Caesar:

Well, I

Brad:

love you use the word capture.

Brad:

I just think for anybody listening to podcasts, they're trying to decide where to start with all this.

Brad:

That's the first thing you have to do is you have to set up some type of maybe almost like a system to capture those stories.

Brad:

And maybe it's on a website.

Brad:

Maybe it's a Google doc.

Brad:

Maybe you figure it out, but how can you get people in your.

Brad:

Congregation and your church to tell those stories and begin to capture those stories.

Brad:

And then I would say the second part after you capture them then is you just have to tell those stories over and over and over again and find different ways to do it.

Brad:

I liked what you said.

Brad:

You would have a camera there you'd video.

Brad:

It wouldn't have to be super professional, but sometimes maybe you're telling those stories.

Brad:

One-on-one sometimes maybe it's through an email.

Brad:

Sometimes, you know, it's through some other kind of communication through your church.

Brad:

Maybe it's on a website, maybe it's a video, but just find different ways to tell those stories.

Brad:

And over time it's going to capture people's imagination and they're going to engage in mission on a fuller, deeper

Caesar:

level.

Caesar:

Exactly.

Caesar:

Exactly.

Caesar:

And people are, I know people right now are hearing this going.

Caesar:

Like I have no time for that.

Caesar:

Like, I've got so much stuff going on and I got that message prep, but I'm saying make this part of your message prep make this part of your leadership developement.

Caesar:

Because I a hundred percent listen to some older brothers here, you can preach your guts out and be get every best quote from logos software in that thing.

Caesar:

And you can bring up somebody just from your community.

Caesar:

Tell us like a two minute little narrative of what went good, what went bad, what God showed them about that and all that.

Caesar:

And that's what people are going to remember.

Caesar:

That's what's going to move their heart to go.

Caesar:

Hmm.

Caesar:

Maybe what about us?

Caesar:

Maybe us?

Caesar:

Cause story brings implications.

Caesar:

That's right.

Caesar:

And it's so much more powerful than application application wears off.

Caesar:

It rubs off.

Caesar:

They have to come back every week for someone to apply the balm, the ointment, the medicine implication like, wait a second.

Caesar:

If that's really, we get to, well, yeah.

Brad:

Sometimes I'll hear people, they'll say things like, oh, that's what you've been talking about.

Brad:

It's like, when they hear the story, the story just gives them the picture.

Brad:

Uh, and then they, and again, as I said earlier, and then the other thing that it does is it helps them see or realize they can actually do that.

Brad:

It's like, oh, this isn't as complicated as I thought that story that, you know, yeah.

Brad:

I could do that.

Brad:

So yeah, you just.

Brad:

You have to tap into the

Caesar:

power of stories.

Caesar:

What examples of really meaningful stories have you seen emerging?

Caesar:

Any, anything come to mind as far as well?

Caesar:

That, that one really moved me and I that's a prime example of what I'm talking.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Well, I mean,

Brad:

there's lots of little stories.

Brad:

I mean, I, talking to church leaders all over the place where even in the midst of COVID that they have individuals that have, you know, reached into their neighborhood.

Brad:

Like they never did before.

Brad:

I was talking to a guy just the other day that so many of the people in his church started to prayer walk in the midst of COVID for their own.

Brad:

Like physical wellbeing to guide get in certain miles.

Brad:

But also they just started walking more.

Brad:

They were local more, you know, they weren't driving into the city to go to work.

Brad:

So they were spending more time in their neighborhood.

Brad:

They were starting to recognize and notice things they hadn't seen before, because they were walking rather than driving the car.

Brad:

They've met neighbors, it had just opened up other opportunities.

Brad:

And then there's just been great stories of people that I've seen starting new.

Brad:

Things, you know, if it's a brand new micro church or it's kind of a network of things.

Brad:

And as we mentioned, kind of getting started at Caesar, even though I am concerned about the existing church and that whole thing of let's get back to normal, the encouraging piece is without a doubt, there's more.

Brad:

Kind of creative expression, smaller expressions of church that are being birthed all over the country.

Brad:

And that give you, I mean, just lots of different examples in cities, all over the place where people are just saying no, it's time to experiment, innovate, be creative and try something new.

Brad:

And those are the things that just bring me the most joy and encouragement.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

And I would want to encourage people in that, obviously that's what we're trying to do together today, but I'd want to encourage people in that too, in all those new things that you're trying out micro churches or a new community thing, or just, Hey, we're gathering up some friends in the neighborhood and we're doing this.

Caesar:

Don't fall back to then saying, okay, I can't believe we had 12 people here last night.

Caesar:

Talk about the transformation of the heart.

Caesar:

Talk about the relational shift that's happening amongst those people and their relational shift with their heart towards God and understanding his heart towards talk about those things.

Caesar:

And I know pictures don't capture some of that kind of stuff.

Caesar:

Whereas you know, a big room full of people you go, oh, there's a lot of people in there, but resist the urge.

Caesar:

Not too many episodes.

Caesar:

Peyton Jones on we're talking about discipleship in your unique context.

Caesar:

And he said, and he was kind of talking to church planters at this point.

Caesar:

He goes, if you're just getting started, how would you describe your church or micro church or whatever's going on?

Caesar:

If you couldn't describe the Sunday gathering?

Caesar:

Love that.

Caesar:

And I put that out on social.

Caesar:

Just that question.

Caesar:

I got a lot.

Caesar:

I got a lot, but you know what, unfortunately, it was kind of like some people posted back well, and if I couldn't describe it on Sunday morning, I would describe, you know, and it was just, they still were kind of missing the point and I want to call people if you're, if you're brave enough right now, and you're out there pushing into trying some new stuff to be the church, instead of just go to church, resist the pull back to only talk about.

Caesar:

FaceTime or, you know, or I mean Facebook and social media out, all that old metric stuff really work hard to tell a little micro stories to go along with them, or so-and-so said this, and I know sometimes people don't want to be talked about, like you said earlier, but, oh boy.

Caesar:

Oh boy.

Caesar:

We did every week in all the years when I was there at Soma leading that every week.

Caesar:

What we call acts of the spirit, you know, just like the book, right.

Caesar:

Or the Bible, and people would just tell here's what's going on.

Caesar:

Here's what the spirit of God did this week.

Caesar:

And we just get five.

Caesar:

We take just, you know, five, 10 minutes.

Caesar:

People just tell little things.

Caesar:

But every week, it was always like, we got to hear these little narratives we have to, and then guess what it's always was magical.

Caesar:

Like, so then we're teaching from this book today, this passage and you go, oh my goodness, doesn't this just remind you of what, you know, Sarah had just said this morning, it was like, oh, he's God just like wove that stuff together.

Caesar:

It was always powerful.

Caesar:

And it grounded the reality of who God was and what he's been up to.

Caesar:

And what's true of us going forward.

Brad:

Yeah, that's excellent.

Brad:

I love that Caesar, you know, two little words I say to myself all the time throughout the week, and maybe this will be helpful for someone else as I just talked about discover and discern.

Brad:

So if God is actively involved in the lives of people around you and he is, and the places around you.

Brad:

The first thing we have to do is discover what is he doing?

Brad:

So we have to become great observers, great listeners.

Brad:

We need to be noticing paying attention.

Brad:

And then the second, the word discern is then we discern, how does he want us to lean into that?

Brad:

How does he want us to participate in what he's already doing?

Brad:

And that just kind of shifts the focus.

Brad:

And for me, That's what it means to live this out on a daily basis.

Brad:

So it's not just about Sunday morning, but it's about discovering, discerning what God is doing every hour of every day of the week.

Brad:

Not just when we gather and we're, and again, we're both, neither one of us are diminishing the importance of gathering.

Brad:

We are a gathered, worshiping community, but we're, but the church is so much more.

Brad:

Then the hour we gather on Sunday morning.

Brad:

Yeah.

Caesar:

That's what we do.

Caesar:

That's not who we are.

Caesar:

Right.

Caesar:

So yeah.

Caesar:

Well we could keep going and going forever on this brother.

Caesar:

I hope people are getting the basic impulse of your heart in this and your encouragement.

Caesar:

It's mine with you.

Caesar:

Let's reconsider the stories that we're telling.

Caesar:

And I love you said, Hey, don't keep talking about the amazing time you had gathered.

Caesar:

But just remember there's six days and 22 hours and God is at work and there's lots going on and there's redemption happening and there's restoration happening and there's, our hearts are changing and breaking.

Caesar:

Tell those stories, tell those stories too, for sure.

Caesar:

Amen.

Caesar:

Well, thanks so much for being on.

Caesar:

I could keep going forever.

Caesar:

I know you've got some other people to get to blessing and other things.

Caesar:

Thanks for making the time.

Caesar:

To share this little bit with us.

Caesar:

And I was able to take your story that I saw out there in the Facebook's land and make it part of my story today.

Caesar:

So thanks brother.

Caesar:

Always enjoy

Brad:

Caesar

Caesar:

well that was a lot of fun and packed with great insights.

Caesar:

Can you feel the wisdom just pour out of Brad.

Caesar:

One more thought on how we can start to change the stories we're telling about the church.

Caesar:

Perhaps, we need to start by telling ourselves a different set of narratives, like the way we talk to each other.

Caesar:

See, generally speaking, ask yourself, what is the collective narrative, your church hears from her leaders and you hear from each other for some leaders in People, the story they tell in here a lot might be remember when we used to be alive and growing.

Caesar:

And that you hear it a lot or for others, it might be something like, well, we're doing the best we can.

Caesar:

There's been a lot of change around here.

Caesar:

And sometimes a scarcity mindset creeps into everything and our story becomes more like we can't afford that right now.

Caesar:

You know what else?

Caesar:

Sometimes cynicism gets into the mix.

Caesar:

Things like we don't have a leader or we've had so many leadership changes over the years, or I hear this one a lot.

Caesar:

Our leadership is just not into this discipleship and all this Missional thing.

Caesar:

They just don't get.

Caesar:

Have you taken note of the phrases that you say or hear often about your local church?

Caesar:

What are the things repeatedly coming out of your mouth?

Caesar:

Maybe you've been saying, well, one of these days we'll do this and maybe this is just about you and your family.

Caesar:

I don't know.

Caesar:

Or maybe you'll find yourself saying if we just had our own building, we could that dot dot dot, or we're too small to really have an effect on dot dot dot data.

Caesar:

I don't know.

Caesar:

The list could be, as long as you can imagine, maybe it's locational or we're too far out of city, or everything's changed so much or known our church will do anything we're stuck in the past.

Caesar:

Is that what you're hearing?

Caesar:

A lot words and language and stories really do shape us.

Caesar:

And as we talk and discuss, if we're not careful, we'll be shaped by the negative stories that we tell ourselves.

Caesar:

The limiting stories we tell each other, then here's what happens.

Caesar:

The perceived problems become our focal point.

Caesar:

We need to begin to tell a different narrative with in the church, and maybe that's where we actually start just this last week.

Caesar:

I didn't even know for sure what I'd be talking about, but I received an email from Donald Miller.

Caesar:

And he is a believer, but he blogs and writes and does a lot connected to story, generally speaking to business, but he sent out a little email and he said, here are three simple things.

Caesar:

Every leader should do if they want to succeed.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

So put this into your own context, but I've gone back and read this multiple times this week.

Caesar:

And I think it really, uh, it really helps to motivate my heart in light of this whole discussion today so, if you're a leader, think about this, he says, first invite your team into a story, wake up every morning, point to the horizon and let everyone on your team.

Caesar:

I'd say in your church, know where we're going.

Caesar:

Second.

Caesar:

He says, explain why that story matters, explaining clear and simple terms.

Caesar:

Why the story of going to an arriving at that specific destination matters why it's important?

Caesar:

Why people should care.

Caesar:

And then three, he says, give every team member, and I'd say every member of your church, a role to play in the story, look at their skills and abilities, find them an important role to play in that story.

Caesar:

Wow.

Caesar:

I love that.

Caesar:

And that helps me to reshape and form my heart as well as we begin to think about the stories we're telling ourselves, and then the stories that we're telling out there into the.

Caesar:

What do people think this is all about?

Caesar:

What do we think it's all about?

Caesar:

This has really caused me to think deeply this week, and I hope this has helped you as well to think differently about all of this.

Caesar:

All right.

Caesar:

Now, I want to give you the big three takeaways from today's topic.

Caesar:

So as always, if nothing else, you don't want to miss these and you can get a printable PDF of this.

Caesar:

Week's big three as a free download by going to Everyday Disciple dot com forward slash big three.

Caesar:

Now here's the big three for this.

Caesar:

Number one it's time.

Caesar:

We change the stories we tell about the church and our mission.

Caesar:

If we're serious about changing the culture within the church, then we must begin to change the narrative that our leaders tell.

Caesar:

If the only stories we're telling through social media and to others are who is preaching or what you're preaching and how amazing the worship band was on Sunday, or how many people are showing up, then we'll continue to get and be.

Caesar:

What we continue to highlight and tell stories about number two, if our relationship with God is largely transactional, then that's how we'll view the church.

Caesar:

Ask yourself, do you have a real daily moment by moment relationship with Jesus and his father, or are your prayer times rare, sterile, and largely asking, or maybe telling.

Caesar:

God to do these things for you.

Caesar:

God desires a relationship of trust with you.

Caesar:

That is real and present a relationship.

Caesar:

He's longing to draw you into his bigger story and in, so doing rewrite the story of your life and not just your afterlife, but today, tomorrow with your family and friends and within the church, the number three.

Caesar:

Don't miss this recognize the power of stories.

Caesar:

And let's start by changing the stories.

Caesar:

We tell each other about the church.

Caesar:

What is the narrative, your church hears from our leaders in each other words and language and stories really do shape us.

Caesar:

And if we're not careful, we'll just be shaped by the negative stories that we keep telling and hearing turn this around by intentionally taking the time to discover where God is already work.

Caesar:

Around you, and then discern how he wants you to lean in and participate with him.

Caesar:

Start to tell more of those stories within the church body and out to the watching and listening world.

Caesar:

All right.

Caesar:

I hope that's helpful.

Caesar:

It's been fun.

Caesar:

Thanks again to Brad Briscoe for being on with us, but that's it for this week.

Caesar:

I hope you'll join me next time.

Caesar:

As we talk about how our discipleship needs to get.

Caesar:

Be holistic, not just addressing what we traditionally call spiritual things or sin management, churchy stuff, but all holistic discipleship that speaks into and transforms all the areas of our lives.

Caesar:

I'll try and expand your thinking on this cant wait.

Caesar:

I'll talk to you soon.

Announcer:

Thanks for joining us today.

Announcer:

For more information on this show and to get loads of free discipleship resources, visit Everyday Disciple dot com.