"I don't want you take this personally, pastor, but we are leaving the church."
Okay, I admit it. I can't stand the terms. When you even speak of clergy and laity, you are implying that Christianity has a social caste system. There are the professional Christians and the ordinary Christians. Ugh.
Change or die. You read that correctly. In fact, if your churches don't make substantive changes in the next few years, your church will die.
In a previous post, I noted several things you should not say to the pastor right before the sermon. I was amazed at the number of responses I received.
Sometimes reading a church's bylaws is like taking a trip to the twilight zone.
As I promised in last week's article on weddings, I have fifteen stories from pastors about funerals.
Pastors and other church staff have a plethora of stories to tell about weddings they have officiated. Unfortunately, they are often constrained from telling the stories lest their church members become offended.
"So what are churches doing to reach people today, Thom?" I hear some version of that question on a regular basis.
It is critical that prospective pastors ask questions about the church. There are five questions, however, which are rarely asked. These questions could be key toward avoiding some of the unpleasant surprises many pastors encounter.
Much has been written in the past decade on leadership skills. The body of literature on the topic is massive and growing. I certainly have little to add in a brief blog post.
Church leaders, particularly, need to keep an eye on this generation. There are some fascinating trends taking place.
"Pastor, I have a rat in my house. Please come get it!" It's a true story. I was the pastor.
I am not in church. Sure, I have visited churches several times, but I gave up.
One of the largely unspoken phenomenon of the past decade has been the decline in large churches located at only one site. Most of the large church growth today is taking place at multisite churches.
Let me take you behind the scenes again in the life of a pastor.
The title may not be precise, but it will be close. Why am I confident about making this prediction? Allow me to offer five reasons.
What if church members began their own form of sermon preparation?
It's really a difficult question. Who should be able to see what each person gives to the church? Let's look at six perspectives.
This issue is all about those times when someone stands up to speak to the entire congregation. So what's the big deal about church announcements? How could something so innocuous cause problems?
Why might your church's offerings be struggling? Here are six clear reasons.
There are few topics that evoke as much emotion as politics. The intensity of emotions is particularly evident during presidential elections.
Whenever I do any type of consultation with a church, I ask to see attendance records. And though it is not a rule without exception, I typically see three to four spikes in attendance.
The church of 150 in attendance averaged two first-time guests a week, or 100 a year. How many joined the church? Only three.
This approach to ministry may be one of the most neglected opportunities to get guests connected to your church.
It is almost an unspoken phenomenon in church life.