Church Leadership
Pastoral Transition: A Very Personal Note
Changing chairs after 25 years as lead pastor at the same church is so unusual that we never could have planned it.

It’s Sunday evening as I write this blog post.

And I’m feeling a huge flood of emotions.

Strong emotions are normal for pastors on Sunday afternoons, no matter how Sunday services went. But today is different for me.

Plus, there's the added quirk that I’m ...

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Innovative Ministry
The Pastoral Transition Zone: Catching God’s Timing For Your Church And Ministry
When you give church members the gift of time and respect, they’ll go with you to some exciting places.
The Pastoral Transition Zone: Catching God’s Timing For Your Church And Ministry
Image: tableatny | Flickr

God’s timing is perfect.

When he does something in our lives unilaterally (as in, he doesn’t ask for our permission or cooperation) his timing is often quick, surprising and sometimes painful. It’s only when we see those events in the rear view mirror that we ...

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Church Leadership
9 No-Fault Reasons Some Local Churches Close Their Doors
Is it an admission of defeat or disobedience to acknowledge that congregations have a finite life-span?
9 No-Fault Reasons Some Local Churches Close Their Doors
Image: Allison | Flickr

Jesus’ church will never die.

But individual congregations are never given that promise. No matter how faithful they may be.

Last week, I wrote a blog post about honoring those who care for congregations as they face the last years or days of their ministry life.

Most of ...

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Christian Unity
Going, But Not Forgotten: A Tribute To Those Who Help Local Churches Die With Dignity
Whatever your past, present or future as a congregation may be, we are grateful for the kingdom work you have done.
Going, But Not Forgotten: A Tribute To Those Who Help Local Churches Die With Dignity
Image: bigbirdz | Flickr

Local churches have a life-cycle.

Some barely make it out of the starting blocks. Some last a generation or two. Some are still active after hundreds of years. But, even with constant renewal, the evidence from 2,000 years of Christianity shows that every congregation will, at ...

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Church Growth
The Modern Myth Of The Persistently Growing Congregation
The addition or multiplication of small congregations has always been the typical way the church has grown.
The Modern Myth Of The Persistently Growing Congregation
Image: Magnus D | Flickr

The persistently growing congregation is a relatively new phenomenon – and an even more recent expectation.

Aside from the grand cathedrals of Europe (which were often the result of politics and power more than faith), it wasn’t physically possible for local congregations ...

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Small Church Ministry
Why Most Mission Statements Fail In Smaller Churches
In a smaller church, instead of uniting people, a mission statement can feel controlling and manipulative.
Why Most Mission Statements Fail In Smaller Churches
Image: jun j | Flickr

Big churches need bold mission statements.

Small churches? Not so much.

If a small church has a mission statement, it’s probably because a church growth expert said you needed one. But it’s unlikely that having a mission statement has changed anything for the church, ...

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Christian Unity
Constructive Criticism: The Day A Staff Member Told Me I Was Preaching Too Long
A healthy church fosters an atmosphere where people feel free to express their ideas openly – especially at the leadership level.
Constructive Criticism: The Day A Staff Member Told Me I Was Preaching Too Long
Image: Paul Townsend | Flickr

It was a sunny, California Wednesday morning.

We were having our weekly staff meeting, innocently sorting out the details for an upcoming service, when I mentioned an illustration I wanted to close out my sermon with.

Then it happened.

One of the staff members spoke up. “We ...

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