Shawn Lovejoy & Dino Rizzo on Breaking Growth Barriers Through Serving & Big Days

Shawn Lovejoy & Dino Rizzo on Breaking Growth Barriers Through Serving & Big Days

"If we want to grow, we need to make service a natural part of what we do." In a webinar hosted by CourageToLead and ARC, CourageToLead Founder and CEO Shawn Lovejoy chats with Dino Rizzo about how church planters can tackle growth barriers through service and "BIG days"...


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Focus on the leaders...

I've been sharing with smaller circles of people within a church something God has been leading me to do for a while. I feel compelled by God this next year to invest more in LEADERS in our church. Try this Bible Study on for size: Read through the New Testament, and notice all of the times Jesus was trying to get away from the crowds. Why would Jesus run from crowds? Spend more time with the leaders: His closest core of twelve followers. What is our tendency, however, as leaders? The crowds. Draw a crowd. teach to the crowd. Spend time gathering the crowds. At our church, we've always done a great job gathering the crowds. We have NOT always done a great job pulling away from the crowds care for and invest into the leaders. That's why, this year at Mountain Lake, we are entering what we're calling: "The Year of the Leader." This year we will be more intentional about investing into the lives of the leaders in our church, We will communicate at a higher level;  we will spend more time with them; and invest into them at a higher, more consistent level. Jesus knew that disciples begins (and ends) with leadership. What about it ministry leader? Are you more focused on the crowds? Or the leaders?

Top 5 Church Planting Lessons over 10 Years (pt.2)…

3. The Sr. Pastor can only lead the church so far by himself. The Sr. Pastor must build a team…no, not just a team…a GREAT team. If he doesn’t, it WILL stop the church from reaching its God-given potential.   At a certain level…as a matter of fact at every level of a church’s growth, the Sr. Pastor must evaluate the team around him, and the seats they sit in on the bus and raise the bar of the team around him. A church is not as good as its preaching and music. I know of some GREAT churches who have average music and teaching. A church is only as good as the team that leads it. At, we say: “Think Team”: ALL THE TIME; EVERY DAY; EVERY DECISION. Consistent  team thinking will move the pastor to constantly examine and reposition his dream team for maximum Kingdom effectiveness. Mountain Lake is what it is today because of an extraordinary team! It will be everything God wants it to be in the future based on the team God leads it with!

4.  Contemporary or traditional doesn’t matter.  I used to think that God wanted to use contemporary, cutting edge churches to change the world. I’ve learned that God wants to use HEALTHY churches (regardless of music style or dress) to change the world. I know some traditional churches God is using GREATLY right now in our world; and I know some “cutting edge ones” that are. I also know some dead “cutting edge” churches and many dead “traditional” ones. Health is what matters. Acts 2 is what matters. Not music style or video elements. 

Leading my church through the recession (or depression or whatever)...

        Now is the time for leaders to lead in the church. We can blame, criticize, moan and be-groan; play the role of the victim; or we can step up, man up, woman up, and SHEPHERD our people through these turbulent times! We offer a financial planning course regularly at our church, called ReThink Money. However, we just feel that unusual times call for unusual response and leadership. Here's what we're doing at Mountain Lake to lead our people through this. This is an excerpt from our worship guide:

"In light of our current economic situation, the leadership at Mountain Lake Church would like to help equip you to navigate through these difficult times and end up better off on the other side. For the first time, EVER, our Lead Pastor, Shawn Lovejoy and the creator of ReThink Money, Casey Graham, will take the stage together to help us Recession Proof Our Lives. This FREE event will be held on Monday, March 16 from 6:30pm until 8:30pm at our North Forsyth Campus. There will be pizza for children and adults and childcare will be provided for children 6 weeks to 11 yrs. old. You can sign up on your communication card, call Pam Majerus (770.888.2513 Ext. 236) or email her at You may also sign up online at"

This class will differ greatly from our normal ReThink Money class, and will offer unique principles based on unique times. We will have upwards to 200 adults participate in this seminar at our church! If you're a Mountain Laker, get signed up NOW! It's free with free food and free childcare! I'm telling you this will be fun, practical, and could alter the course of your life!

I'm honored to be part of a spiritual leadership team that gets to lead, shepherd, counsel, encourage and challenge our people as we navigate through this time of uncertainty! Thanks God for what You've done in us and what You're doing through us to help people with all of this!

The Leadership Factor...

         John Maxwell was right (and he didn't invent the idea): Everything rises and falls on leadership. More than ever before, this truth is so transparent to me. As God prepares our church for the future, and all that He wants to do through us, the amount of investment we place in our leadership MUST GROW!
         Many of you know that one of the reasons we've moved from two Sunday Morning and Two Sunday NIGHT services, to three CRAZY Sunday morning services, is so we can take the next few months before moving into our new worship auditorium at the North Forsyth campus, and pour spiritually into the volunteer leadership of our church. This Sunday Night, we'll assemble ALL of our Small Group Leaders and Volunteer coaches to invest into them collectively from both a spiritual and practical ministry leadership standpoint.
         So this Sunday Night, we launch "Leadership Community" at Mountain Lake, and I can't wait! Here's what we'll do: first, we'll eat together. Then, I'll share my heart with the leaders: "some inside scoop stuff"; then I'll invest spiritually into the leaders through some teaching. THEN our leaders will break out into their specific ministry areas: Children's Ministry, Student Ministry, Small Groups, Creative Arts, and World Care for some more practical ministry leadership investment time, led by our other pastors.
         I can't wait to see what God is going to do! I KNOW that God is going to use this investment into our leaders to make a GREATER IMPACT in and through their lives; and therefore, our families, our community, our nation, and our world! So let's go, leaders! Let's have Leadership Community!

Preparation for newness...


        As God prepares our church to move in our new Worship Auditorium this Fall, I believe God is also preparing His church for what's ahead! He is making our church new! There's a new sense of anticipation and excitement on our campus this year in anticipation of what God is going to do in and through us all at Mountain Lake Church, this year! I believe this year is going to be the nest year EVER at Mountain Lake! God is going to shake this community through us! He's going to change us! Use us! Move among us!
       I believe God is preparing ME for what He wants to do through me this new year! He is making me new! I feel God raising the bar in my own life. Calling me to more. Calling me to DO LESS to BE MORE. To be with Him; to pursue Him; to become a greater man of God; to become a better Father, husband, and spiritual leader; to grow as a preacher and teacher of God's Word; and grow in my love for people! I feel God preparing me for newness! What about you? Are you sensitive to God's desire to prepare your for newness this year?