April 2016

Church Growth
Why Didn’t the Disciples Ask Jesus How to Measure Success?
Would Jesus have responded to the question “how will we measure success” with anything less than a face-palm?
Why Didn’t the Disciples Ask Jesus How to Measure Success?
Image: Sean MacEntee | Flickr

“If it’s okay for a church to be small, how do you suggest we measure a church’s success?”

Since I’ve begin ministering to small churches, I’ve been asked that question more than any other. Maybe more than all other questions combined

At first ...

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Church Leadership
For Those Ministry Days When You Need to Slap a Smile On Your Face
People of faith don’t deny reality. They choose to see a greater truth behind the immediate truth.
For Those Ministry Days When You Need to Slap a Smile On Your Face
Image: Doctor Popular | Flickr

Sometimes the most dangerous threat to the truth is not a lie, it’s a lesser truth.

Lies are usually easy to spot.

Lesser truths are harder because … well … they’re still true.

At virtually every moment of our lives, greater truths and lesser truths are ...

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Small Church Ministry
Small Churches are Not a Problem, a Virtue or an Excuse
Instead of arguing over big or small, let's utilize what's best about churches of all sizes. We're better with all of us than without any of us.
Small Churches are Not a Problem, a Virtue or an Excuse
Image: Peter Baker | Flickr

I love small churches. But I refuse to idealize them.

There’s not an ounce of nostalgia in me for some long-lost, non-existent, good-old-days when everyone attended a little white chapel and all was right with the world.

I also refuse to blame small churches for what’s ...

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Church Leadership
Why No One Cares About Your Mission Statement – And Neither Should You
The only real hope that a church will follow through on their mission statement is when it’s based on what the church is already doing.
Why No One Cares About Your Mission Statement – And Neither Should You
Image: Beat Tschanz | Flickr

Does your church have a mission statement? Could most of the people in your church repeat it?

If the answer is ‘no’, I have one word for you.

Relax.

You don’t need to call an emergency vision-casting meeting to remind everyone that they need to ‘Know, Grow ...

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Church Leadership
Church Members Don't Want a Hero, They Want a Pastor
According to an informal poll, church members' expectations for their pastors are healthier and more balanced than you might think.
Church Members Don't Want a Hero, They Want a Pastor
Image: Julen | Flickr

If you asked a few hundred church members from multiple churches what characteristics they were searching for in a pastor, what do you think they’d say?

You don’t have to wonder. Thom Rainer asked that question a while ago and published the top ten responses on his ...

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Innovative Ministry
Innovative Churches Do This – Imitators Miss It
Don't copy the churches you admire. Learn from their principles. Then extend them into places that only your church can go.
Innovative Churches Do This – Imitators Miss It
Image: Courtney Carmody | Flickr

Have you ever been to a vibrant church and wondered ‘what do they have that we don’t have?’

It may seem like 90 percent of what they’re doing is what your church is doing. But they’re vibrant, healthy and alive, while the church you’re from ...

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Innovative Ministry
5 Massive Changes Coming to Your Church (If They’re Not Here Already)
The good news of Jesus never changes. But the way people receive that news is changing. Fast.
5 Massive Changes Coming to Your Church (If They’re Not Here Already)
Image: Sookie | Flickr

Have you ever wondered why virtually every church leader is constantly writing and speaking about change? Including me?

Because we live in the fastest-changing culture ever. Change is not just an ocassional reality. It’s the water we’re swimming in.

For instance, every ...

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Church & Culture
Is 'Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy the Service' Killing the Church?
We’ll never become biblically active communities of life-transformation until church leaders let go of our please-the-consumer mindset.
Is 'Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy the Service' Killing the Church?
Image: marc cornelis | Flickr

It sounds so inviting and innocent.

“Sit back, relax and enjoy the service.”

But that may be one of the most dangerous sentences regularly uttered in church.

I expect promises of great customer service in a restaurant, an airplane or a store. But the idea that church ...

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Church Growth
Why Church Growth Is a Shockingly Inexact Science
Have you ever wondered why some mistakes will stop the numerical growth of one church, but not even slow another one down?
Why Church Growth Is a Shockingly Inexact Science
Image: Eric Skiff | Flickr

Why won’t my church grow!

Have you ever wondered that? Me too.

After all, it’s not like we haven’t tried. And there are plenty of people offering us seemingly surefire help to bring growth. Every day there’s another blog post with a list of Seven Reasons ...

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Innovative Ministry
Culturally Relevant or Contextually Real, Part 2: More than Semantics?
When a term becomes so misunderstood that it loses its value, it needs rewording. We may be there with cultural relevance.
Culturally Relevant or Contextually Real, Part 2: More than Semantics?
Image: Guian Bolisay | Flickr

Sometimes you write something and you know people don't care much about it, because nobody responds. Other times you write something and you know people don’t care because they tell you they don't care. Vigorously.

Last week’s post on the difference between ...

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Small Church Ministry
I Don’t Like the Same Small Churches You Don’t Like
The problems most people have with small churches aren’t about size, they’re about sickness. And sickness can happen in churches of any size.
I Don’t Like the Same Small Churches You Don’t Like
Image: Lord Jim | Flickr

"I don’t like small churches.”

Yes, people have said that – and things like it – to me.

I get that small churches aren’t for everyone. But saying “I prefer big churches” is the way most people state it.

To tell a small church pastor ...

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Church Leadership
9 Things I Love to Hear In a Sermon
After thousands of sermons, you stop being impressed by the flash, and you start noticing the essentials.
9 Things I Love to Hear In a Sermon
Image: Alex Holyoake | Flickr

I've heard thousands of sermons. Good ones and bad ones.

I've preached thousands of sermons. Good ones and bad ones.

When you hear and preach that many sermons, you stop being impressed by the flashy things that don't matter and you start noticing the fundamental things ...

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Church Leadership
The Church Does Not Exist to Entertain Us – Or Bore Us
Jesus never bored people with the gospel. But entertainment was never the point. Truth was the point. And truth is never boring.
The Church Does Not Exist to Entertain Us – Or Bore Us
Image: torbakhopper | Flickr

I don't go to church to be entertained.

I also don't go to church to be bored.

  • I go to worship.
  • I go to read and hear from God's word.
  • I go to be taught.
  • I go to be challenged.
  • I go to be discipled.
  • I go to fellowship with other believers.
  • I go to be inspired into action.
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