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10 Articles that will Help your Church Make Vision Real

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Thank you for making November another great month here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real! It’s fun to stay 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 posts from this last month. If you missed out on any of them, here they are all in one place for your convenience!

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.”

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.

Should your Church spend more Energy Reaching or Keeping People?

It’s commonly said that you can tell if a church is insider-focusedor outsider-focused by how they make decisions. Do they make decisions based on whom they’re trying to keep or whom they’re trying to reach? Oh, if it were only that simple.

The Difference between Preparation and Planning

Do great organizations prepare for the future or do they plan for it? The answer is, “yes.” To be clear preparation and planning are not the same thing, and great organizations become great by doing both.

Why Teams don’t Play up to their Potential

We had a great experience going to the game. It was a great game day atmosphere, we were there with some good friends, we had good seats, ate good food, and the Arkansas fans were more than hospitable. The outcome was just disappointing. It was like the Gators were trying to phone this one in. They didn’t look like themselves. It’s like they didn’t even get off the bus! I don’t mind losing if they leave it all on the field but they just didn’t play up to their potential. Ever been a part of a team like that? A team that doesn’t play up to their potential? It happens for all kinds of reasons:

8 Reasons Why People Don’t Volunteer at your Church

I’ve never worked with a church that has said they don’t need more volunteers. But I’ve worked with a bunch of churches that have trouble getting people to volunteer and stay engaged volunteering.

Why Church Health Matters and 14 Ways to Measure it

A few years ago, Tony Morgan and The Unstuck Group set out to help pastors get a clearer understanding of the health of their churches, believing access to a better scorecard for ministry would show pastors where they were making an impact and where their churches might be stuck. That desire led to the first edition of Vital Signs. Tony has just released the 2016-2017 edition of Vital Signs: Why Church Health Matters and 14 Ways to Measure It. And here’s why I think you should grab a copy:

How your Church can Reach More Millennials 

There’s a lot of angst in the North American Church about Millennials walking away from Church. The Millennial generation is typically considered as born somewhere in the early 80’s – 2000 or so. Instead of fretting about it, the other day I sat down with some millennials to actually talk to them about their views of Church. These were some of the take aways from the conversation.

Everything is an Interview

Everything is an interview. Everything. College football players get this concept drilled into them by their coaches. They’re challenged to be proud of what they put on tape. Every Saturday they play a game and those game tapes essentially become their resume for a job interview to get to the NFL. But life is bigger than football; even for those of us who are a little obsessed by it. And in every interaction you have in life and in your work place, everything is an interview. And if you don’t view it that way, you may miss your next opportunity.

When to Add Another Worship Service at your Church

Many churches are stuck in attendance simply because they haven’t maximized their current facilities and campus. Thinking about adding another worship service at your church? Here are five strategic concepts to consider before you do. Not sure if multiple worship services are right for your church? Check out this blog on Overcoming the Fear of Moving to Multiple Worship Services.

Photo Credit: justin fain via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing, Volunteers

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How to Stop doing Ministry

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Most church leaders know that there’s a big difference between doing ministry and leading ministry. And most church leaders are quick to affirm that their calling is to lead ministry, not do ministry (equip the saints to do the work of the ministryEphesians 4:11-13). But most church leaders I talk to admit to really struggling with rising above the day-to-day grind of doing ministry.

So how do church leaders make time to work on their ministry and not get stuck working in the ministry? What are you going to do different this week that will actually help you move the ministry forward and not just get stuck in the daily grind of keeping it going? Here are a few practical ideas that will help you break up the mundane treadmill of the daily grind of ministry and help you shift your thinking

Change your Physical Environment

Go work outside, in a coffee shop, your favorite restaurant or any other space that inspires you or you enjoy. A change in scenery really can do you good. Break up the routine and turn on different parts of your brain!

Listen to Different Voices

Read authors you don’t always agree with, listen to podcasts, get around people who don’t know Jesus. Learn to listen to different voices. It will help you shift your thinking, challenge your views, and ignite new ideas.

Calendar it

A calendar is a simple tool that has the power to pull ideas out of the clouds and put them into real life. No one is in charge of your calendar but you. You either run your day or your day will run you.

Manage your Energy

Manage your energy not just your time. Think about what you spend time on that energizes you and what depletes you. Who gives you energy and who drains energy from you?

Exercise

Exercise, manage your sleep, and watch what you eat. You’ll be shocked how much better you think when you take care of yourself!

What else have you found helpful to get off the treadmill of doing ministry and actually start working on your ministry instead of getting stuck working in the ministry? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear your ideas!


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing

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Why Most Churches are Successful Failures

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Successful failure is when you successfully execute a plan that doesn’t work. You’ve planed your work and worked your plan. You’ve completed the task on time and on budget. You successfully executed the plan. The only problem is the plan didn’t work. The outcome was just wrong.

Many churches all across America are successful failures. They’re putting a lot of time and effort into doing church they way they do church only to see little to no fruit. Most churches are building something that nobody wants to be a part of. And the proof is in the fact that 80% of the nearly 400,000 churches in America are plateaued or declining.

People don’t want a class they want community

Most churches still offer classes as the primary way for people to get connected to their church. Most guests still attend a church for the first time at a weekend worship service and then they’re invited to attend a class. No matter how’s it’s branded it’s usually some form of membership or orientation class where they are provided content. Then they’re invited to another class (usually in the form of some kind of bible study) where they can get more content. People are looking for connection and community not classes or content. If people were really looking for another class to be a part of then Community Colleges across America would be overrun with a deluge of applicants.

People don’t want to be lectured they want to be changed

There are few settings outside of academia where people receive information in a lecture format anymore. People aren’t looking for another lecture. They’re looking for something real, tangible, and powerful. Does your God really have the power to change my most meaningful relationships? Can I experience real peace in life? Can my life really be different than it is today? Is there something truly spiritual about Christianity or is it just another self-help book to make my life “better?”

People don’t want to feel guilty they want to feel inspired

People are tired of coming to church and feeling guilty, shamed, preached at, spoken down to, and judged. Who would want to be a part of something like that? People want to be inspired. They want to know that there is hope. And while the Church has the most hope to offer the World, the average person in the world typically doesn’t associate “hope” and “church.” The Gospel is the most inspiring message in the history of the planet and somehow we’ve made it very unattractive.

People don’t want to be a part of something built for insiders

Let’s face it, most churches are designed by and for people who are already a part of the church. And by churches I mean the physical buildings and programs. Yes I know the church is not a building that you come to but a movement you’re a part of…but for the purpose of this conversation we’re talking about what outsiders view as the church – which are the buildings and programs. Most churches don’t match the architecture of other public space that people go to. And who wants to be a part of something where you feel like an outsider the moment you walk through the door because you don’t know the lingo, the songs (who sings songs other than happy birthday any ways), or the customs.

Don’t hear what I’m not saying. I love the Church, I’m a part of the Church, and I’m even on staff at a church. But I don’t think most churches are experiencing much success (success = life change), they’re actually failing. And what’s worse is that most churches are successful failures.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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How your Church can Reach more Millennials

There’s a lot of angst in the North American Church about Millennials walking away from Church. The Millennial generation is typically considered as born somewhere in the early 80’s – 2000 or so. Instead of fretting about it, the other day I sat down with some millennials to actually talk to them about their views of Church. These were some of the take aways from the conversation.

Invite Millennials to Community not Church

Millennials want community. They’re not as interested in being invited to the “weekend event” that we call a worship service as much as they are being invited into a real community where they can know others, be known, and have shared experiences together.

Hire Someone to Wake up everyday Thinking about Millennials

Who on staff at your church is paid to wake up every day to think about millennials? A lot of churches pay a lot of people to do a lot of different things. Is your church willing to put its money where its mouth is and actually put money into this?

Don’t Silo Millennials

Don’t start a new ministry designed to reach millennials. We’re not talking about doing youth group for young adults and segmenting them out apart from the rest of the church. Instead invite and involve them in the church. Listen to them and their ideas. Give them real responsibility, give them real opportunity to lead and influence the church.

Address their Unique Needs

Research shows that millennials are most interested in marriage, parenting, and social causes (in that order). What is your church doing to help them navigate these issues and find real answers that will help them have a fulfilling marriage, become a better parent, and engage in real social causes?

Is your church finding success reaching millennials? What are you doing that we all could learn from? Leave a comment!

Interested in learning more about reaching millennials? Pick up the eBook “Reaching and Leading Millennials” by Tony Morgan and the Unstuck Group.

Photo Credit: hahn.elizabeth34 Flickr via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing, Testimonial

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Everything is an Interview

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Everything is an interview. Everything. College football players get this concept drilled into them by their coaches. They’re challenged to be proud of what they put on tape. Every Saturday they play a game and those game tapes essentially become their resume for a job interview to get to the NFL.

But life is bigger than football; even for those of us who are a little obsessed by it. And in every interaction you have in life and in your work place, everything is an interview. And if you don’t view it that way, you may miss your next opportunity.

Scouts are Always Scouting

Talent scouts are always looking for talent. Great churches are always looking for great talent. At conferences, meals, passing conversations, simple introductions, or any opportunity to network scouts are always scouting. If you’re good at your job then people are always going to want you to come do that job with them. It never bothers me when other churches are looking at staff members on my team. They should be, they’re talented people. It bothers me when that doesn’t happen. That’s when I get nervous.

Eroding or Building your Brand

Everything you do either builds or erodes your “brand.” Every social media post you make. Every project you deliver on time, on budget, past time or over budget. If you’re a youth pastor and you get back from camp on time, or late. If you do what you say you’re going to do, or not. In every interaction you’re building a brand that certain people are attracted to and others are repelled by. Now don’t hear what I’m not saying. By no means would I endorse image management, rather I’m talking about agreeing with Jesus about who He has wired you up to be and living as the best version of your self at all times, in all settings.

Moving Up, Out, or Staying Put

With every action you take in your current job you’re either building trust with your supervisor or losing it. You’re either demonstrating that you can be given more responsibility, less responsibility, or you can handle the scope of work you’re currently at right now. The great news is you get to choose your attitude, the manner with which you approach your work, other team members, and to a great deal the results of your work.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing
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