November 2015

Church Growth
Feeding the Flock In a Count-the-Sheep Culture
Is it possible to find success in ministry outside the church growth numbers? It depends who gets the credit.
Feeding the Flock In a Count-the-Sheep Culture
Image: grassrootsgroundswell | Flickr

We want numbers to verify our successes.

There are two huge problems with that sentence – and they’re found in the words numbers and our.

First, not all successes have numbers to verify them.

Second, the successes of the church are not our successes.

We ...

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Church & Culture
7 Revolutionary Principles from the Small Church that Founded America
Struggling churches can learn a lot from the integrity and perseverance of the church members who sailed on the Mayflower and changed the world.
7 Revolutionary Principles from the Small Church that Founded America
Image: Adam Pieniazek | Flickr

The Pilgrims didn’t plan to change the world. But they did, anyway.

They began as a small church that wanted to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. They ended up founding a nation and sparking a revolution.

This week, Americans celebrate ...

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Innovative Ministry
Turning Your Small Church's Limitations Into an Innovative Advantage
Small churches need to be innovative because we don't have the resources to be normal.
Turning Your Small Church's Limitations Into an Innovative Advantage
Image: William Warby | Flickr

Why bother?

Small churches almost never have enough money, people or facilities to be innovative, right?

That’s precisely the reason we must be innovative.

Some of the world’s greatest ideas, products and revolutions came about, not because someone had unlimited ...

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Innovative Ministry
Churches Can Handle Change, But They Don't Like Surprise
Introducing big changes is much easier if we give church leaders and members the time to process them.
Churches Can Handle Change, But They Don't Like Surprise
Image: Daniel Oines | Flickr

Churches can handle change.

If you’ve tried and failed to change things at your church, that may not feel true, but it is.

The problem in many churches isn't that they can't handle change. It's that they don't like being surprised by changes. And ...

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Church & Culture
When Evil Strikes: A Christian Answer to 'Isn’t Religion the Problem?'
With so much evil done in the name of religion, how is being a Christian any different?
When Evil Strikes: A Christian Answer to 'Isn’t Religion the Problem?'

There was a lot of pain and suffering in the world last weekend. Caused by horrifyingly evil acts.

Our church prayed for France, Lebanon, and Kenya yesterday.

You've heard about France. But you may not have heard about Lebanon and Kenya.

In Lebanon, 43 people were ...

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Church Leadership
Pray for Paris: What I Will and Will Not Say this Sunday
As the world mourns for Paris this weekend, church-goers will look to their pastors to set a tone. This is what I plan to do in church tomorrow.
Pray for Paris: What I Will and Will Not Say this Sunday
Image: Terrazzo | Flickr

My heart hurts for Paris and the nation of France.

When I stand in the pulpit on Sunday, the images of horror will be fresh in all of our hearts.

As pastors, many will look to us to set a tone for how to react to such evil acts.

In situations like this, the title of ...

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Church Growth
Measuring What Matters: The Challenge of Church Metrics
Accurate church metrics are helpful. But we should never fool ourselves into thinking we can measure the immeasurable.
Measuring What Matters: The Challenge of Church Metrics
Image: antony_mayfield | Flickr

When something matters to us, we measure it.

That is one of the unquestioned premises of the church growth movement.

Unquestioned premises should always be questioned.

When we do so, we discover that church metrics don’t measure the things that matter. Because ...

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Small Church Ministry
Eight Ways to Deal with Control Freaks in the Small Church
In small churches, each member has greater impact. This tends to attract control freaks. But we can deal with them lovingly and effectively.
Eight Ways to Deal with Control Freaks in the Small Church
Image: Binary Koala | Flickr

Big churches tend to attract passive, anonymous audience members.

Small churches tend to attract control freaks.

Big church pastors are aware of the problem of anonymity, so healthy big churches work very hard at small groups.

It’s hard to be an anonymous audience ...

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Innovative Ministry
Thank God for Quirky Churches
Boring churches won’t change the world. But the quirky ones might.
Thank God for Quirky Churches
Image: Wapster | Flickr

I like quirky churches.

And I’m pretty sure God does, too.

Just take a look at the astonishing variety of churches in the New Testament. Not to mention the churches and church leaders he’s used in the last 2,000 years.

Some churches stay small because they’re ...

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Four Steps to Becoming a Great Church – Of Any Size
Becoming a big church is hard. Becoming a great church is simple. Not easy, but simple.
Four Steps to Becoming a Great Church – Of Any Size
Image: Hernán Piñera | Flickr

We make church harder than it needs to be.

Why? I think a lot of it has to do with our size obsession.

We’ve convinced ourselves that it’s not possible to become a great church without becoming a big church. But the truth is, any church can become great. No ...

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Church Growth
Your Church Is Big Enough
No matter what size your church is, you can do everything Jesus is calling you to do. And you can do it well.
Your Church Is Big Enough
Image: Susanne Nilsson | Flickr

Are you a small church pastor? Me too.

Have you ever felt like that’s not enough? Me too.

Today I have good news for both of us.

Your church is big enough.

Right now. Today. At its current size.

Your church is big enough to do what Jesus is calling you to ...

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