Tag Archive - focused

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3 Reasons Big Churches Keep Getting Bigger

Recently Leadership Network published an article in which they shared the following research about megachurches (a Protestant congregation with 2,000 or more weekly attendees – both adults and children):

  • In 1970 there were less than 25 megachurches in all of North America
  • In 1983 there were less than 100 megachurches in the United States
  • Today there are more than 1,650 megachurches in North America (roughly 1,625 in the United States and 25 in Canada)

All of that means this past weekend of those who went to a Protestant Church in North America, 1 out of 10 went to a megachurch. The megachurch phenomenon of recent history doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. In fact it seems to be growing, even outside of North America big churches are getting bigger. But why?

1. Directional Leadership

There is a shift in thinking that is happening. No longer are pastors simply seen as someone who cares for the flock through providing counseling, marrying, burying, and preaching nice messages that educate people. Rather, more than any time in the history of the church, pastors are beginning to view themselves as directional leaders tasked to move the people of God (the church) from where they are, to where they need to be. Large churches have a tendency to be Staff-led as opposed to Committee-led. They also view leadership as a spiritual gift and build a culture to develop and nurture that gift in others.

2. Organizational Alignment

The larger the church, generally speaking the more focused it is. They know what they do well and what they don’t do well and they play to their strengths. They’ve actually clarified their purpose and as a result they’ve been able to simplify their processes and organize their staffing, budgeting, calendaring, ministries, discipleship strategies, and behaviors around that purpose.

3. Outsider Focused

Large churches fundamentally believe they exist to reach people outside of the faith. They don’t believe the church is for Christians, but the church is Christians and they exist for people who are not here yet. As a result everything they do from style in the worship services and other ministry environments to language that is chosen, guest services and way finding is done with the outsider in mind. They consistently make choices based on who they are going to reach, not who they are going to keep.

What are some other reasons you think large churches keep getting larger? And what keeps small churches small? I’d love to hear your thoughts…leave a comment!


Posted in Leadership

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Top 5 Posts from March

Thank you for making the month of March a great month on Helping Churches Make Vision Real! You made these the top 5 Posts from this last month. If you missed out on any of them, here they are all in one nice tidy little spot for your convenience!

#1 3 Reasons People don’t Give to Your Church

A few months back I did a series of posts on 6 big ideas about “Engaging the Givers in your Church.” And just like there are real actionable steps that churches can take to engage givers, there are also things that churches do to repel givers. More often than not they’re doing these things and they don’t even know it. In this post I walked through three guaranteed generosity killers that are running rampant in churches today.

#2 6 Indicators You’re Leading an Insider Focused Church

How do you know if you’re leading an insider-focused church? In this article I shared 6 indicators that you and your team can use to evaluate your church and discover if you’re leading an insider-focused church.

#3 My Interview with Two Women about their Choice to have an Abortion

I don’t typically post talks that I give, but every once in a while there’s one worth sharing. In this post I share a recent incredible opportunity that I had to interview two very courageous women about their choice to have an abortion, their experience with “church people,” their journey towards healing, and the grace and forgiveness they’ve experienced in Jesus.

#4 4 Leadership Lessons I was Reminded of by the Birth of my 4th Child

Lisa and I were blessed in March with the addition of our 4th child! And I’m not biased or anything, but he’s absolutely incredible! While we’ve gone through this a time or three before I’m still surprised by the depth of amazement, excitement, awe, fear, and loss of control that all collide in my heart at the birth of each of my children. And while we’re playing zone defense and filling up the minivan there are four distinct leadership lessons that this experience has reminded me of…I share those in this post.

#5 4 Ways Leaders Build Culture

Culture is the squishy stuff in an organization that leaders talk about but usually have a hard time articulating. Even more difficult is identifying clear actionable steps to build and reinforce a desired culture. In this post I share four steps you can begin to implement this week to start building the desired culture in your church or organization.


Posted in Leadership