Every church has an organizational culture. Some churches have a culture of optimism. You can feel the energy in worship. Others are pessimistic. You can sense the deadness when you walk into the sanctuary. A dead sanctuary should be an oxymoron, but I’ve experienced “worship” in a few zombie churches. The walking spiritually dead show up to utter a few grunts, gaze around, and shuffle back home. Every church also faces obstacles. What is the difference between churches that approach Read more [...]
  “. . . because you’re the pastor.” Most pastors have heard the end of this sentence at some point. Perhaps you bristled at hearing it. Maybe your feelings were justified, depending on what preceded the phrase. But there’s truth in “because you’re the pastor.” People expect you to represent your church. And you should. If you’re a pastor, then you’re also a statesman—there’s no way around it. I use the term “statesman” not in a truly political sense, though Read more [...]
  Fads come and go. Hair bands, slap bracelets, Atkins diets, and fanny packs all came and went. Some fads quickly go out of style. Some linger too long. (Why are some of you still wearing skinny jeans?) If music, food, clothes, and toys can become faddish, then the same can happen to leaders. In the church, what works to grow a church today may not work in the future. You can be a popular leader, only to lose that popularity more quickly than Vanilla Ice dropped out of the mainstream. Even Read more [...]
  Change efforts are never unanimous. Change efforts are too often reactive instead of proactive. Resistance to change is high. Ministry leaders can push too hard for change among the wrong people, at the wrong times, and in wrong ways. I might be understating the quandary of change in established churches. If we believe in the body of Christ, then ministry leaders must be change agents. Leaders quickly understand what needs to change, but the how of change is just as important. I’ve Read more [...]
  “What ya runnin’ these days?” It’s a common question asked of church leaders, and most who ask it refer to average weekly attendance. If the answer is “400,” then on an average weekend your church has 400 people on campus. This figure includes children, assumes each person is counted only once, and excludes the traditional Sunday evening service. But if you average 400 in attendance, your church is larger, potentially much larger. In order to understand the true size of Read more [...]