“Breathtaking": The court’s decision—and God’s intentions for marriage

Bummed by the outcome Friday of the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality (why should I have been surprised?), I found some solace in Albert Mohler’s blog when he wrote: “Those who cannot accept this redefinition of marriage as a matter of morality and ultimate truth, must acknowledge that the ...
June 29, 2015   Ronald Keener

“Seduced”: Kids’ Self-image Far From a Cherished Child of God (Part 1)

In my day grooming was slicking back my hair with Wildroot Cream Oil, looking my best to go to a school dance. Today grooming takes on a whole new meaning: grooming is about getting kids into the sex trade, working on their (declining) self-esteem, getting them to believe that pornography ...
June 26, 2015   Ronald Keener

The church: the center of healing

Recent events in Charleston, South Carolina, have awakened us to the fact that our culture, our nation, and our communities are in need of healing and understanding. I was moved to hear that the nine shooting victims at Mother Emanuel AME Church were diverse in age, social status, and educational ...
June 25, 2015   Parnell Lovelace, Jr.

Church turnarounds: Fruitful methods: (Part 2: The role of prayer)

According to former missionary and retired Princeton Seminary professor Sam Moffett, the secular culture sees prayer as an escape from the world or as a Christian cop out. Revolutions make headlines; prayer does not. However, from his study of Christian spiritual awakenings beginning in Acts 1:13, Gordon-Conwell professor Richard Lovelace ...
June 23, 2015   Jim Farrer

The things that drive me crazy when phoning a church

Even congregations of some size, say 500 members and upwards, haven’t figured out their communications systems and what callers expect when placing a call to the church office. Most people these days set their expectations rather high because they make calls to businesses and organizations that depend on being responsive ...
June 19, 2015   Ronald Keener

4 Christian Facebook streams I do, but shouldn’t, fish in…you?

I want to get along with most everyone—really, but as I read controversial posts on my Facebook feed, I sometimes jump in with an opposing opinion just to test the waters and moderate the trend of negativity (as I perceive it). Have you ever done that?   Maybe it’s just me, ...
June 18, 2015   Doug Lawrence

Ten traits of pastors who have healthy, long-term tenures

Imagine what might take place if pastors consistently stayed at churches for 10 or more years. Imagine that their tenure was largely healthy. Imagine what would happen in our congregations through increased stability. Presently, the median tenure of the average pastor at a church is around four years. Simply stated, ...
June 18, 2015   Thom Rainer

7 Questions to Determine if Your Team REALLY Shares Your Core Values

Here's a quick 7-question evaluation to use with your team in determining your REAL core values.
June 17, 2015   Will Mancini

Was Jesus a liberal?

A recent letter to the editor of our local newspaper suggested Jesus was a liberal. “I take issue with the term, ‘conservative Christian,’” the writer said. “To be a Christian is to follow in the footsteps of Christ and his teachings. As far as my understanding of Christianity, we are to ...
June 16, 2015   Bob Russell

Campolo moves left on SSM, but not to the right side of history

“Oh, no,” I shrieked. “Not Tony too.” Tony Campolo came out in favor of gay marriage? Sure enough, just before the Supreme Court rules on the matter for the nation. And not long after I bought his book (written with Shane Claiborne), Red Letter Revolution, which now may move to ...
June 11, 2015   Ronald Keener

Write a memoir, not an autobiography

I recently marked a personal milestone when a client flew me Boston to lead a writers workshop at his suburban office. Although I had been a speaker or workshop leader at several previous conferences, this was my first time as the sole speaker. Not only did I enjoy getting to ...
June 11, 2015   Ken Walker

Church turnarounds: Fruitful methods: (Part 1)

In years past many congregations relied on two methods of growth that--even though they worked--were essentially inwardly focused. 1. Sex … or more accurately biological replacement In this process we hope our children will grow up, marry, have children and remain in our community, our congregation and our pew. Today ...
June 08, 2015   Jim Farrer

The “Fitness Church”: How’s your club, eh, church coming?

When living in Arizona, one of the churches we attended for five years had some 7,000 attenders. It had all the bells and whistles of community churches you see today for a crowd that large. And it wasn’t Christianity-lite either. They worked hard at spiritual formation. They developed a large ...
June 05, 2015   Ronald Keener

8 Things pastors do when their churches are in a slump

The meaning of “slump” is more evident in sports. For example, when a baseball player enters a summer slump, we surmise that he is not hitting as well as he was earlier in the spring. However, for churches, there is no clear-cut definition. Indeed, some leaders wonder if it is ...
June 04, 2015   Thom Rainer

Plus-sizing God's house

“Even those I will bring to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples." Isaiah 56:7 NASB As I reflect ...
June 03, 2015   Parnell Lovelace, Jr.

The Troubled Future of the Methodists, living on hope

The United Methodists produced a remarkable report at its meetings in late May in Tampa that prophesied its decline and death in 15 years unless it took actions that, given the lethargy of denominations generally, is herculean in what is required to survive as a church body. The report came not ...
June 03, 2015   Ronald Keener

46 Ways to Leverage Periscope in Ministry

How an ever-increasing number of church leaders are leaning in to the emerging tool called Periscope as an opportunity to connect and transfer vision.
June 03, 2015   Will Mancini

3 verbs , THE 3 verbs, for every worship gathering!

How many times have you heard/or preached that, “Worship Is a Verb?” Hopefully many times! Can you name them? Here are THE 3 worship verbs required to have a true call and response kind of worship service, no matter what the style or setting.   Here's the A list!   ACTIVATE your ...
June 02, 2015   Doug Lawrence

Six Characteristics of Phenom Churches

In the current landscape of professional sports, it is usually evident by middle school if an athlete is destined for the pros. In the ecclesiastical world, church phenoms can also be identified fairly early. If a church has not exploded in the first 12-18 months, blasting rapidly into the mega-zone, ...
June 02, 2015   Phil Wood

Dynamic consultant training summit

As the Society for Church Consulting ( seeks to accomplish its mission to revitalize churches, I am very excited about our upcoming conference this fall. Eight thought leaders from across the country will gather on the beautiful campus of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. With a maximum ...
June 02, 2015   Jim Barber
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How older people can uniquely serve God in their church

Speaking from his heart and years of ministry experience, Ben Merold challenges the older generation to serve God and the church despite differences in taste or opinion. Learn the simple motto that he adopted years ago that has made an impact on countless lives because of his willingness to let God work ...
June 26, 2015  

Two mentalities that leave a church ineffective

Sometimes churches can drift into ineffectiveness. Kevin Holland identifies two mentalities that have a way of infiltrating churches that have the potential of robbing them from being effective and fruitful, the way God intends the church to be. Have you seen these at work in a church you know of? ...
June 26, 2015  

Key shifts to better engaging your community

How does the church stay relevant in meeting the needs of their communities? In an effort to best serve the people in your community, you may find that you have to change your approach. A panel of church leaders discuss some of the key shifts they discovered along the way. ...
June 19, 2015  

Replacing good intentions with true passion

Too often, churches and leaders say that they want to reach people for Christ but lack the passion to see it become a reality. Learning from the men in Mark 2 that lowered their friend through a roof to get him to Jesus, Craig Groeschel offers keys to igniting passion ...
June 19, 2015  

Why repentance is a blessing for leaders

Repentance never feels good at the time, but as Daryl Reed explains, God has a promise and purpose in it that leads to refreshment. As a leader, do you avoid or embrace God’s call to repentance in your every day life? (Excerpted from the NACC conference in 2014.)
June 12, 2015  

How young people can uniquely serve God in their church

“Well that went over like a lead balloon didn’t it?” jokes Ben Merold after sharing some words of wisdom for young people in the church. Despite how it may sound, Ben Merold doesn’t back down from sharing a challenge to young people eager to be used by God. (Excerpted from the NACC conference in ...
June 12, 2015  

Is it failure if no one responds to your gospel invitation?

Sharing from her own experience in giving people the opportunity to respond to the gospel, Liz Curtis Higgs reminds us of the difference between our role and God’s role in evangelism. Are you trusting God with the results or taking on more of a burden than you're supposed to? (Excerpted ...
June 05, 2015  

Why failure is a necessity

Do you miss God when you fail? Does playing it safe actually pay off in the long run? Sharing from personal experience as a leader and as the pastor of LifeChurch.TV, Craig Groeschel unpacks the truths and lies about failure as a leader in the church. Without failing, you might be ...
June 05, 2015  

Are you living at your passion peak?

"The fire of a Christian doesn’t calm down, it only gets hotter the older we get,” explains Daryl Reed. Drawing from the inspiration of his father and being reminded of his own younger days, Daryl Reed challenges us to consider if we are living at the summit of our own ...
June 01, 2015  

How small churches can uniquely advance the gospel

Small churches and their pastors have a unique opportunity to contribute to the work of God in this world. From his many years of ministry experience, Ben Merold shares some keys to how small churches can break through barriers and become who God uniquely equipped them to be. (Excerpted from the ...
June 01, 2015  

Why limited resources are not an excuse

Have you ever found yourself making excuses as to why your church can’t grow or be effective? As Craig Groeschel explains, having limited resources is actually an essential part of exponential innovation. Discover how to leverage limited resources to further your church’s mission. (Excerpted from the NACC conference in 2014.)
May 25, 2015  

The secret to leading and evangelism

“Jesus knew a secret that it seems many Christians today have lost,” says Vince Antonucci. It is a secret Jesus demonstrated in his response to Zacchaeus and a key that leaders are meant to embody personally and corporately in their evangelism and outreach. (Excerpted from the NACC conference in 2014.)
May 25, 2015  

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  

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  
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