You’ve Got to be Stupid to take that Job!


Thinking about taking a new job? Think twice, because you’ve got to be stupid to take that job. And I mean it. There’s a special blend of arrogance and naivety needed to take a new job, especially in church-world.

Arrogance: To believe that you can actually be the one and only special person to walk in the room and change things.

Naivety: To cover up for the fact that you can’t possibly know everything you’re actually getting ready to get yourself into.

There are quite a few biblical characters that demonstrated this same special blend of arrogance and naivety. A couple in particular come to mind.

Joseph was naive enough to share a dream that he had about his brothers bowing down to him. It came off a bit arrogant and he ended up getting beat up and sold into slavery by those same brothers. Then after a while God would use him to save the entire group of people (there weren’t many yet) that would end up being the nation of Israel.

David was arrogant and naive enough to walk onto the battlefield with Goliath. He carried an attitude that cried, “Well of course my God is big enough to do this. What’s wrong with the rest of you guys, why are you afraid?” It came off as complete arrogance.

 Peter was naive enough to act first and think second on many accounts, not least of which was getting out of the boat in the middle of a storm to walk to Jesus on the water. Yea, good thinking Peter.

It takes a bit of stupid faith to follow Jesus, a special blend of arrogance and naivety. Make sure you’ve got it before you say yes to your next church job.

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Posted in Leadership, Staffing


Church Shopping: Find What You’re Looking For


People church shop. Like it or not when people look for a church they typically go on a bit of a shopping spree to find what they’re looking for. Comparing and measuring teaching, worship style, facilities, kids ministry, general vibe…the list goes on and on. Week after week they walk on church properties with a mental scorecard looking for that special feeling that says, “You’re home.” So here’s how to find what you’re looking for when you’re church shopping.

Worship Style

One of the first things people check out when they come to your church is the music. “Does it give me the goose bumps or make me want to cringe?” But we need to be asking less about the music style and more about what the music is moving people towards. Now I’m not saying that quality doesn’t matter, rather the direction the music moves people matters more. Is it moving people towards Jesus or liking your church? They’re not always the same thing.

Mission & Vision

Most people are looking for a church that cares about what they care about. In other words, will the church support their vision and what they’re passionate about pursuing in life? When church shopping check your vision at the door and see if you can buy into and support the vision of the church first.

Kids & Student Ministries

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard church shoppers make a decision on a church based on the kids or student ministries. Your kids are important and they should be considered in any decision like this. But how often do you allow your kids to lead and make major decisions for the family?


Teaching is a big deal when it comes to church shopping. Did I like the pastor, did I like their presentation, their approach, are they likeable, and so on. Teaching isn’t just about entertainment. Albeit entertainment matters and so does likeability, it’s just a starting point though. The right question to ask: “Is the teaching helpful?” Does it help you move towards Jesus and following Him more closely? Or is it just entertaining?

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Posted in Creative Arts, Leadership


The Difference between Politics and Leadership


If you’ve ever served on a church staff team, if you’ve ever volunteered at a high level in a church, or frankly if you’ve just simply been around church-world for a while you know that churches can be very political. I don’t mean political in the sense of Republican or Democrat, although some churches go down that road too. I mean political in the sense that if you want to get something done it’s all about who you know, who you align yourself with, or what you can offer others in exchange for their support. In short, church politics can be damaging to people in the church, the perception that people outside the church have of Jesus and His followers, and to the mission of Jesus to reconcile the people of the planet to the purposes of God.


Key Word = Confrontation
Leaders confront reality and the status qua with a picture of what should be and a preferred future. They courageously make difficult decisions and are willing to suffer loss for the sake of the mission. Leadership is motivated by what’s best for the organization, not what’s best for an individual or even the leader themselves.


Key Work = Manipulation
People who play politics are motivated by selfish ambition, seeing their dreams come true and advancing their position or status. They want something from people, not for them. Because they lack the experience, character, or gifting to lead; the only tactic they’re left with to get where they want to go is manipulation.

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Posted in Leadership


Get Your Church Staff & Org Structure Unstuck


Do you feel like your team is achieving its full potential?

Staffing and structure is an area of ministry that The Unstuck Group (the consulting group I’m a part of) is consistently asked about. Regardless of a church’s size or success, few leaders feel like they fully have the right people in the right seats. We want to get church staffing and structure unstuck. We believe that the quality of the team significantly impacts a church’s level of impact. And we’re ready to see your staff start running on all cylinders. That’s why we’re partnering with Vanderbloemen Search Group to seek better solutions.

We need new truths about church staffing and structure. Conventional answers to church staffing problems don’t seem to be cutting it. Today’s challenges will only be overcome by new truths about staffing. Here are a few of the questions we’re looking to answer:

  • Where do growing churches find new staff members?
  • How does the size and health of a senior leadership team impact the effectiveness of a church?
  • Are larger or smaller churches more efficient with staffing?
  • How does a church’s structure affect its growth or decline?
  • In multisite churches, what is the most effective staff structure?

We need your help. To uncover new truths, we must explore new research. If you are on a church staff, your experience is vital to this initiative. Will you take the next 8 minutes to complete a short survey? When you do, you’ll earn free early-access to everything we discover. We’re excited to see what happens when churches across the nation get their staff and structure unstuck!

Click to take the Staffing and Structure Survey

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Posted in Staffing


How Much Should Your Church Pay Your Pastor?

A couple of years ago I wrote a post called, “How Much Should We Pay Our Pastor,” that went on to become a pretty popular post, primarily because most churches have no idea what a fair compensation package is for their pastor or any member of their church staff. Fortunately for Churches seeking to answer this question some new data has just been released this week!

The 2014 Large Church Salary Report conducted by Leadership Network in partnership with the Vanderbloemen Executive Search Firm has just been released to the public. The largest survey of its kind ever conducted, 727 churches of over 1,000 people in attendance from 42 states and Canada participated to provide more information and more specific information than ever before available. Follow this link to get your hands on a copy of the survey results! Here are a couple of facts that caught my eye along with the top 10 findings info-graphic below.

  • The larger the church the younger it is. In other words, churches in the 1,000-person range have on average been around for about 40 years. Churches in the 10,000-person range on average have been around about 25 years.
  • The younger the church, the more likely it is to be multisite.
  • 74% of large churches are growing.
  • One of the things I really liked about the way Leadership Network chose to show the information was that they showed the 25%, 50% (or median), and 75% instead of simply showing the average. These numbers offer better benchmarks because they minimize the influence of extremely high or low salaries.

Related Resources:

  1. Interested in a Custom Compensation Analysis by Vanderbloemen Search Firm
  2. Interested in a Compensation Study done for churches under 1,000?

Posted in Leadership, Staffing
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