March 2017

Innovative Ministry
The 3 Best Times to Bring Needed Change to a Church
Healthy churches are always looking for ways to make good things better. They don’t wait for something to break before they fix it.

It’s not always easy to fix long-term problems and implement needed changes in a church – especially when old, dysfunctional ways have taken root.

Sometimes we make our job harder than it needs to be, not by doing the wrong things, but by doing the right things at ...

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Church Leadership
A Pastor's Dilemma: What to Do When You Can't See the Vision for Your Church
Is it okay if a pastor’s calling is to help others fulfill their calling? Or, does every church need a pastor-led vision to get behind?

Is it okay if a pastor’s calling is to help others fulfill their calling? Or, without a big, hairy, audacious pastoral vision, will the people perish?

I’ll come back to those questions soon. But first, this.

You can’t have a great church without a great vision. ...

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Church & Culture
4 Reasons Our Church Stopped Doing 'Come and Watch' Events (And 5 Alternatives)
When a first-time guest comes to a church, they should see our faith at its deepest and best.

Many churches have experienced great success and growth doing big ‘come and watch’ events.

Even if choir cantatas on Christmas and Easter have been replaced by an illustrated message with stage design, lighting and video, the idea is the same – to draw people ...

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Small Church Ministry
CTPastors Has a Small Church Section – And They Want to Hear From You!
How to pitch, write and submit an article that fellow small church pastors will want to read, and the editors of CTPastors will want to publish.

Do you have some creative, practical, encouraging ideas about small church ministry? If you can write about them in a clear, concise manner, CTPastors might want to publish an article from you.

For the first time ever, ChristianityToday.com has a section entirely devoted to small ...

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Church & Culture
The Resurrection: Good News vs Fake News (An Easter Sermon Idea)
The first challenge to the truth of the gospel wasn’t a competing idea or argument. It was the planting of a fake news story.

Easter is coming! All over the world, pastors are preparing to speak to what is usually the biggest church crowd of the year.

If you’re wondering how to make the wonderful, but familiar resurrection story feel fresh again, here’s an idea I’m working on.

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Christian Unity
Why Doesn’t God Answer My Non-Stupid Prayers?
When you're in pain, even good, thoughtful ideas about why God sometimes doesn't answer our prayers can feel trite and fall short.

This should be the shortest blog post I’ve ever written.

Because the answer to the question posed in the title takes just three words.

I

Don’t

Know

A Response to the Hurting

In my previous post ‘Why Doesn’t God Answer All My Prayers? Because Some of Them are ...

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Church & Culture
Why Doesn’t God Answer All My Prayers? Because Some of Them are Stupid
We need to become better pray-ers. But how? Offer prayers God has already said he’ll answer.

God doesn’t do stupid things.

No matter how many times we say “please”. No matter how much faith we have. No matter how hard we pray.

He does strange things. Hard-to-understand things. Even things that can seem totally messed up and cruel from our limited vantage ...

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Church Growth
Why I've Stopped Reading All Those '10 Reasons Your Church Isn’t Growing' Lists
Please stop beating us down for what you think we’re not doing. Guilt doesn’t motivate, it discourages.

I love my church. I want it to be strong, healthy and growing.

That’s why I read church ministry blogs and books, go to conferences and seminars, listen to podcasts… whatever I can get my hands on. I’m always looking for the best advice I can find.

But I’m ...

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Church & Culture
Clumped Christians: When Fear Overwhelms Faith
When a healthy church gathers for worship it should renew our passion to mobilize and move out in ministry.

Historically, whenever the church of Jesus is dynamic and healthy, it grows.

But healthy, missional Christians don’t just clump together in larger and larger groups.

The healthier the church is, the more Christians mobilize into outward-looking teams to start new groups. ...

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Church Leadership
6 Reasons a Leader Never Says "At Least Someone Is Doing Something!"
It doesn’t matter how much activity you’re generating if you’re not solving the problem.

Life is filled with problems.

Some big, some small. Some emergencies, some petty.

When a big problem presents itself, we want somebody to do something about it. Problem-solving is one of the prime roles of a leader, after all.

So, whether it’s in our families, our churches ...

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Church Leadership
Quit Telling Pastors We Have to Stop Pastoring to Have a Successful Church
Great churches don't need spiritual enablers or high-achieving CEOs. They need equipping pastors.

I’m a pastor.

It’s becoming harder to say that lately.

Sure, there are the usual pressures.

  • Dealing with congregation members and their expectations
  • Trying to stay ahead of the change curve
  • Combatting theological and moral compromise
  • Managing a mostly volunteer staff
  • Figuring out how to pay for it all on a small, sometimes shrinking budget
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Church & Culture
8 Reasons Churches Should Partner with Secular Community Groups
How can we reach our communities if they have no idea we love them? And how will they know we love them if we don’t work alongside them?
8 Reasons Churches Should Partner with Secular Community Groups

Our church used to partner exclusively with other Christian ministries. For everything from missions to community service.

Before that, we would only partner with ministries in our denomination.

Today, while we still only partner with Christian groups for missions (can’t ...

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