If you want to make an immediate difference in your church, read these fourteen brief experiences.
My first reaction to the discovery of Periscope was not favorable. Oh no, I thought, another social media tool.
It's one of the toughest parts of church leadership. You feel like a staff member is not a good fit. Or the elders or personnel committee feel the same about the pastor. You are confronted with the reality that you might need to ask that person to step down.
Many churches are having internal disagreements over lighting. In some churches it has become contentious.
Assimilation is five times more effective if a person is involved in a group versus attending worship only.
Nine out of ten churches in America are either declining, or they are growing so slowly they are not keeping up with the growth rate of the community in which they are located.
Though there are many different reasons given, these pastors did share one reason much more frequently than any others.
I am confident because of who I am in Christ. But if someone expected me to perform open-heart surgery tomorrow, I wouldn't be confident.
The stories are tragic but too common. Different members of a church staff unite in opposition to other staff.
It seems to be a Catch-22. If your congregation is older, the way to reach younger families is to have younger families in your church. But the reason the congregation is older is because it has few or no younger families.
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.
On November 1, 2014, I wrote a blog post about ten ways churches drive away first-time guests. Those top ten ways came from an informal Twitter poll. I was surprised by the number of responses we received for both the poll and the blog post.
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.
One of the more frequent question readers have asked me is: "Do you think the term 'church member' is still relevant?"
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.
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.
At some point in my ministry, I became allergic to committee meetings. I realized I was spending a lot of time in those meetings that could be used for productive ministry.
I recently gave away thousands of my books in my library. I only have a few left. In the exercise of deciding which few books I would keep, I asked myself a hypothetical question: What if could keep only 25 of the books?
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.
I would have never expected the response to a topic that seemed so innocuous. On this blog many people were very vocal that they really didn't like the stand-and-greet time during the worship services.
Growth is indeed more difficult today in American congregations. And there are some clear reasons why this reality is true.
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.
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."
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:
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.