2018

Christian Unity
“Small Churches Are Better Than Big Churches!” No. Just… No.
Some people prefer small churches over big churches. I do, too. But our personal preferences are not universal truths.

Celebrating small churches is great.

Doing it by putting down our brothers and sisters who attend, worship, serve and lead in larger churches?

That’s just wrong.

But it keeps happening.

Because I love and promote the value of small churches, well-meaning people keep coming ...

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Church & Culture
Has The Rise Of Megachurches Elevated Our Communities?
Communities with successfully growing churches should be feeling the impact of those churches on their overall culture.

For over 25 years I’ve lived and pastored in Orange County, California.

In the last 50 years this county has experienced as much megachurch success as anywhere else on earth. We’ve given birth to the Crystal Cathedral, Calvary Chapel, The Vineyard, TBN, Saddleback ...

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Christian Unity
Why "Get The Right People On The Bus" Doesn't Always Work For A Small Church Staff
People are not on the bus to get you to your destination; they are the destination. People worshipping Jesus and sharing His love with others.

One of the biggest frustrations faced by small church pastors is a lack of resources, including so-called human resources. “If only I had more money, a better building, more people or the right people” we complain, “then we could really get something done at ...

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Small Churches, Leadership And Culture: Karl Vaters Interviews William Vanderbloemen
"You are the green berets in the Kingdom. You're on the frontline. You're doing the job that is often thankless but is perhaps most important."
Small Churches,  Leadership And Culture: Karl Vaters Interviews William Vanderbloemen

William Vanderbloemen is the CEO and Founder of Vanderbloemen Search Group. a recruitment and consulting firm for churches. Previously, he served as the senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Houston. Recently, William interviewed me for his podcast and I interviewed ...

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Innovative Ministry
No, A God-Sized Vision Doesn’t Need To Be Big And Scary
Faith and leadership are more about long stretches of waiting, wandering and wondering than massive, scary leaps.

Does God’s vision for our life, church and ministry have to be big to be real?

I keep hearing that it does. Sayings like “if your vision isn’t big enough to scare you, it’s not from God” have been popular for quite some time now. Apparently we’re ...

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Christian Unity
The 3 Most Common Challenges Small Church Pastors Face – And How To Help
Small church pastors need friendship and encouragement. Especially from their peers in pastoral ministry.

Small church pastors are some of the hardest-working, most passionate and sacrificial people anywhere.

They serve without fanfare, helping in ways most people will never see. And they face challenges that many will never experience.

In over five years of writing, speaking and ...

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Christian Unity
Small Church Pastors: A Tribute To The Forgotten Heroes
Is it possible that we have as much to learn from small church pastors as we have to teach them?

Where did we get the idea that small churches are small because there’s something wrong with them and/or their pastors?

There are millions of small church pastors doing great, kingdom-building work with little or no budget, little or no facilities and little or no salary. ...

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Church Leadership
4 Steps To Start Moving From Teaching A Crowd To Equipping The Saints
Teaching requires two things: a competent instructor and receptive students. Equipping and discipling require much more.

So, my last blog post stirred up a lot more response than I expected.

In The Biggest Mistake Teaching Pastors Tend to Make – And How To Correct It, I encouraged pastors to move from being a teaching pastor to an equipping pastor, based on the Pastoral Prime Mandate of Ephesians ...

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Church Leadership
The Biggest Mistake Teaching Pastors Tend to Make – And How To Correct It
Jesus didn’t tell us to teach students, he commanded us to make disciples.

If you are a teaching pastor, I have a gift for you. I’m going to share one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in 35+ years of pastoral ministry.

It happened when I recognized that I was commiting what is probably the biggest mistake most teaching pastors ...

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Bigger? Or Better? Yes, Your Church Has A Choice
“It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if you’re maximizing growth, you’re also maximizing success.” (Bo Burlingham, in Small Giants)
Bigger? Or Better? Yes, Your Church Has A Choice
Image: From cover of Small Giants, by Bo Burlingham

Better churches become bigger churches. Right?

Maybe not.

That’s been the rule of thumb for businesses, too. And it’s no more true there than it is for us.

As it turns out, constant growth doesn’t work for the majority of churches or businesses. Yet they can still ...

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Church Growth
In Addition To "Why Is Your Church So Small?" We Need To Ask “Why Do We Want It To Be Big?”
As hard as we work to grow bigger, how many of us stop to ask the essential question “what are the advantages of bigness?”

By far, the most common question I’m asked about small church ministry is “if your church is healthy, why is it so small?”

It’s a valid question, for sure. And one that I’ve answered in several previous blog posts, including these:

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Church Leadership
The Two Biggest Mistakes Churches Make With Money
The answer to bad stewardship isn’t more money or more faith. It’s better stewardship.

There are two equal, but opposite mistakes churches regularly make regarding money.

Especially for smaller churches, these are the main ways that finances (or lack of them) stop us from doing the ministry we’re called to do.

(This is part of an ongoing series, Money and ...

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How To Give Money Less Power Over Your Church
A congregation's financial reality should never be ignored, but it should never be in charge.

Money is in charge of too many of our churches.

So many good congregations want to do great ministry, but their limited finances cause them to make too many decisions based on what they can or can’t afford, instead of what God is calling them to do.

It’s a trap that ...

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Church & Culture
9 Common Social Media Tactics That Never Draw Anyone Closer To Jesus
For most, maybe all of these tactics, I can see the good motive behind it. But good intentions are not enough.

Social media has no moral component to it – except the ones we give it. It's just a tool.

A very powerful one.

And we’re only beginning to grasp its impact.

When used well it can connect, inform and entertain us. But when it’s used poorly, as it so often is, ...

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Church Leadership
Churches Renovate Their Building, On Average, Every 30 Years? Really?!
A church building doesn’t have to be big, fancy or cutting-edge. But it needs to facilitate the mission.

Uh… Wow.

Every 30 years?

Yes, those are the stats, according to a church renovation expert I heard at a recent conference.

By the time his company is called in to help a church renovate their sanctuary, lobby, exterior or anything significant, it’s been three full ...

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