Jason Hamrock: [00:00:09] Well, hey, welcome back to the podcast. I have Pastor Tim and Lauren with Liquid Church and I’m excited about our conversation today and what they’re going to bring and what they’re going to share with us. You’re going to benefit from it a lot. So, Pastor Tim, take a second and just explain to us the story of Liquid and where you are today.
Tim Lucas: [00:00:30] Great to be with you, Jason. Yeah, so Liquid Church was started in 2007 A.D., so back in the early 2000s, I’m the accidental church planter. I had no formal training as a church planter. My wife and I met out at Wheaton College in Chicago, where I was an English major, but they make you take Bible and theology courses, which I said, what will you ever do with that? But God has a sense of humor. I was an English high school teacher for several years, and God used that kind of in my training to learn how to reach the next generation using a combination of visuals and narrative in creative preaching. And so we started teaching a little Sunday school class of 8 20 somethings, and we’ve been on a rocket ship right ever since. We have seven campuses now, about 5000 people, in the New Jersey metro area. So we’re right outside of Manhattan. and it’s been an incredible journey with Jesus, and he’s brought along some best friends like Lauren to speed the mission.
Jason Hamrock: [00:01:37] Wow. Okay. Okay. Lauren, give our audience a little bit of your background.
Lauren Bercarich: [00:01:43] Yeah, sure, I’d love to. So I am the Digital Director at Liquid Church, which is a new role for us. We’re continuing to lean more into becoming a hybrid church, what does digital ministry look like for us? But before that, my title was Communications Director and I served in that capacity for seven years at Liquid. But prior to that, I was a local news reporter for, you know, you see those people like hanging on to the pole in the middle of a hurricane or a snowstorm, that was me. I transitioned into public relations, and Liquid was just my church. And then your campus pastor has a conversation with you, and suddenly you’re working for the church and your life took a hard right, and it’s awesome.
Jason Hamrock: [00:02:23] I love that. I relate better to your story, than your story, Pastor, Thank you for that. Okay, so, Pastor, I want to pick your brain a little bit about coming out of COVID and whatever that means, and that’s different for everybody. But what do you think of when you think of where the future is for Liquid? And how does digital play a role in that? And what goes through your head?
Tim Lucas: [00:02:48] Yeah, I think like a lot of pastors, I have been on a journey, a continuum, when it comes to digital. You know, we have always had church online, we were early adopters back in 2008, so we were only a year or two into the church when we started a church online campus. We actually brought in a guy, Dave Adamson, who you may know, Aussie Dave.
Jason Hamrock: [00:03:08] Yes, Aussie Dave, Yes.
Tim Lucas: [00:03:09] He moved from Australia to New Jersey, to be the 8th church online pastor in the world. But I think candidly, it really in my mind, as it is for most of these pastors, served as like a backup. Oh, you know, most people are going to come in person, but if someone was sick or they’re traveling, they may watch online. And so we really didn’t have any sort of clear discipleship pathway or strategic plan for integrating people into the life of the church. And so, you know, on a typical Sunday, we’d have thousands in person then, you know, some hundreds online, maybe 1000 people. But again, we thought it was just sort of like, that’s the backup plan. And now I have moved, I find, let’s put it this way, I have a coaching network and I polled the guys and said, listen, tell me where you are on the continuum when it comes to church online, kind of the digital discipleship. Are you an atheist? I don’t believe in it. Agnostic, I’m open, but I have some doubts. Or are you an activist? And it’s really a little bit discouraging, Jason, I found a lot of pastors post-COVID are actually almost going back to where they were open to streaming because, hey, we have no other choice, but now they’re like, okay, it’s like a short term mission trip that went bad. Can we just get back into the building, that’s over. And we’ve moved along, I’ve moved from, again, more of an agnostic where I had some questions, can people really come to know Jesus online, but more than that, be integrated into the life of the church? To now more of an activist? I believe we are on the hinge point of one of those moments in history where new communications bring about an explosion in evangelism that wouldn’t have been possible any other way. And so to kind of throw my weight behind it, you know, you can say all the great things about what we believe in digital, but it’s really until you invest your best people. And so that’s when we asked Lauren if she would accept a promotion to really, she was a wonderful communications director, built out our comms department over seven years, but said, hey, we need a. 3 to 5-year plan to really scale digital and build that brand new department. And I thank God she said yes.
Jason Hamrock: [00:05:15] Lauren, that’s a big tall order. So tell our audience what that looks like from your perspective on the strategy, and how do you measure discipleship when it comes to an online community? Just peel the onion back a little bit and go deep into that.
Lauren Bercarich: [00:05:38] Sure, I’d love to. First, I want to acknowledge that it can be a bit overwhelming because there’s so much that needs to be done, that could be done, and there are so many paths to take, right? And everybody has limited bandwidth, whether you’re working with paid staff or volunteers, so I want to acknowledge that. When I think about our strategy, I kind of break it into different buckets. So as an overall hybrid church strategy, and I like to use the word hybrid because I don’t want to think of people in one camp or another, like, they’re either online or they’re in person. Actually, people are moving fluidly between the two spaces and we want to encourage that. I’m on staff, and I’m a great example of somebody who leverages the hybrid flexibility of what we offer because I have three small children, five and under at home, and it’s not always possible for me to round everybody up and get them to a physical space. So I kind of pick and choose, we might do some worship in the house, but we’re going to physically attend the outreach. So first of all, just to paint that picture, is we’re not trying to put people in camps, we think it’s a both-and strategy where people are moving between the two spaces. And then we try to break it into buckets. So one is church online. Yes, what are you actually doing in terms of delivering your Sunday content to your audience? What does that look like? Do you have an on-demand strategy? What is your live streaming like on Sunday? So that’s considering service times and platforms and how are you actually caring for those people? Do you have a dedicated pastor for your online campus? Do you have a campus manager maybe who’s helping get people into groups and teams? So that’s one bucket of looking at that. But I think in the past we have thought about anything online as just church online, like, oh, it’s church online, I have a digital strategy. No, no, that’s just like 60 to 90 minutes on one day of the week, and so what we really want to be moving toward is seven days of discipleship. So we are reaching people 24/7, and we have the capacity to do that. And in fact, online allows us to do that better than physical ever can, which is how they work together so well. So other buckets we’re looking at are digital content creation, right? So what content can we be putting out there that is addressing people’s felt needs? So for example, if somebody goes to Google and they ask a question like, how can I fix my marriage, or marriage counseling, marriage support, maybe we come up in the results because we have support groups, we have message series, we have a blog series, we have video content. And so your first experience with us might be by experiencing some of our content.
Jason Hamrock: [00:08:20] Yeah.
Lauren Bercarich: [00:08:21] So that’s another bucket. Go ahead. Go ahead.
Jason Hamrock: [00:08:25] No, I love that because that speaks into those felt need issues. And so, I love your hybrid, you can bounce back and forth a little bit because that’s just reality. Now, some people can’t because they live like 300 miles away, and that’s okay. But you’re building systems in order to engage those people. And Pastor, you’ve not only blessed this, but you’ve put resources, a lot of resources behind this because you believe in it. How can somebody go to their leadership and say, we really need to do this? What would you say to them to…I mean, what caused you to realize you should do this?
Tim Lucas: [00:09:03] You know, the evangelist God used in my life was a man named Frank Blake, the former CEO of Home Depot. I was actually at a pastor’s conference out in Georgia. And, you know, he had a breakout. And I thought, oh, Home Depot, you know, I certainly order grass seed and fertilizer in the spring. And it was amazing, he is about 80 years old, but he told the story, he’s a believer and involved in a church down south. But he said, you know, when he took over Home Depot as CEO in 2004, they were opening one brick and mortar superstore every other day. So can you imagine, think like [inaudible] expansion, a new store, 100,000 square feet, every other day, all in on bricks and mortar foot traffic. And he said his first decision as CEO was to say, we’re hitting pause on that and we’re going to go all in on digital. And we said, well, how did that go? He said the board wanted to fire me because it interrupted their model, right, which was we have a certain amount of foot traffic, it’s going to cannibalize that, we can’t bring people online. But he made a prediction that if we go all in on digital and he says all in, it’s not just the funding and the resources, it’s giving your top talent. So the best minds in the organization, like a Lauren, to say we’re going to put behind that, believing that actually online will drive on site traffic, and the two do not compete, but actually complement each other. And that gamble at Home Depot over the next three years increased their foot traffic in store 700%. So not only did not cannibalize it, but they onboarded thousands of new customers because recognizing what people’s needs states are online can be a lot more specific. And he had a challenge, he said, Tim, I sell faucets, you’re sharing faith, something far more eternally important. He goes, and yet I don’t understand most church websites because you’re answering questions that you are asking, the church, you go to a typical website and it’s going to be like, hey, pancake breakfast this Saturday.
Jason Hamrock: [00:11:14] Yep, it’s a brochure.
Tim Lucas: [00:11:14] Here’s our series for Easter. But like to your point, Lauren, when somebody says, my marriage is going off the rails, I need help. We have a tremendous amount of content, but it’s archived and buried where nobody can find it. And so to say, actually, what’s the kind of need state of the customer, or where are they hurting in our ministry, is changing our thinking about that. And so I really see this as this opportunity again to rethink our model of ministry, to where we actually want to be agnostic, we don’t care if people come online or in person because we believe one feeds the other.
Lauren Bercarich: [00:11:50] I love that, Tim, just saying that we’re trying to get rid of the idea that there’s a hierarchy, that physical trumps digital, which was the way it was pre-COVID. And we’re trying to say, hey, we just want people to come and know the gospel and know Jesus, and whether that happens, whether the front door is digital, whether it’s physical, we don’t care.
Jason Hamrock: [00:12:11] Yeah, yeah, I love that because I look at, you know, whenever I talk to churches, I think of three different rings of your audience. So ring one is Liquid’s people, they go, they’re in or they’re online, right? But then there’s ring two of people looking for a church. And then there’s that ring three where it’s all those felt need issues, which there are tons of them, and Pastor you preach on that stuff all the time. And generating the contents half the battle, which you’re doing, and then Lauren’s job is to take that and get it out there. Lauren, you know, I’m sure if you’re like me, which I think we’re a lot alike because I’m a former communication director, I get to do that now for churches all the time. I’m always trying things and failing, which is good because I don’t see it as a failure, I see it as the next step closer to something that’s going to actually work. So talk to us a little bit about some of your wins and some of your losses, that you’ve learned, that you turn those losses into future wins.
Lauren Bercarich: [00:13:08] First, I love that mindset. So one of our core values or staff values at Liquid is excellence, we believe excellence honors God. And, you know, but sometimes pre-COVID, I think, Tim, we would lean towards perfection, right? We just want things to be as good as possible. And then they kind of gave us this one gift, I’ll say one gift out of it is there was some freedom to experiment, try new things, and it was okay to fail forward. It’s like you learn from every failure. And so I really have just adopted that as a standing attitude. So we just had a bit of a flop recently, we have something where we recruit our members of our dream team, that’s what we call our volunteers, we call them our dream team, and we have this incredible expo that is traditionally been a physical event. So Tim casts vision his message, and he cuts the message a little bit short and then he releases the congregation out into the atrium and they go into this experiential event where they get to experience all of the teams, interact with team members, have this church’s fun moment, and then in that moment, make a decision like, yeah, hey, I’m going to sign up to shadow and take a next step and see what that’s like, right? And we, in one day, can convert hundreds of people into a dream team. So we’re like, oh, we have to do something like that in the digital space. And so we tried to tell people after the service to stick along with us and break out into like Zoom groups, but it just didn’t fly. A handful of people came, and the interactions were awkward and weird. Now, listen, I think maybe we got eight signups, it was like five hundred in-person and eight digitally. And everybody is like, what a flop. And the team executed with excellency, it wasn’t because of a lack of preparation, they executed it with excellence, it just didn’t work in that space. And I think, hey, we learned, we learned it’s a flop and now we know we have to recreate it and do something different the next time around and rethink things. So I would just give people, you have permission, you have my permission, go out there, try things, it’s okay if you fail, you know?
Jason Hamrock: [00:15:19] Oh, I love that mentality too, because I think sometimes we’re so afraid of failure, and that really just holds back any type of growth at all. Right? And I think sometimes, well, Pastor Tim, we’re going to be more vulnerable. We go, well, the job security is I’ve got to have a successful event, otherwise I may not be here. And I think to have that freedom, right, to say, no, no, no, no, no, no, it’s okay to fail because we’re going to fail forward.
Tim Lucas: [00:15:49] Yeah, yeah, and we’re on the bleeding edge, right? I mean, right now it’s like, you know, Amazon back in 2001. I think there’s something here, but we can’t even vaguely imagine what that became by 2020. I think the same thing, even again, the way that we are even talking now, right? We even make a distinction between church online and church on-site, you know, digital, physical. My kids do not make this distinction like they think that’s the funniest thing that I would refer to it online, as if they have friends who are online and some are in person they’re like, they’re just my friends. And that’s because we’re our age, right, generationally, we’re immigrants to this, but they’re natives, they have grown up with an eight-inch glowing rectangle in front of their faces for the last 18 years. And so when I think like when they come of age, when we hand the reins over in ten years, Lauren, I’m thinking of your children, right, under the age of five. It’s like, oh my goodness, think of 20 years from now, these tensions that we’re wrestling through and stumbling through the murk and the mire, so many of them will be resolved. I do think, largely by the marketplace, the church, I don’t know if you have found that, Jason, but it just seems the church is often 20, 30 years behind the marketplace.
Jason Hamrock: [00:17:05] Which is light years in digital, you might as well just be [inaudible] age.
Tim Lucas: [00:17:09] That’s it, and that’s why Frank Blake really resonated with me, because I thought, wow, you know, they’re figuring this out, and not all of that transfers. Obviously, the church is not a business or an organization, we’re an organism, and it is more organic. But people now, when you remove friction and give them the opportunity to move fluidly back between two, they never go back. So when I hear guys kind of just kind of bemoaning and saying, oh, man, you know, people won’t volunteer as much, or they’re not as…It’s like standing against a tsunami with a toothpick, back. You know if you go back to this digital tsunami of change that’s coming, it’s like the horse is out of the barn and surf’s up, so let’s get our surfboards and surf what God’s doing.
Jason Hamrock: [00:17:52] Embrace it, or you’re going to eventually die. You know, your church is going to close down. We’ve had so many conversations with churches going, they’re trying to figure out how to grow younger, but they won’t do what you’re doing, they won’t take those risks and put the resources and the money behind it. So it’s fascinating, it’s really good advice, I think, for anybody listening to this, your leadership has to make that call, right? They’ve got to put everything behind it.
Lauren Bercarich: [00:18:18] I do think that is one of the biggest challenges people face, is some members of an organization, they might be on board with this, but without the senior leadership giving the digital ministry its blessing, they really, they have their hands tied, right? You need organizational alignment, you need resourcing, you need staffing. And I say to everybody, hey, it’s okay to fail. Well, I wouldn’t be saying that if Tim was saying, no, it’s not, right? He’s my boss. So you need to have the senior leadership on board, and then they actually help to cast that vision for the entire organization so we can move forward together as opposed to having this friction, even internally.
Jason Hamrock: [00:18:58] Oh, it frees you up for sure. Okay, let’s turn the corner. Let’s talk about this Church Changer podcast. Tell me a little bit about that.
Tim Lucas: [00:19:08] Yeah. So, you know, we have a ministry that really is more oriented to just serving the local church. We’ve just found at Liquid we’ve had, and again, we’re in the northeast, and you have a name like Liquid Church. It’s kind of an odd name, people think you’re a cult or a drinking fraternity, but we named it Liquid for a simple reason, Jesus calls himself the living water, so we just believe a church should be refreshing, we’re in a very spiritually dry place, but there are a lot of thirsty people. And so as we’ve reached a lot, about over half of our congregation, actually, we’ve baptized about 2700 people in the life of our church, and so we have a lot of new believers. And so when other churches come to us and say, hey, we want to reach our neighborhoods, our community in the Northeast or in Boston or whatever it is, we said, wow, we’re getting a lot of these requests and we’re learning from each other sharing best practices. And so we said, you know, we’re nondenominational, can we just kind of start a little bit of an informal network? And so we started out with a coaching network where I meet with lead pastors once a month over nine months, kind of drilling down on some of these systems, the evangelism system, and assimilation, all these things. And what that kind of developed, is we said, boy, there’s a lot of content and a lot of demand for it, and so then we said, Lauren, and what if we did a podcast and use your incredible skills as a former journalist and host, and you’ve got an amazing radio voice. And so Lauren said, I’m up for that challenge, and so it’s been thrilling. the Church Changer podcast. When did we launch it, Lauren?
Lauren Bercarich: [00:20:40] We launched in April of this year, so we’re still in season one. So I think we just recorded episode eight, we’re doing one a month right now, and it’s been a ton of fun. We love this, this is something definitely we’re going to be continuing with.
Tim Lucas: [00:20:56] Yeah, we had Dave Adamson a few weeks ago, and again, interviewing him about his book Meta Church, which is really kind of like the digital discipleship Bible, as far as I’m concerned, it’s very comprehensive. It’s for churches of any size, again, because it’s not about having, and I think that’s an important caveat, right, Jason, is, yes, you want the full weight ideally of leadership behind it, putting resources, financial, staffing. But the reality is, hey, most churches are a single pastor, and maybe a part-time worship leader is also doing the youth ministry, right? And they say, well, we don’t have those kinds of production levels. Highly personal beats highly produced any day of the week. And so it was so fascinating interviewing Dave because he was saying that he was talking with a pastor who was really bemoaning he said, you know, we put our Livestream on Facebook, we got 20 views, and he was feeling discouraged. And he said just live streamed when you’re taking your dog for a walk, live stream on YouTube, and pray for people. And he said, all right. So he took his dog for a walk and sure enough says, you know, I’m feeling a little discouraged, honestly, right now during COVID and, you know, people not reaching. And if I’m feeling a little bit discouraged, you probably are too, how can I pray for you? And he basically walked his dog for 45 minutes and people logged on, and it was like, oh, hey, Lauren, how can we pray for you? Oh, your kids, let me pray right now for Lauren. Jason, how can we…And he just kind of did that live. He wakes up the next day, his YouTube Livestream had been viewed 17,000 times.
Jason Hamrock: [00:22:24] Wow.
Tim Lucas: [00:22:24] And the lesson out of that, that we learned again through this Church Changer interview, is that not only does highly personal always beat highly produced. When you think of broadcast, the beauty of the internet is actually the ability to narrowcast, to be hyper local in your ability to reach your neighborhood, your community. So you know, just to encourage your listeners and those pastors who are out there and say oh you know, I can’t start with all that. Start really small, you know your community best. You have something that you know Craig Groeschel, Andy Stanley, Tim Lucas, anybody else, God put you there and equipped and anointed you to do that. And so I think that’s going to be part of the future, it’s not the broadcast, like, hey, let’s reach all the states. We’re on the East Coast, let’s reach everyone on the West Coast, I think it’s hyper-localized. How can we use a digital strategy to complement our in-person strategy and really saturate our cities for Christ?
Jason Hamrock: [00:23:20] Yeah, I always do the upside-down funnel. Right? If you reach just a few people, and I have a pastor friend of mine, who he and his wife, not every day, almost every day, they’ll just take an hour and they’ll boost a post on Facebook to say, we want to pray for you right now. So he gets a prayer request from somebody, they actually record it, he and his wife record it, and send it to him. And it’s instant feedback, so now they have a dialog, and now they’re ministering to somebody and they invite him to church. I mean, I’m like, brilliant.
Tim Lucas: [00:23:55] Right?
Jason Hamrock: [00:23:56] You spent 20 bucks.
Tim Lucas: [00:23:57] It’s high touch, high tech, right? It’s not one replacing the other, one is really fueling the other.
Lauren Bercarich: [00:24:04] So our heart with Church Changer, Jason, we just really want to be super practical. So there are a lot of podcasts out there that coach on leadership, some are inspiration focused, we really want to get super practical so people could listen to a podcast and then actually have learnings they could implement that week. So we try to pair it with our leader guide, I call it show notes on steroids. Just, we try to give away templates and links and samples just so, we really want to equip people, I think that’s our heart.
Jason Hamrock: [00:24:35] Okay, So, what’s the next six months look like for the podcast?
Tim Lucas: [00:24:41] Sure. So yesterday we just recorded How to Crush a Year-End Christmas Offering. And you know, most in the church world, most people realize, hey, 20% of your budget comes in the last four weeks of the year. And a lot of pastors, hey, here’s our strategy, fingers crossed, praying. And of course, prayer is always the first priority, but we find the Holy Spirit shows up when there’s prayer and planning, particularly months in advance. And so, Lauren, you always pushed me in this, I’d see an invitation from Lauren in my calendar.
Lauren Bercarich: [00:25:17] From this summer, yeah.
Tim Lucas: [00:25:19] Christmas in July. And I would walk into the meeting and Lauren’s, you know, got her Santa Claus, Mariah Carey hat on. You know, it’s Christmas in July and we’re planning for December. And I’m like, really, what? Do we really? But it’s remarkable, the level of forethought and care you can put in earlier on, we find the Holy Spirit just puts his hand on that. And so what we did. is we kind of did an interview with some pastors who’ve been through the Church Changer Coaching Network and saw their year-end giving. You know, they were trying to raise $180,000 and were able to do $360,000 because they stopped seeing it as fundraising, but more of a faith-raising journey for the congregation.
Jason Hamrock: [00:26:01] Participation.
Tim Lucas: [00:26:02] Exactly. So that’s one of the things that we’re doing. Lauren, you can probably speak to the editorial calendar for the next few months.
Lauren Bercarich: [00:26:08] Yeah, and then we’re talking about how to turn a new guest into a regular attender, we have that coming up. We have an interview scheduled with a wonderful gentleman, Art Pereira, we’re going to talk about discipling the LGBTQ+ community and loving them well in the church. So we’ve got a lot of new things coming up and trying to, you know, make sure that every month touches on something different. But that really applies to everybody in ministry, you don’t have to be a lead pastor for the content to be applicable to you.
Jason Hamrock: [00:26:37] Yeah. Oh, I love that, what a gift to the church community. You guys have a huge heart.
Tim Lucas: [00:26:43] A lot, like you said, Jason, a lot of it is just sharing your failures. Right, Lauren?
Jason Hamrock: [00:26:50] This reminds me of the stupid tax.
Tim Lucas: [00:26:51] Yeah, exactly. Like we paid the stupid tax, let’s save you if we could, because it really is, a lot of it is….I find that our plan A is rarely God’s plan A. In fact, usually, we have to fail at Plan A, B, and C before we get to God’s plan A. So we’re always like, can we fail as quickly as possible?
Jason Hamrock: [00:27:09] To get there.
Tim Lucas: [00:27:10] You got it.
Jason Hamrock: [00:27:11] I’m with you. Yeah, I’m with you. Well, how do people tune into the podcast?
Tim Lucas: [00:27:16] Lauren, you can give all the information on that.
Lauren Bercarich: [00:27:18] Absolutely. So if you wanted to go to our website, it’s churchchanger.com, or churchchanger.com/podcast will get you right there, all of our content is there. But of course, we’re everywhere that people listen to their podcasts, you can find us on Apple, Spotify, and Google, wherever people enjoy listening to podcasts, they can find us there. And if somebody wants to shoot us an email, I’m answering all the emails, so email@example.com. If you have a question for me, please reach out. I love…That’s what’s so exciting, you know, when you launch a podcast, of course, you’re like, how many people listen, let me check the downloads. But the most exciting part is when I have those one on one conversations with people and they reach out because something spoke to them or they have a question or they want a little bit more information, or we’re kind of relating on something, that is so much fun.
Jason Hamrock: [00:28:04] Yeah. Okay. Well, before we wind this down and end it, I’m going to ask you each to give us kind of a lasting thought or comment. I’ll start, to give you a second here to think of one. But, you know, what comes to my mind, church, is that we’re all on the same team.
Tim Lucas: [00:28:19] Yeah.
Jason Hamrock: [00:28:20] We have one mission, and it is to make Jesus famous, and we want people to know and follow him. And so I think utilizing a lot of these techniques that Liquid Church is doing, plus other churches that are doing this, I like the hybrid model, and that’s really where it’s going. We’re already there with big boxes like Home Depot and everything we experience, it’s all about just, you know, we shop and sometimes we go to the grocery store, other times we’re on Amazon. You know, it doesn’t mean that the church has to be in-person only or online only, there is a hybrid to the two, and the church that can understand that and pivot to that is going to find themselves in a more successful place. But it definitely is the Spirit leading us. So, Pastor Tim, give us your parting shot on what’s a good nugget we need to take away with.
Tim Lucas: [00:29:13] Yeah, I’m right with you. I would just echo that, you know, I would encourage and challenge pastors to put away their binary bias, right? Either or, physical or digital, it’s a both-and, in my opinion. And when you get the both-and, it really moves you out of that corrosive mentality that it’s a competition, but they actually complement each other. And I think that’s a metaphor for the larger kingdom, that’s the heart behind Church Changer. You know, we sign off every podcast, we say, hey, change is inevitable, irrelevance is not, so let’s put aside our egos and our logos and do something great for God together. I think when we do that, I’m very bullish on the future of the church. You know, it has survived so many things, and in fact, whenever there’s been a technological invention from the printing press to the bleeding edge letter writing of Paul’s day, you know, the church has flourished. So, yes, right now we are in a season that I think has people, there’s some confusion, there’s a little bit of just feeling disoriented. Disorientation can be good, and that’s how we’re kind of leaning into it. Now, I’m preaching to myself here, by the way, I have to preach that to myself every day. So I’d encourage the pastors, to preach it to yourself and convert your own heart before you go out and try to convert your staff or anybody else.
Jason Hamrock: [00:30:36] Oh, that’s awesome.
Lauren Bercarich: [00:30:39] So, Tim, my mind dovetails on yours, that tail end. I would say I’m very optimistic, I feel very encouraged about the season that we’re in. Which I think a lot of people, they feel down, they feel weary, they don’t like the direction things are headed, and if they could just get back to 2019, that would be wonderful, right? So we’re still lamenting what we’ve lost and haven’t been able to move past that. And I would just say this season is filled with so much opportunity, and that is reason to be optimistic. The idea that we could go out into all the world in a second with our message is incredible, so don’t be fearful of technology, think about the ways that it could serve you. And even if you’re a small local church, you can serve your neighbors and your community using technology. So think about the idea that we can serve people seven days a week. So I would tell people at this point, try to turn that corner of lamenting what we’ve lost, and focus on the opportunity that we’re afforded right now. And if you kind of get that optimistic spirit, it will really fuel you moving forward.
Jason Hamrock: [00:31:50] Oh, I love that thought, and I think it’s contagious.
Lauren Bercarich: [00:31:54] It is. Yes.
Jason Hamrock: [00:31:56] Yeah, and if you get some of your congregation behind it, there’s a movement, a momentum that can’t be denied, and it’s the Spirit leading us.
Lauren Bercarich: [00:32:05] Absolutely. And you get to feel that, too, like when Tim is optimistic, he passes that down and it trickles down to the whole staff, too. So think about that for your organization as well.
Jason Hamrock: [00:32:15] Great advice. Well, I appreciate you guys. Thank you so much for carving out a few minutes. I know you guys have a lot on your plate, so this has been very rewarding for me and I know our listeners as well. So thank you.
Tim Lucas: [00:32:27] We are so glad, Jason, it’s been a joy to visit with you, and we think the world of the Missional Marketing family. And thank you for being a thought leader, as well, for the global church.
Lauren Bercarich: [00:32:37] This hass been so much fun, thank you for having us.
Jason Hamrock: [00:32:39] All right. Cool, I’ll pause.