Tag Archive - hope

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5 Keys to Growing your Church in 2019

I’ve never met a church leader that didn’t want things at their church to to change for the better. They want more people to say yes to following Jesus, they want people to become better friends with God, and they want their churches to think more about people outside of the church than those already in it.

The trouble is while most church leaders want this year to be better than the last, they don’t want to do anything different.

I’ve said this many times before, people (including you…and me) 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 better doesn’t happen by trying harder, it happens by trying different. It happens through change…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. But if you want to grow at some point you’ve got to stop doing what’s easy and start doing what’s right.

So, to that end, here are a couple ideas that will help you create change this year at your church…and maybe even in you.

Create Accessibility

One of the greatest changes you can make in your church to get different results is to make Jesus and His teachings more accessible to people who don’t know Him. Another way to think about this is to ask yourself or your team, “How accessible is everything at your church to people who are unfamiliar with Jesus and the Church?” How accessible is your website, signage, language, parking lot, building, kids and student ministries, worship services, and teaching to people who are unfamiliar with Jesus and His Church? Most churches simply make it too hard for people to meet and follow Jesus. They don’t do it on purpose, they’ve just forgotten what it is like to be unfamiliar with Jesus. And guess what will happen when you create more accessibility to Jesus? More people will meet Jesus…and isn’t that kinda the point?

Lean into Constraints

You probably have a list of reasons (or excuses) why you can’t grow. Barriers to the future or anchors to the past that are keeping you from getting to the future. Make a list of your top 5 constraints and figure a way through them or around them. You constraints may even be the thing that help you innovate and come up with a solution you would have never otherwise come up with on your own. To that point, one of the top 3 reasons the church I serve at went multisite 6 years ago is because the original location was nearing a point where it would be fully maximized. Today we’re reaching more people for Jesus than ever because we had a facility constraint that forced us into a new solution (multisite) that is helping us reach new people for Jesus than we ever would have or could have at that one original location. Your biggest constraints may just turn out to be your best friend.

Allow Hope to Die

Stop hoping things are going to change at your church. Hope doesn’t change or produce new results at your church. Action does. Specifically, new action. Hope is not a strategy. Too many church boards and church leaders are sitting around praying and hoping that Jesus would do something new and powerful in their church this year when He already did something new and powerful 2,000 years ago on the cross. He’s simply waiting for those same church boards and church leaders to have the same kind of courage He did and lead things forward. 

Draft some new Players

If you want new results at your church, then it may be time to shake up the team a bit. New team members bring new experiences, expertise, ideas, and questions with them that aren’t currently on your team. You become who you hire and sometimes one or two new team members can help shift the entire locker room on a team.

Listen to Fresh Eyes

Sometimes you simply need fresh eyes, someone from the outside to help you see things differently. Sometimes you need an outside voice to say some things that you want to say but can’t. And sometimes you’re just stuck and need help. If that’s your church, then maybe the best step you can take to change things at your church is to engage the Unstuck Group. We help churches grow their impact through church consulting and coaching experiences designed to focus vision, strategy and action.

Taking new and different action will get you different results. And if you need a little help getting unstuck then connect with us at the Unstuck Group, we can help this next year be the best year of ministry you’ve ever experienced!


Posted in Leadership

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10 Articles that will Help Your Church Make Vision Real

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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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. The Bible says this about hope in Proverbs 13:12

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

In other words when we place our hope in something that doesn’t come through it makes our hearts sick. Faith isn’t magic. It won’t automatically make your church everything you and Jesus want it to be.

But putting your faith and hope in a well executed plan that will help you your church take steps of obedience in becoming what Jesus wants His Church to be, that’s a different story. That brings fulfillment to peoples hearts and builds trust between church leaders and their congregations.

Plans Don’t Self-Execute

Nothing works until you do. It doesn’t matter how great your plan is, no plan self executes. Every great ministry started as a great idea, but not every great idea turns into a great ministry. Some of the key reasons why things fall apart when it comes time to actually execute the strategy is a lack of simple good old fashion work ethic, effort, follow through and accountability. Nothing works until you do.

You Get What You Tolerate

If you don’t like the way things are in your church today and you’ve been a part of the leadership team for more than 3 years (less than that and you can blame the prior administration) than most likely it’s because you’ve allowed it to be what it is. You’ve tolerated bad or sloppy behavior and it’s become institutionalized in the culture of the church.

The Best Predictor of Future Performance is Past Behavior

If you really want to know what the future holds for your church, if things are really going to get better or not, then start looking at the current and past behaviors and decisions of the leadership team. If you are hoping to get different results with the same tactics and decisions you’ve made before, then your hope is probably misplaced. The best way to predict a better future is to create it with different strategies and actions than you’ve taken before.

Things are Supposed to get Worse

Don’t forget that Jesus Himself described that things would get worse before He came back to make everything right. Things don’t drift towards unity, completion, discipline, success, health, growth, or whatever your picture of “better” is. Things naturally fall apart, grow old, and die. It’s the nature of things post-fall. Left alone, things drift towards failure.

Photo Credit: DieselDemon via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing

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Unconfined: An interview with Chris Coleman

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Christopher Coleman, a friend of mine who was pronounced dead at birth and who spent the first 15 minutes in this world not breathing. God had other plans for him however, and while he struggles with cerebral palsy, Chris serves in full time ministry and is an incredible communicator. His story is heartfelt and impactful, you can read it for yourself on his website

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Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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when darkness delivers

In the blockbuster-hit movie, “The Dark Knight,” Harvey Dent, the District Attorney of Gotham City, is quoted as saying; “The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming.” While it was a good line in a great movie, this idea appears to have first been penned in 1650 by the English theologian and historian Thomas Fuller. Who wrote in A Pisgah-Sight of Palestine And The Confines Thereof, “It is always darkest just before the Day dawneth.”

 

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Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation