BLOG POSTS


15 tag lines to make your sermons more memorable

I was Skyping with a young preacher last week who wanted hints for making his sermons more memorable. I’m pretty sure that’s what every preacher wants.    Here is what the best of the best communicators use—TAG LINES!   A quick Wikipedia check says this about “tag lines.”   “The idea ...
May 21, 2015   Doug Lawrence

Teams that Thrive: How well do your leaders and staff work together?

When I was editor for eight years of Church Executive magazine [2005-2013] it seemed like there was a new book a week on the theme of leadership in the church. That might be a stretch, but it seems close enough. [I might attribute Bill Hybels as having begun the leadership-wave ...
May 21, 2015   Ronald Keener

5 Incredible steps to closing the back door in your congregation

If you want to close the back door in your church, read these five incredible steps. By “closing the back door,” I am referring to assimilating newcomers and keeping those who have become a part of the church involved. The sad reality is that many churches have less than one-half ...
May 21, 2015   Thom Rainer

Pressing reset to engage the culture

Recently, I experienced some difficulty accessing information on my laptop. After attempting several times to use the password I had entered previously on the site, it became apparent that the only option was to reset the password. The old password simply was not working. This experience helped me to consider ...
May 20, 2015   Parnell Lovelace, Jr.

Why some people don't believe in the truth of the resurrection

I watched the recent television special, “Killing Jesus.” Based on the best-selling book by Bill O’Reilly, it was well done. It’s good to see quality films that are—for the most part—biblically accurate. I thought the movie helped clarify the reasons first-century religious leaders were so determined to eliminate Jesus: they envied ...
May 19, 2015   Bob Russell

Troublemaker Memoir (Part 6): Live and learn the hard way

Thom Rainer nailed it when his blog this morning (May 15) itemized the five most common mistakes church leaders make when leading change. In fact, I made every one of the five mistakes—and just in this past four months. Let’s talk about each of them and what I did wrong ...
May 18, 2015   Ronald Keener

The need for a professional edit

Had it not been for the editorial column in the May 2 issue of World magazine, I likely never would have heard about banker Joe Kesler’s book, Smart Money With Purpose. Just getting mentioned in this leading Christian periodical is a feather in anyone’s cap. Despite having written a few ...
May 13, 2015   Ken Walker

5 Biblical Principles for Personal Visioning

Five principles for dreaming God-sized dreams, each taken from the life of a biblical character.
May 13, 2015   Will Mancini

Is Your Preaching Imaginative, Imaginary, or Neither?

As a teenager, my first inkling to become a preacher was while enduring boring preaching. I distinctly remember painfully sitting in the pew thinking, “there has got to be a better way to learn about God than this.” Warren Wiersbe agreed.  In His book, Preaching and Teaching with Imagination, he ...
May 13, 2015   Phil Wood

Posthauer: In these latter/last days we need to reach the ‘dropout believer’

If there is one overriding theme in Christian thought in recent decades, it is that of “community”—that we don’t do this thing of faithfulness and discipleship alone, but in community with others. It is a theme that author Louis Posthauer has on his heart for the church in self-publishing his ...
May 12, 2015   Ronald Keener

Hope for the Christian church

With negative news reports outnumbering the good ones about the church, some Christians may believe the most relevant book in the Bible today is Lamentations. Without question, some of the statistics are truly alarming. Since 1965, membership in most mainline denominations has declined. Recently researcher Ed Stetzer compiled statistics from ...
May 12, 2015   Jim Farrer

A church of the city

Jesus’ Great Commission demands a deliberate response from those who take the call to reach the people of the city seriously. Cities across America are experiencing a great resurgence and redevelopment of their urban spaces. Sacramento, California, provides a prime example of continuous urban evolution. Over the past decade, more ...
May 11, 2015   Parnell Lovelace, Jr.

DeYoung’s book a smart read this spring before “the decision”

The nation now draws a long sign of relief, following the oral arguments before the Supreme Court in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges on same-sex marriage, while holding on for dear life for the next two months before the court delivers its opinion, says Albert Mohler, “for the legalization ...
May 07, 2015   Ronald Keener

7 Traits of pastors who lead breakout churches

If you want to experience an “aha” moment about revitalizing churches, this research may be the near the top. Most of you have heard the dire information and statistics about congregations in North America. Indeed, I have been among the purveyors of this kind of negative news. For sure, the ...
May 07, 2015   Thom Rainer

Prayer Meeting Protocol

In the days when the church schedule offered the weekly trifecta of Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and mid-week prayer, a guilt-ridden saying was floating around that went something like this:  “People that love the church attend Sunday morning; People that love the pastor attend Sunday evening; But people that love ...
May 06, 2015   Phil Wood

Leading a Generous Church Book Review

Your church can grow generous disciples without chasing money.
May 05, 2015   David Bowman

Keeping pace with culture or God's commands?

Earlier this year my wife and I were visiting my son, Rusty, and his family in Port Charlotte, Florida. One day Rusty test-drove a foreign-made car and wound up frustrated because he couldn’t figure out how to change the speedometer reading from kilometers to miles. That evening he suggested we take ...
May 05, 2015   Bob Russell

Death comes to us all, but this week was an unkind reminder

Death of one kind or another filled the week (April 20-25) for me. It began with the 900 refugees escaping Libya and trying to reach Italy, and a new life, who perished in the Mediterranean Sea—with probably more to come also trying to find a better existence. “Death is nothing, ...
May 04, 2015   Ronald Keener

4 ways you get to stay on the bus, yes, THAT bus

One of the weakest, most cynical, and most brutally clear modern day church metaphors for staff structure is “The Bus.” Many people reading this will have been kicked off (the bus). Many will be trying to figure out who they should kick off (the bus). Others will be clinging tightly ...
May 02, 2015   Doug Lawrence

The struggles facing congregations today

The numbers of attendees or members are pleateaued or declining for approximately 80 percent of long-established Protestant congregations, according to research compiled by Aubrey Malphurs and Gordon E. Penfold in Re:Vision: The Key to Transforming Your Church. First reported in the early 1980s, this statistic has remained constant since that ...
April 28, 2015   Jim Farrer
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VIDEOS


The wrong & right priorities behind church growth

What is the motivation and reason behind church growth? Pastor Rick Warren offers a challenging and blatant response to the misconception that it’s ok for churches to stop growing. Recapture the truth that the church isn’t meant to stay stuck, but rather is meant to live out the vision of the ...
May 18, 2015  

Reclaiming creativity in the church

"The church used to lead the way in influencing culture. Now the world is shocked whenever the church does something creative,” says Craig Groeschel addressing a room full of pastors. As a leader in church innovation, Craig offers valuable perspective on how this happened and the importance of restoring creativity ...
May 18, 2015   Chris Anderson

How megachurches can uniquely advance the gospel

Speaking to a room full of pastors and church leaders at the NACC, Ben Merold both encourages and challenges leaders of megachurches with the crucial role they can play in helping the body of Christ and the advancement of the Gospel.  (Excerpted from the NACC conference in 2014.)
May 12, 2015  

The one event that changed Rick Warren’s life and ministry

Pastor Rick Warren shares a deeply personal and profound story from the final week of his father’s life that has served as a conviction and theme for the rest of Rick's life. In a moving appeal to church leaders, Pastor Rick invites us to be a part of a commitment that ...
May 12, 2015  

Why some pastors are the worst communicators

As John Ewart explains "Pastors are sometimes the world's worst communicators! Isn't that ironic?" Discover one of the most common reasons for poor communication and an easy way to make sure your message is being understood.  (From a session at the Society for Church Consulting's training in 2014.) 
May 04, 2015  

Even better than larger church numbers

“While I am numbers conscious, I have set a limitation on myself…” Find out what Ben Merold has learned from years of serving as a pastor about how to approach numbers and success. (Excerpted from the NACC conference in 2014.) 
May 04, 2015  

How your church can break through

Like the predicament that Joshua faced in motivating Israel to conquer the entire Promised Land, it is hard to keep a church motivated. Churches can far too easily stop short of fulfilling all of God's purposes for them, but that doesn't have to be the case. Ben Merold shares how your church ...
April 27, 2015  

Rick Warren: If you’re discouraged or ready to throw in the towel

God has a lot to say about His Kingdom reaching the entire world. As Pastor Rick Warren states in this video message to church pastors at NACC, “I don’t know if you are discouraged or ready to throw in the towel, but if you want to be on the winning side of ...
April 27, 2015  

3 rules for effective small groups

Borrowing from the inspiration and example of John Wesley, Bob Whitesel discusses three rules that have the power to maximize small group effectiveness at your church. (Bob Whitesel teaching at the Society for Church Consulting's training in 2014.) 
April 21, 2015  

The biggest mistake in church transitions

Church transitions offer an incredible opportunity if led well, but most often we hear of transitions gone bad. Church consultant trainer John Ewart discusses the biggest mistake he has seen churches make and how to avoid it.  (From a session at the Society for Church Consulting's training in 2014.)
April 21, 2015  

The top two metrics that determine whether a church can grow

"A church of 2,000 is not just a bigger version of a church with 50 people - it's a totally different animal." (Gary McIntosh teaching at the Society for Church Consulting's training in 2014.)
April 13, 2015   Tom Harper

Analyzing Saddleback's vision statement

Saddleback's ambitious vision was created by Rick Warren when his church had only 20 members. Is your vision big enough? Is it truly a vision, or just a tagline? (Excerpted from the Society for Church Consulting's training, Aubrey Malphurs, instructor)
April 13, 2015  

Inspiration for reaching seekers in your city

Should we not be concerned with the people in our cities? That is the question posed at the end of the book of Jonah and the conclusion of Pastor Tim Harlow’s opening session at the NACC conference.  Borrowing from the inspiration of Reverend Samuel Shoemaker, we are reminded of our ...
April 07, 2015  

Leader, you were made for a mission

Pastor Rick Warren speaks to fellow pastors and church leaders about one of the five purposes of your life – the truth that you were made for a mission! Be inspired and reminded that every believer is called by God to not just have a ministry in the church but also ...
April 07, 2015  

The power of a common vision

Aubrey Malphurs defines a church's vision as "a clear, common, compelling picture of God's future for this church as you believe it can be and must be." (Excerpted from the Society for Church Consulting's training)
March 27, 2015  

Joni Eareckson Tada: Do not lose heart!

"I want you to join me in desperately needing Jesus," says Joni at the North American Christian Convention. "Join me in fixing your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is only temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
March 27, 2015  

An impossible turnaround situation - Part 4 (conclusion)

"At the 14-year mark, our church began to grow slightly," says Don Ross as he concludes the amazing story of his church's turnaround. "There was one point where I had to make a courageous decision that was probably the most defining moment of everything. I could point to that one ...
March 16, 2015  

Church budgeting 101

Most everything in a budget will go in one of four categories. Aubrey Malphurs also explains how to clean up a budget. (Excerpted from the Society for Church Consulting's training)
March 16, 2015  

Determining the ultimate size of a church - Aubrey Malphurs

When a church starts to grow, one major limiting factor must be addressed. (Excerpted from the Society for Church Consulting's training)
March 10, 2015  

An impossible turnaround situation - Part 3

"I've coached about 80 pastors in turnaround situations over the last four years. None of them saw traction toward their turnaround until they finally dealt with a third issue." Pastor, consultant and author Don Ross continues the story of his own church and discusses this third critical issue in turnaround. ...
March 10, 2015  
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