With Pope Francis’ visit, how are we to regard the Roman church?

With the Bishop of Rome, otherwise known as the Pontiff or the Pope, coming to the U.S. this month, a visit by Pope Francis stirs up speculation about the Roman Catholic Church, its place within the religious world community and whether, some would argue, it is more a cult than ...
September 04, 2015   Ronald Keener

Church Turnarounds: Fruitful methods: (Part 7: The Role of New Doors and Creativity)

Various surveys show that only 1 to 3.5 percent of congregations are effectively reaching “unchurched” people. Since more and more secular people have little or no Christian background, they are increasingly uncomfortable walking through a church’s front door into a worship service. The Role of New Doors Whereas megachurches have ...
September 01, 2015   Jim Farrer

5 ways to take the high road in leadership

It’s not an easy road, but once you spend time on it, it’s hard to go back to however you handled problems in the past. The “high road” is the one that shows you’re strong enough not to be buried by circumstance and dispute.   A belief in early Scotland ...
August 31, 2015   Doug Lawrence

ChurchCentral.com is seeking bloggers

Are you a writer willing to share wisdom and encouragement with senior pastors around the world? Are you a pastor with leadership experience that could help other church leaders? If so, I invite you to apply to become a ChurchCentral.com volunteer blogger. The application process is simple: Send me a ...
August 27, 2015   Tom Harper

7 Reasons churches are too busy

If local churches were humans, most of them would experience burnout. Many congregations are too busy to be effective. Many feature a hodgepodge of seemingly unrelated activities. As a consequence, there is no clear plan or process of discipleship in these congregations. Members are often confused about what they should ...
August 27, 2015   Thom Rainer

The best thing we can do to preserve biblical marriage

It’s easy to understand why most Christians are frustrated with the Supreme Court’s recent redefinition of marriage. We believe marriage is much more than a civil ceremony; it is a divine covenant. The Bible teaches that God brought Adam and Eve together and performed the first marriage ceremony. God designed marriage as ...
August 25, 2015   Bob Russell

Why bother with diversity? The border crossing bottom line

For many of the pastors I teach, diversity and inclusion sound at first like political-correctness distractions from the more important work of sharing the gospel. Words like multiracial, multiethnic, and multicultural have the same effect.[1]   Most of these students are thoughtful, productive pastors who serve in pretty homogenous churches. ...
August 24, 2015   Elizabeth Drury

Try the “Whitney method’ to avoid b-o-r-i-n-g prayers

Books on prayer can go from the ridiculously thick to the sublimely thin—from the 600 pages of one of my favorites, E.M. Bounds on Prayer, to the currently issued 96 pages of Donald S. Whitney’s Praying the Bible [Crossway]. Bounds, who died in 1913, wrote about why we pray rather ...
August 21, 2015   Ronald Keener

The variables of kingdom impact

I will be the first to admit that I have never been very proficient in mathematics. As a youth, I gravitated towards the language arts and music. Now that I have two high school-age children living under my roof, I wish I had put a little more effort towards my ...
August 20, 2015   Parnell Lovelace, Jr.

Guests at Your Church: 10 Mind-Blowing Facts to Fuel Your Hospitality Ministry

10 facts about the Guest Experience in your church that you need to know.
August 19, 2015   Will Mancini

Church Turnarounds: Fruitful methods: (Part 6: The Role of Fire and the Spirit cont.)

In this research blog we continue to explore my premise that Christians become truly motivated by a fire which burns down their building or when the fire of the Holy Spirit ignites the members. The Holy Spirit has many roles to play. Often in life we want the Holy Spirit ...
August 18, 2015   Jim Farrer

Developing a (writing) business plan

After being thrust into the world of self-employment because of downsizing, I worked on my own for nearly eight years without any kind of business plan. My mission statement could have been summed up: “I just hope to survive!” Once I discovered what I did (thanks to the Lord’s inspiration), ...
August 18, 2015   Ken Walker

Followers trust trustworthy leaders: third of five parts

Change leaders not only define healthy change, they see change as a leadership responsibility. If they are successful, they will have enthusiastic followers. This doesn’t occur automatically, which emphasizes the third essential of leading change: followers trust trustworthy leaders. Successful leaders not only carry out the tasks inherent with change, ...
August 18, 2015   Jim Barber

Life at a funeral

So many opportunities to share the gospel arise during times of bereavement. Most would believe that officiating funerals are the hardest part of being a pastor. True, it can be difficult to walk alongside families during their times of grief and bereavement. However, I have often found navigating hard times ...
August 14, 2015   Parnell Lovelace, Jr.

August 12 is ‘Mother’s Day’ for a son and daughter: Mother who would have been 100

Wednesday, August 12 would have been the 100th birthday of Helen Kline Keener [pictured], mother to Ron Keener and Brenda Keener Summers—but she left this world “too soon”—at 95 years old. Mother grew up in Manassas, Va., one of nine children and the last of the children to pass away, ...
August 14, 2015   Ronald Keener

8 Reasons some full-time pastors and staff should go bivocational

Some of you reading this post may need to get a new job. Or, at least you may need to get an additional job. Without a doubt, many churches will always need full-time vocational pastors and staff members. I am not suggesting all of you, or even the majority of you, ...
August 13, 2015   Thom Rainer

6 ways to survive unwarranted criticism

Faced with a critical environment, we all have choices to make—Take it? Repel it? Refute it? No matter how we handle it, there will probably only be a couple of seconds to decide.   Church professionals often find themselves in crisis, particularly given that their visibility is so high and ...
August 11, 2015   Doug Lawrence

Is your church in a leadership transition: a book review

Passing the Leadership Baton addresses the issue most churches avoid: transition. Tom Mullins tells the remarkable story of his own passing the baton to his son Todd at Christ Fellowship, the church he founded. Any long-term pastor can benefit from reading this book, as can those who follow a long-term ...
August 11, 2015   Margaret Marcuson

"My God" versus the true God

Pastors and other church leaders, if you haven’t heard these kinds of statements yet, rest assured that in today’s confused, pluralistic society, you will: “My God would never send anyone to hell.” “I believe in a God who is bigger than all religions.” “The God I worship is neither Muslim, ...
August 11, 2015   Bob Russell

My relaxing Sunday reading: What three columnists say about PP and abortion

Part of my Sunday morning routine, other than church, is reading The Washington Post delivered to my doorstep by 6:00 am. This morning the op-ed page had a trilogy of columnists on the Planned Parenthood brouhaha: George Will, that conservative wizard of words [“The barbarity of a nation”], liberal Ruth ...
August 10, 2015   Ronald Keener

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