Jim Putman on Alignment at Exponential Conference

Church is a Team Sport by Jim PutmanJim Putman is passionate about seeing disciples made – not growing the church or holding services where the stage is the field and the congregation are the fans. 

The pastor must be the coach – not the star player. Pastors are to release people to be on the field and play the game. 

The job of coach is to…

  • understand the game
  • understand where a play is at in his/her level of play
  • create an environment of growth
  • lead them to play together

These same principles apply in the church. 

Three type of players – churched / un-churched / transfers

What is winning in the church? making disciples (not converts)

“The church is primarily filled with spiritual brats and babies because they have never grown up.” Winning is making disciples. So make disciples (not brats and babies).

We can’t make disciples in a show – we must get people on the field and in the game.
Organizational Alignment:

How do we align pre-Christians, Christians, and Transfers?

 4 ways the church must align:

  1. Theologically
  2. Philosophically
  3. Relationally – God will not bless His church is there is relational dissension
  4. Organizationally – we need organizational structure the feeds what we value – this is not hierarchy

Oneness (One) is the key of a functioning church – 1 Corinthians 1:10

“A coach builds individual players and corporate unity.”

Un-churched, pre-Christians will not come to your little show because of your little flier or add on Christian radio.

We must create bridges to un-churched, pre-Christians that they are okay with. Get in their world on common ground, where they are. Ask…what is the need of our community? Bridge in a way that is meaningful to your community.

Become all things to all people that you might win some.

“Bridge to a place where un-church, pre-Christians need you!”

We earn the right from our bridges to invite them to our worship service – a service that is understandable to people who don’t understand church, God’s truth, or religious traditions.

Class 101
The Play book – Joining the Team

For anyone to be involved in the church and be on the team (volunteer) they must understand and agree with

  • the vision
  • salvation
  • worship style
  • how we are structured
  • money
  • small groups
  • non-negotiable (theology) – make clear statements

Class 201
Discipleship Process

  • what is a disciple?
  • the process of growing as a disciple
  • where are you at in the process?
  • what is next for you?

Class 301

  • Every year – yearly reminder of the presentation of class 101
  • Then leading God’s Team
  • a leader’s job description
  • a leader’s commitment
  • a leader’s answers
  • the tools available to leaders

Class 401
Strategy and Skills (on-going training)

  • how to facilitate a small group
  • an introduction to counseling
  • Christian evidences

Every road must lead to small groups because that is where disciples are made. Real discipleship happens in small groups.

90 percent of counseling could be taken care of with a friend who cares or small group that cares.

Every sermon leads to small groups – this is where ministry happens.

The church is to be a disciple making organization – as the pastor you are to ensure this happens.

If God can’t get enough of himself, then can we ever get enough of him?

We have to create systems that produce what we want to produce. If we fail in the systems, then we will fail to make disciples. Create systems that create disciples.


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