July 2019

Christian Unity
Why We Don't Have To Give In To Hopelessness
Life gets hard. Faith may feel futile. Hope can seem distant. But we can always persevere...

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...because Jesus.

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Church Leadership
Are You Called To Be A Small Church Pastor Or A Big Church Pastor?
Three simple assessments that can give you an idea about the size of church you may be best suited to serve.

Some pastors are called to do ministry in a big church. But most are called to small church ministry.

So how do you know which one you’re called to? Is there a way to figure this out without trying and failing at one or the other?

In my decades of personal ministry experience ...

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Church & Culture
Want More Christian Influence? Get Off Facebook And Talk To Actual People
We can be loud, or we can be heard. We can seldom do both.

If we want to be heard by a lot of people, we can make our opinion known on social media. The angrier and more controversial, the more responses we’ll get. But we won’t really be changing anyone’s mind, just reaffirming what they already (think they) know.

If ...

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Innovative Ministry
How To Tell If A Church Is Too Big – Or Too Small
It’s never about the size of the church. It’s about the size of the mission.

Can a church be too big?

Yes.

Can a church be too small?

Also, yes.

Does that mean there’s an ideal size for a church?

No.

No Ideal Size

While there may be an ideal size for a specific type of ministry, a certain location, or a particular leadership style, there’s no overall ...

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When The Small Church Pastor's Biggest Critic Is In Our Mirror
Small church pastors can’t get mad at others for looking down on us when we keep looking down on ourselves.

Small churches and their pastors seldom get the credit they deserve.

Including from small church pastors ourselves.

Yes, it’s true. Often the biggest critics of small churches and the people who pastor them are staring at us in our mirror.

What Am I Doing Wrong?

Too many small ...

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Innovative Ministry
Great Churches Don’t Give People (Including Pastors) What They Want
Great churches don’t promise more of what we already have, they show us an entirely new way to be.

Henry Ford famously said “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Today, if you were to ask the average pastor what they want, most would probably say “a bigger church.”

And if you asked the average Christian what they ...

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Innovative Ministry
9 Questions To Ask Before Rebooting Or Revitalizing A Church
Rebooting or revitalizing an existing church is a huge undertaking. But when it’s done well, it’s extremely rewarding.

They say it’s easier to have a baby than to raise the dead.

That’s one reason many pastors choose to plant a church rather than turn an existing one around. (Other reasons include the importance of fresh, new churches and a little thing known as God’s call, ...

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Christian Unity
Why We Have To Talk About Church Size
Let’s ask the questions that need to be asked, and offer honest, grace-filled answers that tell us what we need to know.

There are two approaches when we talk about church size.

The first one is to use church size and, more specifically, church growth as the main way to tell if a church is healthy, strong and effective. Big and getting bigger? Great! Small and staying small? Not so good.

The second ...

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Christian Unity
Here’s The Best Way You Can Help A Small Church Pastor Today
Ministry is hard. Small church ministry is relentless. Doing it alone is impossible.

Small church pastors labor under a great deal of discouragement.

They work unbelievably long hours (often full-time at a paying job in addition to pastoral ministry) with very little money (many supplement the church from their bivocational pay) and very little encouragement.

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Innovative Ministry
17 Steps For Writers and Speakers To Catch The Attention Of Publishers And Conferences
Publishers and conferences are always looking for good content. Here’s what I’ve learned about creating something they need.

Just a few years ago, I was happily pastoring a small church, expecting to spend the rest of my ministry that way.

Then I wrote a book about it, and everything changed.

Now I have two books out, a third on the way, and I’m asked to speak at dozens of conferences every year. ...

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Church & Culture
The Growing Danger Of Assigning Guilt By Association
How can we effect change if we can’t find common ground with people who see things differently?

It’s getting harder to be nice anymore.

I have friends on all sides of virtually every political, theological and philosophical issue. People with whom I have significant disagreements on some subjects, yet find common ground on others.

But it’s becoming difficult ...

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Church & Culture
What Does Your Church Do That Your Phone Can’t Do?
Online connectivity is great. But it will never replace spending time in the presence of other people who love Jesus, too.

For generations, churches were the center of community life in many towns.

Want to know what time it is? Listen for the chimes from the Lutheran church steeple.

Going to the store? Turn left at the Baptist church.

Bored on a Sunday night? Check out the revival at the Pentecostal ...

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Innovative Ministry
Why Break Church Growth Barriers? (And Why This Question Matters)
Before learning how to get bigger, every church needs to ask if it should get bigger.

You can’t pastor a church of 500 the way you pastored it at 100. Or a church of 100 the way you did at 25.

But how do we know if we should break through from one size to another?

For at least a generation there’s been an underlying assumption that every church should ...

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Innovative Ministry
Turn The Team You’re Stuck With Into The Team You Want (10 Steps For Church Leaders)
No one starts with the team they want. Teams aren’t born, they’re built.

In December of 2004, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld got into hot water when he responded to reporters’ questions about whether-or-not US troops were ready for war by saying “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at ...

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