February 2019

The Main Way We're Failing Small Churches (And How To Start Succeeding With Them)
Pastoring a small church is not a penalty for doing something wrong. It's a specialty – and it's worth doing well.

Small congregations are the backbone of the church.

Over 90 percent of churches are under 200 people. As many as half of all Christians attend a small congregation.

But if you take a look at the dominant teaching about church leadership, you might think that all those churches ...

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Small Church Ministry
The Undeniable, Irresistible Resilience Of The Small Church
To some people, small churches may look frail, weak and out of touch, but no matter what happens, we keep coming back up.

Small churches are not better than big churches. Big churches aren’t better than small ones.

The arguments we have about size are silly, dangerous and missing the point.

Everyone has something unique to contribute.

As for small churches, here are some of the most undeniable, ...

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Innovative Ministry
The One Change Every Small Church Pastor Needs To Make
We need to move the from doing ministry for people, to the biblical pastoral model of equipping God’s people to do ministry.

Breaking the 200 barrier.

I wonder if any subject has received more attention in the last generation of church leadership training.

In some ways, it makes sense to spend so much time talking about it. After all, there is a fundamental shift that must take place when a church reaches ...

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Christian Unity
Pastoral Transition: 7 Signs It May Be The Right Time To Let Go
Watching someone else build on the foundation you’ve helped establish may be the most fulfilling part of life and ministry.

One year ago this month, I stopped being the lead pastor of our church.

Not because I was done, but because it was the right time.

Truth be told, I still want to be the lead pastor. At the age of 59, (58 when we made the transition) I’m not too old. I still have the passion, ...

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Innovative Ministry
Remember Blogs? (For Every Communicator Who's Felt Out Of Step)
A word of encouragement to everyone who’s felt criticized or left behind when others move on to something new, cool or cutting edge.

Recently I heard a pastor say two words that hit me like a punch to the gut.

I was watching him in a short online video teaching clip, when he referenced an article he’d read on a blog a couple years ago.

Before talking about the content of the article, he off-handedly quipped, ...

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Small Church Ministry
8 Non-Numerical Ways To Assess The Health Of A Church
Numbers are not the only way to measure church health and effectiveness, especially in smaller churches.

There are healthy churches of all sizes.

In recent years there’s been a renewed emphasis on defining health numerically. But that’s not the only way to measure church health and effectiveness.

In my previous article, Effective Small Church Metrics: Why Average Results ...

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Church Leadership
Effective Small Church Metrics: Why Average Results Aren’t Typical Results
Statistics, surveys and comparative metrics are not as helpful in assessing small church health as they are in assessing big church health.

One of the challenges of pastoring in a small church is that there’s nothing typical (or normal) about anything we do.

Our schedule, our skill-set, our facilities (or lack of), our staff (or lack of), our salary (or… you get the idea…). None of it is typical. ...

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Church Growth
Why Is There An Increasing Pushback Against Church Growth Principles?
As the church growth movement enters middle age, it’s time to ask some tough, but fair and necessary questions.

Recently, I've had several conversations with friends who teach church growth principles. Several of them have asked me some version of the question in the title of this article.

“Why is there so much more pushback against church growth principles lately?”

I’m ...

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Innovative Ministry
Pulpit Discipleship: Organizing Your Annual Preaching Calendar For Maximum Effectiveness
As a small church pastor, I have to keep these two tasks in balance – preaching to the congregation, and spending time with members.

Preaching is one of the most important responsibilities of the pastor in a small church context.

It’s important, not just because it is the most visible function of a pastor, but because it is one of the primary tools for discipleship.

As pastors, our primary job is making ...

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