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Why I Took a Month Off from Social Media

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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How to get a Promotion at your Church Staff Job

I’ve met a lot of young ministry staff members who have expressed interest in having more responsibility, more authority, and more influence in the churches they’re leading in. They think they’re ready for a promotion. If they don’t get the promotion that they think they deserve, it can become a catalyst to them leaving their church and trying to take their next step in leadership somewhere else.

But here’s the deal…some are ready…and some aren’t

While this list isn’t exhaustive, if you can tackle these 6 behaviors you’ll be well on your way to your next promotion!

Show Up Early

In an age where everyone gets a participation trophy and people think they deserve a raise or a promotion for simply doing the basic minimum at their job, showing up early is a simple but powerful tool in your arsenal. If you show up early and ready to roll you will stand out and be noticed.  Work ethic matters more than you think it does. Every employer is looking for team members that are personally motivated and ready to tackle the day ahead. These kinds of people stand out. Do you?

Do What You Said You Would Do

This one may seem blatantly obvious, but I’m pointing it out because it just isn’t anymore. If you want to get a promotion one day, then learn the art of follow through today. Develop the reputation of coming through and delivering on what you said you would deliver on, when you said it would be delivered. People who talk more than they get results don’t get promoted.

Approach Your Day with a Good Attitude

You can’t play a good game with a bad attitude. Your attitude is a small thing that makes a big difference in the way you approach your work and the way you affect the team you’re on. People who have bad attitudes rarely get promoted. Make the choice to have a better attitude today and you’ll take a step towards getting that promotion tomorrow.

Bring Solutions Instead of Problems

Your supervisor isn’t looking for you to bring them more problems. They have enough. If you bring them enough problems frequently enough they’ll quickly start asking themselves and you, “Why did I hire you if I have to do your job as well as my own?” Instead, when you run into a problem you need help with, identify the problem but then provide 3 viable solutions that your supervisor can offer input on. This will communicate that you are solution oriented, value their input, and you’ll begin to learn how your supervisor thinks and wants problems solved.

Master the Standard

You’re not going to be promoted if you can’t deliver the “industry average.” If the average growing church in America runs around 20% kids and 10% students but the kids or student ministry you are leading is lagging behind that, it’s going to be tough to warrant a promotion. Especially if the demographic of the community you’re in has plenty of kids, students and families in it. You can find “industry standard” metrics provided FREE by the Unstuck Group by following this link. Start by getting to average then grow from there. Remember, average performers rarely get promoted.

Learn to Develop Other People

One of the first things that I personally look for in ministry staff members who I’m looking to promote (after they master the standard), is their ability to develop other people. Do people want to follow them? Have they actually led people somewhere or do they just try to keep them happy? Do they just delegate tasks or do they actually empower them with authority? Are the people around them actually “getting better?” Have they demonstrated the ability to lead and coach difficult people? If you learn to actually develop other people you’re going to be well on your way to getting that promotion you’re after.


Posted in Leadership

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How to Build a Problem-Solving Culture at your Church

The best ideas don’t always come from where you think they come from.

In the Church we tend to hire professional pastors who are supposed have all of the answers. After all pastors go to seminary to learn theology and all kinds of good stuff about the Bible and how to teach it. The very nature of the structure lends itself to people thinking pastors have the answers. But guess what? We don’t. We may have some of the answers and even a few good ideas from time to time, but we don’t have all of the answers and we certainly don’t have the best ideas in the room.

The best ideas typically come from people who are closest to the problem.

So, for all of you who want to lead in a big church here’s one of the unfortunate implications of that statement. The larger the church is that you serve at and the more removed you are from day to day interaction with volunteers and people who attend your church, the more likely it is you have no idea what the best ideas are, in fact you probably don’t even know what the biggest problems are.

But your culture needs to allow ideas to flow up, input to be given and problems to be solved. Many churches never come to close to identifying or solving their biggest problems because their culture won’t allow it.

Here’s a few ideas about how you can start changing that.

1. Ask Good Questions

Asking instead of telling can quickly shift the culture of a team. Telling people what to do actually keeps them from learning to problem solve and think for themselves. Even if you have a strong opinion and you think your idea is the right idea, exercise restraint and start asking questions like, “What do you think we should do?,” “What do you think is best for our church?,” and “Is what we’re doing actually working?”

2. Push Decisions Down

If low level decisions consistently get escalated to high levels, then you’ve got a culture that is preventing you from solving problems. People are afraid to do the wrong thing, so they are escalating everything for input. Start to refuse to make decisions on things that you know others should be deciding on (otherwise you’ll train everyone to come to you for every decision). Do you have to make this decision?

3. Do Something About It

If you ask for input and then don’t actually do anything about it, you are training people not to answer you. If all you ever do is listen to problems, identify problems or talk about problems, the biggest problem you may have is a lack of courage to act.

4. Allow People to Make Mistakes

Each of my four kids can walk. I know that may not impress many of you, but there was a time when they were younger they could only crawl. When they got old enough and strong enough they would pull themselves up using a piece of furniture and attempt to take a step or two. They always failed. Every single one of them failed. There were some bumps and bruises and painful crash landings. But they’d get back up and try again. My wife and I would sit a few feed away from them and literally cheer them on. We’d tell them how proud of them we were for taking one lousy little step. You get where this is going. If you want to build a problem-solving culture in your church, you’ve got to cheer on little steps, little failures, and all of the moments they get back up and try again. Demeaning them won’t help them walk.


Posted in Leadership
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