Unique 19

Unique 19

We all love great stories. And if you are a church leader, you especially love fresh stories of our Savior-King, Jesus.

A few years ago, we began to grow weary of church success stories that were exclusively about worship attendance. Don’t get me wrong— we celebrate, as readily as anyone, the work of God that explodes with numeric fruit. But we all know that Jesus is moving in ways less visible— or should we say, less platformed— across North America.

So the Auxano team decided to create “a list for the rest of us” - the Unique 19. We want to salute the hard work of creative and faithful visionaries that may never make the “100 largest”or “fastest growing” list. We want to inspire worship of Jesus, the chief visionary and kingdom entrepreneur whose follower-leaders are taking small towns and niche communities by storm. We want to stoke vibrant imagination in every pastor and see new models emerge where photocopied strategies have kept us stuck.

We think you’ll enjoy each release of the Unique 19. Every year we will highlight 19 different, unique churches. Throughout the year we will give a peak under the hood, a few churches at a time— different sizes, distinct locales and various faith tribes. What unique vision has God given to these pastors? What bold values and emerging strategies have come to life? How are leaders redefining the scorecard of business-as-usual church?  

May these stories stretch your mind and strengthen your heart!

The Unique 19 is brought to you by the team at Auxano. We navigate leaders through growth challenges with vision clarity. Learn more about Auxano.

Click to Download Published Issues:

2013 – Issue #4 – The Cove, WordServe, LakePointe Church, Harvest Christian Fellowship

U19 Issue #4 Download

2013 – Issue #3 – St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, Renovatus, Scum of the Earth, Trinity Grace

U19 Issue #3 Download

2013 – Issue #2 – Northwest Bible Church, Mosaic Church, Redemption Church, 360 Church

U19 Issue #2 Download

2013 – Issue #1 – Meadow Heights, Revolution 216, Chapelwood UMC, Flood Church

U19_PDF_Icon

The 2013 Unique 19 Churches:

  • Chapelwood UMC, Houston, TX – A Grace-soaked culture leads to Grace-soaked lives
  • Revolution 216, Cleveland, OH – The hip hop church where misfits fit
  • Meadow Heights, MO – An unstoppable force in an improbable place
  • Flood Church, San Diego, CA – Reaching an unreached generation
  • Northwest Bible Church, Dallas, TX – Where it’s OK to not be fine
  • Mosaic Church, Little Rock, AR – Pursuing unity to create real community transformation
  • Redemption Church, Tempe, AZ – We can accomplish more together than we can apart
  • 360 Church, Sarasota, FL  - Building a courageous church with a 1-to-1 relational mindset
  • St. Andrews Presbyterian, Newport Beach, CA – Redefining the Good Life
  • Renovatus, Charlotte, NC – A church of people under renovation – liars, dreamers and misfits
  • Scum of the Earth, Denver, CO – A church for the right-brained and left-out
  • Trinity Grace, New York, NY – Joining God with the renewal of the city
  • The Cove, Moorseville, NC – 1,000 Neighborhood Campuses in Race City, USA
  • WordServe, Fulshear, TX – Typical Suburb, Totally New Scorecard
  • LakePointe Church, Little Rock, AR – Making it harder to go to hell in Hot Springs
  • Harvest Christian Fellowship, Plainview, TX – After the Father’s heart amid the independence of west Texas
  • New City Church, Los Angeles, CA – Bringing together the forgotten and the fortunate across Los Angeles
  • Good Shepherd UMC, Charlotte, NC – De-weirding the Holy Spirit
  • Harvest Church, Billings, MT – Living the Way of Jesus, Out of the Way

Recent Comments
I love Ed's writings and heart. I am frustrated by these articles, however. Much of the missiological basis of the Church Growth Movement are not mentioned, and the origination of the formulas are not substantiated. Also, the Movement via Wagner, started mentioning the importance of health over 3o years ago. I wish these articles were better researched and less sweeping in their generalizations. Things like E1, E2, E3 evangelism, group multiplication, relational networks, faith, health, and the care to measure the right things are largely missing here. Perhaps Ed has earned the right to generalize, but I still was disappointed. But keep researching Ed! Ed and Thom have continued on in the spirit of the movement by doing quality research, and for that I am deeply grateful.
 
— Gary Westra
 
This discussion will continue, for sure. I am tasked with the online worship ministry do our church at FBC Trussville and it is proving to be an important piece of the overall ministry. As in most things In life and technology, balance is in order. Many of our older adults prefer the "live" service online rather than a week or even day-later DVD or downloaded service. They tell me it is important for them to be a part while the service occurs. This is key because if a person simply wanted the message or music or to see the pastor because they "like" him, then it would not need to be live. There is a sense with our people that they need to experience the worship with their church family in real time. Theologically, folks will have issues. This is a disruptive technology for church. But I would hope that before we toss it all away we would approach it with wisdom and humility. Personally, I would like to see the Church grow through small, cost-effective ways like this and not just brick-and-mortar.
 
— Robby
 
It seems this was written awhile ago but I would like to respond. Mr. Surratt makes great points. Points that should be taken seriously by all churches. I just do not think these points are the main reason people are not coming back to churches. Who knows the exact reason why anyone does not come back unless they tell you, but I can say with certainty the reasons I do not return are usually the same. 1. Love, tolerance, and acceptance. (unbelievers, baby Christians) Church members seem to want their guests or potential members to behave a certain way. They want them to conform to the system that is already in place. In some ways this is understandable. In other ways, it is isolating to the guest. They want to feel loved and accepted the way they are. They want to be told everything is ok no matter their past. They want to be given time to work out their immediate more pressing issues without having to worry about what to wear and how to talk (church speak). 2. Love, tolerance, and acceptance (believers, unchurched) Many times, these people are looking for what fits their already preconceived ideas of what "good churches" are. These preconceived notions are difficult to overcome and some of them were addressed in Mr. Surratt's article. But I can tell you that a truly loving, a truly tolerant, and a truly accepting church can overcome most of these things. You may never be able to overcome a taste in music, or a theological difference, but most everything else can be healed with Love. 3. People can see the business aspect of the church. I see it almost immediately when I walk into certain churches for the first time. I think people understand that a church has many aspects of itself that are business oriented. I just believe they dont want to experience these aspects when they visit. How many churches are so focused on growth, in numbers of bodies, that they forget the growth of the heart? The American church is now fully Americanized. Its a show and a numbers game. People come to church, especially new comers, CRAVING to fill a void in their life. If you are offering the same thing they can get in the real world, how are you any different? There are plenty of other reasons people do not return and many may not be avoidable. However, the church as a whole needs to reevaluate the arena in which they are playing. The simplicity of the Gospel is good enough to fulfill the hearts of the unbelievers and restore the prodigal's to a relationship with Christ. Love thy neighbor as thyself and love thy God with all your heart.
 
— Shay Wallace
 

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