2017

Small Church Ministry
The Church Is Stronger When Small Congregations Are Encouraged, Resourced And Engaged
When their concerns are heard and addressed, small congregations get healthier, and the entire church is stronger.

The body of Christ can't afford to alienate small churches any longer.

Especially since we make up 90 percent of churches, where half of all Christians attend, worship and minister.

Imagine any other group in which that large a segment of its population regularly felt marginalized, ...

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Small Church Ministry
If Our Church Was Bigger, We Could…
There’s not a single command to the church that cannot be accomplished by two or three people who love Jesus, each other, and the community they’re called to reach. 

Pastoring a small church can be frustrating.

We look around at our big church counterparts and it’s easy to wonder what it would be like if our church had all those resources.

So, sometimes we play the “what if...” game.

We imagine ourselves in those churches, ...

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Small Church Ministry
6 Benefits of Embracing the Fact that You’re a Small Church Pastor
If you’re a small church pastor, don’t resist it, embrace it. Then be great at it.

Discovering and embracing the fact that I am a small church pastor was one of the most liberating moments of my life.

It took me years to get there, but once I did… wow! What a relief!

As I’ve outlined in The Grasshopper Myth, I went through a lot of years not willing ...

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Church Growth
Sorry, Pastor – Numbers Are NOT People
Church metrics can be helpful. But only if we use them wisely. And hold them lightly.

Numbers matter at our church because every number is a person.

No.

Just… No.

I don’t doubt that most pastors who say that mean it. And they truly do care for people. But numbers are not people and people are not numbers.

Most businesses are figuring this out, so why ...

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Church Growth
Let’s Ask Better Questions About Church Size
Instead of asking “what’s the best church size?” we need to ask “what’s the best church size for a given situation?”

What‘s the best church size?

Many church leaders might argue that, whatever your size, “just a little bigger” would be better.

Many house church attenders would propose that smaller is better.

There are followers of John Wesley’s Rule of 150 who make a good ...

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Innovative Ministry
Wanted: New Church Methods for New Church People
Changing the world with the Gospel of Jesus is less likely to happen using traditional methods with every passing year.

There’s nothing wrong with traditional methods of doing church. As long as you want to minister to traditional church members.

Traditionalists (whatever your tradition may be) need places to worship, learn and be discipled. Too many of them have felt overlooked, even ridiculed, ...

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Church Growth
Why We Can’t Afford To Be Dismissive Toward Small Churches
The micro half of the body of Christ must be as fully encouraged, resourced and engaged as the macro half.

If ninety percent of churches were big and ten percent were small, it would be reasonable to dismiss small churches as being broken.

Irrelevant.

Lazy.

But the opposite is the case. Ninety percent of churches are small, while only ten percent are medium-sized, large and mega combined. ...

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Innovative Ministry
4 Steps To Help Pastors Preach To Newbies And Mature Christians Every Week
Speaking deep truths in simple language isn’t easy. But when we do, something very special can happen.

Every week, pastors all over the world are asked to do something that is almost impossible. Preach a message to a group of people that includes

  • Teenagers to seniors
  • Men and women
  • Mature disciples and not-yet-believers
  • The faithful and the skeptical
  • Regular attenders and first-time guests
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Church Leadership
Don’t Try To Be Successful, Try To Do Good Work
A minister with a well-nourished soul may or may not have a big church, but they’ll always have a healthy ministry.

I’ve always tried to live my life and do ministry by this rule:

Don’t try to be successful. Try to do good work.

  • Not people-pleasing work, God-honoring work
  • Not self-promoting work, Christ-magnifying work
  • Not numbers-driven work, Spirit-led work

The one time in my ministry ...

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Church Growth
Sorry, Pastors – The Growth Of The Church Is Not Up To Us
Preaching the Word, training disciples and ministering to the community may or may not increase the number of people who sit in front of me from Sunday to Sunday.

If the size of my church was up to me, it would have been a lot bigger a long time ago.

After all, like so many of my peers in ministry, I’ve followed all the rules. Preach the Word, train disciples, reach people, remove obstacles, lead and manage it well, and the church ...

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Innovative Ministry
Reflections On My Last Conversation With David Mainse (1936–2017)
David Mainse was an innovator who used whatever technology would help him reach the greatest number of people for Jesus.
Reflections On My Last Conversation With David Mainse (1936–2017)
Image: 100Words.ca

I want to be like David Mainse when I grow up.

Unless you've lived in Canada, or in certain pockets of the US, you may not be aware of David Mainse. So here's a short bio of a man who influenced so many in his 81 years.

David Mainse was the young pastor of a small church ...

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Church Leadership
For Every Minister Who Struggles With Your Prayer Life
Real prayer is about relationship. And relationships are hard. Even (especially?) with God.

A healthy prayer life is hard work.

If you’re one of those Christians who finds your prayer life to be easy, joyous and endlessly fulfilling, we’re grateful for you and the role you play in the body of Christ. But that’s not the way it is for most of us.

Pastors ...

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Small Church Ministry
The World's Best Small Churches
What if every small church stopped worrying about getting bigger, and decided to be a great church starting right now?

No one will ever make a list of the best small churches in the world.

And they shouldn’t.

After all, a great urban small church looks very different from a great rural one. Same with a great Baptist and Methodist church. Or a great small church in Japan or Costa Rica.

Even ...

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Church Leadership
8 Ways To Manage Minor Church Leadership Issues Before They Become Big Problems
Many of the issues we think are staff/volunteer problems are actually pastoral leadership problems.
8 Ways To Manage Minor Church Leadership Issues Before They Become Big Problems
Image: Kate Haskell | Flickr

My pastor is so hard to please!

I’ve had a lot of conversations with church staff members and volunteers. Their most commonly repeated frustration usually goes like this:

“Nothing makes my pastor happy! Last week we had the best youth night ever. The kids worshiped ...

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Church Leadership
Lead A Big Church? Or Be A Pastor? Sometimes You Can’t Have It All
Whether you’re called to lead a church with entrepreneurial church growth methods or hands-on pastoring, lean into it with all you’ve got.

No one can truly pastor 1,000 people. Or 500.

Even 200 is stretching yourself too thin. That’s why the so-called 200 barrier is such a challenge.

So, if you want to lead a large church, at some point you’ll have to give up most of what it means to be a pastor. Maybe ...

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