Church Systems and the Concentric Circles

PurposeDrivenChurchThe Purpose Driven Church is one of those “must have” books that every pastor should have on his bookshelf (like all of mine – ha!).

One of the paradigm-shifting concepts that Rick Warren shared with the church leadership world in this book is the “Concentric Circles” that help us visualize how people move step by step from the community into the core of our churches.

I’m often asked how the Five Concentric Circles interplay with the Eight Church Systems that I describe, so I thought I’d take a moment this morning to elaborate.

First of all, the concentric circles do NOT overlay the systems exactly.

That’s actually the way it should be – some systems impact people at a number of levels by their very nature (think of how many of the different levels to the left are affected by your Worship Planning System, for example).

Concentric CirclesThere are, however, a couple of systems that connect very cleanly with the circles.  One clear connection comes with The Evangelism System, which is designed to move people from Community to Crowd.

Another such connection is The Assimilation System, which moves people from Crowd to Congregation. By strict definition, someone becomes part of your congregation when they become a member of your church – the same goal of your assimilation system!

Beyond that, though, the remaining systems overlap numerous circles.

Take the Ministry and Small Groups Systems.  Each of them move people at all levels from Crowd to Core.  The Leadership System mainly fits people in either the Congregation, Committed and Core, while Stewardship interacts with all levels except the Community.

And of course, your Strategy System helps tie it all together in a way that keeps your church growing and healthy.

At the end of the day, there is no neat, “tie it in a bow” way to describe the connection between your church’s systems and the concentric circles, but they are integrally connected.

The systems of your church – when functioning properly – keep people at all levels moving inward along the five circles (and growing closer and closer to God along the way).

If you had to declare it today, which of your church’s eight systems would you say is “strongest” and which is “weakest”?

Now… what can you do between now and next week at this time to improve that system?

P.S. To jump-start the improvement of your church’s systems, you may want to consider The Systems Seminars Package – it’s all seven of my system seminar resources at more than $200.00 off the regular price.

The Systems Seminars Package is available now on CD or as an Immediate Download.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyChurch Systems - General

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