Scott Hodge



Dec 15, 2007

Wow, just ended an awesome time at FUEL. 

"What’s FUEL?" you ask? 

Well FUEL is our monthly gathering for our leadership community here at The Orchard.  We started FUEL in response to our growing passion to see "reproducing" become a major part of our church’s culture. 

And now, a year or more into it, I can honestly say that this has been one of THE BEST decisions we have ever made.  There are so many benefits to pulling our leaders together on a regular basis.  Here are a few off the top of my head:

  1. Keeps everyone on the same page.  (Really important – especially considering our strong growth.)
  2. Gives us an opportunity to talk about WHY we do what we do over and over and over again. (Vision does not stick.)
  3. Allows us to be intentional about celebrating together.  A FUEL gathering never goes by without us taking time to read a story, email or letter from someone whose life who has been impacted through God’s work at The Orchard.
  4. Allows us to have one central time per month that each coach meets with their leaders and teams as a group.
  5. It makes it easier to keep the mission and vision crystal clear.  FUEL is one time every month that I KNOW I will be able to cast vision to our leaders.  (Besides scattering it through my weekend talks.)
  6. Helps us build practical skills for better leading our teams.  At each FUEL, we spend time teaching how to PRACTICALLY carry out the vision.  Each team also breaks up into "huddles" where they ask the question, "What does this look like for OUR ministry environment in particular?"

There are so many reasons why FUEL is becoming such an integral part of our culture.  Probably one of the greatest outcomes of FUEL has been watching the level of ownership significantly increase as a result of investing in our leaders.  It’s been amazing.


  • FUEL happens on the 3rd Saturday of each month from 9:30am – 11:30am.
  • Our previous week’s staff meeting is dedicated to preparing for FUEL and all staff (PT & FT) are expected to be there.
  • We provide a great breakfast for everyone!  (Today was breakfast pizzas, sandwiches, sweet rolls, etc…)  No skimping on this.  Our leaders deserve the best!  (Plus, I enjoy the leftovers….)
  • We always start ON TIME.  And our leaders know this.  So they usually get here 15-20 minutes early to eat and hang out. 
  • We usually do a few minutes of worship.  Something simple w/ an acoustic guitar.  There’s something really special about our leadership community worshiping together.
  • We have FUN!  We laugh a LOT! 
  • We do quite a bit of role playing.  (Makes a HUGE difference when our leaders SEE it played out and then do it themselves.)
  • Like everything else we do, we keep it very, very simple.  We don’t introduce several themes a year.  This year, every FUEL is dedicated to our R&R (Recruit & Reproduce) initiative. 
  • My friend, Dave Ferguson, and the team at CCC were huge in helping inspire us begin this monthly gathering.  These guys know what they’re doing and they are doing it WELL! 

There is so much more I could share, but I have to go finish up my talk for this evening!   More later!

6 Responses to “Fuel!”

  1. Mark says:

    We are fighting the monthly leadership community battle – I say “battle” because we just can’t seem to get the numbers of leaders we would like. What percentage of leaders would you say show up in a given month?

  2. Just watched your Innovate ’07 session. Nice stuff. Thanks for being honest and not just a motivational speaker that spouts “positive thoughts” rather than truth.

  3. doug says:

    If I can speak about FUEL from one of Scott’s FUEL leaders……
    The reason it works at The Orchard is the fact that Scott and the rest of the staff ALWAYS bring the agenda back to the mission.
    I’ve been a part of other leadership groups and every time we would get together, the pastor had read a new book, and then would seemingly change our focus. As someone who faithfully attended those meetings, it would get frustrating, and eventually you stop serving missionally, and begin serving out of obligation.
    At The Orchard, the focus never changes. The “WHY” is always emphasized. Every meeting starts with encouragement. Scott makes a point to compliment and build up his staff. There’s never any grumbling about poor attendance.
    The environment is contagious!!

  4. Jon Ferguson says:

    Reading this made me want to re-dedicate my life . . . to Leadership Community (our version of “Fuel”)?.?.?. I’m tearing up even as I write. Great reminder. Thanks!

  5. Cole says:

    A few questions: Who is included? How many people does that end up being? What venues, types of locations do you use?

  6. Brad Martin says:

    great idea! this is something that we might start doing in 2008!

Leave a Reply

  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Vimeo
  • Flickr



Top Posts