God's biggest assignments have always been entrusted to those leading a small tribe. From the twelve families of Israel to early Christians who met in one another's homes, great leaders begin by serving a core group of people who ripple...
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God's biggest assignments have always been entrusted to those leading a small tribe. From the twelve families of Israel to early Christians who met in one another's homes, great leaders begin by serving a core group of people who ripple outward for ever-extending social and spiritual impact. They go big by leading small.
Today, leaders don't fail because they lack vision. They fail because they neglect their tribe. It could be a father losing sight of his family, a lead pastor failing to leverage the strengths of his staff, or a small group coordinator ignoring a tiny but important process.
Tribal Churchhelps pastors recognize the potential and power of various tribes within their congregations-one family, a network of small groups, maybe an entire age group-and then recalibrate ministry efforts to maximize the impact of each. Steve Stroope has spent three decades mastering the art of leading small in a church that has multiplied from dozens to over ten thousand. He explains why big impact does not come from any sort of mega-church ambition. It rather comes by attending to the little details and the smallest tribes.
"Steve Stroope has done us a favor by collecting three decades of experience into one book. One glance at the manuscript and I thought of a dozen uses for it. First, it will strengthen my leadership skills. I can envision our leadership team reading it as a group. Seminaries should tap into its wisdom. Thank you, Steve, for living out an example of godly leadership."
Max Lucado, pastor and best-selling author
"Steve Stroope is one of the finest pastor-leaders of our generation. In his candid look at Lake Pointe Church's first 30 years, Steve shares helpful insight, wisdom, and practical experience that can help churches become more fruitful in fulfilling Christ's Great Commission. With a heart for local and global missions, Steve has modeled leadership methods that have been tested in the modern church world and can be great tools for equipping leaders in the days ahead."
Bryant Wright, senior pastor, Johnson Ferry Baptist Church of Marietta, GA, and president of the Southern Baptist Convention
"Steve Stroope is one of the most quietly influential voices in the growth and robustness of American Christianity. He is a collector of good ideas, what he calls 'little things,' the small but essential acts that cumulatively demonstrate the character of Christ in American church leadership. This book is by a leader I admire."
Bob Buford, founder of Leadership Network and author ofHalftimeandFinishing Well
"I've known Steve for 15 years and he's the real deal. His life and leadership inspires me and so does the tribe of Lake Pointe Church. The straightforward, practical wisdom in this book will recalibrate any leader and any church at any stage of the game."
Bill Hybels, senior pastor, Willow Creek Community Church
"Steve Stroope is more than knowledgeable about leadership and ministry. He is wise. He leads with strategic skill, discernment, and intuition. Every conversation with Steve has marked me and impacted my ministry; therefore, I am eager to read anything he writes."
Eric Geiger, acting vice president, Church Resources Division, LifeWay Christian Resources
"Steve Stroope is the wisest and most effective pastor I know! This book is a treasure chest of godly wisdom for church leaders. Steve gives us an inside look at the actual tools and methods he's used to lead Lake Pointe from a handful of people to a thriving and healthy multi-site church of thousands. Every pastor needs this book in their library."
Nelson Searcy, lead pastor, The Journey Church
Richard Duane Warren was born in San Jose, California 28 January 1954, the son of a Baptist minister, James Warren. Rick earned a Bachelor of Arts from California Baptist University, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Rick felt called to full-time ministry when he was still an undergraduate, and was actively involved in student Christian groups. He and his wife Kay - married since 1975 - founded Saddleback Church in 1980 when he was just 26 years old, with a congregation of 200 attenders. In the decades since, Saddleback has grown phenomenally; it now has an average attendance of 20,000 a week, and the influence of its ministry style and resources has extended worldwide. Rick is still the senior pastor at Saddleback, where he is known as Papa Rick - a voice of wisdom, hope, encouragement, and vision. Since 2005, he and his wife have given away 90% of their income, due to the extraordinary success of his publications.
Pastor Rick took the lessons he learned building up Saddleback and distilled them into a fivefold ministry approach called 'Purpose Driven'. Zondervan's 1995 publication of Rick's The Purpose Driven Church was a huge bestseller, and Saddleback became a model for churches everywhere. This was followed in 2002 by The Purpose Driven Life - a 40-day devotional that would sell over 30 million copies in five years. In 2004, Pastor Rick was invited to Rwanda by its president Paul Kagame, who had read The Purpose Driven Life and wanted to make his country a 'purpose driven nation'. This trip changed the trajectory of Pastor Rick's life and mission. God gave him a vision for The PEACE Plan, a mission to fight the five giants of spiritual emptiness, self-serving leadership, poverty, pandemic disease, and illiteracy that devastate the lives of men, women, and children around the world. Rick and Kay consider it their life's work to empower local churches and local leaders to create sustainable change that gives a voice to the voiceless and help to the helpless. To date, PEACE teams have participated in missions outreach in every nation of the world. Rick and Kay have used the PEACE platform to advocate for HIV/AIDS sufferers globally, mobilizing local churches to help prevent the spread of the disease and to care for those already affected.
In the decades since founding Saddleback Church, Pastor Rick has become one of the most respected and influential pastors in the US. He mentors young leaders, and many of today's leading pastors credit him and The Purpose Driven Church for inspiring them to pursue their own callings to ministry. As pastor to pastors, Rick has built the Purpose Driven Network, a global alliance of pastors from more than 160 countries and hundreds of denominations and has also founded Pastors.com - an online interactive community that provides sermons, forums, and other practice resources for pastors.
Rick and Kay have three adult children and four grandchildren. Their youngest son Matthew took his own life in 2013 after a long struggle with mental illness. Rick has been active in recent years seeking to build awareness in the church with regard to mental illness.
Kurt Bruner is pastor of Spiritual Formation at Lake Pointe Church near Dallas, a graduate of Talbot Seminary and author of books with combined sales of over 500,000 copies, including The Divine Drama, the recent best-seller Finding God in The Lord of the Rings; Inklings of God and Shedding Light on Dark Materials a critique of the writings of Philip Pullmann.
Steve Stroope is lead pastor of the multi-campus Lake Pointe Church near Dallas, Texas. Under his leadership, the congregation has grown from 57 members in 1980 to a current attendance of more than 11,000. He is also a sought-after speaker and church consultant and the co-author of Money Matters in the Church and It Starts at Home. Steve and his wife have two grown daughters and several grandchildren.ý