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.
You won't hear pastors express these frustrations often, but they are very real.
This verse in Scripture cannot be more compelling or clearer: "Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world." (James 1:27)
I recently spoke with a pastor who was tearfully concerned about his health insurance. He had just received notice of a large premium increase that he could not afford. With a diabetic child, he did not know what to do.
By almost any metric, pastors and church staff are not overpaid.
Lately, I've been hearing many pastors talk about the importance of doing most of their sermon preparation on Monday.