I have a pretty good track record of seeing the future of churches in America. I hope I am not making such a statement out of arrogance or delusion.
Certainly, this post was at least partly prompted by the incredible number of sad, tragic, and horrific events in my denomination.
I want you to know you are not alone. Ministry can be tough. Ministry can be frustrating. Ministry can even be depressing. But ministry in the local church can also be one of the greatest joys you've ever known.
Church bylaws are a necessity, both from a legal and an organizational perspective. They provide the framework from which the organization exists and operates.
I wish I had objective data on the length of time between pastors. I can say anecdotally the time is much longer than it used to be. A whole lot longer.
How can we explain the death of ongoing outreach by our churches? I've worked with thousands of churches, so I have a few ideas.
Comparing your church to another church can be one of the worst things you do as a church leader.
Depending on how you define it, somewhere around seven to eight out of ten churches are in need of revitalization.
Here are 15 of the funnier surprise searches at my site, in no particular order.
I have noticed at Church Answers and social media an unusually high number of questions about preparation for Easter Sunday.
For the past two years, I have been monitoring the comments and challenges mentioned by church leaders. I am attempting to answer the question: What is hindering many of our churches from achieving health and vitality?
Most church members have no idea their pastor is depressed.
Why are the giving levels in your church down? See if any of these causative factors may be at work in your congregation.
Designated funds given to the church by a single or a few members with guidelines not approved by the church can be dangerous in end.
Why is the children's minister position is such demand?
We leaders often enjoy the affirmation and adulation of others as we express our ideas, provide direction and set future courses. And we sometimes enjoy it so much that we only want people to agree with us and affirm us, even if we are wrong. It's called echo chamber leadership.
The enemy will do whatever he can to destroy the ministry of your pastors.
Too many congregations are wasting precious time, money, and energy doing too much. In fact, the churches are so complex that they have ceased to do ministry effectively.
A tipping point is the critical juncture in evolving developments that leads to a new and, often, irreversible state. We call that new state "the new normal."
We have many incredible leaders in our churches today. But, perhaps more often than we admit, some church leaders stop leading.
Unfortunately, I've seen it again and again. Church leaders and members sacrifice the health and good of the church for fear of hurting one or a few persons. The body is sacrificed for the sake of a few members. We think we are being nice, but we are hurting the church.
I hate the title of this article. I hate that I even feel compelled to write about the topic. But many of you contacted me after the tragic murders at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Pastors visit church members and others in the hospital. It is what pastors do. And most patients appreciate the ministry and efforts of these pastors. But that does not mean the pastors' visits are uneventful.
This topic was hotter than I expected. I asked pastors and other church staff about the amount of time taken for vacations each year. Most of the responses came from pastors, and many of those pastors were pretty intense about it.
Dead bodies and donuts. Those are two of the themes of church business meetings.