We asked 35 Christian leaders, “Who is the influencer with the biggest impact on your life and ministry?” Most of these leaders listed several influential thinkers, writers, innovators, and leaders more of us should get to know. This response is from Ian DiOrio, lead pastor of Yucaipa (California) Christian Church.
Doug Parks and Bart Rendel started Intentional Churches in 2013 after lengthy stints on the leadership teams at Canyon Ridge Christian Church and Central Christian Church in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their vision is to create a movement of like-minded churches who learn, use, and collaborate about the best practices of growing churches.
Doug and Bart are adapting world-class strategic planning, gathering today’s big ideas, and building an experienced team to work with any church willing to consider what it would take to double their Great Commission impact. Their dream is to put 1 million lives within the impact vision of IC’s churches. Currently they are working to help churches across the country develop strategies for success and are seeing incredible fruit from their work in the local church.
Wes Beavis is no stranger to the Restoration Movement or the world of business. He has pastored in Christian churches and has served many as a consultant and motivational figure leading people and organizations to new levels of effectiveness. Wes wrote his doctoral dissertation on the factors that lead to stress and burnout in Restoration Movement church pastors, and he currently uses his expertise to serve pastors and leaders from around the country.
He is a clinically trained and confidential pastor to pastors, a consultant to church elders and leadership teams, and has a personal mission to help sustain the overall health of leaders. His work can be explored at www.wesbeavis.com.
Tom Mercer has been senior pastor and primary teacher at the High Desert Church of Victorville, California, since 1984. During that time, the church has grown from 125 to more than 12,000 active participants and has done so with a biblically focused discipleship engine called oikos. An oikos is the group of people (8 to 15 roughly) whom God has strategically placed in every believer’s life for the purpose of evangelism.
According to Tom, oikos is not an evangelism program. It is essentially a worldview, a paradigm through which a Christ follower evaluates life, its purpose and events. The oikos formula is not new to the church; in fact, the overwhelming majority of the people in any local church came to Christ through an oikos relationship.
Oikos is a way of leading and structuring the local church for multiplication. The High Desert team calls this being oikocentric. This means the church and its mission is: (1) strategically centered around primary relationships, (2) evaluating purpose through the lens of oikos, (3) reflecting God’s love by reaching out to the people whom Jesus died to save.
Tom and his leadership team have built their church through effective biblical principles that place the responsibility of evangelism on every believer. The result has been a growing and effective ministry that is impacting thousands of lives.