On Friday I met with the Pastor of IBOC (Inspiring Body of Christ), which is a vibrant, growing church located south of Dallas. Four years ago, they approached a friend of mine, Greg Barron, to build them a new building. Not just an ordinary building, but one that people wouldn’t hardly believe. One that’s God-sized.
Barron Group of Companies (one of our design build clients in Texas; and a fellow member of the National Association of Church Design Builders) was awarded the contract. A $40,000,000 3-year contract.
Pastor Rickie Rush took us on the tour of his facility. He was so giddy to show us every part of this amazing building. Recently, IBOC was named as the best design/built structure in Texas by TEXO. So more than the Pastor is excited about this grand worship area.
From the moment you meet Pastor Rush, you know he’s a special man. His contagious, energetic way makes you want to do better for God. I can see why Barron created such an amazing facility for him. He dreams big, has a heart for God and motivates everyone around him. But if you ask Rickie, he’s quick to say all this is for God.
My simple take-away of the success of IBOC would be summed up in 3 points:
When you walk into any entrance, you’re greeted by Aquariums and a large wall beside each aquarium that spells out the purpose of IBOC. We’re called to be “fishers” of men. And the aquariums set the theme perfectly. All the fish come from various environments from around the world and now have to co-mingle. They have to go through a “decontamination” process before entering. Then they’re on show. Pastor Rush believes that the church acts as the decontamination zone before we’re “on show” as believers. The fish theme is everywhere in the church (kid’s areas and even a wave pattern in their spacious hall carpets). There’s no way that any one can attend or visit and not know their purpose. Singleness of purpose is the key to a lively, growing church.
The Pastor runs this church like he runs his life. And I mean literally runs! He’s a small-in-stature yet large-in-presence person. He never stops loving. When our small group went on the tour, he took time to hug each one of us and tell us why we were special. Since I was the designated photographer, he took the time to tell me I was doing a great job. His passion for being Christ-like poured from him. And that emotion transcends to each volunteer. His presence motivates. In fact, the whole church is run by only 7 full-time employees and multitudes of volunteers. Motivation always flows from the top down. If the Pastor doesn’t have energy, the church won’t.
Rickie is clear that he wants to win the world for Christ. And he’ll start in his targeted community. He loves each person who attends and is committed to influencing them to accept Christ. That targeted audience is talked about and prayed for regularly. The more you target a specific audience, the more you’ll see the results. Pastor Rush talks of specific stories of lives changed in his community. He knows them by name. Start small with a target of who you want to reach and you’ll grow faster than aiming for a huge territory.