April 2018

Christian Unity
The Growth Gap: How The Megachurch Phenomenon Has Unintentionally Isolated Small Churches
As midsize churches adapt systems based on megachurch models, the ministry gap between them and the average size church is expanding.

Sometimes it seems like the divide between big and small churches is so vast it’s almost insurmountable.

And it’s increasing, not diminishing.

Why is that happening? And why has the divide has become especially large in the last few decades?

I think it has to do with ...

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Innovative Ministry
The Mission Deserves Margin: Minister To The Church You Have, While Preparing For More
While pastoring the people we have, we need to create in-house systems and outward ministry suitable for a church of double our current size.

A church of 50 people needs to be pastored like a church of 50 people.

You can’t act like a church of 500. Or even 100. The systems, methods and relationship dynamics simply won’t fit.

So how can a church grow, either in its size or effectiveness, if we’re only ...

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Church & Culture
A Friendly Reminder: “Come To Jesus” Is More Important Than “Come To Our Church”
We have become so used to tethering evangelism to our church’s programming and attendance that we can forget they're not the same thing.

Here’s a sincere question for my fellow pastors and other church leaders.

What if the members of our churches started sharing their faith, but it wasn’t in a way that brought more people to our specific church? Would we celebrate and encourage that?

If not, we may ...

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Church Leadership
Want More Church Leaders? Look For A Servant’s Heart
It’s better and easier to encourage a servant to lead than to get a leader to serve.

It’s hard to find people who will step up and lead in the church today. Especially young people.

That’s what I keep hearing.

But I also see many churches that are the exceptions to that supposed rule. Including the amazing congregation I get to serve.

What are healthy ...

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Christian Unity
5 More Reasons To Go To Church In Person: Sight, Sound, Touch, Smell, Taste
When all our senses are involved we learn more, engage more, enjoy more, contribute more and remember more.

If we want to get everything we can from our church experience, we need to start by showing up in person.

That may seem obvious to most churchgoers, but there is a large and growing number of people who think that watching a service online is all the church they need.

And no, ...

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Innovative Ministry
6 Reasons Many Pastors Don’t Need An Office Any More
For most pastors, a desk in an office is one of the least creative spaces imaginable.

The pastor’s office is a time-honored tradition whose moment has come and gone for a lot of us.

Over the last 35-plus years of ministry, I have spent thousands of hours in my office. Joyful, frustrating, heartbreaking, boring, wonderful, life-changing hours. Hours spent ...

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Church Leadership
How I Overcame My Dread Of Talking About Money From The Pulpit
Why should our approach to meeting financial challenges be any different than our approach to meeting every other challenge?

Pastors fall into one of three groups when it comes to money.

  • Pastors who hate talking about money at all
  • Pastors who talk about money obsessively
  • Pastors who have discovered a biblical balance

Most pastors I’ve met, maybe two out of three, are in the first group. We want ...

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Money And The Small Church: Job One – Don’t Spend More Than You Bring In
You can’t spend your way into church growth, congregational health or kingdom impact.

When it comes to the issue of Money And The Small Church, (or money and big churches, money and family finances, money and business, etc.) there is one principle that stands high above all the others.

It’s so basic, I almost feel silly having to write it. But it is Job ...

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Church Leadership
Money And The Small Church: 3 Reasons We Must Talk About It (New Series)
While having money is no guarantee of church success or health, poor money management will always undermine good ministry. We have to get better at this.

Many people have a love/hate relationship with money.

Including me.

I don’t like thinking about it, talking about it, teaching on it or worrying about it.

And I really don’t like asking for it. (No, this article isn’t me asking for it.)

I don’t like what ...

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Church & Culture
Love God, Love People, Make Disciples – Everything Else Is Scaffolding
Every program, building and denomination is temporary. They should stay in place only as long as they are being effective.

When a building is being repaired or erected, scaffolding is the temporary structure that is built around or inside it to give workers access to the construction site. But when the building is completed, the scaffolding is removed.

Every church program, building, denomination ...

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Christian Unity
What About Those Sheep-Stealing Megachurches?
Megachurches keep getting bigger while small churches seem to struggle more than they used to. It's easy to think one is causing the other.

There’s a lot of conversation going on about megachurches.

In my context of ministry to small churches, much of the conversation surrounds this question. Are megachurches actually reaching new people for Jesus, or are believers gathering into ever-larger groups, leaving ...

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