3 components of Bible engagement

Last week I wrote about the Power of 4, the research finding that changed our entire ministry focus. We’re now dedicated to helping people engage the Bible four or more days a week, the level at which life transformation is...


The power of 4: One research finding that changed an entire ministry

When I began my research career focused on poverty and family violence, I never dreamed that I would end up in ministry. After all, whoever heard of research being a part of ministry anyway? That all changed around 2006 when I started praying for God to find a way to ...
April 05, 2016   Dr. Pamela Ovwigho

7 reasons monthly church business meetings are dying

It is almost an unspoken phenomenon in church life. Three decades ago, over nine of 10 churches with a congregational government had a monthly business meeting. Several non-congregational churches had monthly business meetings as well. Today, less than one-third of American Protestant churches have these monthly meetings. That is an ...
March 22, 2016   Thom Rainer

7 reasons your church should have a ministry to widows

This verse in Scripture cannot be more compelling or clearer: “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27). Scholars have produced massive volumes on the biblical mandate to ...
March 10, 2016   Thom Rainer

Giving youth reasons to believe

A young man in his mid-20s who was raised in a Christian home now claims to be an atheist. He explained, “What I learned in my biology classes in college made a lot more sense to me than the invisible sky Santa I was taught about in Sunday School.” This comment ...
March 08, 2016   Bob Russell

Book review: I Will! Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian

Lukewarm is just an unappealing word – especially when it refers to your spiritual life. In his book I Will! Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian, Thom Rainer challenges every believer to abandon lukewarm attitudes and behaviors. He believes it’s time that we stop being church spectators and become ...
March 03, 2016   Dr. Pamela Ovwigho

Raising the pastor’s performance potential

Many pastors work long hours and face the juggling of many tasks, but for the turnaround pastor the numbers of those hours and tasks mount quickly with new people to meet and new classes and teams to be formed in order to assimilate disparate individuals. All this can become exhausting. ...
March 01, 2016   Jim Farrer

New Iranian believers rejoice like ‘children at Christmas’ over Bibles

Twenty new believers in Iran have just received their first Persian-language Bibles, Elam Ministries reports. Their pastor wonderfully describes them as being ‘happy like children who have been given Christmas gifts.’ Elam’s mission is to help grow the church in the Iran region. The new believers were recently led to ...
February 29, 2016   Anthony Marr

Video: The value of a survey

Jim Barber gives ideas for how to ask the important questions during a church reorganization. (Jim Barber teaching at the Society for Church Consulting Training Summit in 2014.)
February 12, 2016  

7 traits of churches with increasing per-member giving

One of the key metrics of financial giving in a church is per-member donations. The important question for congregations to consider is—what is the average giving by each member (or attendee)? Since overall weekly giving is often masked by fluctuations in attendance and membership, the most effective measure is to ...
January 28, 2016   Thom Rainer

Two major, under-the-radar changes in American churches

I never would have predicted these changes would take place so rapidly. Indeed, I am surprised to be writing about them today as major changes. Still, they are a growing reality. These two major changes have a similar theme: decentralization. The first is a decentralization of facilities. The second is ...
January 14, 2016   Thom Rainer

6 trends for 2016 and beyond

I am not a prophet, neither am I the son of one. But I have watched several trends over the last decade which I expect will accelerate in 2016 and assume greater significance in the last half of the current decade. 1. Accelerating closure of churches that would be museums ...
January 04, 2016   Bud Brown

Trends in American churches in 2016

I have been writing on trends in churches for two decades. I certainly don’t have a perfect record, but overall it’s pretty good. My methodology is simple: I observe emerging issues in some churches and extrapolate them into major trends. I am taking this approach with a higher level of ...
December 29, 2015   Thom Rainer

Is there a place for measurement in ministry?

Several weeks ago I had the privilege of spending a day with half a dozen or so of the leading researchers studying faith, spiritual growth, and ministry. These are folks whose work you have probably quoted. They’re also among only a few people in the country who attempt the audacious ...
December 28, 2015   Dr. Pamela Ovwigho

Want your church to grow? Then slow down!

Pastor, if you are leading a church that is plateaued or in serious decline, one of the most important things you can do is counter-intuitive. Slow down. Specifically, quit making snap decisions to get them off your desk. Instead, train yourself to take ample time to consider all your options, ...
December 22, 2015   Bud Brown
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