Innovative Ministry
Why I Won’t Be The Lead Pastor At Cornerstone Any More – But I'm Not Leaving
Pastoral transition is one of the most dangerous times in a congregation’s life. We need to get better at it.

Hi, I’m Karl, and I’m still a small church pastor. But I won’t be in the first chair much longer.

On Sunday, my long-time youth pastor, Gary Garcia and I presented a plan for him to become the lead pastor of Cornerstone. I will stay on staff at the church, assuming ...

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Christian Unity
When People Leave: The Private Pain Of The Small Church Pastor
Even if the church is large and growing, it can be hard when people leave. But when the church is small, each loss is much more painful.
When People Leave: The Private Pain Of The Small Church Pastor
Image: Marcelo Jorge Vieira | Flickr

It’s hard when people leave a church.

It’s hard to leave. It’s hard being left.

Most who leave don’t make that decision lightly. They deal with some serious pain when they finally make the decision to go. As a pastor I’m more familiar with seeing ...

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Small Church Ministry
Is Your Church Measuring Health Or Size? They’re Not The Same Thing
In the same way that a healthy elephant is bigger than a healthy rabbit, a church's size has nothing to do with its relative health – or relative value.
Is Your Church Measuring Health Or Size? They’re Not The Same Thing
Image: Martin Cathrae | Flickr

What weighs more, 100 pounds of bricks or 100 pounds of feathers?

It’s an old riddle. One that makes you facepalm yourself if you get it wrong.

The riddle works because it plays on our preconceptions and our tendencies to hear what we want to hear. Bricks weigh more than ...

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Church Leadership
9 Ways To Reverse A Downward Giving Trend In An Otherwise Healthy Church
Even people who love the church and are fully committed to its mission are not giving as much as they once did.
9 Ways To Reverse A Downward Giving Trend In An Otherwise Healthy Church
Image: Julia | Flickr

Do what you love and the money will take care of itself.

That’s been a popular phrase for as long as I can remember.

Wouldn’t it be great if it was true?

I’ve also heard this related phrase for as long as I can remember: just preach the gospel, love people, reach ...

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Church & Culture
Smile When You Talk On The Phone
People are more open to hear hard truths when they’re delivered from a positive mindset.
Smile When You Talk On The Phone
Image: Rachel Kramer | Flickr

Why should I smile when I’m talking on the phone? Unless it’s a video chat, the listener can’t see me smile.

Because they can hear me smile.

Yes, you can hear a smile.

The same goes for talking on the radio, a podcast, or while preaching a sermon. Smiling when ...

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Innovative Ministry
6 Issues To Consider Before Pastoring A Church That Needs A Turnaround
Turnarounds always take longer than our projected timelines. And they almost never happen the way we expect.
6 Issues To Consider Before Pastoring A Church That Needs A Turnaround
Image: Alan Livine | Flickr

Leading a church that needs a turnaround is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding callings a pastor can receive.

I’ve pastored three churches, all of which needed a turnaround, with varying degrees of success (more on that, below). From both my failures and successes, ...

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Church & Culture
4 Assumptions Pastors Can No Longer Make About Church Giving Patterns
While it’s still  true that people stop or slow their giving when they’re unhappy, that is no longer the only reason for a drop in giving.
4 Assumptions Pastors Can No Longer Make About Church Giving Patterns
Image: Stròlic Furlàn - Davide Gabino | Flickr

The way people give is changing.

If your church hasn’t felt the results of those changes yet, you will soon.

If you are feeling them, you may be scrambling to figure out what’s happening, why, and what to do about it.

The good news: everyone is experiencing this, or ...

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