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

Lyle E. Schaller (1923-2015): Intellectual Pillar of Leadership Network

This remembrance is written by Warren Bird of Leadership Network, who in 2012 edited a book on Schaller’s collective wisdom.
March 23, 2015   Ronald Keener

My friend ‘Gabe’ on Mennonites, Gays, and other pressing issues

As three major mainline Protestant denominations prepare to tackle the issue of gays and lesbians in church life at conventions this summer, one of the country's smallest and more evangelical religious bodies--the Mennonites--also finds itself confronting internal dissension over the issue as a historic merger looms next year.
March 20, 2015   Ronald Keener

4 young takeaways for old churches and vice versa

We can all learn from each other, that’s the stuff of real learning, you listen to someone else. What if we gathered leaders from very young churches and rather old ones in the same room—maybe over a nice cup of tea or a Grande, Iced, Sugar-Free, Vanilla Latte With Soy ...
March 20, 2015   Doug Lawrence

Millennials and the demise of print

As the president of an organization that has huge investments in both print and digital assets, I watch the trends related to the two closely. Current discussions focus on a few basic issues. Digital communication is pervasive and growing. Any metric will affirm that reality. Print as a form of ...
March 12, 2015   Thom Rainer

You tell me

As a leader, we often have individuals present us with problems to resolve or roadblocks to remove. We may be tempted to offer ideas immediately, but there is a better approach which can elevate engagement and drive increased commitment to our organization's mission.
March 12, 2015   Kent Evans

What's in a cover?

It’s been several years since I read a panel discussion with New York literary agents in Writers Digest, but the figures they listed are still relevant. One described a million books hitting the U.S. market annually, with three-fourths of them self-published. Although print-on-demand and other technology make it much more ...
March 11, 2015   Ken Walker

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