July 2017

Church & Culture
Backyard BBQ Evangelism: A New, True Parable Of Outside-The-Church-Walls Ministry
Don't force people to do ministry your way. Help them with the ministry they're already passionate about.

We have to start letting go of some of our long-held ideas about church and ministry. Especially when it comes to evangelism and outreach.

But it’s not always easy.

Here’s a true story that illustrates that reality. (I’ve kept some details vague, and adjusted ...

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Christian Unity
Big Churches And Small Churches: Contrast Without Criticism
Church leaders need to understand the differences between churches of various sizes. So we can work together, not tear ourselves apart.

Big churches and small churches are very different.

Not in their mission, their doctrine or their value to the kingdom of God, but in many of the ways they fulfill that mission.

They're pastored differently, they utilize people's gifts differently, they reach their communities ...

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Innovative Ministry
Why I’m Not Worried About The Future Of The Church – Or The Church Of The Future
Churches that adapt their methods to advance Jesus’ mission will struggle, but survive and thrive.

There’s a lot of upheaval going on in the church right now. And it’s not even close to being over.

There will be a great many local congregations and denominations that will not survive into the next generation or two. But that doesn't mean the church is dying. ...

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Innovative Ministry
Pastors, We Need To Stop Expecting Worship Leaders To Do Our Job For Us
If the theology being presented in our churches isn't deep enough, it's not the worship leader's responsibility to make it deeper.

There are two interesting, but conflicting conversations happening among church leaders right now. Especially, but not exclusively, on social media.

On the one hand, people are decrying the supposed shallowness of today's worship songs.

On the other hand, there's a push ...

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Church Leadership
The 3 Biggest Problems With An 'Every Number Is A Person' Approach To Ministry
Record-keeping and statistical analysis are helpful ministry tools. But we need to know their limitations.

When a pastor says "we count people because people count" and "numbers matter because every number is a person," I agree.

Everyone in a church service, a discipleship class or a small group is a person for whom Jesus died. And knowing how many of them are ...

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Innovative Ministry
11 Advantages Of Having 50 Churches Of 100 Instead Of 1 Church Of 5,000
Big churches are great. But they’re very rare. And they’re not the only way to see the kingdom of God move forward.

Church planters are some of the great heroes of the faith. Especially when you realize how many church plants fail within the first few years.

But I wonder, how many failed churches might still be alive and well today if we didn’t pressure them to reach numerical goals ...

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Church & Culture
...But I'm Okay With MY Clichés
Be careful that you don’t find yourself leaving shallow expressions of truth for shallow expressions of falsehood.

A lot of people are talking and writing about leaving the Christian faith lately.

For many, their reasons are profound and horrifying. I have and will write about those tragedies, but this article is not about that. It’s about others who are leaving for reasons that are ...

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The Endlessly Fascinating Microbiology Of Small Church Ministry
Small churches are to megachurches as microbiology is to astronomy. One is small, one is huge, both have value.

When you love something, there's always more to discover in it. That was the essence of a conversation I had recently about the value of small church ministry.

It began with a question.

"What you're doing with small churches is great, but won't you have to expand ...

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Church & Culture
8 Life and Leadership Lessons From The Jayden K. Smith Hoax
If we don't learn what we can from this silly little episode, we might fall for the next big one.

If you were on Facebook in the last few days, you heard from Jayden K. Smith.

Actually, you didn’t hear from Jayden, you heard a lot about Jayden.

For those not on Facebook, here’s what happened.

Someone started a rumor that if you accepted a friend request from Jayden ...

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Church Leadership
3 Big Problems With Running A Church Like A Business
We’re always decrying the rise of the consumer culture within the church. But how should we expect people to act when pastors act like CEOs marketing Jesus as a product?

The Bible uses many colorful words to describe the church. It’s a family, a body, a fellowship, a holy people, a flock, and more.

But not a business.

In my previous post, I wrote about Why It's A Bad Idea To Run A Church Like A Business. In today’s post, I want ...

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Church Leadership
Why It's A Bad Idea To Run A Church Like A Business
Anyone can own and run a business. But Jesus owns the church. So he gets to say how it should be run.

Churches cannot and should not be run like businesses.

I’ve always felt that to be true. But, as a pastor, I only knew it in the abstract.

Then, a few years ago I started my own business. You're reading one of the products of it right now. The writing and speaking I ...

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Christian Unity
Fellow Christian, I’m Going To Assume The Best Of You – Even If You Don’t Give Me The Same Courtesy
If we look for the worst in people, we’ll get bucketloads of it. If we look for the best, we’ll get that.

Whatever happened to grace?

Not God’s grace for us. That’s more sure than tomorrow’s sunrise.

But what about giving grace to others? Assuming the best of them instead of the worst? Giving people – especially fellow believers – the benefit of the doubt? ...

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