Tag Archive - kids

2

How to make Guests Feel Uncomfortable at your Church

It’s uncomfortable for a person who’s unfamiliar with God and church to go to church for the first time. Often times they feel as though they’re taking a huge risk by even showing up. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that churches do to make guests feel even more uncomfortable when they go to church for the first time. Here are just a few…

Use Insider Language

Churches are notorious for using cute insider language like the “Butterfly Room” for the 2-year-olds. Just call it the 2-year-old room, that’s going to help guests understand it and not feel like an outsider. No guest knows if their kid should go in the butterfly room or the lady bug room…they’re raising kids not bugs. Also stay away from acrostics…I know every good Christian in America should know what FPU means, but I’m telling you, people who are new to church have no idea what you’re talking about. And if it’s confusing to them it could be the difference in them leaning in towards Jesus or away.

Point them Out

New people love to be singled out and made the center of attention, so make sure you do something like have them all remain seated and have everyone greet them in the worship service at some point. I hope you know that I’m kidding…if you don’t, let me let you in on a little secret…I’m kidding. Don’t point out new guests. Instead think through creative and nonthreatening ways for guests to self-identify themselves and let you know they’re there.

Make it Confusing to Navigate the Building

Make sure that you don’t use clear signage throughout your building. Guests should just know where to go when they come to our church, and if they don’t it’s their own fault. If they came to church more often they’d figure it out. When guests don’t know where to park, don’t know which entrance to go in, and have a difficult time navigating the facility because you haven’t thought about that for them and helped them through great way-finding, that always makes an already awkward situation worse.

Don’t Update your Facilities

That church building that looks and smells like it’s fresh out of 1980…yeah don’t update it, it’s vintage. We don’t need to impress people with our building. We’re here to worship God, not a building. I don’t think church buildings need to be crazy, over the top impressive…but when a church facility is not on par with other public space in the community it’s going to make guests feel uncomfortable.

Have Weird People taking care of their Kids

It’s weird dropping off your kids with someone you’ve never met before. It probably even makes some people feel like bad parents. Dropping off a kid in a room that is dirty and has old carpet, where the toys aren’t clean or a room that smells bad can make guests feel very uncomfortable. Not to mention dropping off kids where there is only a teenager or a male volunteer in the room can plain creep guests out. Oh, and make sure you don’t change their kids diapers and give the kids back to the guests with a dirty diaper…that always makes guests feel comfortable (sarcasm intended).

Ever been uncomfortable visiting a church for the first time? What made it so awkward for you? What are some other things you’ve seen churches do to make guests feel uncomfortable? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear about your experience and observations!


Posted in Leadership

0

5 Questions Stuck Churches Commonly Ask

You’ve probably heard me say before that “stuckness” is no respecter of the “brand” or “flavor” of a church. All kinds of churches across America are stuck. Large churches, small churches, old churches, new churches, Baptist churches, Methodist churches, Nazarene churches, Presbyterian church and even non-denominational churches are stuck. In fact Thom Rainer, President and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources has stated in his research that:

 

“Eight out of ten of the approximately 400,000 churches in the United States are declining or have plateaued.”

That’s 80% if you’re doing the math. In my work consulting with churches and coaching church leaders there are 5 common questions or values that I see come up over and over again in churches that are stuck, but sometimes don’t know it yet. Could this be your church?

1. How do we make change and keep people from leaving the church?

The simple answer is, you don’t. The good news is people are always going to leave your church. You get to choose who leaves by the decisions you make and the way you lead. Churches who are making decisions based on who they are going to keep instead of who they are going to reach are stuck.

2. How do we get more people in our discipleship class?

If your primary method of discipleship is a class, your church may be educating people but they’re not building disciples. Christian education is not the same thing as disciple making. If you don’t have a clear pathway for people who say yes to Jesus to move towards knowing Him and following Him then your church is moving towards being stuck.

3. How can we hire more staff to run more ministries?

When your church is hiring people to do ministry instead of lead people to do ministry your church is stuck. Church that are rapidly moving towards providing more “ministry services” for more people to attend and participate in instead of investing those same resources into developing volunteers are often stuck and don’t know it yet. Ministry participation is not the same thing as people development.

4. How can we protect our kids and students from the world?

Churches that adopt a protection-oriented mindset instead of a preparation-oriented mindset often end up stuck because that thinking permeates the entire culture of the church. These churches are often risk-averse and talk about defending the Gospel. The Gospel doesn’t need to be defended from outsiders it needs to be unleashed. These churches often choose to curse the darkness instead of proclaiming the light.

5. How can we continue to increase our missions giving?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for missions. But when a church begins to take pride in supporting a long list of missionaries across an ocean instead of doing anything short of sin to reach people in their neighborhood with the Gospel they are stuck.

Need help getting your church unstuck? The Strategic Operating Process that we lead churches through at the Unstuck Group will help your church clarify your mission, vision, and core strategies—and then realize it through prioritized action initiatives.


Posted in Leadership

0

10 Articles that will Help Your Church Make Vision Real

Thank you for making January a great month here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real! It’s great staying 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!

5 Reasons People Don’t Sing at your Church

We all want people engaging in worship, but what is really in our control and how can we help people connect through the music? Here is a list of factors that contribute to how people respond and engage during worship in our churches.

A Large Multisite Church in Phoenix is Hiring Worship Leaders/Pastors!

I’m pleased to announce a new Staff Search. Sun Valley Community Church, the church I have the honor of serving at, is beginning a national search for two new full-time Worship Leaders/Pastors.

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.

4 Steps to Building an Intentional Culture in your Church in 2016

Building an intentional “culture” at your church is something a lot of people are talking these days but few people are actually doing. Truth is every church already has a culture, but most of them are built on accident.

When to Add Another Worship Service at your Church

Thinking about adding another worship service at your church? Here are five strategic concepts to consider before you do.

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.

5 Reasons Why the Church is an Anti-Leadership Organization

There are all kinds of threats and challenges facing the church these days. But underlying them all is one common denominator. The greatest crisis facing the modern day church is a crisis of leadership. Churches don’t naturally attract, develop, or keep leaders. But why?

How to Gain and Sustain Momentum at your Church

There is one resource that every organization needs and smart leaders seek out. It is a resource that cannot be purchased, borrowed or copied from someone else. Churches and organizations that have it, experience far greater wins than those that do not. Teams that have it perform at their best, without it they almost always flounder. It is a key determining factor in whether a church or ministry thrives or dies. It’s a single word. Momentum.

Stop Paying People to do Ministry

Paying people to “do” ministry instead of “lead” ministry is an expensive mistake that many churches fall into. Here are 3 principles that will help you focus the Staffing & Volunteer philosophy at your church.

6 Children’s Ministry Trends

Hear 6 Children’s Ministry trends directly from two very successful Children’s Ministry Leaders.

Photo Credit: justin fain via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

0

10 Articles that will Help Your Church Make Vision Real

Thank you for making October a great month here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real! It’s great staying 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

Yea, so even though this was written in 2013, this post continues to be one of the most visited on my blog. 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.”

Why Secret Sauce is Better than any X-Factor at your Church

When a church begins to grow people usually start to wonder and ask, “What’s the Secret Sauce?” or “What’s the X-Factor?” Why is this church growing? Now let me preface this article and say we know that God is the one who draws people to Himself and grows His Church. Yet, it would be disingenuous to exclude the human effort or circumstantial situations that contribute to the sustained growth of a church.

What’s Wrong with Big Churches? Part-1 & 2

Some time ago I asked a simple question to the readers here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real, “What’s wrong with big churches?” As you can imagine I received some emotionally charged answers. But as I sifted through the responses there were 10 key issues that kept coming up.

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. This is a critical issue for churches to figure out. The reason why this has to be a front-burner issue is because at the heart of it, volunteering is an essential component of the discipleship process in someone’s life. Plainly put, volunteering is discipleship. Understanding that, here are 8 reasons people aren’t volunteering in your church…and subsequently aren’t growing in their relationship with God.

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. It’s not uncommon in churches that I work with to hear them say, “We need to add more staff.” After all if there are problems or areas where the church is stuck then throwing staff at that problem will surely fix it…right? Well, not always. In fact the opposite may be true. In fact the most effective churches that I see have a tendency to hire fewer staff not more staff. They hire more competent team members who have the ability to turn attenders into volunteers, volunteers into leaders, and build teams. Instead of paying people to do ministry they pay people to lead others to do ministry.

Video Teaching Versus Live Teaching in a Multisite Church

When the multisite movement really began gaining public traction 10 years ago the predominate models that were held up were using video to deliver teaching across their campuses. Since those early days the multisite movement has begun to grow up a bit and today about 50% of the 8,000 (ballpark) multisite churches are delivering teaching via video while the other 50% are using live teaching in their locations. But what are the pros and cons? Which model is best for your church?

Why People don’t Volunteer at Church Anymore

In our research at the Unstuck Group we’ve discovered that:

  • The average church in America engages 43% of their adult and student attenders in some kind of volunteer role.
  • The Top 10% of churches in America engage more than 72% of their adult and student attenders in some kind of volunteer role.

That being said, I’ve never worked with a church that said they had enough volunteers to accomplish the vision that Jesus has given them. In fact here are some of the most common reasons why people may not be volunteering at your church.

Learning from Kids about Leadership

The other day I sat down with a couple of the most influential people in my life to talk about leadership. Their perspective and input is very important to me. No leader becomes a great leader alone. Great leaders learn from others and invite input from others they trust.

Me? Some of the voices I listen to are my 11 year old, 10 year old, 7 year old, and 2 year old kids. Here’s what they had to say about leadership.

5 BIG Questions to Answer Before you go Multisite

Currently there are more than 8,000 multisite churches across America and more than 1,600 mega churches (churches of more than 2,000 people in weekly attendance). While both are growing the multisite church movement has outpaced the mega church movement in America. What was once seen as only a Band-Aid strategy for space issues at mega churches has become a vehicle for growth in local churches of all kinds and all sizes (the average size a church goes multisite is around 850-1200). “Multi” doesn’t mean “Mega” anymore. Your church may be considering going multisite. If so, that’s exciting news and I’d love to hear about it! But before you do here are 5 big questions you need to answer before you take the multisite plunge.

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.

Photo Credit: justin fain via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

1

Learning from Kids about Leadership

The other day I sat down with a couple of the most influential people in my life to talk about leadership. Their perspective and input is very important to me. No leader becomes a great leader alone. Great leaders learn from others and invite input from others they trust.

Me? Some of the voices I listen to are my 11 year old, 10 year old, 7 year old, and 2 year old kids. Here’s what they had to say about leadership.

  • Leadership is setting an example for people around you.
  • Good leadership is being the best you can be.
  • Good leaders are obedient to their parents…translation…leaders know how to be under authority not just in authority.
  • Leadership means always having a happy heart…translation…the attitude of a leader matters.
  • Good leaders care more for others than they do for themselves.
  • Good leaders let others go first.
  • Bad leaders have a bad attitude and don’t care about others.
  • Good leaders always have good sportsmanship.
  • Bad leaders don’t care about others opinions, they’re in it for themselves…translations a sure fire way to become a bad leader is only looking out for yourself and not listening to others.
  • Bad leaders don’t want to be around their families…translation…bad leaders are lonely leaders, they lead alone.
  • “Don’t be a bad leader” (nuff said)

Oh, and my 2 year old added, “bee-doo, bee-doo, bee-doo Goooo Gators!” (smart kid)


Posted in Leadership
Page 1 of 212»