2018

Innovative Ministry
The 5 Biggest Dangers Of A Long-Term Pastorate – And How To Avoid Them
No pastor should ever stop learning – not if we hope to stay effective.

Pastorates are getting longer.

This is mostly good news for pastors, their families, and the churches they serve. (As we saw in my previous article, 8 Benefits Of Investing A Lifetime Of Ministry Into One Congregation.)

But there are a few inherent dangers to staying in one church ...

Continue Reading ...
Church Leadership
8 Benefits Of Investing A Lifetime Of Ministry Into One Congregation
Longevity builds trust, which gives people a better perspective on what does and doesn’t really matter.

Pastors seem to be staying in their churches longer now than they did in previous generations.

That’s on purpose.

I know, because as of this month I’ve been ministering at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship for 26 years. When our family arrived here, our prayer was that ...

Continue Reading ...
Christian Unity
7 Advantages Of Long-Term Church Membership
The best things in life don’t come in a hurry. They take time. But they’re worth the investment.

Sometimes it seems like everyone is leaving the church. But that’s not the case.

While we’re right to be concerned about church-hoppers and church-droppers, people don’t typically go to a church with the plan of leaving soon. Most want to put down roots and ...

Continue Reading ...
Christian Unity
8 Principles To Consider Before Leaving A Church You (Used To) Love
Leaving a church is hard. Don't make it harder by doing it badly.

It’s hard to leave a church you used to love – and maybe still love.

In previous articles I’ve written from the pastor’s perspective about how hard it is when people leave the church you’re pastoring, and what to consider before leaving a church ...

Continue Reading ...
Church & Culture
Understanding The New Apathy About Church Attendance
Most people who don’t attend church are not making a conscious choice against it. Choosing requires awareness.

Why are fewer people going to church? And what can we do about it?

This may be the main topic of conversation among pastors today.

For example, while scrolling through my Facebook feed last weekend, I came across multiple posts with sarcastic takes on how sad/interesting/ridiculous ...

Continue Reading ...
Church & Culture
This Year, Rediscover The “Why?” Behind Your Church’s Christmas Traditions
Asking “why?” can help a church infuse their Christmas celebrations with greater hope, joy, mission and purpose.

More than any other time of the year, Christmas is filled with traditions.

It’s one of the many reasons we love the holiday season.

It’s also something our churches need to pay closer attention to. Before a church holds any event, program or service, we should always ...

Continue Reading ...
Innovative Ministry
The Only Way To Promote And Sustain Necessary Change In The Church
Changing because the mission demands it is the only way to make changes that last.

There are a lot of bad reasons churches want to change.

  • To keep up with trends
  • To get bigger
  • To have more available funds
  • To appeal to a different group of people
  • To break from tradition
  • Because we’re bored
  • Because we’ll die if we don’t

Some of them seem like good ...

Continue Reading ...
Innovative Ministry
How Can You Tell If A Church Is On Offense Or Defense?
Churches on defense talk about the glory days of the past. Churches on offense maintain a strong hope for the future.
How Can You Tell If A Church Is On Offense Or Defense?

There are two types of churches.

Those on offense and those on defense.

In recent years, I’ve been in hundreds of rooms with thousands of pastors from both types of churches.

Churches on offense are not different from churches on defense in any external way.

They and their ...

Continue Reading ...
Innovative Ministry
6 Ways To Use PowerPoint (Yes, PowerPoint!) To Help Your Audience Become Better Listeners
The most powerful communication tool is not the image on the screen. It’s your ability to connect with the audience.
6 Ways To Use PowerPoint (Yes, PowerPoint!) To Help Your Audience Become Better Listeners
Image: Shelley Vaters

Are there any two words more likely to send an audience running for the exits than “PowerPoint presentation?”

That’s why, even though I use PowerPoint almost every time I speak, I don’t do PowerPoint presentations.

I teach. I preach. I talk. I illustrate. ...

Continue Reading ...
Innovative Ministry
One Simple Step To Create A Year-End Giving Bump In Your Church
This is a great way to thank everyone for their generosity, while providing a helpful reminder to make up for any unintentional shortfall for the year.

A lot of churches get a nice year-end bump in their finances.

During the Christmas season even casual attenders come to church more often, churches hold annual events like Christmas Bazaars that bring in funds, and the week of Christmas often attracts huge crowds – and ...

Continue Reading ...
Church Growth
If There’s No Church Growth Guarantee, Does It Even Matter What We Do?
Like saying “please,” using church growth principles makes church growth possible, not inevitable.

There’s nothing anyone can do to guarantee that any particular congregation will grow numerically.

No, I’m not being pessimistic, I’m being realistic.

There are simply no absolutes in church growth. At least not for the numerical increase of an individual congregation. ...

Continue Reading ...
Church Growth
Church Growth: Your Results May Vary
In church growth, as in everything, we can’t take our lead from the best examples, but from typical results.

You know those commercials where clients or patients had amazing results, only to hear a hurried voice at the end telling you “individual results may vary”?

It might be helpful if church growth books, blogs, podcasts and conferences had that, too.

The reason those ...

Continue Reading ...
Church & Culture
Be The Church Or Make Way For Something Else
Christ is not found in our institutions, he is found in the church. In people who love Jesus, love each other and gather together regularly.

Why does the church exist?

It’s not to get people together for meetings. Or to keep our theology pure. Or to defend our traditions. Or to look cool and appealing to the unchurched.

But it’s easy to fall into one or more of those traps if we’re not constantly ...

Continue Reading ...
Church & Culture
What Is Appropriate To Wear In Church? (2 Reasons It Doesn't Matter And 3 Guidelines)
Wear what helps you think more about Jesus and less about yourself – and what will help others do the same.

Really?

Is this still a thing? People aren’t still arguing about what we wear to church, are they?

Yes. Despite the much more relaxed approach most people have, the debate about appropriate church attire still rages in some circles. So I’m going to weigh in on it.

Where ...

Continue Reading ...
Innovative Ministry
Narrow Your Focus, Widen Your Scope, And Increase Your Ministry Effectiveness
Discovery takes place in the hinterlands, where we don’t feel comfortable and things can get a little scary.

Oh, the funnel.

That simple, but immensely valuable piece of human engineering.

With it, you can take massive amounts of material, data or (using the visual funnel we call a lens) visual information and channel it in a way that makes it so much more valuable than when it was random, ...

Continue Reading ...
Include results from Christianity Today

Read More from Karl

Follow Christianity Today

Free Newsletters

More Newsletters ...