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Steve Robinson: How To Create a Culture of Service in Your Church

Steve Robinson
Image courtesy of Steve Robinson

Steve Robinson is lead pastor of Cornerstone Church in Liverpool, England, and director of the Cornerstone Collective. He also leads the Acts 29 church planting network in the U.K. Steve’s new book is “Serve: Loving Your Church With Your Heart, Time and Gifts.”

“The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast” is part of the ChurchLeaders Podcast Network.

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Transcript of Steve Robinson Interview

Steve Robinson on The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Steve Robinson on The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Voice Over:
Welcome to the Stetzer Church Leaders Podcast, conversations with today’s top ministry leaders to help you lead better every day. And now, here are your hosts, Ed Stetzer and Daniel Yang.

Daniel Yang:
Welcome to the Stetzer Church Leaders Podcast, where we’re helping Christian leaders navigate and lead through the cultural issues of our day. My name is Daniel Yang, national director of Churches of Welcome at World Relief. And today we’re talking with Steve Robinson. Steve’s lead pastor of Cornerstone Church in Liverpool, England, and the director of Cornerstone Collective. He also leads the acts 29 church planting network in the UK. In his new book is Serve Loving Your Church with Your Heart, Time and Gifts. Now let’s go to Ed Stetzer, editor in chief of Outreach Magazine and the Dean of the Talbot School of Theology.

Ed Stetzer:
Okay, super. We’re very excited about this conversation today because as pastors and church leaders, many of you are asking, rightly so, how do I engage people in service? You know, if we see verses like first Peter 410, as each one has received a special gift, use it to serve one another, each one, you know, that means that means everybody. So there’s a huge gap between that passage and our practice. So so we’re going to jump right into our conversation with Steve. Steve, um, you have written a book called Serve Loving Your Church with Your Heart, time and Gifts. Talk to us a little bit about why this became a burden or a passion for you.

Steve Robinson:
Well, I think the biggest burning passion is the you know, I want to see God’s people serving him and each other and serving our community. I was I replanted a brethren assembly in 2009, and the church was made up of a lot of old folk who felt that they couldn’t they couldn’t serve anymore. They thought they were going to tap out. What’s been really wonderful is I’ve seen those people and they’ve even said it. They’ve saved more in the last 15 years than they felt that they were beforehand. So there’s there’s this real idea of people seeing the the church membership and serving the body as something that’s vitally important for us to actually just express what it is to be the church and to share the gospel with people. I think also one of the reasons why I became a burden to put this together was because I think people were falling into the trap that service in the light of the church was, was more of a professional pursuit. So if you weren’t or if or an upfront pursuit. So if you weren’t a pastor or a worship leader or, or were able gifted with kids in any way, that there was no way for you to serve in the body of the church. So I just wanted to show show that, but also for people that may not have, um, or perceived to have particular type of gifts. So that was a real burden for me. You know, God has called us all to be his people, those of us who are saved in Christ, and he has prepared the good works for us to do so. Therefore, I wanted to help people figure out what does that look like for them in their context, and for church leaders to help them figure that out in their contexts.

Ed Stetzer:
Yeah. And I think I think that’s part I mean, very clearly, we see in Scripture Ephesians four, you know, God has chosen apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers for the equipping of God’s people in works of service. But what’s happened over 2000 years of Christian history is become the clergy ification of ministry. It’s sort of the clergy’s role. So I want to kind of personalize it right here. So you’re you’re there in Liverpool. And again, I told you before we came on that my ancestors were basically indentured servants in Liverpool as Irish workers. And so and but we still love the Liverpool football team will never walk alone. So.

Steve Robinson:
Absolutely, absolutely.

Ed Stetzer:
Um, so I don’t know anything about sports, but I do know that when I came to the UK, I needed to pick a team. So I picked Liverpool for that very reason. So that’s right. That’s right. But but so talk to us about how you’re implementing that in your church there, which it’s a large church for the UK context. But in the US it would be more medium sized. But, but, but I think part of the key is, is how you’re mobilizing people. That’s what people want to know. So what does that look like?

Steve Robinson:
I think what’s the reason why the mobilization of the people in, in our context has become about because we’ve been involved in church planting. So like I said, I, I was part of a revitalization. So there’s a sense that if we want to reach the community with the gospel of Jesus Christ, everybody’s got to be involved. And we were also in a situation in our culture where people aren’t coming to church. So it’s not that we can just open the door and everybody just seems to flood in. There’s a sense of what does it look like for us to our gifts. So where where we’ve sought to do it is to root it in the fact that every member of our church is vital to the proclamation of the gospel and every gift that God has given them, even if they don’t know that gift that they’ve got, is something that can be used, whether that’s in a church service, whether that’s in a program, whether that’s in the context of the community of where we’re serving. So the ways that we go about mobilizing is trying to drill it down one through the gospel, and two, in the context of the community that people find themselves in. So even down to the fact that people serving each other with food, helping each other in the context of, uh, community groups, we call them gospel communities, where we are just serving in that way is a way of supporting and encouraging each other. Poking each other for godliness and moving forward. So we start there and then a few things I write in the book. One of the things, and we got this from, uh, Tim Keller. There’s a sense the first one you never have.

Ed Stetzer:
To, like, say, you sound a little chuckle. We got this from Tim Keller. We all. Tim Keller stuff. So just just this little chuckle.

Steve Robinson:
We’ve all stolen it. I know to him. Don’t worry. I put a footnote in, I cited him, so it’s fine.

Ed Stetzer:
That’s that’s more than most people do. So there.

Steve Robinson:
You go. So the first one is one of the things that he talks about is what experience do you have. So trying to help people figure out what the experience that they have in their life, and sometimes some of the most difficult things that people have experienced are the things that that God intends to use for them to be used to save people in the life of the church, whether that’s, you know, broken relationships or difficulty with the health that actually may lead them down a situation. The other the other issue that one is experience two is what gifts do they think they have? What are the things that excite them and what are they using trying to help people. And then the other one is speak to other people. So often what we find in our church is that other people will spot the gifts in others and say, I think this will be great for you. I think you’d be great at doing this kid’s ministry. I think you’d be great at engaging in. And, um, you know, I don’t know some of the work that we’re doing in the local schools. I think it’s interesting. It’s not like a situation where, like my mom says that I’m a great singer, therefore I need to be in the worship group. It’s not that situation, but there is a situation where I think there’s a culture, and what we’ve tried to create is that people are spotting the gifts in other people.

Steve Robinson:
You know, I’m British and we’re not very good at honoring people. We’re not very good at it. You. Yeah, yeah, it is kind of a thing, but that’s one way that we’re really trying to help each other is how can we honor each other? Well, and outdo each other. And part of that is spotting the gifts that people have and creating the atmosphere and platform for them to flourish in those different ways. I also think like a church of 250 people, you know, there’s lots of comings and goings, but trying to create the opportunities for people to serve in different ways and actually being open handed as much as we can. So if people have ideas, I think this will be great to reach the community. I think this will be great to serve with the children if we can make it work. We want to try and make it work in light of of that. So it’s it’s a little bit fluid, to be honest with you, but at the same time, it’s rooted in a heart for the church leaders to equip the saints for ministry and not for us to be too narrow, but also for people to use their experiences. What other people see of them, and any gifts or things that excite them.

Ed Stetzer:
Yeah, I think it’s you cited, you referenced, you quoted without saying you quoted the writer of Hebrews when when you provoke one another to love and good deeds is, I think, the NIV translation. So you’re creating a culture where people look to one another and provoke one another to loving deeds. I want to get back to the culture in just a minute, because that’s part of the theme of the book. The book is served loving your church with your heart, time and gifts. But I want to get to some of the practice so people kind of see how it’s lived out in your gospel community. So. So I want to talk about the culture in just a minute. But so what does it look like then, for people in gospel communities in and around Liverpool to live out their gifts and serving others? What are some ways that you do that? Give us examples.

Steve Robinson:
Okay. The way that we would do that in the context. So we have people who who open up their homes for starters. So all our gospel communities meet in homes. So we have people that are willing to open their homes. All our folks meet together, say like 630 once a week and they eat dinner together. So it requires people cooking, serving, helping. And we we have we have folks who lead and facilitate Bible studies together. So we’re working with our gospel community leaders to figure out what that looks like for them to explore the gift of helping people walk through the Bible and teach that people share testimony. We open up the opportunity for people to invite non-Christian friends to that to eat. So the opportunity for evangelism and witnessing in that context. So that starts at that community level in terms of regular doing life together. And then the hope is that from that there are missional opportunities in those local communities. So we have some of our gospel communities that will be connected in with um, um, the local schools or in local coffee shops and trying to together build relationships. In fact, we had a guy come to church not too long ago, and he’s just a guy that sits in a coffee shop where a lot of people from cornerstone go, and he’s just turned up at church just because he sees people regularly reading the Bible in the coffee shop around the corner from the church.

Steve Robinson:
So it’s just using the gifts in the context of that culture. So that’s that’s one way. But then what we also find is that it’s a great place for folks to work out different gifts. So in the gospel community I’m part of, we had a young guy that really wanted to grow in his worship leading. So we’ve got a room of 15 people. We got his guitar out and he just led us in worship. Now he leads worship on a Sunday in the main gathering, just giving those small opportunities, um, for them to use as gifts. Whereas in our context, he probably wouldn’t have got the opportunity to explore that gift in front of 250 people on a Sunday, whereas we want to create those opportunities. The other issue is this is also helping people to explore their giftings in terms of ministry and and growing in leadership. So our gospel communities give the opportunity for people to grow, to lead people, to create the opportunity to start new gospel communities. So we want to create that space for people to test their gifting. And we find that smaller groups are helpful, but also they naturally just move into mission and that’s when other people, people’s gifts kick in.

Ed Stetzer:
Smaller groups are helpful, but they help people naturally move into mission. I don’t want people to miss that, because I think one of the keys is you have articulated is is in those smaller communities as you’re helping people find and deploy their gifts. So that’s a key part of what we’re talking. Again, the book, the book is serve loving your church with your heart, your time and your gifts. Okay. So let’s talk then. If that’s the ground war, let’s talk about the the air war as well. You’re already articulating some ways that you want people to find their gifts. You quoted Tim Keller, which basically and I you know, I love Tim Keller. Uh, basically is what Rick Warren said in 1987 when he talked about your shape, your spiritual gifts, your heart, your abilities, your personality type, your experiences. My point is not to say, I think in the reform world, we kind of had to everyone had to kind of Rick, Rick, they had to take it off and let Tim Keller say it. But basically the principle is, is this is that there people have a certain wiring. And whether you’re in a Pentecostal tradition or a reformed tradition or a non-denominational tradition, you have to have a way to help people consider their wiring, their gifting, and people can debate. I have some thoughts about what spiritual gifts are and aren’t, but to find that and then deploy that for God’s glory, they’re good and the good of others again, God’s glory they’re good. The good of others. You can tell I’m passionate about this subject. That’s why I’m glad. Absolutely. Okay. So how do you then articulate that and the air on your weekend services? How do you get it? I’m mixing metaphors. How do you get it in the water? So people are like, you’ve already talked about how they turn to one another and say, hey, I think you can do this. How do you do that? Because that’s our audience’s pastors, church leaders.

Steve Robinson:
I think from my from my perspective, the way that you would probably witness it if you saw it in the life and the culture in the waters, the things that that we probably is a natural thing for us is, um, I’m very passionate about building team. So the very passionate about creating, I use this phrase a lot, the atmosphere and platform for other people to flourish. I think that’s the role of an elder. I think that’s the role of a husband. I think that’s the role of of any.

Ed Stetzer:
Before the atmosphere.

Steve Robinson:
Got to create the atmosphere and platform for other people to flourish. Great. So what you will, you will see in a Sunday is that that there are several people serving and leading in different ways. So you’ll see that there’s a visual. It’s not just the pastor lead and everything. Now I appreciate I have a big team now, but there was just me at one point. And it’s also for us being willing to take the risk for people to step into those things. So I think people see something as well within that, in the usage of different gifts and also seeing people grow in those giftings. So being willing to take the risk to allow people to step in. So I think that’s what’s seen. I think what’s also heard in the, in, in, in the context is so for example, when you’re talking through, um, things like in one Timothy, you know, when Paul writes to Timothy and says and given to two Timothy two two, given to faithful men so they can go and do likewise, there’s that sense of always talking through what it looks like to, to train, to encourage for people. When I’m preaching, especially when we’re talking about mission, that it’s it’s their responsibility city. So God’s put them in a particular street. God’s put them in a particular gospel community. God’s put them in a particular job that that that they’re on the front lines for them to use the gifts that God has called them to share the gospel, to live out the gospel, to to show Jesus in their context.

Steve Robinson:
So I think you hear that all the time. And, you know, we you know, we teach through the books of the Bible and and I teach it and we teach and preach in a way that we’ve always got an eye to the fact that there are non-Christians in the room. So I think there’s always that sense of evangelism and also creating the opportunity in the context of the service. What is seen, what is experienced that lots of people are serving? It’s not just about one guy. It’s not just about a group of guys or a group of gifted people on the stage. We’re a family, you know what I mean? If you know, I’m just thinking about if I can’t engage with my family and I needed all my kids in a family gathering or a family meeting to be absolutely amazing at everything, we wouldn’t do anything. So it’s true. It’s true. Creating that opportunity. So I think that I think that’s what you would you would see things that are just naturally become part of the course of what we’re about. Also, we talk a lot about training church planters. We talk a lot about training people to be leaders, both men and women. We’re complementarians, so we have male elders, but I believe that’s headship. So I think people can lead and women lead in the life of our church in different areas. So creating the opportunity for them to be trained as leaders and given the opportunity to use those gifts, I think that’s seen and experienced in the life of cornerstone.

Steve Robinson:
I think it’s really important. But at the same time, also recognizing that the value of serving in a context that is not leading necessarily is extremely valued. I write in the book about my mum. My mum is disabled and she is a blessing, and she can’t get out the house without my father’s help and she actually lives with us, my mum and my dad, they live with my wife and I and four kids. It’s like the the Christian answer to the Waltons and we’re all together and my mum is such a godly person and people will come to visit to bless my mum, but my mum, those people will leave because they’ve been greatly blessed by here. And I say in the book that, you know, in the midst of her physical weakness, it has got to the point where her role in serving is to pray. So what’s in the air war? Is it? We have several people in our church who are disabled or elderly, and they’re saving through their prayers, through their texts, through their encouragements of the younger generation. And actually, it’s celebrating the value of that publicly. So as much as I am able as well, and the other pastors here, how do we illustrate that? How do we show that? How do we show that even in the midst of weakness? And if anything, we are to embrace that weakness because there is strength there, and that’s been our experience. So I think there are the things you would see at cornerstone and things that you would experience.

Steve Robinson:
I think if we are the if the, the professional, the professional elements of ministry becomes the be all and end all, we’re going to miss the point and we’re going to miss people. I also think from our context because we’re talking about church planting and talking about raising leaders. We’re planting churches with 15 people in areas where there aren’t any churches. Right. So all those 15 people have got to help. Yeah, they’ve got they’ve got to move chairs. They’ve got to engage in the community. They’ve got to help with the the pro presenter. They’ve got to put the sound on. You know one guy, we had a team, we sent them to plant 15 people. They didn’t have a musician. So one guy decided to buy himself a guitar and taught himself how to play the guitar. Wow. This guy leads in conferences now? Yeah, he led in a conference. You know, just that opportunity. And it’s going to be okay that he’s just three chords in a couple. That’s okay to begin with. But as he grows and and that’s celebrated. And I just think the nature of where we’re doing ministry. Forces. Which want of a better phrase to say, look, these everybody that walks through the door is part of the body. Nobody can be disregarded. God has gifted them all in different ways for the work that he’s called them to. Let’s help them find that. Let’s encourage them.

Ed Stetzer:
The Setzer Church Leaders Podcast is part of the Church Leaders Podcast Network, which is dedicated to resourcing church leaders in order to help them face the complexities of ministry. Today, the Church Leaders Podcast Network supports pastors and ministry leaders by challenging assumptions, by providing insights and offering practical advice and solutions and steps that will help church leaders navigate the variety of cultures and contexts that we’re serving in. Learn more at Church Leaders Complex Network. And of course, the book Serve Itself is geared towards them. It’s serve loving your church with your heart, time, and gifts. I want to commend people to pick it up. Okay, so you’ve also have walked through stages and phases. Now. Um, and so most of our listeners are probably you’ve mentioned your church size about 250. Most of our listeners are probably in and around that space. That’s a pretty common space. That’s actually a larger, uh, much a much larger church in the UK. It’s actually on the big side in the US, the median church in the US is in the is under 100in attendance. Um, but and I actually serve as teaching pastor at one of the largest churches in America. So it’s a little tricky to think about. And I want you to help us because because people who are on staff at larger churches, they’re like, okay, how do I do that? When clearly the stage even we use the term stage and, you know, and we don’t use the term theater, but we build churches like theaters.

Ed Stetzer:
And when you build churches like theaters, don’t be surprised when people act like show goers. And so they come, they they come for the show. They don’t stay for the serve. And so we have, you know, pretty intense processes at Mariners Church to try to move people into places of serving. Great. So but I want you to kind of walk us through because you in a church plant, you know, I planted several churches in a church plant. You’re right. It’s like all hands on deck, like everybody uses their gifts. And even and I still remember people who would come help us to get started who weren’t yet Christians. I mean, I didn’t have them leading in spiritual ways, but they were they were helping organize, set up tables and chairs and everything else. So. So how did you when you’re there at cornerstone, which was you replanted, but you basically started again. So how did you go from a smaller place to then where where it’s maybe in some ways easier to get everyone engaged involved, but now you’re at 250 and that’s past the normal where you know everybody and you can identify everyone’s gifts personally, because you probably got probably 4 or 500 people now in and out. So how did you take us through like the, the early this is 2009, I think you 2009.

Steve Robinson:
Yeah.

Ed Stetzer:
Yeah. So so what was it like at the beginning and when did you begin to see the change and how did you implement it? I think that’d be helpful to people. Yeah.

Steve Robinson:
So I think right at the beginning, if as much as it was all hands to the deck, I think my the posture of my heart was that I was doing everything okay when I, when I wasn’t, I thought I was and that what that meant was that somebody had put the chairs out, but I’d have to put the chairs right. Somebody would do the sound and I had to create the sound. So I think that one of the key things for me has been as a leader is that that as much as it was all hands to the deck, I felt the responsibility personally more than I probably do now with a larger church. So therefore God had to do a work in my heart to to be okay with it not being okay at times, to be an okay with the fact that it’s not to the to the extent that I thought it should be and it wasn’t fantastic. Anyway, let’s let’s be honest, you know, it was bang bang average and that’s okay. Yeah. So, so so where we’re at in that context and I think over time, um, God, God softened my heart to allow that to happen. So it didn’t matter if the chairs weren’t in the right place. It’s what’s more important that somebody is willing to come and put that out.

Steve Robinson:
It didn’t really matter if the music wasn’t. What was more important that somebody was willing to serve, to use their gift to bless God’s people? I got to a point of being okay with that. The other thing that I think for the different stages was that that. So I’m passionate about leadership. And I think leadership is everything rises or fall on, leadership rises and falls on leadership. So rather than seeking people to step in to do jobs, I wanted to bring people in who could lead others and take responsibility for those things. So, so, um, trying to raise up folks to lead and take responsibility for, for a particular area and lead particular people. So one of the guys who’s my co pastor now, he’s a co-pastor. He’s the guy that he became a Christian. I opened up Romans with him when he was 27. Completely non Christian background. Got to know the Lord Jesus Christ. He sort of came with us, him and his wife. He’s now co-pastor a fantastic, uh, Bible teacher shepherd, wonderful guy. And he I said, look, could you lead the music team for us? He wasn’t a musician at all, but he was a leader.

Steve Robinson:
And I needed him to lead God’s people in that context. And it just grew. It grew in terms of the posture of heart, of people. It. Grew with the theology behind things, and it created a space and and and and we became healthier because of that. So I’m I’m a musician, so I’m passionate about it. So therefore I felt like I had to have a hand in that, whereas God didn’t want me to have a hand in that. So over time, what’s happened is sought to raise up leaders rather than people to fulfill roles. So we raise up the leaders. And the leaders then are able to take those areas of responsibility. That’s the that’s the first thing. The other thing was that we sort of punched above our weight when it came to leaders. So and that was a natural thing. When we replanted, we had I went to a church. They had four elders of the church who were elderly men. There was only 15 people in the church. Four elders, myself and I brought a team of 15 people. Three people left straight away. There were 27 of us, and I brought two guys on to the eldership with me. So we had seven elders for 27 people, which was which was.

Steve Robinson:
A lot of elders. That’s a lot of eldering.

Steve Robinson:
But the reason being is because the older guys, we needed to sort of replant and restart the church. But what that created was this sense of even amongst those guys, the sense of responsibility to to pour into everybody else so that they could be raised up in their gifting. So for my I think for me, from a leadership perspective, if we’re able to to help people become leaders and grow in their leadership, there’s a sense that that, that, that that creates more opportunities for people to flourish in their gifting. If we’re if it’s just about, for example, it’s quite classic and I’m not criticizing them, but it’s classic. You have a pastor plant a church. His next appointment is a youth pastor. His next appointment may be not a worship leader in the UK context and admin. And hear me when I say this and I’m not being critical. Sometimes we can do that just to fulfil a role. Can you just look after the kids? Can you just look after the admin? Whereas I think God in his kindness through replanting. Put in in my heart is how do we raise leaders to take responsibility? And then also because we’re a church planting church and have been since day one. Lots of those leaders are going to go. So therefore we’ve got to raise them up again and fulfill again. So you’re perpetually moving in that sort of direction. The third thing I would say is I have this saying that I try and use the people that we as a church, we want to be constantly moving to a position of immaturity. Now, let me unpack that.

Steve Robinson:
Let me unpack.

Ed Stetzer:
Please, please. That doesn’t sound like a good goal, but.

Steve Robinson:
Doesn’t it doesn’t sound like a good.

Ed Stetzer:
Goal, but I’m guessing you got a good one. It wouldn’t be published by The Good Book Company.

Steve Robinson:
If you know, I wouldn’t be. That’s right, that’s right.

Steve Robinson:
They might pull it after this. That’s right. And what I mean by that is moving to a position of immaturity is, is I want us to be moving as a church constantly to having the people that come in on a Sunday to having the people as non-believers and new believers. So what I mean by that is we are so seeking to mature that the people that are around us coming into the church are those who are immature in Christ and then grow into that place because maturity isn’t me being sorted. Maturity is me seeking to live for the glory of God with the giftings that he’s given me. So I am reaching non-Christian people and we’re bringing them in. So we’re perpetually, constantly going back to it feels like we’re walking this road of, okay, how do we help these people disciple and grow in their gifting? How do we help these people disciple and grow in their gifting, and being okay with the fact that we’re never going to get to the we’re sorted because we’re always going to be bringing people in that are that are that are that are, that are immature in Christ, but they’re going to grow through to maturity. You with me when I’m saying that and and I’m. Because I don’t want a church full of people who think they’re mature. But there’s non-Christians, and there’s no non-Christians in the room, right? Because a sign of maturity in crisis, they were reaching people who don’t know Jesus. And they and we’re reaching them so much so that they’re comfortable to be in our presence. And they want to come and hear about the Jesus that’s changed their life. So these people get saved and we got to go again. How do we help them grow? How do we help them in their gifting? And we got to go again and we got to go again. And I think that’s a different, you know, for, for us that’s a different sort of discipleship missional mindset in the sense that part of the evidence of our maturity is that we’re surrounded by people who are immature in Christ, but desiring to mature.

Ed Stetzer:
I think there’s there is, though, a, um, there’s a gravitational force in churches as they get larger. And yours is now a large church in the UK, that the gravitational force is towards professionalization. You’re pushing towards amateurization, you’re saying let’s, let’s and which is interesting as a musician because, you know, we all see what that looks like when you’ve got someone who doesn’t have the gifts and the skills. But so why is the trade off worth it to you? And what would you encourage people in churches that are, you know, 500 or 800, uh, to push towards Amateurization?

Steve Robinson:
Yeah.

Steve Robinson:
And when I say amateur, when you say amateur ization, I think what I’m saying is, don’t get me wrong, we we want to the service. We want people to pursue excellence. We want. Yeah. But but.

Steve Robinson:
You also created.

Ed Stetzer:
You mentioned you created that venue for that guy who hadn’t led worship before. So you didn’t put him up in front of everybody? No, but that is a push towards let’s make sure that the less qualified become qualified, the less gifted, they learn to explore their gifts. So. So there’s a trade off there.

Steve Robinson:
So that’s right.

Ed Stetzer:
Yeah I put your energy into that.

Steve Robinson:
So well two reasons. One there aren’t there aren’t a we you know, we’re 250 people, but we’re not swimming with with people with all those gifts that we can just buy in people at different, uh, situations. So if our worship leader leaves, we’ve got to start again once for a better phrase. So we’re building up rather than buying in, in that sense, for the gift element. But I want to I’d encourage people to step into that, because what that does is it actually creates this sense that when people get come to know the Lord Jesus Christ, that it’s okay for them to have a go, right? It’s okay for them to save. And it’s not that I think one of the dangers that we can do is create a bar that I don’t think the Bible creates.

Steve Robinson:
You with me?

Steve Robinson:
I am so, so I’m thinking of Paul when he’s writing to Titus. And when he’s given the qualifications, he’s pick. Choose these men that are amongst you. It’s not. Go to another island and find these guys and bring them in. So there’s that sense of, okay, how do we how do we encourage. And you know, I’ve worked with a lot of guys in trying to change. A lot of them are saying, you know, I need leaders, I need leaders, I need leaders, I need guys to come in, I need elders, and I don’t know what to do. And I’m saying, okay, tell me, who have you got in your church? I said, have you got any guys? Yeah, I’ve got these four guys. They’re good guys. I’m like, well, just start with them. I’m not saying making them elders, but pour into them because this leader could.

Ed Stetzer:
Come that way.

Steve Robinson:
Absolutely.

Steve Robinson:
Well, that’s the goal. That’s the hope, isn’t it?

Ed Stetzer:
You’re developing and pushing towards involving and engaging new people. So again, the title of the book is Serve Loving Your Church with Your Heart, time and gifts. So it’s this is geared towards people in the church. I encourage people they could pick it up for that. Give us the last word to pastors and church leaders about how they can engage people. What are some things we we didn’t talk about that we should last word from you.

Steve Robinson:
Yeah, I would say the biggest encouragement is, is to encourage people that they’re not serving you. They’re actually serving Jesus. And I think if we’re liberated from that as church leaders, that actually we’re helping other people as part of the body to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, that gives us a freedom and the liberty. And Jesus is delighting in these people. He has called them. He has saved them. He you know, Ephesians two tells us, we have this one. We are his workmanship and that workman. The work has been created for us and for them. So create that liberty in our own heart and mind. And I’ve seen guys who’ve walked off the street high as anything now planting churches. Well and, and and the Lord’s done some wonderful things. When we take some good gospel risks with people that we may miss if we become too professional.

Ed Stetzer:
Good word. We’ll close with that. Thank you Steve. Thank you.

Daniel Yang:
We’ve been talking to Steve Robinson. Be sure to check out his book, Serve Loving Your Church with Your Heart, Time and Gifts. And thanks again for listening to the Settler Church Leaders podcast. You can find more interviews, as well as other great ministry content for ministry leaders at Church Leaders Compass and through our new podcast network at Church leaders.com/podcast Network. And again, if you found our conversation today helpful, we’d love for you to take a few moments. Leave us a review that will help other ministry leaders find us and benefit from our content. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you in the next episode.

Voice Over:
You’ve been listening to the Stetzer Church Leaders podcast for more great interviews as well as articles, videos, and free resources, visit our website at Church leaders.com. Thanks for listening.

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Key Questions for Steve Robinson

-How are you mobilizing people in your church to serve? 

-What does it look like for people in gospel communities in and around Liverpool to live out their gifts in serving others?

-How do you create a culture of service?

-How did you handle maintaining a culture of serving as your church grew?

Key Quotes From Steve Robinson

“I want to see God’s people serving him and each other and serving our community.”

“God has called us all to be his people, those of us who are saved in Christ, and he has prepared the good works for us to do. Therefore, I wanted to help people figure out what does that look like for them in their context, and for church leaders to help them figure that out in their contexts.”

“If we want to reach the community with the gospel of Jesus Christ, everybody’s got to be involved.”

“Every member of our church is vital to the proclamation of the gospel, and every gift that God has given them, even if they don’t know what gift that they’ve got, is something that can be used.”