Rows and Circles

The other day I was visiting Inland Hills Church in Chino, CA for a software demonstration of The City. If you’ve never seen it, The City is a powerful bit of webware that can revolutionize the way your church interacts and “does” ministry. As described from their website “The City helps everyone in your church stay engaged in daily life and ministry. It’s a group-oriented social network that’s all about helping your church build deeper community and extend the love of Christ to the world.”

After the demo was over I asked for a campus tour. Graciously “Goose”, Inland Hills’ Pastor of Connections, agreed to show me around. As we visited, he shared with me the clearest ministry strategy that I’ve ever heard. He called it Rows and Circles.

Row and Circles

Rows represent getting people to Sunday services (think pews or rows of chairs)

Circles represent getting people plugged into a small group (think people sitting in a circle)

That’s it. That’s their entire ministry strategy.

If an activity doesn’t move people to their Sunday morning worship services or assist in getting them involved in a small group, they don’t do it. Period. This very clear word picture acts like a filter that keeps them as focused on what NOT to do as what TO do. It keeps Inland Hills from doing a lot of the “distracting activities” that other churches get caught up doing. It helps them say NO to the good, so they can say YES to the best. 

There is no wonder why this church is growing and impacting their community for Christ. Go Goose!

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2 thoughts on “Rows and Circles

  1. Good to hear from you, Bruce! “Rows and Circles” are a real simply of conceptualizing our church structure. We are constantly fighting to keep things simple because our natural tendencies is to do more, add things and look busy. I highly recommend the book Simple Church by Thom Rainer. Our Weekend Service team is going through it and there are great practical steps to simplify and focus strategies.

    • Simple Church is a great book. Fortunately you have a leadership team that recognizes the benefits of focus. Our church, like many others, values events…The more the merrier. It would take a major philosophy of ministry change to see a shift. Recognize that what you have is special. Take advantage of it!

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