Thom S. Rainer

Christian Post Contributor

9 Essentials for Guest-Friendly Church Bulletins

In many circles, the church bulletin or worship folder is perceived to be old school, the tool of staid and traditional churches. Leaders with such a perspective are missing an incredible opportunity to put something in the hands of guests that, at least anecdotally, increases the chances they will return.

10 Signs Your Pastor Is Becoming a Chaplain

In the broadest sense, a chaplain refers to those who are assigned to care and provide ministry for a specific group of people. Military and hospital chaplains, for example, have clearly defined groups who come under their care and ministry.

7 Internal Barriers to Church Growth

There is rarely a simple explanation for the decline of a church. It is often a complex mix of cultural, theological, attitudinal, and internal issues. In this article, I address the latter issue.

20 More Really Weird Things Said to Pastors

If you get a group of pastors and church staff together, you will inevitably hear some pretty unusual comments they received from church members. So I did an informal Twitter poll to get some of these comments in writing.

25 Really Weird Things Said to Pastors

Few people are truly aware of the constant requests, complaints, and criticisms pastors and other church leaders receive. I must admit, however, I was surprised when I asked church leaders on Twitter to share some of the more unusual comments they have received.

5 Types of Change Resistant Churches

One of the more frequent questions I get is somewhat related to leading change in the church. The expressions of frustrations are often the result of different expectations. For example, a pastor search committee may tell a pastoral candidate they want to see change in the church. But their understanding of the level of change is far different than the perception of the candidate.

7 Factors That Stop Momentum in a Church

I will then ask the obvious question: "What happened?" My question is straightforward because I know most church leaders will identify a singular event that precipitated the momentum reversal. In this article, I identify seven of the most common "momentum stoppers."

11 Things Pastors Need to Know Their Spouses Are Thinking

Many of the comments I have received have been shared in anonymity, and I certainly understand the need to keep names confidential. But the comments are real and verbatim. And many times I can feel the hopes and hurts that come with these comments. Here are the eleven most frequent thoughts from pastors' spouses:

7 Concerns About Christians and Tipping

Hopefully, such stories are rare. But we do have reasons to be concerned when church members and Christian leaders treat restaurant servers and other service employees so poorly. Allow me to outline seven key concerns.

7 Trends in Worship Service Times

If your church has one service at 11:00 am on Sunday mornings, it is likely in the minority. In a recent reader survey we conducted with 1,649 responses, slightly over half of the congregations had only one worship service on Sunday morning, and the times of that single service varied.

3 Types of Church Revitalization: Introducing Church Answers Monthly

God addressed the issue in two primary ways. First, He spoke to three key leaders for them to be His catalysts for rebuilding (Haggai 1:1-2). Second, God commanded the people of Judah to change their behaviors, to move from selfish behavior to selfless behavior. They obeyed (Haggai 1:12). They rebuilt the house of God (Haggai 1:14).

10 Things You Should Never Say to a Guest in a Worship Service

Indeed, these unfortunate and ill-timed comments almost always guarantee that you will offend guests and make them very uncomfortable. Most of the time guests are already ill at ease since they are in a new place and a new environment. By the way, each of these quotes was actually communicated to a guest in a worship service. My guess is that all ten of them have been said many times . . . too many times.

8 Common Characteristics of Successful Church Revitalizations

There is one type of church revitalization that is more successful than all others. The church closes its doors for a season, and then re-opens, usually with a new name and new leadership. I know this approach is not an option for most of you, so I gathered data from the "other" category. This category includes churches that kept the same name and, for the most part, the same leadership.