2018

Innovative Ministry
Pastoral Transition: Six Factors That Help A Church Navigate Big Changes
Churches that resist change have a harder time when change is needed. Churches that regularly make smaller transitions hone their transition skills.

Six months ago today, our church made our biggest transition in a quarter century.

After being the lead pastor for 25 years, I stepped aside so that Gary Garcia (the youth pastor who has been with me for that entire time) could take my position, while I became the teaching pastor. ...

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Small Church Ministry
The Biggest Misunderstanding About Small Church Pastors
We don't have a limited vision. Our best contributions to Christ’s kingdom happen to be in a smaller setting.

There are a lot of misunderstandings about small churches and the people who pastor them.

  • That we’re a problem to be fixed
  • That we could be bigger if we’d just follow the latest 8-step church growth plan
  • That we can only do good ministry when we hit a certain critical mass
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Church Leadership
The Invisible Scandal: How Bad Debt And Poor Stewardship Are Killing The Church's Reputation
People want to give. God wants to provide. Our churches need to be places worthy of those gifts and that provision.

There’s a scandal going on in the church today.

It is one of the biggest scandals in church history, yet it remains invisible to most of us.

No, it’s not the sexual sins of some of our leaders. It’s not the physical, emotional and spiritual abuse of church members, ...

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Small Church Ministry
Why There’s No “Typical” Sunday In A Small Church – And 5 Ways To Adapt To It
Small church pastors aren’t bad at planning, they’re just dealing with a much more fluid situation than our big church peers.

How was church attendance yesterday?

In our church, we started the first service with more people on stage than in the audience.

It filled in to a normal summer crowd later, but for a while it was looking rough.

That’s the way attendance is in a small church. You can have ...

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Church & Culture
The World Isn’t Looking For a Bigger Church, They Want A Better Church
What people really want from the church are the characteristics the New Testament has always told us the church is supposed to be about.

Pastors want bigger churches.

Church members? Not so much.

Sure, a lot of people go to big churches. That’s what makes them big, after all. And the majority of them are strong, healthy churches doing great ministry. But if you ask the average member why they attend, “because ...

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Innovative Ministry
5 Steps To Move A Church From A Static To A Dynamic Organizational Style
Lack of an Org Chart is no excuse for lack of organization.

There are two different types of churches, organizationally.

Static and dynamic.

As we saw in a previous article, Why Most Small Churches Don’t Use (Or Need) An Organizational Chart, the smaller the church, the less necessary it is to use a static organizational system.

Static ...

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Church Growth
Is Church Growth The Best Way To Make More Disciples In Your Neighborhood?
In addition to “how can we break through to the next size level?” we need to ask “is bigger really better in this situation?"
Is Church Growth The Best Way To Make More Disciples In Your Neighborhood?
Image: BLM | Flickr

Because I minister to small churches, I’m often asked, “aren’t you worried, that by supporting small churches you’ll be encouraging churches that could grow, to stay small instead?”

Yes. That is a concern. One that I’ve addressed in Small Church ...

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Innovative Ministry
Why Most Small Churches Don’t Use (Or Need) An Organizational Chart
When small churches follow a strict Org Chart, people end up filling positions instead of operating within their talents, gifts and passion.

Does your small church have an Organizational (Org) Chart?

If you don’t, relax. You probably don’t need one.

If you do, brace yourself. You may want to get rid of it because they tend not to work in small churches like they work in large churches. In fact, some of ...

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Innovative Ministry
The Best Way To Reduce Money Problems In A Local Church
When a church is making disciples a whole lot of problems get better or go away entirely – including finances.

Churches have to do more ministry with less money.

That’s becoming truer with every passing year, and it will increase for at least another generation.

For example, 15 years ago, the church I serve was smaller and less healthy than it is right now. By every indication of ...

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Church Growth
Want Real Church Growth? Don’t Fill Your Building, Empty It
Churches emptying out into their community to share the good news is a greater sign of effective ministry than an increase in church attendance will ever be.

Getting more people to go to church has never been the point of church growth.

Jesus didn’t tell us to “work really hard to gather people into large crowds to fill up your church buildings. Then I’ll know that you love me.” But when you look at how most ...

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Church Leadership
Let’s Ask Better Questions About Church Size
Instead of asking “what’s the best church size?” we need to ask “what’s the best church size for a given situation?”

What‘s the best church size?

Some church growth proponents might argue that, whatever your size, “just a little bigger” would be better.

Many house church attenders would propose that smaller is better.

There are followers of John Wesley’s Rule of 150 who ...

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Christian Unity
3 Ways To Become The Godly Elders Today’s Youth Need – And Want To Follow
The best way to help foster the Fruit of the Spirit in others is not by demanding it of them, but by living it out with them.

This generation wants to honor its elders and be mentored by them.

That may not feel like it’s true – especially if you, like me, are old enough to qualify for AARP membership. But I assure you it is.

I know this because I see it all the time. Youth, both in and outside ...

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Church Growth
If A Church Isn’t Growing, Should The Pastor Be Fired?
Nowhere does the Bible imply that a pastor is not being faithful if they don't hit certain levels of numerical increase.

The title of today’s post is based on a question that I read in a Facebook group for pastors.

While I seldom take such discussions into a public forum like this, I think this question is important enough to answer here. So here’s the longer version of what was asked: ...

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Innovative Ministry
My Best Advice For New Pastors And Church Planters? Be A Great Cover Band
The more good sources you take ideas and inspiration from, the more likely you’ll discover the unique ministry God has for you.

This summer, in county fairs all over America, people will flock to see tribute bands.

With names like Unforgettable Fire (U2), The Fab Four (Beatles), Heartache Tonight (Eagles), and Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd), they can give us a fun evening, seeing a band that looks and plays ...

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Church Leadership
Pastors, The Church Is Not Our Personal Platform
The church does not exist to give us an audience for our ideas, projects or egos. It exists to fulfill Christ’s purposes.

The church belongs to Jesus.

It is not owned by its denomination, its donors, its members, its staff or its lead pastor.

Jesus said he would build his church – and he’s not about to give up that ownership to us or our ideas.

As a pastor, this is a lesson I need to remind ...

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