2017

Church Leadership
Are You Missing What God Is Doing While Holding Out For Something Bigger?
When we get to heaven will God ask some of us "Why did you look down on the ministry I gave you?"

God doesn’t always show up in our lives and ministries the way we want him to.

Because, even though we want to do great things for God, our definition of great isn’t always the same as God’s definition of great.

We all have great opportunities for ministry. Don't ...

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Church Growth
5 Mistakes More Likely To Be Made By Big Churches Than Small Churches
Consider this a friendly view from the outside looking in.

Big churches serve many great roles in the body of Christ. And the church growth movement that spawned many of them has been a great blessing to me and so many others in ministry.

But numerical growth, while great, does not come without challenges.

In my last post, 5 Mistakes ...

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Small Church Ministry
5 Mistakes More Likely To Be Made By Small Churches Than Big Churches
Different sizes of churches serve different functions. And they face different challenges.

Small churches are not just smaller versions of big churches.

Every size has value, but different sizes serve different functions in the body of Christ. They also have different challenges and they tend to make different kinds of mistakes.

Here are 5 mistakes that are more likely ...

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Church Growth
If Your Church Is Healthy, Why Is It Still Small?
It's a valid question. I wish I had a tidy answer. But here's what I do know.
If Your Church Is Healthy, Why Is It Still Small?

Oh my. That question.

“How can you say your church is healthy if it’s not growing?”

If I’ve been asked it once…

But I still don’t know how to answer it.

I wish I did. Because it’s a perfectly valid question.

But life doesn’t tie itself ...

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Christian Unity
When You Feel Like A Failure (A Good Friday Reflection)
So much of Jesus’ life, ministry and message looked like a failure. Until the resurrection.

The gospel was built on failure.

What we now know as good news started as very bad news.

It was never supposed to work.

For a long time, it looked like it never would.

It started with a young, pregnant, single girl in a backwater town too small to be mentioned in most ancient records. ...

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Church Leadership
The Best Way To Avoid Pastor Burnout? Equip The Saints
Neither information or inspiration is enough. Pastors need to help congregations turn it into perspiration.

The New Testament doesn’t emphasize the role of pastor nearly as much as our current church structure does.

In fact, there’s just one passage – one! – in which the role of the pastor (along with apostles, prophets, evangelists, and teachers) is mentioned. ...

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Small Church Ministry
Only In a Small Church: Sometimes You Gotta Kill Cockroaches
Principles that make sense in a big church don't always work in a smaller one.

Small churches aren’t just smaller versions of big churches. They have unique gifts, challenges and methods of operation.

But not everyone realizes that fact. Including some small church pastors.

This often leads to frustration when we go to ministerial conferences or read ...

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Small Church Ministry
The Value of a Small Church: Personalized Major League Coaching
Schools, sports and megachurches recognize the value of breaking into smaller groups for learning, coaching and relationships. So why do we devalue it in smaller churches?

I’m taking my family to a bigger church.

I doubt if there’s a small church pastor that hasn’t felt the pain of those words.

I was reminded of that pain while getting re-acquainted with a friend over coffee recently.

My friend is a semi-volunteer staff member at ...

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Christian Unity
The Most Important Lesson Older and Younger Ministers Can Learn from Each Other
If I had one chance to tell younger and older ministers how to treat each other, here's what I'd say.

I'm not as old as I used to be.

I just turned 57. A mere 25 years ago, when the average pastor's age was 44, my current age would have made me an older minister.

Today, with the average pastor being 54, I'm in middle age.

In recent years as I’ve traveled and spoken ...

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Innovative Ministry
Why Are Church Leaders Always Talking About Change? (7 Reasons)
The alternative to change isn’t stability. It’s stubbornness. Besides, no one needs help to stay the same.
Why Are Church Leaders Always Talking About Change? (7 Reasons)
Image: Conal Gallagher | Flickr

We worship an eternally unchanging God, as seen in a book whose newest parts are almost 2,000 years old. That’s a lot of stability.

So why does it seem like every church leader talks more about the things my church needs to change than the things that need to stay the same? ...

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Innovative Ministry
The 3 Best Times to Bring Needed Change to a Church
Healthy churches are always looking for ways to make good things better. They don’t wait for something to break before they fix it.

It’s not always easy to fix long-term problems and implement needed changes in a church – especially when old, dysfunctional ways have taken root.

Sometimes we make our job harder than it needs to be, not by doing the wrong things, but by doing the right things at ...

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Church Leadership
A Pastor's Dilemma: What to Do When You Can't See the Vision for Your Church
Is it okay if a pastor’s calling is to help others fulfill their calling? Or, does every church need a pastor-led vision to get behind?

Is it okay if a pastor’s calling is to help others fulfill their calling? Or, without a big, hairy, audacious pastoral vision, will the people perish?

I’ll come back to those questions soon. But first, this.

You can’t have a great church without a great vision. ...

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Church & Culture
4 Reasons Our Church Stopped Doing 'Come and Watch' Events (And 5 Alternatives)
When a first-time guest comes to a church, they should see our faith at its deepest and best.

Many churches have experienced great success and growth doing big ‘come and watch’ events.

Even if choir cantatas on Christmas and Easter have been replaced by an illustrated message with stage design, lighting and video, the idea is the same – to draw people ...

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Small Church Ministry
CTPastors Has a Small Church Section – And They Want to Hear From You!
How to pitch, write and submit an article that fellow small church pastors will want to read, and the editors of CTPastors will want to publish.

Do you have some creative, practical, encouraging ideas about small church ministry? If you can write about them in a clear, concise manner, CTPastors might want to publish an article from you.

For the first time ever, ChristianityToday.com has a section entirely devoted to small ...

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Church & Culture
The Resurrection: Good News vs Fake News (An Easter Sermon Idea)
The first challenge to the truth of the gospel wasn’t a competing idea or argument. It was the planting of a fake news story.

Easter is coming! All over the world, pastors are preparing to speak to what is usually the biggest church crowd of the year.

If you’re wondering how to make the wonderful, but familiar resurrection story feel fresh again, here’s an idea I’m working on.

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