Thom S. Rainer

Christian Post Contributor

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.

9 Stupid Things I Did as a Pastor

1. I neglected my prayer life and time in the Word too often. It sounds absolutely insane as I write it, but I got too busy for God. As a consequence, I operated out of my own insufficient power too many times.

8 Reasons People Are Leaving Denominational Churches for Non-denominational Churches

While working on an unrelated research project, I recently came across some data published by the Hartford Institute of Religion Research. Though the information was five years old, it still seemed highly relevant today. In essence, the data showed that non-denominational churches are now the second largest Protestant group in America. Only the Southern Baptist Convention is larger.

When Church Staff Turn Against Each Other

While we can never eliminate all difficult issues between co-workers, we can seek to manage the relationships in the most healthy and godly manner. Unfortunately, in some churches, one or more staff members will turn against another in an unhealthy, unbiblical, and ungodly manner. Allow me to share eight thoughts about these bad situations.

Five Ways Church Members Hold the Church as a Financial Hostage

Do you know any church members who have made demands based upon their financial giving to the church? Okay, that's probably a rhetorical question because most of you readers certainly have experienced that discomfort. I asked a number of church leaders to share with me how this "hostage taking" usually takes place. Here are the five most common responses

5 Organizational Reasons Many Churches Hit Attendance Plateaus

As I have noted in other posts, the number one reason for declines and plateaus in churches is declining frequency of attendance of church members. Though there are many possible explanations for this reality, some of the reasons are in the category of organizational issues. Let me note five of them.

9 Ways to Deal with Church Bullies

In my earlier post, I dealt with the traits of church bullies. I now move from descriptive to prescriptive. How do we deal with church bullies? What can we do to prevent such bullying? Here are nine of my suggestions:

9 Traits of Mean Churches

I received two emails this week from church members who made that very statement. The members are from two different churches in two different states. One of the churches belongs to a denomination; the other is non-denominational. In both cases the church members made the decision to drop out of local church life altogether.