Tag Archive - network


What’s Wrong With Big Churches? Part-1

Big churches aren’t going away any time soon. Whoever quipped that the megachurch is dying spoke a little too soon. In fact a few years ago 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.

So, understanding that people in church-world seem to have some strong feelings about large churches a couple of years ago I asked a simple question to readers here on my blog, “What’s wrong with big churches?” As you can imagine, I received quite a bit of input. So with no commentary from me (at least on part-1 of this post anyway), here are the top 10 complaints I received about large churches.

#1 “It’s Difficult to Connect with People”

Far and away this was the most common complaint I received about large churches. The complaint goes like this, “There are so many people who attend these large churches, that new people seem to have a difficult time connecting with the people who are already there and building new friendships.”

#2 “The Pastor doesn’t Know Me”

I want to go to a church where the pastor knows me and I know the pastor. If something is going on in my life, the pastor should know about it and I should be able to talk to them and get the help and counsel I need directly from the pastor. If the pastor doesn’t really know me then they must not care about me, and why would I go to a church where I’m not cared about?

#3 “It’s all about the Budget and the Buildings”

All large churches care about is money; they’re always talking about money. Their facilities are so elaborate; they could probably honor God more by helping the poor and actually taking care of people instead of building a bunch of gaudy, high-tech, buildings. I wouldn’t give my money to a large church they have enough.

#4 “The Staff are always Changing”

Every time I go to church there is a new a staff member that I don’t know. I feel like as we’re growing we’re adding all of these new staff members and I don’t know who does what anymore. What’s worse is it seems like we’re losing staff too! Really good ones who helped this church become what it is. If they’re leaving maybe I should too.

#5 “They only care about Numbers not Discipleship”

All large churches care about is numbers and being big or getting bigger. But discipleship happens one-on-one. It’s small. Large churches care about reaching the masses but then they forget about them after they are reached and they have to go to a smaller church to be discipled.

#6 “They Build Consumers not Disciples”

The large church environment provides opportunities for people to attend anonymously and enjoy the ministries of a large church but remain uncommitted and unplugged from church life. You can attend and never get in a Bible Study or volunteer or grow in your relationship with Jesus and others.

#7 “They’ve turned the Church into a Business”

Many people compare and think of large churches the way they think of a corporation or a large business. They assume that because there are components that behave like a business (human resources, finances, facilities, and so on) that it can’t be God honoring.

#8 “The Sermons are a Mile Wide & an Inch Deep”

In other words, “If they were really preaching the Word of God all those people wouldn’t be going there.” The sermons at large churches are designed just to make people feel good and draw a crowd.

#9 “All they care about is the Weekend Show”

All of the time, and energy, and talent go into making the weekend services great. If they would put that same amount of resources into other ministries like children’s ministry, student ministry, and discipleship ministries we might be able to actually make disciples. Discipleship doesn’t happen in the weekend services.

#10 “They’re really Lousy at Communication”

I used to know people here and I always knew what was going on. But now as things have grown I don’t know anything anymore. So much is happening, where can I go to find out about what is going on and how my family and me can be involved? And what’s most frustrating is that when change happens (which is all the time) I’m always surprised.

Posted in Leadership


Join a Multisite Leadership Coaching Network

I’m excited to share some big news with you! At the Unstuck Group we’ve successfully been coaching Pastors and other Ministry Leaders at churches across America for years. And this fall we are offering 7 brand new coaching networks including the one I’ll be facilitating, Multisite Leadership.

In this Coaching Network you’ll learn from leaders who have served in some of the largest multisite churches in the country about developing a strategy and structure for growing the impact of one church in multiple locations.

> When & Where will We Meet?
Colorado Springs, CO
Gatherings: October 1-2, January 28-29 and April 14-15
Video Conferences (1:30-3pm EST): November 13, December 11, February 12, March 11, May 13  and June, 10

> Who Will Participate?
These networks are designed for leaders and strategists who serve in a local church. Typically, that has included lead pastors, executive pastors, campus pastors and other senior leaders. You’ll participate in an environment where you can experience coaching but also learn from your peers.

> What Will You Receive?
The group receives six days of in-person coaching sessions over nine months, plus six 90-minute video conference coaching sessions in the months when the group is not meeting in person. This includes training on a variety of ministry strategy topics including staffing, leadership development, communications, financial stewardship, volunteer team development, weekend services, ministry structure, discipleship, multisite and more. You’ll learn about tools, exercises and best practices to implement after every session. In addition, in the multisite network we’ll:

  • Discover how to identify and develop Campus Pastors
  • Gain exposure to different Multisite Models
  • Determine how to know if you’re ready to go multisite and how to you launch your first campus successfully
  • Learn how to restructure your staffing and systems successfully to support a multisite model
  • Move past 3 campuses (80% of multisite churches in America never get past 3 campuses)

One of the primary benefits will be the opportunity to network with and learn from like-minded leaders. We set aside dedicated time in every gathering to talk through the pressing issues you are facing. You’ll have access to your coach throughout the network gatherings. Additionally, you’ll receive several free resources and books, plus some other fun surprises.

> What are the Expectations & Costs?
You will be expected to attend all coaching sessions, cover your own travel expenses as needed, and commit to reading a book and completing exercises between sessions. Complete the coaching network application and pay your initial deposit to hold your space. The deposit will be your first month’s fees. The fee to participate in the network is $2,500.

The Unstuck Team provides leadership training for pastors and other ministry leaders through coaching networks. These networks are focused on helping you discover the shifts that need to happen in your leadership and your ministry strategies and systems. The only way to get different results is to engage different systems. This experience will challenge you to take those next steps.

This network is limited to just 12 spots, so follow this link to register and get all of the details you need to be a part of Coaching Network!

Posted in Leadership


Join a Multisite Leadership Coaching Network

I’m excited to share some big news with you! At the Unstuck Group we’ve successfully been coaching Pastors and other Ministry Leaders at churches across America for years. This year we are taking new ground and offering our first ever MultiSite Coaching Network. This network is designed for leaders of multisite churches, to help them grow in leadership and succeed in addressing the unique challenges they face.

The coaching experience at the Unstuck Group is built around simple and practical systems and tools to help you take your next steps as a leader. We’ll take a look at best practices in growing, healthy churches. Together, we’ll press into tough conversations to help you get unstuck in your leadership and ministry impact.

Our coaching networks are focused on helping you discover the shifts that need to happen in your leadership and your ministry strategies and systems. The only way to get different results is to engage different systems. These coaching networks will challenge you to take those next steps.

In addition, in this unique first of its kind network you will also:

  • Discover how to identify and develop Campus Pastors.
  • Gain exposure to different Multisite Models.
  • Learn how to know if you’re ready to go multisite and how to you launch your first campus successfully.
  • Learn how to restructure your staffing and systems successfully to support a multisite model.
  • Dig into Mergers, Hive-offs and Parachute drops.
  • Get access to experienced multisite leaders like Jim Tomberlin the nations foremost multisite expert and founder of Multisite Solutions.

This is not an opportunity for someone who is looking for inspiration: This coaching network involves work. You can’t just show up. You will have to commit to six months of reading and engaging exercises with the ministry team at your church.

This experience isn’t for people looking for leadership theory: Yes, you’ll learn some leadership skills, but this experience is designed for you to put those skills into action. Every month you will leave with new tools to implement in your ministry environment.

This is not a conference experience: In a conference, you can sit and soak in the teaching without engaging anyone else. In this coaching experience, you will be encouraged and challenged by other leaders who will be counting on you to participate fully.

Location: The Multisite Coaching Network will meet in Phoenix once a month, for six months, on Fridays from 9:00am-3:00pm.

Dates: April 17, May 15, June 12, July 24, August 21 and September 18

This network is limited to just 12 spots, so if you want to get in, register asap! The deadline to apply is March 6, 2015.

To register and get all of the details you need to be a part of this opportunity follow this link.

Posted in Leadership


4 Strategies to Start in 2015 that will Change your Church

It’s January and the gyms are packed. They’re making money hand over fist this month with everyone making New Years Resolutions to finally get in shape. And when I go to the gym in February it will be back to normal. People are notorious for making huge goals at the New Year and then not following through. That’s why I want to give you a couple of small changes you can realistically make this year that will change your church in 2015. You’ll be surprised by how small degrees of change that you make in your trajectory today can pay dividends in the future. So here are 4 small changes that can make a big deal in your church in 2015.

1. Start Hand Writing Notes

Every week set aside 30 minutes to write a couple of notes and send them in the mail. It can be a thank you to a generous giver or a volunteer. It can be encouraging words to a staff member. You can send a note to say thanks for visiting to a guest. Or send a simple “I prayed for you today,” to someone going through a difficult time. Nothing beats a handwritten note. It’s a simple personal touch that says you care and it makes you more authentic and accessible as a leader. Yes, this means using an actual pen to actually write something and put it in the mail. Not an email, not a text, not a direct message on social media but an actual letter.

2. Build an Integrated Ministry Calendar

Get your ministry staff or leaders together and spend the time to build one integrated calendar for the year. Include weekend teaching series, all church events, and segment ministry calendars like Children’s Ministry and Student Ministries. You’ll quickly discover where ministries are in competition with each other, fuel islands of strength, and you’ll be able to simplify your efforts and make sure everyone is moving in the same direction.

3. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate

Take some time with your team to build a list of every ministry at your church (this might actually take a lot of time for some teams). Then ask 4 simple questions about them: 1) What’s Working? 2) What’s Wrong? 3) What’s Confusing? 4) What’s Missing? Then optimize what’s working, change what’s wrong, clarify what’s confusing, and add what’s missing.

4. Join a Leadership Coaching Network

The whole church gets better when the leader gets better. You can be inspired at a leadership conference and hear a lot of leadership theory; or you spend the time to be around other leaders who are in the trenches, engage in leadership exercises, read and discuss great leadership books and trends, and discover new systems and strategies that you can implement in your local church context. Here’s a link if you’re interested in taking this step.

Photo Credit: Great Beyond via Compfight cc

Posted in Leadership


Meet my New Leadership Coaching Network

I’m really excited about my next Leadership Coaching Network that’s beginning in a couple of weeks! I wanted to take a minute to introduce you to these incredible leaders that I’ll be spending the next 6 months with, including links to their churches and social media so you can get to know them!

1. Brian LaMew, Campus Pastor at Sun Valley Community Church Tempe Campus located in Tempe, AZ

2. Brian McCoy, Pastor of Discipleship & Outreach at Foothills Baptist Church located in Phoenix, AZ

3. Danny Wells, Executive Pastor at The Vertical Church located in Yuma, AZ

4. Eric Allred, Campus Pastor at Sun Valley Community Church Gilbert Campus located in Gilbert, AZ

5. Matt Martin, Executive Pastor at Northrock Church located in San Antonio, TX

6. Ronnie Bunton, Student Pastor at Harvest Community Church located in Mesa, AZ

7. William Sullivan, Lead Pastor at Endurance Church of the Valley located in Tempe, AZ

Although this coaching network is closed, it’s not too early to apply for the next one. Here are the coaching network details including a link to the application.

In the mean time say hello to my new friends, check out their church websites, and connect with them on Social Media!

Photo Credit: djwtwo via Compfight cc

Posted in Leadership
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