(This post has been updated from its initial publication. See the postscript.)
Last Sunday, a teenager named Skylar and a senior named Gene chatted in the hallway between services at our church. I secretly took this picture of them. (I got their permission to use it here.) ...
What are we afraid of?
So many churches and pastors act in fear and stay on defense when we should be acting in love and staying on offense.
I’m not saying that we need to be offensive. Quite the opposite.
A church on offense – a church that is aggressively offering ...
Some people love to put others down.
The church is full of them.
For instance, here are some titles of recent online posts:
- ‘10 Serious Problems with (name of new Christian book)’
- ‘The Problem with (preachers name)’
- 'Christians Should Stop Reading (name of Christian blogger)’
So many small churches exist in survival mode.
They struggle to meet the rent or mortgage. They struggle to pay the pastor. They struggle to stay alive.
Sometimes the battle for basic survival is so severe that very little ministry gets done, especially ministry outside the church ...
Too many pastors are living in constant frustration, anger, depression and burnout. Many have given up. Many more who would give up if they could.
Whether our churches are growing, static, sick, healthy, big, small or any combination of those, Pastoral ministry is increasingly ...
If I could only give one piece of advice to seasoned pastors to help make our Sunday messages more effective for how people live and listen today, it would be this.
Stop making your sermon notes rhyme.
(If you want more than one idea, check out Why You Need to Change How You Preach ...
People who don't go to church don't want to go to church.
For folks like me, who love going to church, that's hard to wrap our heads and hearts around. Because of that, we sometimes get our priorities mixed up.
When people get to know Jesus, church attendance is a ...
I have a confession to make.
As a pastor, I have too much invested in getting people to attend church.
My salary depends on it.
My reputation depends on it.
My sense of self-worth depends on it.
All to a much larger degree than I'm comfortable with.
And I'm not alone.
What are people looking for in a church?
Pastors ask this question regularly – and we should. But too often, I think we miss the mark entirely.
Recently, I was with a group of ministers sharing new ideas. Much of our discussion centered on issues like the quality and volume ...
Lack of planning is a big reason so many small church pastors feel worn out. And why so many healthy small churches feel stuck.
Some of the advantages of annual church planning include:
- Better preparation for events
- More time to think and pray about Sunday sermons
- Better use of volunteer time
Much of today's ministry training takes its lead from businesses.
Maybe businesses should be taking their lead from pastors.
Many successful businesspeople have flamed out trying to plant or pastor a church. Some left a successful business for full-time ministry, only to burn ...
Only Jesus can make a church great. But he allows us to participate in that process.
Behind every great church, large or small, is at least one pastor who stayed long enough to outlast the bad times and build on the good times.
It is the most common thread for great churches. ...
In the big church down the street, this year’s plans were drawn up many months ago. The January sermon series has been running promos for weeks so they can take advantage of the huge Christmas attendance bubble. The annual budget was approved months ...