4 strategies to free your congregants from the worry trap

Have you noticed that Christians use their own lingo? You know what I’m talking about. We have these phrases that we like to toss around; terms that describe our spiritual lives but that may be foreign to everyone else: “quiet...

BLOGS & VIDEOS


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

Between Sundays: What your congregation wishes you knew

As a researcher and ministry director, I’m focused on two areas simultaneously: • How do we as a ministry help the people we serve move closer to Jesus on a daily basis? • How do I personally move closer to Jesus today than I was yesterday? I think about, question, ...
December 07, 2015   Dr. Pamela Ovwigho

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

Nine traits of church bullies

First of two parts Church bullies are common in many congregations. Wreaking havoc, stirring up trouble and creating dissension, bullies typically must have an “enemy.” They aren’t happy unless they are fighting a battle. Typically, they tend to maneuver to get an official leadership position in the church, such as ...
November 05, 2015   Thom Rainer

Is your church a Volkswagen just waiting to happen?

The Volkswagen Car Company has been faced with the worst possible crisis that a major corporation can experience—a lack of credibility. You can’t recall millions of  cars without suggesting to your clients that you don’t know what you’re doing, or worse yet, that you are deceiving them. Volkswagen’s problem isn’t ...
October 09, 2015   Doug Lawrence

7 things to consider if your spouse is not supportive of your ministry

In recent months, I had two conversations where persons serving on a church staff were struggling with their spouses’ lack of support. One was a pastor whose wife felt worn out from the constant stream of criticisms directed at her husband and her family. She was pushing her husband to ...
September 24, 2015   Thom Rainer

"Seduced”: To Kids on the Internet, Winning is Everything Playing Grand Theft Auto (Part 2)

“Our society expects young people to navigate back and forth between real life reality where we expect decision making with standards and consequences – and a fantasy world of gaming where there are few morals and no real live consequences for their actions.”  [page 115] That one paragraph sums up ...
July 07, 2015   Ronald Keener

Top 10 attitudes of healthy, long-term pastors

In my last blog in this space, I shared the leading habits of pastors who enjoy long-term tenure and mostly joyous ministries at the same church. Another key insight I learned from these pastors is how they think. My previous article dealt mostly with their actions. This post refers to ...
June 30, 2015   Thom Rainer

Key shifts to better engaging your community

How does the church stay relevant in meeting the needs of their communities? In an effort to best serve the people in your community, you may find that you have to change your approach. A panel of church leaders discuss some of the key shifts they discovered along the way. ...
June 19, 2015  
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