Church Leadership

Church Leadership
Pastors Who Have Flamed Out, Traded Down, Or Stayed Strong
We seldom celebrate consistency, integrity and humility as much as we should. But those are the character traits that make for real ministry success.

There are three lists of pastors that I’ve been keeping track of in my head. Maybe you’ve been keeping some similar lists yourself.

I haven’t kept these lists consciously. Until now, anyway. But after several recent episodes in which pastors have landed on these ...

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Church Leadership
The New Normal: 9 Realities And Trends In Bivocational Ministry
Bivocational ministry is more than a pit-stop along the way to "real" pastoral ministry. It's as real as pastoring gets. And it's becoming very common, very fast.

If I could only teach one vocational principle to young pastors-to-be, it would probably be this.

Learn how to pay the bills outside of your pastoral salary. You’ll probably need it.

Whether you want to be a church planter or pastor an existing church, it’s likely ...

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Church Leadership
Effective Church Leaders Do Not Treat Everyone Equally
If you don't decide whose opinions carry the greatest weight, the loudest voices will win and your ministry will be reactive, not proactive.

Effective leaders always seek wise advice and counsel.

If you, like me, are a small church pastor, you know there’s a huge expectation for us to treat everyone’s advice as though they all have equal value.

We’re often told that getting everyone’s input ...

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Church Leadership
A Leadership Reminder: Your To-Do List Is Not A Plan
To-do lists can keep us on track, but they never create a new track. Only an intentional plan does that.

I love keeping to-do lists. They help me stay on task, keep track of my progress, determine who should be doing what, and so much more.

But I have to constantly remind myself that a to-do list is not a plan.

Starting a to-do list isn’t the creation of a plan, and crossing ...

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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 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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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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Church Leadership
Yes, Pastor, You Can Deliver A Weekly Sermon That's Better Than A TED Talk
We don’t need another celebrity speaker to dazzle us. We need a humble shepherd who’s willing to be vulnerable.

Pastors face a lot of pressure to perform. Some of it, admittedly, is self-imposed.

One of the main places this pressure is felt is in the demand to research, write and deliver a great sermon every week.

In fact, several times in the last few months, I’ve read blog posts ...

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Church Leadership
Church Turnarounds Are About Direction And Consistency, Not Speed Or Size
It's called a turnaround for a reason. It's more about the direction you’re heading than the speed you’re going.

Church turnarounds are hard, but so rewarding.

When a church that was sick and dying goes through a revitalization that puts them back on the path of effective mission, it’s something we ought to celebrate and learn from.

And it can act as a huge encouragement to other churches ...

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