With Spring Comes a Time for New Birth: The Consulting Process (Part 3)

Concluding our interview with Executive Director Jim Barber of the Society for Church Consulting, we talk more about what the Society does and how churches can benefit from its services.
April 23, 2015   Ronald Keener

7 Ways to lead unleadable people

After less than four years in his church, the pastor’s frustration bubbled over in a brief, but pointed e-mail. “I am so frustrated, I am ready to leave this church and the pastorate altogether,” he said. “The church members are unleadable.” Although I didn’t think I could find “unleadable” in ...
April 23, 2015   Thom Rainer

10 Stupid Things That Are Keeping Your Small Group from Growing

Geoff Surratt, director of Exponential, wrote a book titled Ten Stupid Things That Keep Churches from Growing. Great title, so I, ummm, borrowed it. Consuming. Groups who focus all their attention on themselves grow ... fat. But they don't grow up. They are consumer groups who, like Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate ...
April 22, 2015   Mike Mack

Easing a pastor's stress

The Schaeffer Institute recently reported that more than 1,700 ministers leave the ministry every month. Fifty percent of those who remain feel so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but they have no other way to make a living.  That’s why once a month I conduct ...
April 21, 2015   Bob Russell

3 ways firing a volunteer can increase engagement

We have all been here: a volunteer needs to be asked to step down or take a sabbatical, but we are hesitant to do it. We fear negative repercussions like balls dropping or other helpers becoming concerned. But let's examine a few ways doing this can actually help us increase ...
April 20, 2015   Kent Evans

3 times in ministry I went from the supine to the ridiculous

When you wake up in the morning and get out of bed, typically you see your day going one way, but often—maybe too often—you’re badly mistaken! Surprises and interruptions are the stuff of ministry and often a good day can go terribly wrong! Here’s my short list…       ...
April 18, 2015   Doug Lawrence

With Spring Comes a Time for New Birth: The Consulting Process (Part 2)

Part 1 of our trilogy on church consulting and consultants referenced the Robin redbreast outside my office window as a metaphor for the consultant trained to bring to congregations a newness of mission and ministry. Part 2 continues my interview with Jim Barber, a church consultant and executive director of ...
April 15, 2015   Ronald Keener

Books aren't dead

In a blog posted on Church Central in March, Thom Rainer wrote about the significant shift in digital media and how young adults under 34 have no loyalty or preference for print media. Now, I wouldn’t presume to second-guess the president of LifeWay Christian Resources. After all, he closely follows ...
April 15, 2015   Ken Walker

6 Reasons Why Most Church Strategic Planning is a Waste of Time

Most church strategic planning is a waste of time no matter what you call it or why the church started the planning to begin with. Have you ever personally experienced a time-waster planning retreat?
April 14, 2015   Will Mancini

With Spring Comes a Time for New Birth: The Consulting Process (Part 1)

Outside my office window, probably no more than two feet from my nose, a Robin redbreast is building a new nest in a bush where last year’s nest was.
April 10, 2015   Ronald Keener

Seven reasons why most church outreach programs fail

In my last blog in this space, I addressed the seven habits of outwardly focused churches. This time, I want to look at a related topic: why most church outreach programs fail. One of my passions in life is to help churches move from becoming inwardly focused to outwardly focused. ...
April 09, 2015   Thom Rainer

3 thoughts about getting over time

It has been said that “Over time, you get over time.”    A life in ministry is just like any other. When you are young you have nothing but time, middle-aged, you never have enough, and when you are old, time is precious and then finally runs out.   You ...
April 08, 2015   Doug Lawrence

How to respond to a claim of a "special revelation"

Ever heard these kinds of statements? “God told me.” “The unmistakable voice of the Lord spoke in my heart.” “The Lord said…” Those claims of divine revelation appear in a recent best-selling Christian book. Such assertions are common. I have heard leaders of prayer sessions say, “God will reveal to ...
April 07, 2015   Bob Russell

Why Can’t the Church Just Agree to Disagree on Homosexuality?

It is difficult to exaggerate how seriously the Bible treats the sin of sexual immorality. Sexual sin is never considered adiaphora, a matter of indifference, an agree-to-disagree issue like food laws or holy days (Rom. 14:1-15:7).
April 02, 2015   Ronald Keener

Hundreds of Iranian and Afghan Christians baptized

Encouraging evidence that the Lord is moving among Iranians and Afghans has been provided by Iran30.org, which says that, during the early part of 2015, more than 220 Iranians and Afghans were baptized in two cities in the Iran region.
April 01, 2015  

10 Ways We Get in the Way of God Building His Church

Scriptures clearly remind us that God is building his church. But the reality of church can seem so contradictory to this truth. When things don’t go well at church, is it possible that we are getting in God’s way?
March 31, 2015   Will Mancini

Hollywood crisis manager cautions about ‘celebrity pastors’

Christian leaders and pastors are stumbling over moral failure, financial misuse, and denying Christian orthodoxy today as much from “the celebrity status we give them” as from their own sinfulness, says Hunter Frederick, who runs a crisis management firm in Los Angeles.
March 30, 2015   Ronald Keener

10 significant quotes from a well respected church whisperer

True confession! I am an unabashed admirer of Adam Hamilton. Not only did he lead a mere 17 people to become the 17,000 member Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, he’s a churchman with a true compass about what it means to nourish seekers and believers simultaneously.   Brief ...
March 28, 2015   Doug Lawrence

Seven habits of outwardly-focused churches

It was not a dramatic moment in time, but subtle—almost subtle to be noticed. The trend became evident first in mainline churches, with evangelicals following a few years later. The slow erosion became glaringly apparent after several years. The change of which I speak is the movement away from outwardly-focused ...
March 26, 2015   Thom Rainer

Restoring the fallen

Rumors were flying about a friend of mine. Even though married with children, my friend seemed to be spending an inordinate amount of time with a college-age girl. She had some personal issues and he evidently wanted to help her.  However, she was also fairly attractive. The time he spent talking ...
March 24, 2015   Bob Russell

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