Adam Hamilton on Evangelism and the Case for Methodism

In Order to Reach Non-Religious People We Must Answer Three Crucial Questions:
  • Why do people need JESUS CHRIST?
  • Why do people need the CHURCH?
  • Why do people need A UNITED METHODIST CHURCH?
Adam's answers to the above for the Church of the Resurrection:
  • Jesus is the answer to the deepest longing of every human heart.
  • The church is the physical embodiment of Jesus in the world. The church is a community that loves and accepts me, helps me grow, and then go out in service to the world.
  • Adam turns the final question to us: "What is special about your congregation?"
From Visitor to Member:
  • Saddleback' s model: Invite - Disciple - Equip - Mission
  • COR's adaptation: Invite folks to change the world, introduce them to who Jesus is, invite them into deeper discipleship, and equip disciples for service.
The Case for Methodism (United Methodists embrace both):
  • Mind and Heart
  • Evangelical Gospel and Social Gospel
  • Grace and Personal Holiness
  • Conservative and Liberal
You can check out the video at this link: "Evangelism and the Case for Methodism"

Adam Hamilton on Effective Worship and Preaching

Worship is like a "Soul Food Cafe:"
  • The discernment question for the congregation is "are we a 1 or 5 star restaurant? Are we serving a fresh, hot, tasty meal or warmed-over leftovers?"
  • The reality is that a majoirity people do not expect to have an experience of God or have their lives changed in worship.
Ideas for Improving Worship:
  • People must be "led" in worship.
  • Effective worship requires intentional design and effort (half of the hymns are sung about God and half of the hymns are sung to God - which hymn do you need and when?).
  • Five hours a week should be devoted to worship planning (theme, expectation, experience) and ten hours should be devoted to sermon preparation. Pastors need time to meditate on and research the sermon - guard this time at all costs.
The Aim of Preaching:
  • The aim of preaching is to fulfill the mission of the church.
  • You must discern the mission of the church in order to do direct your preaching (DUH).
The Three Components of Preaching That Connects:
  • Preachers must teach people something they did not know before.
  • Preachers must inspire people and touch the heart.
  • Preachers must issue a call to action.
Two Basis Sermon Types:
  • Adam alternates between these two patterns usually with the first pattern moving toward Christmas and Easter and the second pattern as a follow-up to Christmas and Easter.
Sermon Planning:
  • Adam spends one week a year planning his sermons for the next two years.
  • Adam asks his congregation before he leaves to plan his sermons this question: "Please tell me what sermon topics would help you grow?"
You can check out the video at this link: "Effective Worship and Preaching"

Adam Hamilton on What Leaders Do and Why

Below are the notes and liveblog of Adam Hamilton's first presentation to the North Carolina Annual Conference. Adam is pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, the largest congregation in The United Methodist Church, a congregation he was appointed to start almost two decades ago. I appreciate Adam's willingness to share what he is learning along the way. As he shared at the end of the session, Adam was dealing with the pain of two clergy staff members being involved in an extramarital affair. You can check out the conversations at to see how Church of the Resurrection is handling this as a community.

What Leaders DO, part 1:
  • Set the TONE of the organization.
  • REPRESENT the organization in the community.
  • Hold the organization ACCOUNTABLE to accomplish the mission.
  • Own ultimate responsibility for the organization's SUCCESS.
  • Responsible for preparing the organization for the FUTURE.
What Leaders DO, part 2:
  • Clarify and champion the MISSION.
  • Discern and cast the VISION.
  • Ensure PLANS are developed to accomplish the mission.
  • MOTIVATE and INSPIRE (the body) to pursue the mission.
  • Evaluate, celebrate victories and honestly address shortcomings.
  • One thing leaders don't do ... they DON'T GIVE UP!
Five Important Leadership Principles:
  • It's all about PEOPLE.
  • Healthy organizations have a clear MVP (Mission, Vision, and Plan).
  • Change, innovate, improve or DIE.
  • The DISCIPLESHIP pyramid. (10% are going on to perfection, 10% are tithers and leaders, 30% are regular attenders and givers, and 50% give only when they are in worship). Most sermons and worship celebrations are geared to the top two tiers of the pyramid, but you must have a strategy to reach not only those at the bottom of the pyramid, but those who are not yet on the grid.
  • Discernment by NAUSEA. Successful churches / pastors / leaders are willing to do what unsuccessful churches / pastors / leaders are unwilling to do.
Are you willing to do "whatever-it-takes"?

You can check out the video at this link: "What Leaders Do and Why"

Scribble Live Notes:
  • 1:48 PM: AllenBingham Adam is on stage now and hoping to inspire and encourage us.

  • 1:52 PM: AllenBingham I believe in the church and do not want to devote my life to a dying institution.

  • 1:55 PM: AllenBingham There is no future with a hope given our current realities: from 2001-2007 membership is down 4%, UMW down 14%, professions of faith down 18%, confirmations down 21%, worship attendance down 8.4%. We can continue to do this for another 44 years.

  • 1:58 PM: mfmcclure The UMC will die in 44 years @ current rates of decline....what are we going to do about it? #nccumc

  • 1:59 PM: AllenBingham So let's do three things better: (1) leadership, (2) worship and preaching, and (3) living out our witness in the community. Adam tells us the story of a two-point charge (Drake's Chapel & Calhoun) in central Missouri (7 and 30) now (worship 30 and 60). A district lay leader kicked in to help out -- that doubled the worship attendance in two years. We could double our denomination if every church did this.

  • 2:01 PM: chadmfoster Adam Hamilton..."We can't keep doing the same thing and expect different results." #NCCUMC

  • 2:01 PM: NCCUMC Adam Hamilton is currently speaking. Check it out at! #nccumc

  • 2:01 PM: mfmcclure The UMC will die in 44 years @ current rates of decline....what are we going to do about it? #nccumc

  • 2:01 PM: chadmfoster Praying for boldness and inspiration for Pastor Adam as he prepares to teach us at #NCCUMC

  • 2:02 PM: AllenBingham So let's talk about leaders. What are the qualities of an ineffective leader and an effective leader. Adam is using audience aparticipation.

  • 2:09 PM: chadmfoster AH "don't do the stuff from the bad leader list." #NCCUMC

  • 2:10 PM: AllenBingham Effective leaders are authentic (I respect those who are respected by their team), encourages, humble, passionate (I light myself on fire and people come to watch me burn), courageous risk-takers, love people, visionary. Take a clue - stop doing those things on your ineffective list and start doing those things that are effective.

  • 2:10 PM: chadmfoster AH "don't do the stuff from the bad leader list." #NCCUMC

  • 2:11 PM: AllenBingham Leaders can laugh at themselves ... check out the video.

  • 2:14 PM: AllenBingham Leaders set the tone of the organization, they represent the organization in the community, hold the organization accountable to accomplish the mission, owns ultimate responsibility for the organization's success, and are responsible for preparing the organization for the future.

  • 2:16 PM: AllenBingham Adam sets the tone by parking his car the farthest away. The other servants are starting to pick up the pace. Are we willing to become servants? Are members willing to become servants?

  • 2:16 PM: AllenBingham Check out my live blogging notes on Adam Hamilton's talk on leadership at scribble live #nccumc

  • 2:19 PM: AllenBingham Accountability is the key for leaders. We must own the organization's success.

  • 2:19 PM: AllenBingham Managers plan and budget, develop processes and policies, problem solve, create predictability and order.

  • 2:22 PM: AllenBingham Leaders establish direction and cast vision, align people and resources to the vision, motivate and inspire, produce chaos and change.

  • 2:24 PM: AllenBingham Change looks like: records, eight-track tapes, cassette tapes, compact disc, ipod all have been our music sources over the last four decades. Is your church more like a record or an ipod. You have no future without paying attention to the digital age.

  • 2:30 PM: mfmcclure At Church of the Resurection they have two people who are under 30 years of age on every committee of the church.... #nccumc

  • 2:34 PM: chadmfoster AH "Your mission allows you to say goodbye to some people" you can reach others. #NCCUMC

  • 2:40 PM: chadmfoster "What is your Disneyworld?" #NCCUMC

  • 2:45 PM: chadmfoster How do you get to your Disneyworld? #NCCUMC

  • 2:50 PM: AllenBingham Leaders clarify and champion the mission (why we are here), discern and cast the vision, ensure plans are developed to accomplish the vision, motivate and inspire to pursue the vision, and evaluate, celebrate victories, and honestly address shortcomings. Leaders don't give up. The mission of Hallmark is to "enrich lives" (cards, ecards, an movies). Is our mission clear and are people willing to die to see it through. The mission is why we are here, the vision is where we are going.

  • 2:57 PM: AllenBingham Its all about people. People are impressed that you love them, that your relationship is growing. Read Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People ... that is key to leadership.

  • 2:58 PM: AllenBingham Healthy organizations have a clear MVP (mission, vision, plan).

  • 2:59 PM: AllenBingham Change, innovate, improve, or die.

  • 3:02 PM: AllenBingham We tend to preach and teach most to the top 10-120% of the people. We need to focus on those at the bottom of the discipleship pyramid and those not on the pyramid. Where do I want my people to be in two years. If you don't know, you will not get there.

  • 3:06 PM: AllenBingham Discernment by nausea. When facing a fork choose the one that makes you feel sick thinking about how you can make it happen. (Or as Robert Frost wrote: two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I took the one less traveled by ..."

  • 3:16 PM: AllenBingham Adam closes by sharing a story about two staff persons who crossed a moral boundaries. At the moment of the "maybe" we have to be willing to be say NO. Lord help me be the person or the leader you want me to be. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me ...

  • 8:48 PM: binaryflow Adam Hamilton - Session One video is now available online: #nccumc

Pastor's Column in the June Newsletter

Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ – the One who prayed that the church might be one.

This month our early worship celebration will gather in the Fellowship Hall and join other churches around the country in living into Jesus’ prayer that the church might be one. Last year over 2 million people joined in the One Prayer campaign and more are expected join this year. The theme for this year invited preachers from around the world to complete the sentence “GOD IS … .” Below is our schedule of messages … come join us on Sunday morning as we learn more about who God is.

Join us for ONE PRAYER 2009!

May 31 – “GOD IS … Love”
Craig Groeschel @ in Edmund OK.

June 7 – “GOD IS … Here and Anything Can Happen”
Dino Rizzo @ Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, LA

June 14 – “GOD IS … Strength”
Francis Chan @ Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA

June 21 – “GOD IS … Incomparable”
Mark Batterson @ National Community Church in Washington, DC

June 28 – “GOD IS …”
Andy Stanley @ North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA

Our children’s space is now nearly renovated and in the coming months we will want to dress up our new adult spaces. In the coming weeks we will be putting together a summer work schedule to include workdays during the work week and on several Saturdays. I encourage you to find a place to commit several hours to helping us paint, clean, and organize our education spaces.

We will also need to keep our eyes focused on our city. As I mentioned this past week we congratulate Agnes Ho (Neuse Regional Library), Herbert and Cathy Lewis (Sweet’s Coffee Shop), Darlene Brown (Brown’s Sweet Treats), and Alison Merritt (Alison and Company)for their awards from the Kinston-Lenoir Chamber of Commerce. Let us continue to seek and pray for the welfare and prosperity of the city where we live.

Grace and Peace, ALLEN