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Why a Great Strategy Won’t Grow your Church

growth

If you know anything about me, you know that I’m a strategy guy. It’s how God has wired me up. It’s my best place in the Church. Strategy bridges the gap between where we are and where we’re going.

Mission answers the question: “Why do we exist?”
Vision answers the question: “Where are we going?”
Strategy answers the question: “How are we going to get there?”

Strategy, I believe, is the greatest missing link in a majority of churches today. The church has a great mission. Jesus picked that for us. Most churches aren’t short on vision. They have big God given dreams of what a preferred future looks like. They just don’t know how to align all of the pieces of the church and design a clear pathway to get where they want to go.

But as much as I love building and executing a great strategy. A great strategy alone won’t grow your church. And that’s because…

Love is more important than strategy

If I have the best strategy in the world but don’t have love, it’s worthless. If that’s sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because it should be. In 1 Corinthians chapter 13 the Apostle Paul writes that even though he may have incredible gifts, abilities, and do incredible God sized things…without love he says it’s literally worthless.

  • A great strategy without love is hollow, provides an empty promise, and ultimately creates a cancer that erodes your team and your church.
  • A great love without strategy is equally hollow because it doesn’t provide a pathway for action to help more people experience the love that they need.

All of that being said, if your church needs help building and executing a great strategy to get where Jesus wants you to go, I’d recommend you take a look at the Unstuck Group. These guys really are the best strategic consulting group for churches out there!


Posted in Leadership

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Why it’s Good for Ministry to be Difficult

finishline

Over the last couple of decades of full-time local church ministry, I’ve seen my fair share of difficult ministry moments. Like many of you I’ve experienced incredible wins and painful setbacks.

Anyone who’s been in local church ministry for more than 5 minutes knows that it’s not always rainbows and unicorns. Ministry can have incredibly difficult seasons and sometimes we can face what seems like insurmountable obstacles.

And that’s good…

Difficulties often force us to take a Different Direction:

When things become difficult in ministry sometimes the right thing to do is to push through and give more effort. But sometimes difficulties provide an opportunity to take a different approach and get different results. Either way, the best way to silence your critics is not to shout or fight back but to simply keep going and prove them wrong. So if you have to give more effort or take a different approach, either way, keep going!

Difficulties provide a Mirror for our Leadership:

When the lights come on and the whistle blows, and the game clock begins to tick it’s too late to practice and perfect your craft. Difficulties are a gauge for us to measure how we’re growing as a leader. Difficulties reveal our leadership capacity and effectiveness.

Difficulties help us Develop a Greater Capacity:

Often times you don’t know you can, until you do. One more mile, one more rep…one more. Everyone knows that overworking can lead to all kinds of unhealth and ultimately kill you. But people have a tendency to forget that underwork can lead to all kinds of unhealth and kill you just the same. Life change isn’t easy. The cross wasn’t easy. Difficulty is good for church leaders because it helps us develop our leadership muscle, mental toughness, and remind us to rely on the One we’re doing all of this for. Don’t give up just because it’s difficult. God can do more in you and through you than you think He can.


Posted in Leadership

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Why I Took a Month Off from Social Media

multisitescreen

It’s become a new normal for our family. For the past couple of years, each July, we take a step away from screens for the month. I don’t blog, we’re not on social media, the T.V. stays turned off, and my teenage daughters stay off their phones. They may not like it…at least for the first week or two, but they do it. And while this kind of move may not be for everyone, I’ve never regretted it. Here’s a couple of reasons why:

Distraction Free Family Time:

Instead of binge watching Netfilx or spending time on phones or tablets we actually interacted face to face with each other over family dinners, playing board games, going on walks, and other fun stuff on the family summer bucket list.

Turn down the Noise:

Screens can create a lot of added noise in our lives. Social media, texting, and video sound bites create a non-stop flurry of distractions and noise in our lives. Turning down that noise can help refocus our attention on things that have a higher priority in our lives.

Intentionality:

It’s a simple step/action that our family has decided to take each year to be intentional and place a stake in the ground, so to speak, about what’s important to us. We’ve learned that if we don’t take simple intentional steps like this we’ll end up just running through the motions and get lost in the business of 4 kids schedules.

I’m still not Convinced 24-7 Access to Screens is a good thing for my kids…

Yes, I’m that dad who has drug his feet as long as he could on getting his kids cell phones. Even though they have them (at least my High School daughters) I’m still not there. We have a consistent approach with it. No phones after dad gets home (I can’t stand phones at the dinner table) and no phones in rooms at night time. I may be a little old school, but I keep seeing articles on studies connecting cell phones to teen depression etc. I want my kids to grow up using technology not getting addicted to it.

…and if you want to know the real brains behind the idea, it was Lisa, not me who made the call on this a few years ago…glad God put her in my life…makes me a much better parent!


Posted in Family, Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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FREE WEBINAR: “How to Increase Church Engagement”


People in ministry have a lot of opinions about numbers. Many church leaders are strong believers that numbers can help give us a good snapshot of how we’ve been doing—that is if we’re looking at the right ones and looking at them the right way.

For example, we know that measuring weekend service attendance alone isn’t a true measure of church health. After all, what does the number of bodies in a building on a Sunday tell you about how well you’re…

  • reaching people outside your church’s walls?
  • encouraging people to grow as disciples? 
  • connecting with the next generation?

These are the things we really need to be talking about. Anyone can attend your service. But when people start to engage in your church, that’s when life change really starts to happen. If you’ve heard the word “church engagement” buzzing around, and you’re just not quite sure what it all means, you’re not alone. Truthfully, we’re seeing lots of pastors confused about what church engagement actually means. 

  • “How do we get more people plugged in?” 
  • “How do we get first, second and third-time guests to stay?” 
  • “Why are people leaving?” 
  • “Why are people connecting… or not?”

If you’ve found yourself thinking this way, you’re asking the right questions about church engagement. And just by asking these questions, you’re headed in the right direction. In the last 10 years, The Unstuck Group has helped nearly 400 churches assess ministry health and become more effective at reaching new people outside the walls of the church, as well as engaging the people they already have.

So, in an effort to bring some clarity to church leaders that are struggling here, our team is hosting a free conversation that we want you and your ministry friends to be apart of. 

Tony Morgan and some of our consulting team will share what we’re learning about church engagement in a free webinar—

How to Increase Church Engagement. 

For the first 45 minutes, we’ll walk you through what we’ve learned serving the churches we’ve served, and if you have specific questions that you’d like to talk through, we’ve set aside 15 minutes at the end to make sure you’re getting the answers you need.

By joining us, you can expect to learn—

  • The 2 types of church engagement you need to monitor
  • What the data tells us about the state of church engagement today
  • Why you need a digital engagement strategy for a healthy “front door”
  • How to know if you’re winning with engagement

Get a clear understanding on what church engagement really means and how to take steps to increase it. 

You’re not behind the curve just yet. 

Register now! It’s free.


Posted in Leadership

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Introducing “Multisite Unstuck” the Newest Online Course from the Unstuck Group

Without a Clear Strategy, Going Multisite Will Get You Multistuck.

When you originally went multisite, I know you started expanding campuses with the desire to reach more people for Jesus.

But, adding campuses adds complexity to your ministry. Strategies that are supposed to help you engage more people, maximize resources and eliminate space constraints can instead knot things up in multiple areas of the ministry.

This shouldn’t keep us from expanding, but if you want to effectively multiply your church’s impact, reaching more people in more places, we have to prepare to do multisite well.

If you find yourself feeling stuck, you’re not the only multisite church feeling like this. And the good news? There IS a way forward.

I am so excited to announce our newest online course
Multisite Unstuck.

Our team has 100+ years of combined experience leading in effective multisite churches. We wanted to leverage that experience and help churches across the country get unstuck through this online course.

In this course, you can expect to gain—

  • Tools for clarifying decision rights, choosing locations, and building volunteer strength for campus launches.
  • Clarity on the multisite mindset and gaps your church has in fully adopting it.
  • A plan to reduce the tension that tends to develop between central ministry and campus leaders.
  • A process to right-size staff and volunteer teams based on the size of your multisite campuses.
  • Tools for evaluating the campus pastor role and setting Campus Pastors up for success.
  • Best practices for multisite models and for structuring your team.
  • Strategies for improving internal and external communication… and more.

And the best part? It’s all on your own time. It’s all formatted to work with your busy schedule. It gives tangible next steps that help you implement your learnings in your unique context.

We’re seeing more and more multisite churches unintentionally find themselves at the point of “un-multisiting,” with senior pastors finding themselves thinking, “How did we get here?”

I want to encourage you to be proactive. Leaders see stuckness first—and they get things moving again.

Follow this link to learn more!


Posted in Leadership
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