Welcome back to Pastor to Pioneer, on the road edition! This week Britton converses with Tyler Dipprey, a former megachurch pastor based out of Lubbock, Texas. Tyler shares with Britton his experience as a pastor of two different megachurches, thinking that was the best way to reach people. He was a pastor at Experience Life Church in Lubbock, TX with over 8,000 people attending across 10 campuses. They had seen 10,000 people come to faith in the span of 8 years, but soon began to realize that the financial cost of the current church structure couldn’t hold up if they hoped to see the vision that was burning in their hearts come to pass – 1 million people giving their lives to Jesus in the West Texas area. Church leadership started to feel convicted that simple, reproducible ways of making disciples and being the church was the way to go for their overseas work and realized that was what God wanted for them as well. They started by trying a hybrid gathering of sorts, and then began to take more radical steps towards changing what Sunday worship looked like. They saw many people leave, but relaunched the church to be a decentralized network of house churches. Tyler shares with Britton that he is often asked “Would you do it again?” and “Did it work?” But he keeps coming back to the importance of the question of “What is Jesus asking you to do” instead—living into his present call rather than wondering what could have been different in the past. Tyler has started a few different businesses since the church transitioned to its current form and no longer has paid pastors. He and his coworkers have received a lot of interest in what they are doing through the book they wrote about their church’s journey. He now spends most of his time coaching and training pastors and others in the legacy church on how to transition into this simple way of discipleship and being the church. While Tyler and his co-leaders thought the Lord was going to use them to reach West Texas, they have seen their work spread around the world.
Book: From Megachurch to Multiplication