2017

Innovative Ministry
Adding A Second Church Service Without Killing Your Momentum
Taking an almost-full room and dividing into two less-than-half-full rooms can be a psychological blow. Here's how one church overcame it.

Has your church ever tried to add a second weekend worship service, only to have it flame out? This was the question that was asked on a small church pastors’ discussion board recently.

Several of the responses were, understandably, along these two lines:

  • “That’s a ‘problem’ I’d love to have.”
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Church & Culture
Evil Is Real, But Love Is Stronger
We don’t need a weak, shallow, moderated response right now. We need a strong, deep and clear response. That’s why we need Christ's love.

Evil is not a theory.

It’s not a concept created by angry, red-face preachers trying to stop people from having a good time.

Evil is what flies airplanes into buildings and drives an automobile into pedestrians.

But evil doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

No one wakes up one ...

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Innovative Ministry
Adapt, Adjust And Diversify: Some Of Our Differences Make The Church Stronger
As long as the center holds, our differences won’t make the church weaker. They’re an essential element for making us stronger.

Christians worship and serve Jesus in so many different ways.

Sure, there’s a foundation of correct theology and behavior that needs to exist for any group to legitimately call themselves a church. Among them are:

  • The divinity of Jesus
  • Salvation through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus
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Christian Unity
Church Size Is About Personal Preference, Nothing More
As long as your preferences are about positive opportunities, not negative excuses, it doesn't matter what size of church you go to.

Let's admit something to ourselves. All the arguments we have over church size are about our personal preferences, nothing more. Apples and oranges.

There is zero evidence to suggest that big or small churches are more biblical or more effective, no matter how much we want ...

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Christian Unity
5 Ways Small Churches Help Big Churches Without Getting (Or Asking For) Credit
Sometimes, when small churches contribute to the body of Christ, we're blessing our big church friends in ways that no one else sees.

Big churches and small churches all have something to contribute to the body of Christ.

But, because of their size, the contributions of big churches tend to get noticed more. That’s okay. We don’t do this to be seen. (At least we shouldn’t).

And sometimes the ...

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Innovative Ministry
Pastor, Don't Neglect Your Current Members To Reach New Ones
The great churches of tomorrow will be built on the foundations that were established yesterday and affirmed today. 

Every church needs to be more missional. More outward-reaching. More evangelistic. More outside-the-walls.

One of the best indicators of whether-or-not a church is healthy is how much they're reaching people who aren't already in the congregation. The more outward-looking, ...

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Church Leadership
Church Turnaround Is An Attitude, Not An Event
Turnarounds require rebuilding of broken trust, reestablishing of eternal principles and repairing of damaged relationships.

You can't program a church from unhealthy to healthy.

No amount of special events, Big Days or new ideas can cause a broken church to become whole.

There is no book, no conference, no blog post or podcast that will give you the key to church renewal or revival.

Sure, those ...

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Church & Culture
Backyard BBQ Evangelism: A New, True Parable Of Outside-The-Church-Walls Ministry
Don't force people to do ministry your way. Help them with the ministry they're already passionate about.

We have to start letting go of some of our long-held ideas about church and ministry. Especially when it comes to evangelism and outreach.

But it’s not always easy.

Here’s a true story that illustrates that reality. (I’ve kept some details vague, and adjusted ...

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Christian Unity
Big Churches And Small Churches: Contrast Without Criticism
Church leaders need to understand the differences between churches of various sizes. So we can work together, not tear ourselves apart.

Big churches and small churches are very different.

Not in their mission, their doctrine or their value to the kingdom of God, but in many of the ways they fulfill that mission.

They're pastored differently, they utilize people's gifts differently, they reach their communities ...

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Innovative Ministry
Why I’m Not Worried About The Future Of The Church – Or The Church Of The Future
Churches that adapt their methods to advance Jesus’ mission will struggle, but survive and thrive.

There’s a lot of upheaval going on in the church right now. And it’s not even close to being over.

There will be a great many local congregations and denominations that will not survive into the next generation or two. But that doesn't mean the church is dying. ...

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Innovative Ministry
Pastors, We Need To Stop Expecting Worship Leaders To Do Our Job For Us
If the theology being presented in our churches isn't deep enough, it's not the worship leader's responsibility to make it deeper.

There are two interesting, but conflicting conversations happening among church leaders right now. Especially, but not exclusively, on social media.

On the one hand, people are decrying the supposed shallowness of today's worship songs.

On the other hand, there's a push ...

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Church Leadership
The 3 Biggest Problems With An 'Every Number Is A Person' Approach To Ministry
Record-keeping and statistical analysis are helpful ministry tools. But we need to know their limitations.

When a pastor says "we count people because people count" and "numbers matter because every number is a person," I agree.

Everyone in a church service, a discipleship class or a small group is a person for whom Jesus died. And knowing how many of them are ...

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Innovative Ministry
11 Advantages Of Having 50 Churches Of 100 Instead Of 1 Church Of 5,000
Big churches are great. But they’re very rare. And they’re not the only way to see the kingdom of God move forward.

Church planters are some of the great heroes of the faith. Especially when you realize how many church plants fail within the first few years.

But I wonder, how many failed churches might still be alive and well today if we didn’t pressure them to reach numerical goals ...

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Church & Culture
...But I'm Okay With MY Clichés
Be careful that you don’t find yourself leaving shallow expressions of truth for shallow expressions of falsehood.

A lot of people are talking and writing about leaving the Christian faith lately.

For many, their reasons are profound and horrifying. I have and will write about those tragedies, but this article is not about that. It’s about others who are leaving for reasons that are ...

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The Endlessly Fascinating Microbiology Of Small Church Ministry
Small churches are to megachurches as microbiology is to astronomy. One is small, one is huge, both have value.

When you love something, there's always more to discover in it. That was the essence of a conversation I had recently about the value of small church ministry.

It began with a question.

"What you're doing with small churches is great, but won't you have to expand ...

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