Writing this post may be one of the dumbest things I've ever done. I am the president of the world's largest Christian resource company, and I'm talking about the problems with church programs.
The conversation surprised me. I was recently meeting with about a dozen members of a church that was on the precipice of closing. During their perceived "good old days," the average worship attendance was in the 40s and 50s. Now the church attendance was in the teens. The church was on metaphorical life support.
I want to ask you a question that may seem silly and rhetorical: Do you want to be a part of something that is changing the world?
Nine out of ten churches in North America are declining, or they are growing slower than the community in which they are located.
If I could choose one more course for ministry training and preparation, it would be "Courageous Leadership."
Every seven seconds a baby boomer retires, about 10,000 a day. That is the pace of potential retirement taking place every day since January 1, 2011.
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.