Tag Archive - interview

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How to Choose the Next Board Members at your Church

If you’ve led in a church for any length of time you can probably tell some stories of experiences you’ve had with dysfunctional Church Boards. Church Board become dysfunctional for a variety of reasons and there are some basic steps you can take to avoid a dysfunctional Board. The first step is to avoid inviting the wrong people to the Board. In writing this post I’m assuming that you’re already vetting potential Board Members based on the letters the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy and Titus about selecting church leaders. 

1. Timing

The best way to get to know potential new Board Members is up close and over time. Which means you’ve always got be “dragging the magnet through the sand” and developing people. If you’re a new church start up I wouldn’t recommend inviting people to a Board role until after the first 3 years. It takes at least that long to establish the vision, see who’s actually going to be with you, and start building a culture. Otherwise they’re just going to bring all of their ideas from their old church. This goes for people who are new to an established church as well…give them enough time to acculturate to your church. You can get yourself into trouble if you invite people to leadership too soon.

2. Volunteering

This one may seem like a no brainer, but if they’re not already a part of a volunteer team leading somewhere, not just volunteering, but leading somewhere then you need to pass.

3. Giving

If they’re not already generously supporting the ministry of the church financially then you need to pass on them. I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this one because church people get weird when the topic of money comes up, but trust me, if they’re not giving they’re not with you, and you don’t want someone on your Board that’s not with you.

4. Trust

If the Sr. Pastor doesn’t trust them then you’ve got to pass on them. That may seem shallow, but no Sr. Pastor wants people on their Board that they can’t or don’t trust.

5. Need

Have you stopped to ask, “What do we need on our Board right now?” With what we’re going through, where we’re going, the personalities on the Board currently, what’s needed in the next Board Member?

6. Protect

If they’re not going to help protect the staff, the vision, the doctrine, and build and protect the unique culture of your church, then they’re not the right next person to be on your Board.

7. Power

They’re not chasing a title, a role, or a seat of influence or power. They understand that power is given to serve others not push people around.

Follow this link to learn about the “4 Stages that Church Boards Go Through”

What else would you add to the list? Leave a comment!


Posted in Leadership

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The Unstuck Church: An Interview with Tony Morgan

UnstuckBookInterview from Paul Alexander on Vimeo.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Tony Morgan, the Founder and Lead Strategist at the Unstuck Group, to talk about his new book The Unstuck Church.

In the conversation we discussed:

  • The 7 Phases of a Church Life-Cycle
  • Do all churches go through all 7 phases?
  • What does it take for a church to reach “Sustained Health?”
  • What are some early warning signs that a church has entered into the “Maintenance Phase” and is getting ready to decline?
  • It it possible for a church to get stuck in the “Momentum Growth,” or “Strategic Growth,” phases, and what does that look like?
  • Is it possible for a church to recover once its entered the “Preservation,” or “Life Support” phases?

Follow this link to pick up your own copy of The Unstuck Church!

Tony is founder and chief strategic officer of The Unstuck Group, a company that helps churches get unstuck through consulting and coaching experiences designed to focus vision, strategy and action. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church in Dallas, Georgia, NewSpring Church in South Carolina, and Granger Community Church in Indiana. He’s written several books, as well as articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com. He writes about leadership regularly at tonymorganlive.com. His next book, The Unstuck Church: Equipping Churches to Experience Sustained Health, from Thomas Nelson is now available.


Posted in Leadership

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10 Articles that will Help your Church Make Vision Real

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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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.

Scouts are Always Scouting

Talent scouts are always looking for talent. Great churches are always looking for great talent. At conferences, meals, passing conversations, simple introductions, or any opportunity to network scouts are always scouting. If you’re good at your job then people are always going to want you to come do that job with them. It never bothers me when other churches are looking at staff members on my team. They should be, they’re talented people. It bothers me when that doesn’t happen. That’s when I get nervous.

Eroding or Building your Brand

Everything you do either builds or erodes your “brand.” Every social media post you make. Every project you deliver on time, on budget, past time or over budget. If you’re a youth pastor and you get back from camp on time, or late. If you do what you say you’re going to do, or not. In every interaction you’re building a brand that certain people are attracted to and others are repelled by. Now don’t hear what I’m not saying. By no means would I endorse image management, rather I’m talking about agreeing with Jesus about who He has wired you up to be and living as the best version of your self at all times, in all settings.

Moving Up, Out, or Staying Put

With every action you take in your current job you’re either building trust with your supervisor or losing it. You’re either demonstrating that you can be given more responsibility, less responsibility, or you can handle the scope of work you’re currently at right now. The great news is you get to choose your attitude, the manner with which you approach your work, other team members, and to a great deal the results of your work.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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5 Reasons I Would Never Hire You

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to hire a lot of people. Student Ministry Pastors, Campus Pastors, Children’s Pastors, Worship Pastors, Executive level roles and Administrative roles. I’ve run the searches myself and used an Executive Search Firm. I’ve even had the opportunity as a consultant to help other churches find their right next hire. Hire the right person and the whole team benefits. When you invite the right person to join your team not only is there is an infusion of new talent, but also new ideas, fresh eyes, and a new well of experiences to go to. One new hire can make the entire team better. On the other hand, hire the wrong person and you can pay a price you weren’t prepared to pay. While at first pass this post may come off as negative, the goal I can assure you, is to be helpful. I’ve had to say no to more people than I’ve said yes to. My hope is that this post will help move you in the direction where you’d hear me, or someone else, say yes to you in the near future.

1. Attitude

Your attitude is more valuable than your aptitude. You can learn skills, and talent can be developed, but attitude is one of those things you either have or you don’t. I want you to come in and help make the team better, and a bad attitude or critical spirit never makes the team better.

2. Track Record

I’m not all that impressed by big talkers. Sales pitches usually don’t work on me. So don’t try and impress me and sell me on what you’re going to do. Show me what you’ve done. And while it doesn’t necessarily need to be “big,” it does needs to have been done well and there needs to be a track record of progressive responsibility. Over and over and over again…all throughout the Bible when people who have been faithful with the little they’re given, they are then are given an opportunity to be faithful with more.

3. Creative Problem Solving

Please don’t think that when you finally arrive in a large church that you’ll finally have the resources you wish you had in a smaller church you were serving in. Like a lot of things, resource challenges often scale. You need to have a proven track record of resourcefulness. Instead of being frustrated at resource challenges or other potential issues learn to live on the solution side of every problem. Develop an eye for opportunity and improvement not a critical spirit that tears people and ministries down.

4. High E.Q.

You’ve got to demonstrate a high level of emotional intelligence if you’re going to be very successful in ministry over the long haul. Relationships are both the glue and the grease that make work happen in the workplace. And at the end of the day if you don’t like to and don’t want to be around people, you’re going to have a pretty tough time in local church ministry.

5. I Actually Like You

This may seem like the shallowest one on the list, but it may just be the most important factor in any hire. The reason why is chemistry and culture. While I’m not paying you to be my friend, friendship is an incredibly high value on my team. You see if I can’t picture you getting along with the team and me, if I can’t picture hanging out with you, if you don’t have a similar DNA to the team your joining then chances are you don’t belong on the team.

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Simms Photography via Compfight cc


Posted in Staffing
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