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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book review: The Life You've Always Wanted

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

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

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 Sarajevo ...
November 16, 2015   John B. MacDonald

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

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

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

Four ways crucibles may shape a leader

Born or made? It's a well-worn question about leaders and leadership. Academics debate it and you probably have your own theory on it too. Leadership thinker Warren Bennis went so far as to say that the idea that leaders are born is a dangerous myth: 'this myth asserts that people simply ...
November 10, 2015   Alan Wilson

How does your church mission lose its power over time?

While the mission of the church was given to every church by Jesus, the culture of every church doesn’t always take its cue from our Savior’s command. Somehow in the mechanics of ministry the church mission may unintentionally lose steam.
November 10, 2015   Will Mancini

5 things you should know about mission statements

Fifty years ago, most churches probably never even considered a mission statement.  Nowadays, if you don’t have one, people probably wonder what’s wrong with you.  In fact, not having one makes your church seriously uncool. But are they really necessary?  What does having a mission statement actually achieve?  How can ...
November 10, 2015   Tony Llewellyn

Why Satan hates Christian worship: Part 3

Concerned with the growing cultural emphasis on Halloween, I began this series prior to the holiday observance to alert church leaders about the evangelistic and exorcistic aspects of often neglected parts of historic liturgies. The role of baptism Among the crassest critiques, the baptism of infants may be described as ...
November 10, 2015   Jim Farrer

Does it take an engineering degree to turn a church around?

Once a month I have lunch at the LongHorn restaurant in town with the chair of our deacons’ team. I am chair of the leadership team (board) and he and I talk over church business and how to move ministry forward. He and I see church matters pretty much from ...
November 09, 2015   Ronald Keener

Does your church need a preacher or a pastor?

There is a great difference between preachers and pastors. When most churches are seeking to fill the pastorate, they may advertise with the word “pastor,” but what they really want is a great preacher to fill seats. As well, some churches may need a chaplain type-of-pastor and not a very ...
November 09, 2015   Matthew Fretwell

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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.

Does God care about the details?

Prayers are answered all the time. Yet, sometimes we miss how God specifically intervenes.

Are we growing?

Growth is a trigger for church reorganization.

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