100 Years of Church Growth
One tool to clarify five eras of ministry
A sneak preview of a new tool that shows where the church has been and where it is going.
I’m excited to share with you a significant next step for my future ministry. I made the decision to launch a new organization called the Future Church Company, stepping away from my role at Auxano.
As most of you know, I launched Auxano in 2004 out of a desire to help each local church articulate its unique disciple-making mission and model in an era when photocopied vision was running rampant. Since then, we’ve seen thousands of church leaders embrace the tools of Church Unique and God Dreams, and find greater clarity through them. In fact we accomplished our 20/20/20 beyond-the-horizon vision of engaging 40,000 church teams with break-thru tools by 2020 which represents a tipping point (20%) in the evangelical church space. The dream was that the tools would continue to be used far beyond the work of our team and continue to multiply clarity, freedom, and progress for the mission of Jesus even if our team wasn’t in the room.
Yet, I’ve had a growing concern for the church in North America even as we’ve seen churches engage the visionary planning approach of Auxano. We can still too heavily rely on programs, measuring success purely based on the Big Two: attendance and giving. Without a clear “upper room” vision for disciple-making in the community, we miss the opportunity to grow and release the next generation of disciples and leaders in the church. I began to develop a brand new master tool that built upon the Vision Frame and Horizon Storyline (the master tools from Church Unique and God Dreams) that would enable church leaders to address this glaring issue. This new master tool, called Funnel Fusion, is at the core of my new book, Future Church, which will be released December 1, 2020. Funnel Fusion is the integration of the assimilation funnel of the modern church and the multiplication funnel that Jesus modeled.
In order to fully pursue and explore the potential of this new Master Tool for the future of the church in North America without disrupting the great work Auxano is doing for churches and church leaders, I founded the Future Church Company with Dave Rhodes and Kelly Kannwischer to fully develop and deploy the next generation of tools for the church.
The Future Church Company exists to address the core problem I began to articulate above: the church in North America is dramatically overprogrammed and underdiscipled. One way I have found to define this problem is to share what I believe has become the functional mission statement of most churches in North America: Go into all the world and make more worship attenders, baptizing them in the name of small groups, and teaching them to volunteer a few hours a month.
I’m not the only one who has made this type of observation, and I’m certainly not the only one who feels the pain of this reality. In this unique cultural moment (this reality has only been accelerated by the onset of COVID and other societal factors), I want to do everything I can to serve church leaders by providing a pathway that does not abandon the church to its current trajectory but boldly hails the need and reveals the opportunity to reset our compass. That’s what the Future Church book is all about. And that’s what the Future Church Company is all about.
Future Church Co. is an umbrella organization which contains three distinct entities—Younique, Pivvot, and Denominee.
Younique was launched in 2016 as the first gospel-centered life planning process designed specifically to be implemented within the church for individual followers of Jesus. Through Younique, individuals clarify their life call, chart out their life dreams, and connect their vocational decisions to a growing awareness of their life’s ultimate contribution to the world.
Pivvot, which is being launched simultaneously with Future Church Co., will serve local churches directly, delivering onsite and virtual consulting for the post-COVID church based on the Funnel Fusion master tool.
Denominee was launched in 2019 with a powerful set of tools designed to equip denominational and network leaders to provide increasing value to the churches and leaders they serve.
An interconnected ecosystem of organizations that serves the church from individuals to church leaders to network and denominational leaders has never existed before.
One more comment about my friends at Auxano. Please know that this change does not at all represent a rift between me and them. They are some of my closest friends and will continue to be. In some instances, we’re even going to be working together on some projects. They are doing fantastic work with churches and church leaders and I know they will continue to do so in the future. I want nothing but the absolute best for them.
If you have any questions about Future Church Co. or any of the other organizations I mentioned and how we might be able to serve you, please email me and one of our team members will get back with you.
For now, could I ask you to pray for us? We’re in the fun, exciting, and scary season of scaling everything up to prepare for what God has in store. We only see a few steps in front of us … and what we see is both absolutely energizing and completely humbling. Our prayer is that through the combined efforts of the Future Church Co. team and with the power and guidance of God’s Spirit, we might see disciples of Jesus multiplied and empowered in ways and in numbers we can’t even imagine. Will you join us in that prayer?
Thanks for your partnership in ministry,