In most established churches, there is a prolonged period before the church members as a whole will truly embrace you as pastor. The majority of pastors never make it to year five.
Sometimes church leaders have to be reactionary. We can't always plan ahead. But many church leaders can be more proactive. Too many of these leaders waste valuable time because they were not prepared adequately.
Tens of thousands of congregations are one color, one race, or one group. Why? Why is this reality still taking place today?
Many churches are dying. Some are so sick that they are a few years, perhaps just months, from death. But too many refuse to do anything.
The last thing pastors need is someone to offer them advice. But I do want pastors to hear those pieces of advice that are really difficult to heed.
To be clear, organizational change is absolutely necessary ... some of the time. But much of the time, we lead organizational change for the wrong reasons.
We consider a church to be in dramatic decline when the average worship attendance drops by 20 percent or more in three months or less. What causes such unusual declines?
I love new pastors. It is fascinating to hear their thoughts after they have served as a pastor for a year or two.
I am assuming I have a few more years left in ministry. And this point in my life is both a time of reflection and looking forward. To be clear, I want to avoid seven dangers in my last years of ministry.
This post is not about a pleasant topic. It's about churches that have declined to the point where their near term future is in doubt.
Two-thirds of our churches are plateaued or declining. Since so many of our churches are in need of revitalization, let's begin by seeing what roadblocks hinder turnarounds.
The topic of evangelism has grown strangely quiet in many churches. Pastors are not talking about it. Other church leaders aren't talking about it. Members aren't talking about it.
Growing churches are growing largely by transfer growth. Most of them are not reaching people with the gospel. They are growing at the expense of other churches.
Let's take a few moments and look at the churches whose average worship attendance grew from 2013 to 2016. Here are five of the surprising discoveries from this research.
I am troubled by one major aspect of the research we just conducted. If your church has fewer than 100 in worship, it is likely to be a declining church.
Have you ever heard, "80 percent of churches are either plateaued or declining"? I have. It's wrong. Here are the results of our research.
I've seen too many people in vocational ministry fail to launch. Perhaps "launch" is not the best term, because they may stay in ministry for many years. But they never seem to do well.
The pendulum swings in churches. The congregation does not like a previous direction, so they overcompensate with the next move they make.
I developed Church Answers to create a safe place for church leaders to ask questions and interact with each other. It was also the best way to handle the volume of inquiries that come to me.
"What did you have or do in your church ten years ago that you don't have or do today?" The top twenty responses were, for me at least, a fascinating mix of the expected and the surprises.
It's not a pleasant topic. But if we don't talk about dying churches, we will act like there are no problems.
Sick churches become dying churches. Dying churches become closed churches. In order to help create greater awareness, I have described illustratively seven personality types of sick churches.
There are several dangerous and debilitating attitudes in churches that are killing evangelism. Here are six of them
Deacons are a mystery in many churches. In some churches, they act more like elders or a board of directors. But what is a deacon supposed to do?
Many church members and leaders resist change. They seek stability and comfort over obedience and sacrifice. Let's look at five key reasons why stability is bad for a church.