The magical age for ministry is somewhere between 38 years-old and 56 years-old. I use the word “magical” because far too many churches look at the age of a ministry candidate as some sort of magic bullet. Any younger than mid-thirties and you’re too young. Any older the mid-fifties and you’re too old. I’ve read a lot of articles and posts defending those who are on the younger side. Some megachurch hires a 26-year-old lead pastor, and it’s championed as innovative. However, I don’t Read more [...]
Some pastors are naturally approachable. They have a certain charisma that draws people. Other pastors draw in people like an open casket viewing. People approach but with nervous hesitation. Most of us are somewhere in between these two extremes.
Your approachability as a pastor is not limited to Sunday mornings, but it’s a key time when people will develop perceptions about you. I’ve heard one comment over and over from people who meet me for the first time after I preach: “You’re Read more [...]
I’ve noticed a recent trend among churches. The evidence is more anecdotal, but I have no doubt the phenomenon is occurring on a national scale. While more than half of all churches are in some form of attendance decline, a segment of these declining churches experiences either stability in giving or an increase in giving at the same time people are leaving. This phenomenon is even more amazing when considering general giving trends. Overall, charitable giving is on the rise in the United Read more [...]
It’s that time of year when people partake in the annual ritual of making well-intended promises. Most of them end up being broken by February. I also realize the presumptuous nature of this post—as if I could tell you what promises to make (and then inevitably break). However, I do believe every pastor should consider these ten resolutions. Perhaps they will get you thinking.
I will pray for church members daily. Start by praying for your biggest antagonists. One of the best resolutions you Read more [...]
It’s a common question I get from people I am coaching and mentoring. What should I include in my ministry resume? There are definitely a few dos and don’ts. I’ve listed below some essentials of a great ministry resume.
Keep your resume to two pages. A one-page resume is too short and connotes a lack of experience. Anything longer than two pages is unwieldy and not likely to be read in full. In some cases, three pages may be necessary for those with much ministry experience, but Read more [...]
You wrote a book, an article, or a blog post. You crafted a speech or talk. You wrote a song. You painted a picture. You created a message you want to share with a specific audience.
The days of pitching your idea to someone else to share are gone. The historical filters simply don’t exist anymore—at least the way they did in the past. Today, publishers expect you to promote your own book. Currently, the music industry is completely disrupted. And in-person conferences are diminishing, Read more [...]
A need for revitalization does not necessarily mean an entire church is unhealthy. Even the healthiest of established churches have at least one area requiring work, if not several. Sometimes the entire church needs revitalization. In other cases, a particular area of the church needs revitalization.
In fact, the majority of established churches could use some degree of revitalization. Around 65% of churches are in plateau or decline. This one statistic reveals close to 7 out of 10 churches Read more [...]
My journey into church consulting began almost twenty years ago as a teenager. My father would hand me stacks of congregational surveys and ask me to crunch numbers. The pay was minimal, but at least the job came with free rent.
What my father, Thom Rainer, founded in 1989 has changed over the years. When the company began, it was called Church Growth Visions. During his time at Southern Seminary, the company became Rainer Group. When he went to LifeWay Christian Resources, he handed Read more [...]
We made it! This week we released episode 100 on the Est.Church Podcast. I’ve had a ton of fun co-hosting with Micah and Josh the last couple of years, and I’m looking forward to the next 100 episodes. In this episode we share some of the highs and lows in each of our ministries. Thanks for listening!
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Follow us on Twitter: @estchurch, @jowiki, @micahfries, and @samrainer.
All churches have leadership challenges, regardless of size. Small churches are not easier to lead than large churches. Large churches are not easier to grow than small churches. But they are different. When pastors move from one size church to another, they have to adapt.
One common pastoral transition is to move from a church of fifty congregants to a church of one hundred fifty. I won’t get into whether a pastor should make this move or not. Let’s assume the move is God’s will. Read more [...]