February 2018

Church Leadership
Does Attracting A Crowd Make Discipleship Harder?
Going along with the crowd has never been the Jesus way. Standing apart from the crowd? Now that sounds like Jesus.

Drawing a crowd to church may not be the best way to start people on a path to discipleship.

In fact, I’m beginning to think that it may hurt our discipleship efforts more than help them.

For at least a generation now, the predominant thinking in most of the pastoral training ...

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Innovative Ministry
Innovation Or Insistence? There’s More Than One Way To Reach Your Goal
If your usual door won’t open, be willing to try other doors. In most situations, innovation is often the best, most overlooked option.

Imagine a hallway full of doors, all of which lead to the same destination.

All your life, you’ve seen people go through one particular door, so you use it, too. But one day you try to go through that door and it won’t open for you.

What do you do?

Insistence says, ...

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Innovative Ministry
Leading A Church Through Difficult Times: A Lesson From “The Most Bombed Hotel In The World”
After almost 2,000 years of attacks from without and within, the fact that the church continues to not just survive, but thrive is nothing short of a miracle.
Leading A Church Through Difficult Times: A Lesson From “The Most Bombed Hotel In The World”

Leading a church is often a lesson in managing and overcoming frustration. Hopefully not all the time. But there are those seasons...

This week I’ve learned a great lesson about triumphing over extreme difficulty and frustration from a very unlikely source – a hotel ...

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Innovative Ministry
Innovation without Compromise: 5 Church Leadership Lessons from the Life of Billy Graham
Billy Graham's life and ministry is proof that taking a strong stand for the truth of the Gospel does not have to push people away.
Innovation without Compromise: 5 Church Leadership Lessons from the Life of Billy Graham

(Today, Billy Graham went to be with Jesus. I wrote this article three years ago. I repost it here now as my tribute to the man and his legacy.)

Most of us have never known a world without Billy Graham.

Graham came to international prominence in the historic Los Angeles Crusade ...

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Church Leadership
Pastoral Transition: A Very Personal Note
Changing chairs after 25 years as lead pastor at the same church is so unusual that we never could have planned it.

It’s Sunday evening as I write this blog post.

And I’m feeling a huge flood of emotions.

Strong emotions are normal for pastors on Sunday afternoons, no matter how Sunday services went. But today is different for me.

Plus, there's the added quirk that I’m ...

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Innovative Ministry
The Pastoral Transition Zone: Catching God’s Timing For Your Church And Ministry
When you give church members the gift of time and respect, they’ll go with you to some exciting places.

God’s timing is perfect.

When he does something in our lives unilaterally (as in, he doesn’t ask for our permission or cooperation) his timing is often quick, surprising and sometimes painful. It’s only when we see those events in the rear view mirror that we ...

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Church Leadership
9 No-Fault Reasons Some Local Churches Close Their Doors
Is it an admission of defeat or disobedience to acknowledge that congregations have a finite life-span?

Jesus’ church will never die.

But individual congregations are never given that promise. No matter how faithful they may be.

Last week, I wrote a blog post about honoring those who care for congregations as they face the last years or days of their ministry life.

Most of ...

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Christian Unity
Going, But Not Forgotten: A Tribute To Those Who Help Local Churches Die With Dignity
Whatever your past, present or future as a congregation may be, we are grateful for the kingdom work you have done.

Local churches have a life-cycle.

Some barely make it out of the starting blocks. Some last a generation or two. Some are still active after hundreds of years. But, even with constant renewal, the evidence from 2,000 years of Christianity shows that every congregation will, at ...

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Church Growth
The Modern Myth Of The Persistently Growing Congregation
The addition or multiplication of small congregations has always been the typical way the church has grown.

The persistently growing congregation is a relatively new phenomenon – and an even more recent expectation.

Aside from the grand cathedrals of Europe (which were often the result of politics and power more than faith), it wasn’t physically possible for local congregations ...

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Small Church Ministry
Why Most Mission Statements Fail In Smaller Churches
In a smaller church, instead of uniting people, a mission statement can feel controlling and manipulative.

Big churches need bold mission statements.

Small churches? Not so much.

If a small church has a mission statement, it’s probably because a church growth expert said you needed one. But it’s unlikely that having a mission statement has changed anything for the church, ...

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