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10 Articles that will Help Your Church Make Vision Real

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Thank you for starting the year off great and making January 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!

Overcoming Leadership Lids of Competency and Character 

If you lead long enough, eventually you’re going to hit a leadership lid. It happens when you reach your capacity in a particular area. But what you do next has the potential to make or break your leadership future. Ignore it, deny it, make excuses about it, or refuse to acknowledge and deal with it and you’ll undermine your impact. Face reality and you’ll create a window of opportunity to grow and break through your leadership lid.

8 Keys to Changing your Church in 2017

Most church leaders I’ve talked with want things to change for the better, they want this year to be better than last year, but they don’t want to do anything different. People always want to change their circumstances, but they never want to change their lives. But everything gets better when we get better. Families get better when fathers and mothers get better. Students get better when educators get better. Organizations get better when leaders get better. And churches get better when church leaders get better. But change is painful. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. It’s always easier and more comfortable to stay where you are than to change and move forward.

Why I Love Working at Sun Valley Community Church

When I was a freshman in High School I prayed a prayer, begging God to let me to be a part of helping thousands of people meet Him. It’s crazy to think that all of these years later God is answering those prayers. Every year at Sun Valley Community Church we share wins from the previous year of ministry and I thought I’d share them with you. I hope this is encouraging to you, inspires you, and prompts you to pray for the ministry of Sun Valley.

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.

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.

How to get People to Follow You

Leadership can be a funny thing. It’s more than just influence. And while anyone can learn leadership principles the Bible teaches us that leadership is a spiritual gift. The easiest way to tell if you have the spiritual gift of leadership is to look and see if people are following you. But how do you get people to follow you?

10 Signs your Church is Headed for Decline

What if there were early warning signs (flashing lights on the dashboard) that helped indicate that trouble was ahead? In my experience Coaching Church Leaders and Consulting with Churches across the country I’ve seen the following 10 indicators of an impending decline over and over again.

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.

6 Keys to Selecting your Next Multisite Location

This past weekend Sun Valley Community Church (the church I have the honor of serving at) just launched their 5th location with over 2,000 people attending one of the three services! It was a successful initial launch but now the hard work begins. If your church is thinking about embracing a multisite strategy here are a few things you should consider when selecting your next location.

[Webinar Replay} Leading Change: 3 Shifts for Health and Growing Churches in 2017

Monday I had some fun hanging out with my friends Tony Morgan, as well as Carey Nieuwhof, and Gabe Kolstad from The Unstuck Group‘s consultant team, for a webinar about one of my favorite topics: leading change. We specifically dug into three big church changes that more than 600 pastors told us were the most important onesthey wanted to lead in 2017.

Photo Credit: justin fain via Compfight cc


Posted in Creative Arts, Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing, Testimonial, Volunteers

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Top Posts of 2016 #5 “Why People Volunteer at some Churches but not at Others”

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We’re half way through counting down the top 10 Church Leadership Posts here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real and #5 checks in with a post about volunteers, a topic that too many churches struggle with.

Ever notice that a lot of churches feel like a spectator sport? You know, the kind of place where people sit around watching the paid staff do everything. The average church in America engages around 45% of their average adult and student attendance in some kind of volunteer role (check out the Unstuck Group Health Assessment for more info like this). But there are those churches that are above average. The top 10% of churches somehow seem to break all the normal statistics and engage more than 70% of their average adult and student attendance in some kind of volunteer role. Here are a couple of things they do different.

#1 High Challenge

They don’t just make an announcement, they don’t just ask, they don’t simply provide the opportunity to serve, these churches challenge people to serve. What comes natural to us is ourselves and these churches combat self-oriented thinking with a high challenge to put faith into action by serving others. They know that you can not serve God without serving people.

#2 Flexibility

Ever notice that people are busy? Most people don’t have hours and hours per week to volunteer at your church. Churches that engage the most volunteers understand this and they are flexible. They don’t’ require volunteers to be involved in everything, instead they invite them to be involved in what they can be.

#3 Fewer Paid Staff

These churches actually have fewer staff, not more staff. Instead of paying people to do ministry they pay staff to lead volunteers. Churches that get stuck loading up on staff end up dealing with the unintended consequences of having staff doing everything and church attenders watching them instead of joining them.

#4 Say Thank You

It’s so simple to say thank you, but so few churches actually do it. I’m not talking about saying thank you from the stage (although that’s not a bad start), but in a personal face-to-face conversation, a handwritten note, or even walking through the kids ministry area during service and popping your head into each kids ministry classroom and saying thank you in the moment.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Volunteers

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Top Posts of 2016 #9 “Where there’s a Huddle there’s a Team”

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I’m counting down my Top 10 most popular blog posts from 2016 and one of the topics I write about that gets the most traction is building and developing volunteer teams. Here’s one that focuses one small practice that can make a really big deal at your church.

How do you know if the volunteer teams at your church are really working? I don’t mean are they getting stuff done and meeting objectives, I mean are they developing people. After all the point of building volunteer teams at your church isn’t just to use people to accomplish objectives but rather to create opportunities and relationships to develop people.

Team huddles are one of the most overlooked opportunities by many church staff, and yet they are one of the easiest tactics to implement and they bear a disproportionate amount of fruit.

Simply put where there’s a team there’s a huddle. No huddle…no team. So go looking for huddles at your church. If you don’t see any you may be using people instead of developing them.

Team huddles are evidence of…

Leadership

When you see a team huddle that means someone is leading. Someone is getting the team together and calling the plays.

Planning

When you see a team huddle you can rest assured that someone is doing some planning. They’re sharing that plan with the team and helping everyone know how they’re going to accomplish what they’re going to accomplish that day.

Coordination

When you see a team huddle you can know that people are working together in a coordinated fashion. Yes someone has planed the plays and called the plays but it takes everyone blocking the right scheme, picking up their individual assignments, running the right routes, and putting the ball where it needs to go at the right time for the team to win. That’s called coordination.

Development

You know people are being developed when you see a team huddle. Tasks are being delegated and people are being empowerment to make decisions. Responsibility is being shared and young growing leaders are learning to build trust.

Encouragement

You can know that people are being encouraged when you see team huddles. People are celebrating what was accomplished on the last play and individuals on the team are being called out and honored for doing a great job.

If your church isn’t using team huddles try having each volunteer team start and end with a huddle using the tactics above. Try it for 30 days…you may be surprised by the results.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing, Volunteers

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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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10 Articles that will Help Your Church Make Vision Real

viewfinder

Thank you for making September 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.”

What Growing Churches do Differently

It’s not faith, it’s not luck, and it’s not some leadership secret. Growing churches are actually doing something differently than the other 80% of churches in America that are stuck or declining. At the Unstuck Group we work with 100’s of churches every year and we’ve discovered that growing churches are actually doing some very tangible things differently than other churches. Below are just a few of them.

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.

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.

Stop Blaming your Team for Underperforming 

If you’ve ever managed a team you know how easy it is to grow frustrated when individuals on the team don’t perform well and the team doesn’t get the results you’re looking for. Unfortunately when things go wrong, the first place most leaders and managers look to place blame is on the team. Don’t hear what I’m not saying. Sometimes someone on the team doesn’t do their job and things fail. But the team should be the last place you look to place blame. The first place you should look to place blame is on yourself. When things go wrong on your team, keep the following principles in mind:

Hope is Not a Strategy

Hoping things will get better at your church won’t help things actually get better at your church. In fact the opposite may actually be true.

Church Leadership and the Illusion of Control

Church leaders are supposed to be the best kind of leaders, right? Caring, humble, courageous, strong, and selfless. The term controlling probably wouldn’t make a top-10-list of attributes to describe the ideal church leader. Now I know you’re not a control freak, I mean you’re way to godly for that. But if you’re on a church staff I’m sure you’ve served with a control freak at some point. And control freaks are dangerous, especially in the church.

Why More People Don’t Meet Jesus at your Church

One of the things we’ve learned through our experience and research at theUnstuck Group is that churches in America are only baptizing around 5% of their weekend attendance on average annually. In other words a church of 500 is seeing an average of 25 people take the step to be publicly baptized on an annual basis. We can do better than that. We must do better than that. But it is going to take facing down these big 5 issues that prevent more people from meeting Jesus at your church.

Tearing Down Leadership Idols in the Church

A quick Google search on “Church Leadership” will turn up literally over 170 million links. That’s a lot of content to dig into on church leadership. For all of the talk about church leadership out there today it sure seems that the church is pretty leadership poor. I know some folks down in Texas that would say that churches have a bad case of “big hat, no cattle.” Another way to say it would be that churches are all talk and no action when it comes to leadership.

How your Church can Produce More Leaders

Leadership scarcity is one of the most significant lids that prevent growth in churches today. While many churches are providing great leadership content and training in the form of conferences, classes, or coaching groups few are actually producing more leaders. There is more to developing leaders than providing good leadership content. It doesn’t happen without these 5 key underpinnings. 

Photo Credit: justin fain via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing, Volunteers
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