The Top 5 Things Growing Churches Do

I realize that there are myriads of models, programs, and books for church growth. As a former church planter, current planting catalyst and pastor of a revitalized church, here are the top 5 observations that growing disciple-making churches have in common. Listening to the Holy Spirit The early church intensely ...
October 04, 2015   Matthew Fretwell

A “zoological” approach to church vitality

In past generations many principles of church growth have been uncovered. Much of the research came through long and detailed studies on foreign mission fields. Keen observers on our continent have also recovered more principles in the past 50 years. If you are overwhelmed by the growing number of books ...
September 29, 2015   Jim Farrer

How going to church benefits brain and body

As a committed follower of Jesus, I've gone to church literally my whole life. My parents took me when I was a kid. I wanted to go as an adult. And in another sense, I'd better go now. After all, I am a pastor. Most believers understand that church attendance does ...
September 27, 2015   charles stone

I apologize!

Apologies are good for you.   I want to talk about one particular leadership error that I have been feeling bad about for many years.   In 1986, after a trip to Willow Creek, I felt the need to be a prophet to my fellow church musicians and tell them ...
September 25, 2015   Doug Lawrence

What harm does the Pope do? “Protestants lose meaning of Reformation,” author says [Part 1]

The visit of Pope Francis to this country has coined a new word, “Popeapocalypse,” says Huffington Post. It is a word, says Steve Wohlberg, to describe the current Popemania America is experiencing. But the author, publisher and broadcaster isn’t engaged in the excitement shared by many Americans, Catholics and non-Catholics. I ...
September 24, 2015   Ronald Keener

7 things to consider if your spouse is not supportive of your ministry

In recent months, I had two conversations where persons serving on a church staff were struggling with their spouses’ lack of support. One was a pastor whose wife felt worn out from the constant stream of criticisms directed at her husband and her family. She was pushing her husband to ...
September 24, 2015   Thom Rainer

3 ways to avoid moral failure in leadership

Moral failure. Leaders are expected to be above moral failure. But, if you’re in any type of leadership position, you realize that human nature (sin) exists in the most resilient of leaders. It happens—but does it need to? Whether you’re a store manager or a CEO, leadership expectations overflow from ...
September 23, 2015   Matthew Fretwell

10 ways church mission statements backfire

Ten quirky realities about church mission statements that illuminate how they backfire. Which one is most applicable to your current situation?
September 23, 2015   Will Mancini

The root of conflict

The two men stood toe to toe, eyeball to eyeball, with their fists clenched. Their voices were raised and faces red. Any second one of them was going to punch the other one. I had to act quickly or this was going to end ugly. As I stood between the ...
September 23, 2015   Jeff Klick

Growth introduces opportunities and barriers: fifth of five parts

Change leaders define and implement healthy change. In some cases, this may be incremental in a few key areas. In others, it involves the kind of radical and comprehensive changes that are necessary to revitalize and turn around a “stuck” church. In both cases, the outcome can be not only ...
September 22, 2015   Jim Barber

Six take-aways from the growing popularity of Donald Trump

The increasing popularity of Donald Trump has been a surprising development in the early stages of the 2016 presidential campaign. In recent weeks, Trump has been the continuing focus of television news programs and radio talk shows. Crowds numbering in the tens of thousands flock to rallies to hear him ...
September 22, 2015   Bob Russell

“Iran’s War on Dogs”: What we can tell about a government’s character

If the rationale for this blog is that of faith and religion and church, then my rationale for this piece will have to rest on the Christian virtues of kindness and compassion. And even more so in one’s kindness and compassion—and love—for dogs and puppies. A year and a half ...
September 21, 2015   Ronald Keener

What small groups should study and direction from above

I recently read an interesting article by Eric Geiger at LifeWay. In essence, the article says that most small group leaders are given no direction in what their groups study. Read the article HERE.  Here's my reply: In some ways this is both bad news and good news. The bad ...
September 18, 2015   Mike Mack

Iranian church sees rapid growth

Despite persecution, Iran has one of the fastest growing churches in the world. Church Central talked to Elam Ministries, whose mission is to help expand the church in the Iran region, to learn about what is happening in Iran.
September 17, 2015  

Don't rush your book

I recently wrapped up a combination ghostwriting, revising and editing project with a pastor from Florida who is self-publishing his first book. It offered an excellent reminder of how much work is involved in this kind of project. I guess we can always use a refresher course. Even me, after ...
September 16, 2015   Ken Walker

Church turnarounds: Remodeling “this old house” of prayer

According to St. Matthew 21:13, when Jesus entered the Temple area he began to overturn tables and “turnaround” several unhelpful practices. He placed in his hearers’ minds the quote from Isaiah 56:7: “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” In current culture, both church turnarounds ...
September 15, 2015   Jim Farrer

Kim Davis: What Would Jesus Do?

Like you, I'm reading and listening to people who don't understand why a Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk is refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on her religious beliefs. This is a clash of worldviews. Some see their religious liberties being violated. Some see their rights, as upheld ...
September 11, 2015   Mike Mack

“War Room”: You’ve seen the movie, now read the book

Like a lot of people, I saw War Room over the Labor Day weekend that likely contributed to the film pulling in $12.6 million over the four-day holiday. By any measure the film is a success, but in Hollywood where box office is everything, the film was made for $3 ...
September 11, 2015   Ronald Keener

Applause, applause...

thankyouverymuch...   As a singer, as a worship leader, as a member of my community, I’ve been a performer for most of my adult life. I don’t in any way apologize for it. I treasure the fact that what I have often done for a living has enriched the lives ...
September 11, 2015   Doug Lawrence

Is it time to rethink the church business meeting?

It is unwise to assume all churches do things the same way. I certainly know that the readership of this blog includes leaders from tens of thousands of different churches. Even within the same denomination, there are countless different approaches to church practices. Such is certainly the case with church ...
September 10, 2015   Thom Rainer
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Remember this when you want to give up

If you find yourself discouraged and lacking evidence for the fruits of your labor, Lee Strobel reminds us that one day in heaven what you have invested in for eternity will be worth it. (Excerpted from the NACC conference in 2014.)
September 28, 2015  

Where are we headed?

Jim Barber emphasizes the importance of discussing the missional strategy of a church before reorganization. (Jim Barber teaching at the Society for Church Consulting Training Summit in 2014.)
September 28, 2015  

Even idiots can become bold leaders

What's the secret to being bold Christian leaders that are able to speak into the war of words happening in our world? Peter and John knew the secret and were transformed from common men to world-changing leaders. Mike Baker, senior pastor of Eastview Christian Church (Normal, Ill.), shares the secret to ...
September 20, 2015  

Is conflict resolution a leadership priority?

"If they don't love each other at the end of the day, then they won't be able to revitalize the mission, vision and strategies of the church," Jim Barber says in his discussion on conflict resolution and reconciliation. (Jim Barber teaching at the Society for Church Consulting Training Summit in 2014.)
September 20, 2015  

Find the starting point in order to make changes

Jim Barber discusses important questions to ask when approaching a transition in church governance. Discover what obstacles you may face depending on your church's background. (Jim Barber teaching at the Society for Church Consulting Training Summit in 2014.)
September 04, 2015  

How to be a voice in the worldwide conversation

There's an ongoing conversation happening around the world all the time – from blogging to tweeting to texting, that many times speaks out against the church and Christians. How do we find our voice in this conversation and start to make an impact? Mike Baker, senior pastor of Eastview Christian Church (Normal, ...
September 04, 2015  

Time for a change?

Jim Barber explains what triggers the need for changes in a church's leadership structure. He also shares how often churches should implement these changes. (Jim Barber teaching at the Society for Church Consulting Training Summit in 2014.)
August 31, 2015  

Heaven only knows the impact you are making

“You have no idea how God will use you in ways you don’t even know, to be a link in the chain to lead people to heaven,” shares Lee Strobel with pastors and church leaders. For those wondering if what you are doing is making an impact, Lee Strobel shares ...
August 31, 2015  

What is governance?

Jim Barber breaks down the definition of governance and explains the elements tied to church leadership structure. (Jim Barber teaching at the Society for Church Consulting Training Summit in 2014.)
August 25, 2015  

The defining mark of a healthy church culture

What is the most important characteristic of a healthy church culture? According to Bob Whitesel it is not theology, good preaching or compelling worship that is the common thread among healthy churches. Find out what Saddleback and other churches have found to be the key to a growing, healthy culture. ...
August 25, 2015  

Wesley, Whitefield and agreeing to disagree

The purpose of the pulpit, predestination, discipleship models – those are just some of the many things that friends John Wesley and George Whitefield had conflicting views on. However, out of their relationship a phrase was coined that has continued to help unify church leaders in the midst of doctrinal ...
August 17, 2015  

3 snapshots of unhealthy churches

Can we spend money on new carpet? Jim Barber shares real stories from churches he consulted and the passion for taking them toward next steps in leadership structure. (Jim Barber teaching at the Society for Church Consulting Training Summit in 2014.)
August 17, 2015  

Lee Strobel: how the church changed my family forever

Best selling author and former atheist Lee Strobel wasn’t always the man he is today. God radically transformed his life and the life of his family. Hear his incredible testimony and the importance of a small church committed to strategizing, innovating and praying to reach people like him. (Excerpted from ...
August 12, 2015  

A practical tool for engaging conversationally

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, one of the essential ways leaders serve people is by taking the time to invest in them through conversation. Kevin Holland shares what God has shown him about being more intentional as a pastor and the practical, easy tool that has helped ...
August 05, 2015  

Lee Strobel says thank you

Ditching his prepared remarks for the NACC conference, Lee Strobel addresses a room full of pastors and leaders, from churches big and small, to say thank you on behalf of the people who have already and who will be impacted by the church offering the hope and light of Christ. ...
August 05, 2015  

The mission behind Duck Dynasty

So what is the purpose behind the family of bearded hunters that have found such popularity on Duck Dynasty? Hear from Alan Robertson, one of the brothers, who shares the mission behind the show and the lives of the Robertson family. (Excerpted from the NACC conference in 2014.)
July 28, 2015  

Finding avenues for compassion as a leader

"I know in your heart, you are compassionate and want to do something for God but sometimes we don’t act on that,” says Kevin Holland speaking to a room of pastors and church leaders. The danger in that is that “compassion without expression leads to depression.” So how do we ...
July 28, 2015  

Does the church need to change how it engages with non-Christians?

“If you talk to people these days and ask how do you perceive Christians? They will tell you they seem angry… arrogant… apathetic,” starts Cal Jernigan. What if there was a more generous way to engage with people outside of your church? Cal Jernigan shares four ways he and his ...
July 23, 2015  

Lee Strobel's embarrassing evangelism attempt

“There are times when I get involved with evangelism and it does not go well,” shares best-selling author Lee Strobel. Sharing a comedic example from his own life, be reminded about how even in our most embarrassing moments, God can create an opportunity for His gospel to go out. (Excerpted ...
July 23, 2015  

How Duck Dynasty started

Alan Robertson, aka the “beardless” brother and pastor from the TV show Duck Dynasty, shares the backstory of how God worked in his dad’s life and reshaped the family that millions know and watch today. (Excerpted from the NACC conference in 2014.)
July 15, 2015  
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