Church Leadership

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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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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Church Leadership
9 Ways To Reverse A Downward Giving Trend In An Otherwise Healthy Church
Even people who love the church and are fully committed to its mission are not giving as much as they once did.

Do what you love and the money will take care of itself.

That’s been a popular phrase for as long as I can remember.

Wouldn’t it be great if it was true?

I’ve also heard this related phrase for as long as I can remember: just preach the gospel, love people, reach ...

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Church Leadership
How To Work With People Who Aren’t As Committed To The Church As You Are
Help them find a ministry that matches their current level of commitment and stretches them just a little bit beyond.

No one is as committed to our local church as we are, pastor.

Well, almost no one. There’s Jesus, of course. And we might have some hard-core members who live, breathe and die by their congregational involvement.

But the average member – even the most consistent attender ...

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Church Leadership
Pastors Who Have Flamed Out, Traded Down, Or Stayed Strong
We seldom celebrate consistency, integrity and humility as much as we should. But those are the character traits that make for real ministry success.

There are three lists of pastors that I’ve been keeping track of in my head. Maybe you’ve been keeping some similar lists yourself.

I haven’t kept these lists consciously. Until now, anyway. But after several recent episodes in which pastors have landed on these ...

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Church Leadership
The New Normal: 9 Realities And Trends In Bivocational Ministry
Bivocational ministry is more than a pit-stop along the way to "real" pastoral ministry. It's as real as pastoring gets. And it's becoming very common, very fast.

If I could only teach one vocational principle to young pastors-to-be, it would probably be this.

Learn how to pay the bills outside of your pastoral salary. You’ll probably need it.

Whether you want to be a church planter or pastor an existing church, it’s likely ...

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Church Leadership
Effective Church Leaders Do Not Treat Everyone Equally
If you don't decide whose opinions carry the greatest weight, the loudest voices will win and your ministry will be reactive, not proactive.

Effective leaders always seek wise advice and counsel.

If you, like me, are a small church pastor, you know there’s a huge expectation for us to treat everyone’s advice as though they all have equal value.

We’re often told that getting everyone’s input ...

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Church Leadership
A Leadership Reminder: Your To-Do List Is Not A Plan
To-do lists can keep us on track, but they never create a new track. Only an intentional plan does that.

I love keeping to-do lists. They help me stay on task, keep track of my progress, determine who should be doing what, and so much more.

But I have to constantly remind myself that a to-do list is not a plan.

Starting a to-do list isn’t the creation of a plan, and crossing ...

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Church Leadership
Don’t Try To Be Successful, Try To Do Good Work
A minister with a well-nourished soul may or may not have a big church, but they’ll always have a healthy ministry.

I’ve always tried to live my life and do ministry by this rule:

Don’t try to be successful. Try to do good work.

  • Not people-pleasing work, God-honoring work
  • Not self-promoting work, Christ-magnifying work
  • Not numbers-driven work, Spirit-led work

The one time in my ministry ...

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Church Leadership
For Every Minister Who Struggles With Your Prayer Life
Real prayer is about relationship. And relationships are hard. Even (especially?) with God.

A healthy prayer life is hard work.

If you’re one of those Christians who finds your prayer life to be easy, joyous and endlessly fulfilling, we’re grateful for you and the role you play in the body of Christ. But that’s not the way it is for most of us.

Pastors ...

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