Church Leadership
Don't Let Bad Methods Undermine Good Theology
As a church leader, doing the right thing always comes first. But it will go nowhere if you’re not doing it in the right way.

Have you been struggling in your church, but can’t understand why?

Maybe you’re doing what you believe God is calling you to do and you’re taking wise counsel from others, but there doesn’t seem to be any progress made?

This post might be for you.

I’ve ...

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Church Leadership
How To Work With People Who Aren’t As Committed To The Church As You Are
Help them find a ministry that matches their current level of commitment and stretches them just a little bit beyond.

No one is as committed to our local church as we are, pastor.

Well, almost no one. There’s Jesus, of course. And we might have some hard-core members who live, breathe and die by their congregational involvement.

But the average member – even the most consistent attender ...

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Innovative Ministry
Leading A Church Through Seasons And Cycles – And How To Know The Difference
We can’t control the seasons of our life, or of the church we're called to lead, but we can do something about the cycles.

Every church goes through different seasons and cycles.

Knowing and appreciating the differences between them is essential to leading a church to greater health and effectiveness.

While seasons and cycles are both ways to describe the rhythms of rising and falling, ebb and flow, ...

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Small Church Ministry
Another Small Church Christmas Eve – Was Yours Not So Merry And Bright?
You’re not the only pastor who experienced a tough Christmas Eve yesterday, or feels the weight of it today.

Christmas Eve has come and gone.

As you scroll through social media, you’re seeing all the rave reports from fellow pastors about full churches, beautiful productions and salvations.

But, while you’re happy for them, you don’t respond. Because, in the small church ...

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Innovative Ministry
Looking For A Last-Minute Christmas Sermon Idea? Keep It Simple, Keep It Weird
One of the challenges of preaching for Christmas is holding two very different truths in hand without falling into one of two traps.

The Christmas story is so simple. And so weird.

How simple?

Everyday simple – literally. As in, millions of times every day simple.

A baby is born.

How weird?

Other-worldly weird. Not-even-in-a-comic-book weird. It-can-only-be-a-miracle weird.

That baby is God, the creator of ...

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Please Stop Helping Me Fulfill My Potential
The life of a disciple is supposed to look more like sacrifice than success.

If your ministry is about helping people reach their full potential, I have a favor to ask.

Leave me alone. Please.

I’m not interested.

Everywhere I go lately, especially on the internet, people are obsessed with helping me

  • “Be the success you were born to be!”
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Christian Unity
The Event Matters: How Going To Church Helps Us Be The Church
For almost 2,000 years, Christians haven’t just been the church, we’ve gathered for the event of church. Because the event matters.

Church is not a place we go, it's who we are. The New Testament is really clear about that.

But because church is who we are, it also matters a great deal that we go to church, too.

Church attendance should not be the defining feature of our Christian lives. After all, God ...

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Church Leadership
Pastors Who Have Flamed Out, Traded Down, Or Stayed Strong
We seldom celebrate consistency, integrity and humility as much as we should. But those are the character traits that make for real ministry success.

There are three lists of pastors that I’ve been keeping track of in my head. Maybe you’ve been keeping some similar lists yourself.

I haven’t kept these lists consciously. Until now, anyway. But after several recent episodes in which pastors have landed on these ...

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Church Leadership
The New Normal: 9 Realities And Trends In Bivocational Ministry
Bivocational ministry is more than a pit-stop along the way to "real" pastoral ministry. It's as real as pastoring gets. And it's becoming very common, very fast.

If I could only teach one vocational principle to young pastors-to-be, it would probably be this.

Learn how to pay the bills outside of your pastoral salary. You’ll probably need it.

Whether you want to be a church planter or pastor an existing church, it’s likely ...

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Church & Culture
Want To Reach Unchurched People? Don't Create A Sense Of Urgency, Offer An Alternative To It
Urgency doesn’t pull new people in, it reminds them why they’re staying away.

When I was in training to be a pastor, I was taught to create a sense of urgency to reach people for Jesus.

I was taught wrong.

  • “Jesus is coming and you’d better be ready!”
  • “The world is a mess and only Jesus can fix it!”
  • “What if you were to die today and didn’t have a relationship with Jesus?”
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Church & Culture
8 Assumptions Pastors Can't Make In A Post-Christian Culture
The so-called Christian culture is going... going... gone. We need to get ready for what’s next.

I’ve never lived in a predominantly Christian culture.

But lately, I’ve been travelling a lot through the Bible Belt, so I’m seeing what a Christian culture looks like for the first time in my life. Churches on every corner, Christian radio and TV on more than ...

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Christian Unity
Messier Than Retail: Why We Need More From Church Than Excellent Customer Service
We can get excellent customer service from strangers. A great church experience should be about relationships.

When I’m a consumer, I want great customer service.

Whether online or in real life, I want products and services that meet my needs in the best, quickest, friendliest manner possible.

But I don’t want that from church.

Sure, I’d rather experience a church service ...

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Christian Unity
Want To Pastor A Church You Love? Love The Church You’re Pastoring
What if every pastor saw their church, not as a stepping-stone to something bigger, but as an investment to make with all their heart and soul?

Have you ever had a chat with someone who was constantly looking over your shoulder to see if there’s someone better to talk to?

A lot of us may be doing that to the church we’re pastoring.

One of the main reasons many churches stay unhealthy is that too many pastors ...

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Church Leadership
Effective Church Leaders Do Not Treat Everyone Equally
If you don't decide whose opinions carry the greatest weight, the loudest voices will win and your ministry will be reactive, not proactive.

Effective leaders always seek wise advice and counsel.

If you, like me, are a small church pastor, you know there’s a huge expectation for us to treat everyone’s advice as though they all have equal value.

We’re often told that getting everyone’s input ...

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Small Church Ministry
Only In a Small Church: Face Time With the Pastor
The disadvantages of a small church are regularly outweighed by the privilege we have of discipling people on a more personal level.

I had another one of those “only in a small church” moments last Sunday.

The positive kind.

As I was shaking hands at the door after the service, I chatted with a man who’s been attending for a few weeks. He told me he was thinking about making us his permanent ...

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