June 2016

Small Church Ministry
They Just Don’t Get It: Why Big Church Solutions Can't Fix Small Church Problems
The vast majority of churches are small, so we need small church alternatives to big church solutions.

They just don’t get it.

How many times have I said that while shaking my head after attending a conference or reading blog posts and books about church leadership? I could write a book.

Oh, right. I did.

I know I’m not alone in this. If you’re a small church pastor, ...

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How I Stopped Feeling Embarrassed by My Small Church
They knew the church was small, but they came anyway. Maybe they came because it was small.
How I Stopped Feeling Embarrassed by My Small Church
Image: Jayel Aheram | Flickr

I spent too many years feeling embarrassed by my church.

Sure, there was a time when the embarrassment was well earned. For a few years, we were unhealthy, dysfunctional and hurting.

But even after we got healthy, I stayed embarrassed. Not because it wasn’t a good church ...

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Why Growth is Harder In a Small Church – And Change Is Essential
Big churches find it much easier to incorporate new people because the bigger the crowd, the smaller the impact each person has.
Why Growth is Harder In a Small Church – And Change Is Essential
Image: tracyshaun | Flickr

The smaller the church, the harder it is to incorporate new people.

The same dynamic applies to older and more established churches. Here's why.

Everyone who comes into your life changes your life.

The fewer people you know, the greater impact each person has. And the longer ...

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Church Growth
Never Apologize for Church Growth
Church growth should always be a part of every pastor’s prayers, passion and strategy. Especially when it’s kingdom growth.
Never Apologize for Church Growth
Image: Dave Keeshan | Flickr

In case you were wondering, church growth is a good thing.

Because of The Grasshopper Myth and this blog, I’ve had so many conversations that range from fantastic to heartbreaking in the last few years. I’ve met and heard stories from hundreds of small church pastors ...

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7 Big Church Assumptions that Unintentionally Hurt Small Churches
Some small church pastors have stopped looking for help from their big church counterparts because they're tired of being hurt. It doesn't have to be like this.
7 Big Church Assumptions that Unintentionally Hurt Small Churches
Image: Matthias Ripp | Flickr

If you were trying to help someone, would you want to know if you were unintentionally hurting them?

Of course.

Sometimes that's what happens when big churches try to help small churches.

Not every time. Not even most of the time. But often enough that many small church pastors ...

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Church & Culture
8 Arguments Against Social Media – And Why Pastors Must Use It Anyway
When a pastor refuses to be on social media, they’re telling a large chunk of the congregation, “If you want to talk to me, you’ll do it my way.”
8 Arguments Against Social Media – And Why Pastors Must Use It Anyway
Image: cosmo_71 | Flickr

If you’re a pastor and you’re not using social media, you’re not pastoring your church as well as you could.

Whenever I say that in a minister’s conference I make some pastors mad.

I’m okay with that. Because I also get looks of relief and whispers ...

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Church Leadership
Bungee Cord Leadership: Leveraging Tension to Lead a Church Through Change
Tension doesn't have to stress us out. We can use it to our church’s advantage if we follow a few simple principles.
Bungee Cord Leadership: Leveraging Tension to Lead a Church Through Change

Leading a church through change is hard. Even when it’s necessary.

In the 23-plus years I’ve been serving at Cornerstone, I’ve learned one principle that has helped keep everyone, including me, open to necessary changes without feeling overwhelmed by them.

Here’s ...

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Small ≠ Broken: 5 Steps to Greatness In a Small Church
You don’t need one more person, one more dollar or one more square foot of building to start being a great church.
Small ≠ Broken: 5 Steps to Greatness In a Small Church
Image: Claudia Dal Ceredo | Flickr

Where are all the great small churches?

Would you know one if you saw one?

They exist. There’s no doubt about that. There are great small churches in every country, serving every ethnic group and in virtually every language. They worship in every imaginable liturgical style ...

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Church & Culture
5 Dumb Things Christians Must Stop Saying When Evil Strikes
When people are in pain, we need to resist the urge to speak too much. Uncomfortable silence is better than false platitudes.
5 Dumb Things Christians Must Stop Saying When Evil Strikes
Image: photo | wftv.com

Unspeakable evil visited Orlando over the weekend.

More than a tragedy. More than a disaster.

Evil.

In trying to make sense of events like this, we’re all capable of saying something stupid.

Christians are no exception to this. Sometimes we say dumb things. Things that hurt ...

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Innovative Ministry
Coasting is Compromise: The Importance of Being a Proactive Church
Adapting to new methods to tell the old, old story may be our greatest defense against unbiblical compromise.
Coasting is Compromise: The Importance of Being a Proactive Church
Image: Anthony Albright | Flickr

Just when you think you’re ahead of the curve, the curve moves. Especially if you’re a small church pastor.

My parents sent me to college with a Smith Corona typewriter in 1978. It was electric and portable. I was ahead of the curve.

Then one day, I saw a crowd gathering ...

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Christian Unity
How Church Size Culture Is Affecting the Decline of Denominations
The size of the church we minister in has almost invisibly become a greater point of connection and disagreement than our denominations.
How Church Size Culture Is Affecting the Decline of Denominations
Image: anyjazz65 | Flickr

We live in an increasingly post-denominational world. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, it’s just the way things are now.

Years ago, virtually every friend I had in ministry was within my denomination. Every program we used came from our denominational headquarters. ...

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Church & Culture
From the Small
In the body of Christ, the voices of the small and suffering need to be heard more clearly. By listening more intently.
From the Small
Image: Alex Snaps | Flickr

We need to hear from the small, not just the big.

From the poor, not just the rich.

From the weak, not just the strong.

From the failures, not just the successes.

From the struggling, not just from those who have overcome.

From those who are still vulnerable, hurting and who will ...

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Innovative Ministry
The First Step to Sparking Innovation In a Stuck Church
Church leaders need to spark the creativity of innovative believers by figuring out how to say yes to their passion.
The First Step to Sparking Innovation In a Stuck Church
Image: Jorge AT | Flickr

Churches get stuck sometimes.

If you’re a pastor, you’ve known seasons when it’s hard to get church members to do great things for Jesus.

Good things.

Okay — anything.

During our church’s years of being stuck, I longed for the day when launching a new ...

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Christian Unity
Tony Morgan, Church Growth and the Small Thinking that Shouldn't Divide Us
Different ministries approach church health and growth in different ways. If we didn't, we probably couldn’t help each other very much.
Tony Morgan, Church Growth and the Small Thinking that Shouldn't Divide Us
Image: Uwe Potthoff | Flickr

Yesterday I got frustrated while reading Tony Morgan’s latest blog post.

But it wasn’t Tony’s fault.

Tony Morgan is the founder of The Unstuck Group and he’s starting a new series on growth strategies for churches of different sizes.

In the first sentence, ...

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