This past week I had the great honor of consulting with the staff of St. Stephen Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Before my trip I studied the church and was amazed by their rich history and tremendous growth over the years. This is actually one of the first churches that I'm aware of to have multiple campuses in different states (Kentucky and Indiana).
It wasn't though until I was able to sit around a table with their administrative staff that I was able to really capture how special this church is and how bright their future could be.
Here are some of the keys that I saw to their success:
1) Strong Leadership and Vision- Dr. Kevin Cosby has been the Sr. Pastor at St. Stephen since he was 21 years old and his leadership along with the team he has assembled is strong, focused, and driven. Vision for the future is consistently communicated and enthusiastically embraced by a passionate congregation.
2) Passion for the People- St. Stephen has incredible programming, but their primary focus around everything they do is people. Their programs, services, and facilities are all focused around the needs of their congregation and the community they serve.
3) Freedom and Flexibility- you won't find much red tape in this church as leaders are given freedom to risk and try new things that might further the ministry of the church. Church members are encouraged and empowered to lead and teach or use their gifts in whatever way they can.
4) Openness to New Things- generally I have to sell Social Media before I can train a group on how to use these online tools. St. Stephen did not need to be sold, but wanted to learn now and implement yesterday. This culture of learning and innovation has been a part of their DNA for years and will continue to be a part of their bright future for years to come.
5) Phenomenal Preaching- let's be honest, the pulpit drives the church. St. Stephen's success is not due only to Dr. Cosby, but his powerful preaching has dramatically impacted thousands in Kentucky and Indiana over the years. I cannot wait for St. Stephen Church to go online, because lives all over the world will be touched when we all have an opportunity to hear the powerful messages that are preached each week from this pulpit!
I cannot express enough how thankful I am to have had this opportunity to invest in this great church. I am especially grateful to Christine Cosby for coordinating this trip and organizing all of the meetings with the various staff and ministry teams. It will be so exciting to see what is ahead as this Church without walls begins to reach from Kentucky to Indiana and to the ends of the earth. There is no doubt in my mind that the best days for St. Stephen Church are yet to come!
For more information about St. Stephen Church you can visit them at:
Facebook at http://facebook.com/ssclive