Intentional Discipleship Strategies for Families at Home

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Tim Goodyear and the team at HomePointe are equipping churches to reach more families during COVID-19

Podcast Transcription

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Welcome to the Church Growth podcast. My name is Jason Hamrock, I am your host and I’m excited to have you here today, thanks for tuning in. I’m talking with Tim Goodyear. Tim is the COO of HomePointe Ministries, and I am excited for you to hear about what they are doing to equip churches in helping their ministries reach more families during this time of COVID, and so you’re going to learn a lot. Here’s Tim Goodyear.

Hey, Tim, how are you doing today?

Hey, Jason. Great, great, I’m doing fantastic, and good to be here with you.

Yeah. Thanks for being on the podcast, I really appreciate you and your ministry. And today are our listeners are going to learn a lot about HomePointe, if they don’t know about you guys. And so I’m really excited about this, because now more than ever, churches need to be focusing on how to continue to impact families. Not only families in their congregation, but families in the community, right? So that’s…

No, no question. No question. I mean, and we can get into this later, but that’s definitely one of the things that we’ve seen come out of this whole thing. People are sheltering at home, and yet they don’t know what to do at home in terms of their marriages, and their parenting, and how to lead their kids spiritually, and so that’s a lot of stuff that we can help with.

Wow. Well, before we get into that, tell our viewers a little about your story and how you ended up at at HomePointe.

Yeah, definitely. It’s kind of an odd story, I’m kind of a second career guy, I spent about eighteen years in the corporate world. My background is engineering, a lot of time in the automotive industry. And it was really after we had kids, we had a couple of young toddlers that God really got hold of me, and I felt a calling to go into full time ministry. Really to help guys like me, who are kind of marginal Christian, that I went to church, and I was involved, but I really wasn’t sold out for Jesus. And God got hold of my heart, and that led us down a path of going to seminary. I left the corporate world, and went to Dallas Seminary. And I had the opportunity to connect with Lakepointe Church and a guy named Kurt Bruner, right when they were beginning to launch a whole new family strategy, which eventually became HomePointe.

And so I got to jump in and be a part of the team there, the staff, that I got to help develop HomePointe while I was in school and seminary. And then as things often do, it just continued to grow, and I got the opportunity to move into working with HomePointe part time, initially, while I was a pastor at a couple of different churches. I moved out here to Phoenix, and I was a family discipleship pastor at a church here in Phoenix. And eventually, HomePointe got where it grew to the point where I got the shift to full time. And so now I’m really spending most of my time, nothing’s really a full time, spending most of my time with HomePointe and continue to serve part time as a discipleship pastor at a church here in Paradise Valley here in the Phoenix area. So I get to wear a couple of different hats, I get to both help other churches think through this kind of stuff, and I also get to be practicing it myself. So good opportunity.

Okay, so Homepointe was birthed from LakePointe Church, which is a big, huge multi campus church in the Dallas Fort Worth area. So explain to us, what is Homepointe?

Yeah. Yeah. You know, it’s interesting. Real quick, don’t worry, I won’t get too long winded on this, but real quick. HomePointe really grew out of a movement of about 15, 16 churches that were all across the country, all different sizes, and all trying to figure out how to go after helping families become more intentional. And so we partnered with those churches, some you’ll recognize, guys like Mark Holemen and Brian Haynes, John Trent, a lot of the big names in the family world were a part of that. And went through a two year process trying to figure out, hey, what’s the right way, what’s the right strategy? And what’s really interesting to me, if you don’t know LakePointe Church, you mentioned, LakePointe Church is one of the most strategic churches in the country. And what LakePointe did, was after this two year process of everybody trying things and sharing ideas, LakePointe said, we’re going to take all of this information we’ve gathered over two years, we’re going to boil it down to what are the keys to really going after helping families be more intentional. And then we’re going to build a brand new ground up strategy, family ministry strategy, that became HomePointe.

And so then, okay, what were those keys, really? It’s really, really simple, it’s how do we make it really easy for families to be intentional? We’ve got to make it easy so they can be successful every time, and then how do we make it more likely that they’ll actually do it? And so it’s really those two simple pieces, let’s make it easy, and let’s make it more likely. Great, what does that mean? Well, the make it easy piece, if you will, is let’s pre-select the right tools, the right resources, the right ideas for families to go after, and let’s make them readily available. A lot of churches that we partner with have a physical resource center on their campus, they have in print resources that families can pick up. Of course with COVID, things shifted quickly. And so a lot of churches have shifted to having a digital resource center, an online resource center, we’ve created all kinds of digital and online kind of tools as well. But the whole idea is let’s give them really simple, easy tools, let’s make it easy for them to access it.

And then how do you make it more likely that they’ll actually do it? The biggest piece there is a couple of times a year, as a church, you put some kind of call to action to it. You actually put some intentionality to calling your families to become more intentional. And so we’ve created a whole series of what we call campaigns, they’re really simple topics, they are things like have meals together as a family. Let’s put out a challenge to our families to actually have meals together, and have some conversations about Jesus around the dinner table. And we’ll give you the conversation starters, we’ll give you all the fun ideas, creative ideas, to do that. Or, hey, let’s put down our electronic devices and actually talk to each other face to face. And so we’ve got a whole campaign around that, where we’ve given the families the tools to actually encourage them and equip them to do it. And so the first part to make it more likely is a couple times a year do some kind of a call to action, we create all the tools to help you do that.

And then the second part of make it more likely, is what we call faith path. And Faith Path is 12 steps from when a child is born until they graduate high school. And each step is either a spiritual practice, things like praying, or spending time in God’s word, or serving, or giving. Or it might be a milestone, it might be things like a baby dedication, or a child comes to faith in Christ baptism, you know, first time in big church, or a first communion kind of stuff. And what we’ve done is we’ve identified a target age for each of those steps, and then we’ve created a resource kit. And the idea with those is when a child reaches that age you, as a church, can can email that family, text that family, however you communicate with your folks. And say, hey we see Johnny’s turning three, this is a great time to start the blessing. Stop by pick up your blessing kit, or go to our website and download your blessing kit, and you’ve got everything you need to start that practice with that child.

Here’s the beauty of that, Jason, is a lot of churches talk about as the church, we want to partner with the parents, but the reality is we’re really not doing anything to actually equip those parents. And so what what our strategies and tools to do is, as a church, they actually give you the tools to equip those families, and those parents, and those marriages, to go home and start to live this stuff out. And I think that’s the missing piece for a lot of churches, is we’re not really equipping our families well with the tools that they need.

Wow. I mean, you especially in this time with COVID, which we’ll talk about in a minute, but having parents kind of be the hero and lead their family, I think you hit it right on the head. Where they need those resources, because I think a lot of them just don’t really know what to do and how to do it. And so it’s not about HomePointe being the hero, it’s really about their local church being the hero, you’re just resourcing the local church to guide those families during all kinds of different seasons, and you have a lot of different, a lot of different material, a lot of different topics.

Yeah, so we’ve got a whole series of little kind of brochures, if you will, that that we call pointers. Again, they’re available in either print format or digital format, you can have them online, access via phone, people can pick up a printed brochure. And those are really divided into two categories. One is the natural family seasons that everybody goes through, and so they start with single and they move right on through, you know, hope to get married, and engaged, and married, and preparing for children, parenting, right through empty nester kind of seasons. And the beauty of that is, every family goes through those seasons. And so we often say there’s something for everybody, no matter what your home looks like, no matter what stage you’re in as a family, we’ve got some information, some resources, some tools for you.

And then the other series, if you will, is what we call special circumstances. And these are the challenges that families face, things like, you know, financial difficulties in the home, that’s actually become a very popular one over this last year, if you will. Things like addiction in the home, I’m married to an unbelieving spouse, and so those different challenges that families face, we call it kind of the 80/20 rule. We’ve identified sort of the 20 topics that cover 85 percent of the challenges that families face, and so it’s a very efficient strategy, if you will.

And as a pastor in a church, what that does, if you have those resources available in a resource center, on your church website, most families can go and access that information, and it’s kind of a self-help opportunity for them. It’s also a great outreach tool because people in your community are facing those same challenges, or dealing with those same issues, and so it’s a great opportunity for you as a church to leverage those as an outreach, as part of your outreach or marketing strategy with folks in the community. Again, it’s going to land with the majority of your families, and as a pastor, that frees you up to spend time with the families in a counseling session or those kinds of things that you really need to, because you’re not spending a lot of time answering the kind of questions that they can find answers to themselves, you know, working with these tools and resources.

Yeah, it was not too long ago you guys pivoted to become more outward focused as well, to help churches reach people in their community. As you know, we we live in the world of Google over here at Missional Marketing. And, you know, it’s it’s been like this, but COVID really just put it on hyperdrive. And those are key words of people that are searching for anxiety, and stress, and grief, and fear, and, you know, obviously finances, and all these different kind of searched keywords that are just being searched like no nobody’s business these days, and rightfully so, because people are struggling. And so you guys made kind of a decision to kind of flip and also include to be outward focused. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Yeah, yeah, we definitely did. And as you know, some of that was through conversations with you. You and I met sort of pre-COVID, and we’re talking about some opportunities for you all to help us with some marketing strategies and things. And there’s a lot of, you know, in those conversations that planted some seeds to help us see that, hey, the content that we have, and the tools that we have, really can help with some of that that outward focus. And so we’ve actually developed two digital platforms that are part of the resources that we provide to churches, and folks that are listening to this can go and check them out. One is called myfamilyseason.com, so myfamilyseason.com, where we have a lot of those different topics, a lot of those different campaigns that I mentioned available. In fact, that strategy’s been a great strategy during COVID, we really ramped up our, you know, accelerated our development of that, added a lot more content to it than we planned to last year, just because of what was going on. And then we made that available to churches, and so there’s a lot of great kind of at home tools, date nights at home, and family nights at home, movies at home, right, some different things that help with those conversations. But as you mentioned, those are great strategies or tools for churches to leverage those then, as you know, promoting them, or part of their part of the GooglesAd strategy, or their marketing strategy, to to reach folks in their community.

So the first one is myfamilyseason.com, the second one is myfaithpath.com. And we also, last year, took that whole faith path strategy, all 12 of those steps that were normally in a printed kit, and converted them into an all digital access format. And so now parents in your church can just pull it up on your phone, hey, their child turned three, they can pull up that full blessing kit on their phone by just going to myfaithpath.com, and they’ve got everything they need. Again, it’s a great outreach tool for churches, in terms of you can make those available to people in your community as a way for them to connect.

And it’s interesting, people are looking for two things, as you know, key word topics, you know, kind of issues that are going on in homes. But the second is, people are focused on their kids, and that’s really ramped up during this COVID time because the kids are home. Right, not only are they homeschooling them and home teaching them, but they’re just there 24/7. And so families are looking for resources to work with their kids, and they’re kind of kid focused, child focused right now, and so it’s another great opportunity.

Well, yeah, you mentioned they’re looking for that. Either they’re looking for that, or parents don’t know what to do, and what you guys are doing is you’re really equipping the church to be able to serve their congregation. Right? Where engagement is definitely dropping, people are not coming back to church, and certainly people don’t go to church, aren’t doing it, and yet, all those needs are still there. And lots of parents just kind of throw their hands up in the air and go, I don’t really know what to do, I guess I won’t do anything, I’ll just check out. And we know that’s not a good solution, and so the tools you’re offering churches, you know. church, you can grab onto these things and really use them to lead families well. You’re equipping the families, so that the parents can be the leaders, what a great tool. And I like the fact that they’re digital, it makes it a lot easier.

Let me preach just for a minute, and I promise I’ll be short. But, you know, Ephesians 4, you know, the equip the saints passage that we all, as ministers and pastors, like to grab onto to say, our job is really to equip the saints. It’s interesting to me when you look at the word there, equip, whether you look in the English or the Greek, go back to the Greeks, there’s two aspects to that word. There’s the teaching aspect, teaching or training aspect, but then there’s the equipment or tools aspect to it. And we as churches, we do a great job with the teaching aspect. And it’s interesting to me, as we all pivoted with COVID, we pivoted really, really well around the teaching piece of it. We ramped up digital platforms, and video Sunday mornings, and video worship and messages. Even the bigger churches ramped up video children’s and student ministry, but it was really we’re going to put our our children’s pastor in front of a camera and they’re going to teach. And that’s great, we need that. But where we slipped a little was the actual equipping, giving the tools or the equipment needed for the job. Right? And I think that’s a gap that we help fill is, as a church, we come along behind your teaching and we actually provide tangible, practical tools, that you can give to families. Of, hey, this is how you walk this out in your home, this is how you are intentional about passing faith to your children, this is how you are intentional in the context of your marriage. Right? We’ve actually got the tools behind all that to help you. So it’s a great kind of one two punch, if you will, of we tend to do really, really well with a teaching piece of it, but what are we doing to actually equip the families with the tools that they need?

Really well said, worth the sermon there, because I talk to a lot of different churches that really struggle with that. You know, like you said, they had to, rightfully so, put all their efforts and resources into figuring out how to do online worship services. And then, I even had some churches go, can you walk us through on how to do online giving? I mean, it was do or die literally this past year, and churches are getting better and better and better at that. But to your point, and I’m telling you, I’ve experienced this, and that is they’re still trying to figure out, first of all, they’re trying to figure out how to do online church, not we can worship, but just online ministry. And then how do you use that effectively every week, week in and week out, to continue to disciple your own people and new people that are coming in. So they’re trying to figure that out, and I think you’re absolutely right, you guys kind of fill that gap to say, well, we got the resources and the tools, get yourself equipped, get the equipment. And then go, and get the reach your families, and reach families in your community.

So let me just give you a simple example. Imagine if in a Sunday morning message, and the message doesn’t have to be all about this…In fact, when we launched the Meals at Home campaign at LakePointe, it really was a drop in message. And the idea of the message then was, hey, there’s times in life where we huddle up together to get ready to go out on the field and play the game. And so we do that here in church, you know, we huddle up as a church. But really, the point isn’t just the holy huddle, the point is we want to get ready to go out and be witnesses, right, reaching the last in the world. Oh, by the way, as a family, there’s times when you do this too, you huddle up around the dinner table, and that’s really what helps equip your family to be ready to go out and face the challenges of the world. We’ve got a Meals At Home Initiative, we’ve got ideas for you to have fun family nights around the dinner table, have some faith conversations, etc.. Now, what you’ve just done is you’ve used your Sunday morning platform, your Sunday morning online message, to challenge families to do what they’re already doing, have meals together, but do it in a way that’s going to spark some conversations with their kids, with their spouse, with each other, and we’re going to give you the tools to really, really make it easy to do it. And it really is that simple, the reality is, families are not having faith conversations, Not only because the COVID, I mean, pre-COVID Gallup research shows that your regular attending family at church have faith conversations at home, less than 10 percent of them have any kind of faith conversation at home, pre-COVID. So now you throw COVID in the mix, and my guess is that even dropping even below the 10 percent threshold. And so how do we get them to actually engage at home through some of these really, really simple tools? But that’s just kind of a simple example of one of those campaigns that can really be leveraged well, right now, during the COVID season. And like I said, we’ve got them on, you know, couples doing date nights at home, we’ve got them on movie nights at home that really targeted for parents of older kids kind of stuff, and have great conversations about the movie. So, yeah, I mean, leveraging all that to get them to engage at home as a team.

Ok, so how do churches get engaged with HomePointe? What’s that even look like? Is it is it expensive? Talk to us about it.

Yeah, sure. So let me say this, the easiest way to get engaged is to go to our website, drivefaithhome.com, drivefaithhome.com. Once you get there, you’ll see it kind of front and center, but the easiest thing to do there is to sign up for our free Drive Faith Home University. And so if you sign up for the free Drive Faith Home University, we’ve got a series of short videos on there that really unpack both from a strategic sort of philosophical perspective of why this is so important, as well as from a very practical perspective of what exactly are all these tools and how do I use them. So you really get both of those, get the overview strategy, and you get the practical tools.

I often tell churches you’ll learn enough there, that you could go and start doing this kind of stuff without us, we’re giving you the whole strategy for free. You can learn and see exactly what we did, how we did it, you can go do it. If you want to leverage our tools that we’ve created and make available, then we do have a subscription kind of opportunity for you, where based on the size of your church, it’s scaled to size of church. You can pay an annual, or we can do a monthly payment subscription, and you get access to everything we’ve created. I joke and say we only have one plan, the everything plan, because you literally just, you get access to everything that we’ve created for all three pieces, the resource center, both digital and print, the campaign, and the faith path. You get all of that based on the size of your church.

And you can see our full pricing schedule on our website, but I’ll give you a simple example. If you’re a church under 250 in average weekly attendance, and we generally count pre-COVID, but if you’ve been hit pretty hard with COVID and you feel like your numbers have dropped, just tell us what you think your numbers are. But if you’re in that under 250 category, it’s 600 dollars a year or 50 bucks a month. It’s really extremely affordable, less than a cell phone bill kind of thing, you’re getting everything that you need. And then it, you know, increments up a little bit from there based on the size of your church. So we try to make it really, really affordable, our goal is to help you as a church, help your families become more intentional. And we can do whatever we can do that, so.

Well and we cross paths a lot, because a lot of churches that you’re serving, which is hundreds church around the country, we serve as well. And so those conversations about how they’re using HomePointe, I’m always amazed and I’m like, way to go. Because I see them implementing it, and families are getting help that they need. And certainly, it’s been a unique season with COVID because, you know, their priorities are over here trying to get more people to engage and watch, so I totally get that. And you guys have a phenomenal kind of a model for the in person, in the lobby type of experience, and I’ve been to many churches where I’ve seen these lobbies and you can go online and check them out, and it’s really creative. And it’s great because anybody can walk up and grab one brochure, or seven brochures, and maybe they’ve got a relative or a neighbor that they know they’re struggling. It’s just easy to go, hey, we were talking about this thing, here you go. So sharing it, it becomes a tool for you to invite your friends, or just help your friends, or your loved ones, or your neighbors. And church, you’re providing that that platform, and I think that’s another hugely added benefit that you guys bring to the table.

I can tell you that, again, kind of go pre-COVID, the number of times I stood by one of those resource centers and had somebody who had out of town family, or they invited a friend to the church. And one of the first things they wanted to do was say, come over here, come over here, come over here, look at what my church has, look at what my church has for families. Because, as you know, families is one of those areas that people look for help around. And so when they think your church has a lot of tools, and resources, and things for families, then they get excited about it, people in the community get excited about that’s the kind of church I want to go to. So it’s always been a little bit of an outreach strategy, I think with COVID we’ve learned and through the digital kind of transition we’ve learned, it can really be a powerful outreach strategy for the church to connect with families in their community.

Absolutely, yeah. You’re handed a brochure that’s got your church logo on it, church, you know, it’s your church, and yet it’s still got phenomenal information. So, yeah, okay, well I encourage you to go check out…Say that say the website again.

Drivefaithhome.com

Drivefaithhome,com, and go take a test drive. And give Tim a call, if you’ve got any kind of questions. I’ll add Tim’s contact information, shoot him an email.

Yeah, definitely.

Yeah, if you got any questions on this, go to Tim. Oh, go ahead, go ahead.

Yeah, reach out to me directly, or we do have a contact form on our website, we offer a complimentary coaching call. If you would like to schedule a time to ask some questions, or learn a little bit more, maybe talk about some specifics at your church and how this might play out, we’d be more than happy to do that. If you can fill out that form, and we’ll get a hold of you and set up a time to do that, and make sure all your questions are answered, and understand how you could best leverage these tools at your church.

Wow. Yeah. Thank you for that. Well, now, more than ever, I think churches need to…As we kind of pivot in 2021 here, we’re moving into another new season, it’s going to start to be after COVID. How do you get families reengaged, or maybe even engaged for the first time? You’ve got to equip yourself, as Tim was saying. So, thank you, Tim. Any last thoughts or comments?

No, hey, I just, I appreciate the opportunity, and as your listeners probably already know, they need to also take a look at you guys. You guys are phenomenal at what you do, and we’ve appreciated the opportunities we’ve had to partner with you guys over the last few years. And, yeah, I just appreciate the opportunity to be here and be part of the day.

Well, thank you. Yeah, we love our partnership with you guys. And it’s all about sharing Jesus with people who desperately need Him, and they don’t really know it. And they don’t know Him, and they don’t realize that he has every answer they’re looking for, but that’s in all of this content you guys create, you guys do some amazing stuff. So thanks, thanks for your time. And well, first of all, and also thanks for your ministry. You know, leaving the corporate world and stepping into ministry. I hear that often, and I just think guys like you are heroes, so we appreciate you.

Well thanks, I don’t know about hero, but thanks, I appreciate it.

Well you are, you are, so. All right, Tim, we’ll talk to you soon.

Ok, thanks, bye.

Bye bye.

Well once again, thanks Tim. I so appreciate your heart and your passion for serving Jesus, and helping to help families thrive, so thank you for that. I’m really excited about this partnership we have with Homepointe. I got to tell you, church, you really want to tune into this one because they offer incredible tools, equipment, as Tim was referring to, so that you can disciple families. Not only these families in your congregation that are probably struggling, like most families are. But families outside, in your community, they’re not connected to church, and certainly your church. And so, you have these amazing tools to offer and help people, help families, really thrive.

One thing that I want to talk to you about is utilizing the Google Ad Grant. As many of you know, the Google Ad Grant exists, and Google offers your church up to ten thousand dollars of in kind advertising, no cost to you, to be able to reach people in your community that are searching for help with a felt need. And so we talk about this all the time, we’re talking about issues like parenting, and marriage, and addiction, and grief, fear, stress, anxiety, how to overcome their depression that’s going on. You know, they’re looking for help on how to be forgiven, how to follow Jesus, financial issues, I could go on and on, there are so many felt need topics that people are looking for.

And here’s the cool thing, HomePointe is offering these solutions, they have this content in the form of landing pages that you can have in your church. And then we manage the Google Ad Grant to drive ads to those landing pages, and people are getting connected to your church. It is incredible, and we’re seeing amazing results on that. So I would encourage you to check that out, talk to us about what that looks like, talk to Tim about utilizing their tools. And it’s all about how to reach and engage your people, and people in your community, who desperately need this help. So hopefully you learned something from Tim today. And like always, if you ever want to have a conversation with us, we’re here to serve you and just inform and educate you, and so take advantage of that. Until next time, take care, and God bless.

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