People-pleasing pastors and approval-motivated leadership

Most of us want to be liked, and pastors have more people than most of us who expect the pastor's approval. Charles Stone has a church in Ontario, Canada of 725 people on a given Sunday, and says “I never compromised my morals or my theological stance, but I know ...
December 01, 2015   Ronald Keener

Conflict and your identity (part 1)

A dozen professionals were being shuttled from airport to hotel for a conference. On the ride, one of the passengers made a casual observation. A colleague responded inappropriately with: “I bet you figured that out all by yourself.” The reaction was a disproportionate outburst of anger. Why did that person ...
November 30, 2015   John B. MacDonald

Book review: Leadership Pain by Samuel R. Chand

As a leader, I was incredibly drawn to the title of this book. What leader doesn’t experience pain? At first, I thought the book was going to have a masochistic message. I was expecting, “Every leader experiences pain. Jesus did. So suck it up and keep serving.” I was wrong. ...
November 27, 2015   Dave Blundell

The fastest ways to get up-to-speed on church turnarounds

It is generally recognized that upwards of 70 percent of congregations in America are plateaued or declining in membership. One could also state that every congregation over a span of years will enter periods of stagnation. Are there any hopeful possibilities? George Hunter, professor emeritus at Asbury Theological Seminary, observes, ...
November 24, 2015   Jim Farrer

7 ways to be missional this Thanksgiving

What comes to mind when you hear the word “Thanksgiving?” Eating way too much Football! Stomachaches Pilgrims and Native Americans Long holiday travels Giving thanks Like the above, giving thanks can easily move to the bottom of our priority list and can affect how we live life during this holiday. ...
November 23, 2015   kris eldridge

What is wrong with my pastor?

Galatians 6:9 - Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. No, this is not a post about my pastor who is also a mentor and friend. But I have heard this from people ...
November 19, 2015   Fred Noble

The time crunch

Having worked on writing projects with evangelists and pastors for more than 20 years, I am quite sensitive to the time pressures and seemingly endless demands for their attention. Since I seem to juggle a never-ending series of tasks on my “to do” list, I often wonder how they do ...
November 18, 2015   Ken Walker

Book review: The Life You've Always Wanted by John Ortberg

I don’t know what it is about John Ortberg, but God speaks to me through his writings like few others. He is clear, concise, and compelling. He is authentic, vulnerable, and disarming. As one of my peer group members said this morning, it is as if he were reading our ...
November 17, 2015   David Bowman

Conflict and identity

Let’s take another step in understanding the larger context of the nature and dynamics of conflict.   Conflict and identity What do the following conflicts have in common?   The rise of Nazism in Berlin during the 1930s; the racial upheaval in Los Angeles in 1992; and, the atrocities of ...
November 16, 2015   John B. MacDonald

3 ways we ignore the Holy Spirit in worship

Although we try to have godly intentions, I wonder if we may sometimes commit the sin of “omission” by ignoring the Holy Spirit in our planning and leading of worship services. Of course, as we gather in Christ’s name, we know that He is among us to comfort, convict and ...
November 13, 2015   Lang Montgomery

Spiritual take-aways from Louisville basketball scandal

This fall a buzz in Louisville reached national proportions. It concerned highly-publicized accusations of immoral and illegal activity in the University of Louisville’s basketball program.  A prostitute wrote a book in which she claimed an assistant coach paid her and her daughters to “escort” potential recruits and entertain some of ...
December 01, 2015   Bob Russell

Leaders should be encouragers

How do you end your Email messages? I make a practice of ending my correspondence like this:      Encouragement!      Paul I started using my encouragement ending a few years ago during a time when I was experiencing a lot of discouragement. I decided to push back against the ...
November 29, 2015   Paul Greasley

The surprising secret to church growth

The church classroom in which the workshop was being held was filled to capacity.   After all, the pretentious title was “The surprising secret to church growth.” The workshop presenter, Dr. Henry Maulson, was a nationally known church growth expert. Just about everybody at least knew his name, for he had ...
November 26, 2015   Brian Thorstad

Jesus' volunteer strategy

Most church leaders know the importance of utilizing quality volunteers in their ministry. Let’s face it, ministry just won’t happen without a passionate group of selfless servants willing to roll up their sleeves and do the tough work of ministry. I once heard a Christian leader address a group of ...
November 23, 2015   Mark Lenz

Church, how boring can it get?

Pretty boring as it turns out. "Rubber-stamped," some have called it.   It’s regrettable that many people in ministry can’t figure out how to keep their fires of creativity burning or even get them started. Does your leadership value imagination? In position descriptions for churches, I see the same statements repeated ...
November 22, 2015   Doug Lawrence

9 ways to deal with church bullies

Second of two parts In my last post in this space, I dealt with the traits of church bullies. In this blog, I will move from descriptive to prescriptive. How do we deal with church bullies? What can we do to prevent such bullying? Here are nine of my suggestions ...
November 19, 2015   Thom Rainer

Do we really want revival? 3 easy answers.

The statistics usually don’t lie. The majority of evangelical Americans desire a call back to God. However, what is the motivation—is it for national spirituality, for political change, for Bibles or prayer in schools, or for church growth? Whatever the motivation—is this what revival has become to us? When we ...
November 18, 2015   Matthew Fretwell

Strive for purity

The ancient city of Ephesus enjoyed a well-deserved reputation for sensuality. It was the center of the worship of Artemis—the goddess of fertility. The temple featured prostitution and an “anything goes” mentality. In addition, the Ephesians’ economy revolved around the manufacture and sale of miniature statues of this love goddess. ...
November 17, 2015   Bob Russell

1 good reason to kill small group ministry

They fail to fulfill the purpose for churches create them. Most churches set up small groups for one main purpose. They may toss a few secondary reasons, but the main reason churches have small groups is fulfill their duty to make disciples. It doesn’t work. To understand why not, think of how ...
November 16, 2015   Bud Brown

Do these 4 steps lead to pastoral moral failure?

Each year it seems that another famous pastor steps down due to moral failure. As I've read about these falls, I've often wondered if there are threads common to these falls. H. B. London interviewed Archibald Hart, author and Dean Emeritus at Fuller seminary, several years ago on this subject. ...
November 13, 2015   Charles Stone
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Do you really believe that?

In today’s culture, many times the word “believe” is used to express our interests and opinions. Jodi Hickerson, programming director of Mission Church (Ventura, Calif.), shares absolutes, which weigh more than any of our interests and opinions.

3 healthy leadership structures

One governance structure does not fit all churches.

How your church size impacts decision-making

In Church "A" the congregation makes all of the decisions. In Church "B," committees and the board get involved.

Creating a sustainable ministry platform

How many followers does it take for your ministry to make an impact? What’s the secret to reaching more people? Jodi Hickerson, Programming Director of Mission Church (Ventura, Calif.), reveals how to make the biggest impact in the lives you encounter every day.

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