0

The 5 Most Important Indicators of a Healthy Church

growth

Numbers can be overwhelming. I’ve seen churches keep numbers and measure all kinds of things. First time guests, returning guests, empty parking stalls during services, kids attendance, student attendance, short-term mission trip participation, first time givers, on and on the list goes…literally. None of these (or other categories not listed) are necessarily bad things to measure. In fact in totality they can help you gain understanding as to which direction things are moving at your church. The thing is, there are a lot of things you could measure, a lot of things you could pay attention to. But what are the most important things to pay attention to? I know some people will disagree with me, but based on my experience working with churches around the country, and being a guy that’s in the trenches day to day at a local church, the 5 most important numbers to keep a pulse on are the following.

1. Baptisms

You can measure first time guests and the number of people who say yes to following Jesus (and you should); but the most important number to measure in all of that is baptisms, because the other two numbers are wrapped up in the number of people being baptized at your church. And after all, this is the whole point of the church to help people follow Jesus, and a public declaration of that intent is a huge part of that process.

2. Volunteers

The number of unique volunteers you have serving at your church tells you two really important things. First it tells you who is with you. Who is bought into the vision of where you believe Jesus is uniquely leading your church. After all in today’s’ world it’s a lot easier to give some money than it is to give time. These are all-in people. It also helps you identify and develop potential leaders in your church, because volunteering is discipleship. You can’t follow Jesus without learning to live an others oriented life!

3. Groups

Simply put life-change happens best in groups…in the context of friendships, because after all what we are being discipled to when we follow Jesus, is friendship with Jesus. This is where people “work out” their belief system and begin to change their thinking. This number gives you an indicator of the number of people who are being discipled and moving towards what Jesus wants them to become.

4. Giving

You cannot follow Jesus without giving and serving. Giving is an indicator of the level of buy-in people have in the direction you’re moving as a church. Healthy churches have a strategy to help their people become more generous. Not because they want something from them, but because they want something for them. They want them to look and live like Jesus. They aren’t simply teaching or telling their people to give, there is a holistic strategy to help them move towards becoming generous like Jesus.

5. Attendance

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? It may be simple but attendance numbers matter. Numbers count because people count. Every number has a name and every name has a story. The goal of the Gospel movement, called the Church, that Jesus started was not that it would get smaller and less influential, but rather that it would become a movement that would go to the ends of the Earth!

Interested in discovering how healthy your church is? Take the step to engage the Unstuck Group in a comprehensive Ministry Health Assessment of your church!

Photo Credit: griseldangelo1 via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Volunteers

2

Building an Effective Central Services Team in a Multisite Church Model

multiple

If you’re leading in a multisite church or if you’re thinking about becoming a multisite church, at some point you’re going to have to make some big decisions about the role of your Central Service Team. Somewhere along the way you’re going to be faced with building a Central Service Team, Ministry Development Team or All Campus Staff Team…different churches attach a different label to it. But essentially it’s a centralized team of people tasked with supporting decentralized campuses that are geographically separated. Think of it as a matrix leadership model. The Central Service Team influences each campus while the Campus Pastors are responsible for the ministry on each of their respective campuses. Through learning from other great friends in the multisite world and facing this personally in the context I lead in, there are four (4) healthy perspectives of a great Central Services Team that I’ve discovered.

1. Content:

This team ensures that content is the same across campuses. This includes teaching on the stage during the weekend services, as well as content for Children’s Ministry, Student Ministry, Small Groups and so on. One of the powerful benefits of a multisite model is that great teaching can be delivered to each campus no matter their size or location. Instead of taking time to “recreate the wheel,” specific campus staff can focus their attention on leading volunteers, developing the ministries, and shepherding the congregation.

2. Consistency:

The Central Service Team is also tasked with working to make sure that ministry best practices are consistent on each campus. One of the other great strengths of a multisite model is the opportunity it brings to replicate learnings from innovation. As you launch new campuses in new communities you’re going to face unforeseen obstacles. Those obstacles will force you to innovate, and every campus will have the opportunity to benefit from it. Consistent ministry practice will allow you to ramp up efficiency, drive down cost, and allow newer campuses to learn from the mistakes of others who have gone before them.

3. Communication:

As you have more and more campuses, communication will have the tendency to become more and more difficult. That’s where your Central Service Team comes into play. They have the opportunity to develop the processes to keep everyone on the same page. Whether it’s the business department, the weekend worship team, kids ministry, small group, or missions. This team uses cascading communication strategies to help everyone stay on the same page, moving the same direction.

4. Consultant & Coach:

There are a couple of characteristics you’re looking for in a Central Services Team Member. But one of the most valuable to me is the ability to take on the posture of a coach or a consultant and to know when to do which. A consultant offers expert outside input and allows the individual to choose to implement or not. The consultant is not responsible for the implementation. Great coaches can see things the player can’t see while they’re on the field and they help the player break down game film and get better. It’s more hands on than consulting. Either way great consultants get invited back and recommended to others while players keep coming back to great coaches for input on their game. That’s what I’m looking for. People whose input and presence are welcomed by campus staff.

Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

0

7 Articles that will Help your Church Make Vision Real

viewfinder

Thank you for making April an incredible month here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real! It’s great staying connected with you through social media and hearing that these articles have been helpful. So, thank you for connecting with me through the content on this blog! You made these the top 7 Posts from this last month. If you missed out on any of them, here they are all in one place for your convenience!

#1 5 Reasons Churches don’t Grow

Thom Rainer, President and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources has stated in his research that: “Eight out of ten of the approximately 400,000 churches in the United States are declining or have plateaued.” While there are all kinds of reasons that churches end up stuck, at the Unstuck Group we’ve identified 5 key contributors that lead to churches being stuck. Through working with churches across America we’ve observed these contributors over and over and over again. You can click on the headings in this post to learn more about each of the 5 key reasons that churches get stuck.

#2 A Large Multisite Church in Phoenix is Hiring a Children’s Pastor

I’m pleased to announce a new Staff Search. Sun Valley Community Church, the church I have the honor of serving at, is beginning a national search for a Children’s Pastor to serve on our Tempe Campus.

#3 5 Mistakes that Fast Growing Churches Make

If you’ve been in ministry for any length of time you know that momentum won’t always be on your side, growth won’t always be taking place, and things won’t always be up and to the right. Often momentum is lost when things are at their best because churches don’t know how to behave when things are going well. In fact below are the 5 biggest mistakes I’ve seen fast growing churches make.

#4 Why Structure is Not the Goal

If you’ve ever experienced a season of ministry like this you know how fun it can be. Churches during this phase of growth often hear people say things like, “There’s just something about this place.” They’re experiencing success, they’re just not exactly sure why. Even staff members sit back and watch it at moments hoping to ride the wave of momentum and not get in the way and mess it up.

Inevitably someone comes along and identifies the fact that we can’t operate like a “Mom & Pop” organization anymore. It could be the Board, the Pastor, or a trusted senior level Staff Member. But eventually someone will say something like; “We need to set up the proper structures to help us move past the chaos and into the future.”

#5 10 Insider Focused Ministry Names

The language we choose to use is important because it both reflects and builds culture at the same time. And one of the most obvious ways to tell if a church is insider focused or outsider focused is the language that they choose to use. It either says that the church is “inclusive” or “exclusive.”

#6 Stop Paying People to do Ministry

As they grow, many churches eagerly anticipate the moment when they’re finally big enough that they can afford to hire more staff and offer more ministry options for people. For example I’ve heard churches say they can’t wait to hire a Men’s Ministry Pastor. Nothing against Men’s Ministry per se, but that’s an expensive model. If you run it out to its logical end you’re going to have a lot of people on your payroll. Paying people to “do” ministry instead of “lead” ministry is an expensive mistake that many churches fall into. Here are 3 principles that will help you focus the Staffing & Volunteer philosophy at your church.

#7 How many People should your Church have on Staff?

Before you buy into the idea that you need another staff person at your church, think again. That just may be the worst decision you make at your church this year. It’s not uncommon in churches that I work with to hear them say, “We need to add more staff.” After all if there are problems or areas where the church is stuck then throwing staff at that problem will surely fix it…right? Well, not always. In fact the opposite may be true. In fact the most effective churches that I see have a tendency to hire fewer staff not more staff. They hire more competent team members who have the ability to turn attenders into volunteers, volunteers into leaders, and build teams. Instead of paying people to do ministry they pay people to lead others to do ministry.

Photo Credit: justin fain via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

0

New Staff Search: A Large Church in Phoenix is looking for a new Lead Pastor

I’m pleased to announce a new Staff Search! I’m helping Harvest Community Church as they begin the search for their new Lead Pastor. Harvest was planted in August of 2009 and originally met in a movie theater. They later moved to Skyline High School for a period of time before settling into a permanent facility in 2012. Today, just 5 years in existence, they average more than 650 people in weekend attendance! Located just one mile north of a new large residential community and a mile off of the 202 highway, Harvest is positioned for growth!

Harvest Community Church sincerely desires to be a Biblical community of people that seeks God’s leading for their lives. They believe this happens best when we connect ourselves to God, His purpose, and others. Harvest exists to connect people to God and to give them an increasingly accurate view of God while moving them to be wholehearted followers of Jesus Christ. Simply put, Harvest wants to help people connect with Jesus, grow in Jesus, and go for Jesus.

Lee Stephenson, the founding pastor, is leaving Harvest Community Church in a place of health as he has transitioned to be the next Executive Director of Church Planting for Converge Worldwide. The location, finances, growth, mission, and staff team are all great reasons that make this a very attractive opportunity for interested candidates. Harvest is affiliated with Converge Worldwide, “A movement of churches working together to start and strengthen more churches.”

Located in Southeast Mesa, a suburb of Phoenix, AZ, Harvest is set against the beautiful backdrop of the Superstition Mountains. The facility is located in a new and growing community. The area boasts beautiful outdoor living including biking, hiking, equestrian trails and other recreational activities. The community is also convenient to shopping, golfing, and resorts. With its proximity to Phoenix, this opportunity provides all the benefits of small town living with the appeal and amenities that come from being close to a major city.

The next Lead Pastor at Harvest Community Church will be a gifted and dynamic communicator of God’s Word. They will highly value both strong biblical exposition as well as practical application in their teaching. They will have a passion and ability to make the truths of the scripture relevant to those exploring the faith, as well as challenging devoted followers of Jesus, leading people to experience and follow Jesus. They will have received a formal biblical education that has prepared them for pastoral ministry (seminary is preferred), have a clear spiritual calling to the role of Lead Pastor, and meet the biblical qualification for eldership expressed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Multi-site and/or church-planting experience is a plus. In addition, they will have had 10+ years of church leadership experience with relevant experience in a large church (1,000+). The next Lead Pastor at Harvest will not only be an excellent communicator of God’s Word but also pastor the congregation and cast inspirational and actionable vision for the future. They will be a high capacity leader with a proven track record of developing others and have the ability to work with the high capacity lay and staff leaders on the team.

Interested parties should submit their resume here via email.


Posted in Staffing

0

5 Essential Tests for Churches who want to Grow

You may have heard that 90% of the 300,000 churches in America run 350 or fewer in attendance and that the average church size is 75 attendees (from Duke University’s National Congregations Study).

We know that thousands of pastors who want to reach more people with the love of Jesus can’t pinpoint exactly what’s holding their churches back. We’ve found that small and rural churches face some specific challenges for growth, and we want to start a conversation with you about those challenges and how to overcome them.

So, The Unstuck Group is partnering up with Church Community Builder to offer a free webinar to help you figure out why your church isn’t growing.

On Wednesday, May 13 at 1 p.m. EST, Tony Morgan, Mark Meyer, Steve Caton and Ty Bean will share some of the essentials to church growth they’ve witnessed firsthand while working with small and rural churches across the nation. There will even be time allotted for Q&A.

Follow this link to register and save your spot. Space is limited


Posted in Leadership
Page 1 of 11512345»102030...Last »