October 2016

Small Church Ministry
What Does a Healthy Small Church Look Like?
Numbers can help us understand some things about the health of a church. But they’re not the only thing.
What Does a Healthy Small Church Look Like?
Image: Chase Elliott Clark | Flickr

Small churches can be healthy churches.

But how can we know if they’re healthy without the numerical growth to prove it?

If you want to find answers, we need to ask the right questions.

A couple weeks ago I spoke to about 60 church leaders in six sessions at a 48 hour conference. ...

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Small Church Ministry
My Church Stinks!
What if church size wasn't the primary – often the only – measure of church health? How many pastors would still say “my church stinks" then?
My Church Stinks!
Image: Sander van der Wel | Flickr

Many pastors wouldn’t attend their own church if they weren’t the pastor.

How do I know? I’ve talked with a lot of them.

Sometimes it’s because the church is unhealthy, dysfunctional, even toxic. But many times it’s because of something far less problematic. ...

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Church Leadership
5 Simple Steps to Recruit Volunteers In a Small Church
It's hard to disciple people when you can't even find volunteers. This simple process can help small churches do both better.
5 Simple Steps to Recruit Volunteers In a Small Church

The primary calling of the pastor is to equip God’s people to do the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12).

But it’s hard to do that when you can’t find any volunteers.

It’s one of the questions I get asked a lot – especially when I’m teaching ...

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Church Leadership
Why I Don’t Go to the Bible to Find Sermon Material
When we treat the Bible like a collection of sermon texts, we can lose the wonder and the beauty of it.
Why I Don’t Go to the Bible to Find Sermon Material
Image: Lauri Rantala | Flickr

God’s Word is not a collection of sermon notes.

It’s not a text book, a rule book, or a collection of inspirational quotes.

That’s why I never go to the Bible to find a passage to preach on for Sunday’s sermon.

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Christian Unity
6 Things Church Leaders Need to Know About Small Churches
Big churches matter. Small churches matter. When we work together, Jesus can do amazing things through us.
6 Things Church Leaders Need to Know About Small Churches
Image: Thomas Rousing | Flickr

Ninety percent of the churches on earth are under 200 people. Eighty percent are under 100. There may be no segment of the church that is more normative. But they may also be the most misunderstood.

Here are six truths about small churches that I wish every church leader knew ...

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Church & Culture
Big Cities Need Great Small Churches, Too
Alongside big churches, we need an explosion of smaller, niche churches to infiltrate neighborhoods and challenge us to think differently.
Big Cities Need Great Small Churches, Too
Image: Pedro | Flickr

Small churches aren’t just for small towns.

There are thousands of small churches in big cities and sprawling suburbs, too.

But there aren’t enough of them.

Yes, you read that right. The problem with the church in big cities isn’t that we have too many small churches, ...

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Christian Unity
The 10 Percent Grace Rule: Judging Without Being Judgmental
As Christians and as consumers of content, how do we balance wise discernment with forgiveness and grace? 
The 10 Percent Grace Rule: Judging Without Being Judgmental
Image: Manel | Flickr

I’m going to say something stupid soon.

So will you.

When it happens, I hope people will give both of us the benefit of the doubt and assume the best of us, instead of the worst.

Since I hope to be the beneficiary of such grace, I try to live my life by giving the same grace ...

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Church & Culture
Ministering to Millennials by Leveraging the Relational Power of Healthy Churches
We need to lean away from the church-as-business model and into the church-as-relational-community model. Love God and love others.
Ministering to Millennials by Leveraging the Relational Power of Healthy Churches
Image: Rainier Martin Ampongan | Flickr

Millennials won't build the kinds of churches their parent and grandparents built.

Because Millennials are not a homogeneous demographic group, as we established in my last post, there is no secret key to unlock their heart and grab their attention.

In a world of unlimited ...

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Church & Culture
Why Millennials Won't Build the Kinds of Churches their Parents Built
We can't treat Millennials as a homogeneous group. We have to minister to them as individuals, instead.
Why Millennials Won't Build the Kinds of Churches their Parents Built
Image: Todd Huffman | Flickr

Millennials defy categorization. But that doesn’t stop us from trying to categorize them, anyway.

Especially for Baby Boomers like me. We love categorizing people. It makes ministry easier. Simpler. Safer.

You know, boring.

As I wrote in Why Church Leaders Will Never Understand ...

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Christian Unity
No, Our Church Doesn't Sing New Music to Appeal to Nonbelievers
Our church's song list is not an evangelism tool. It's meant to glorify God and involve the saints in worship.
No, Our Church Doesn't Sing New Music to Appeal to Nonbelievers
Image: frankieleon | Flickr

Oh, the worship wars.

Just when you think they’re gone for good, they pop up again.

The debate is no longer raging, but it's not over. Probably never will be.

  • Old music v new
  • Hymns v choruses
  • Choirs v worship teams
  • Organs and pianos v guitars and drums

The subject came up ...

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Small Church Ministry
The Astonishing Power of Small Churches: Looking Ahead
Small churches are a vital component of the most powerful force for goodness the world has ever seen.
The Astonishing Power of Small Churches: Looking Ahead
Image: David DeHetre | Flickr

Imagine how different the world would look, if

  • over billion people
  • transformed by the gospel of Jesus
  • strategically placed by the hand of God
  • in groups averaging 30 or so
  • tucked into every corner of the world

decided to really say “yes” to God.

Small churches are a vital ...

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Small Church Ministry
The Astonishing Power of Small Churches: Three Reasons We’ve Missed This
The stubborn, historical persistence of small churches is something God has done without our noticing it, and in spite of the fact that many of us have fought against it.
The Astonishing Power of Small Churches: Three Reasons We’ve Missed This
Image: Paul Kitchener | Flickr

How can one billion people be doing something without the world standing up to take notice?

More specifically, how can one billion people be doing something within a very narrowly defined niche, and the leaders in that niche not value it?

But that’s what has happened in ...

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