Tag Archive - pastoring


Your Church isn’t Deep Enough

If you’ve led in a church setting for any length of time you know that people will eventually leave your church. People leave churches for all kinds of reasons. Some get new jobs and move away, some disagree with a leadership decision and leave, some don’t like a change in worship music style, some go to another church because that’s where their friends go, some fall into sin and walk away while others leave because it’s not deep enough for them anymore.

In my work consulting with churches and coaching church leaders this, “it’s not deep enough” phrase is becoming more common. And honestly it concerns me. Not because the majority of churches aren’t deep enough, but rather that a majority of people who are trying to follow Jesus misunderstand what spiritual depth really looks like. In fact I’ve already written a couple of posts about this that you can check out:

I’ve heard a lot of Pastors get frustrated with this, “it’s not deep enough” phrase being flippantly thrown around. Now I get that it’s easy to take that statement a bit personally if you’re a Pastor. Yes, some of these people are consumers and need to “grow up” but some of them are genuinely interested in learning more about the Bible and what it teaches and simply don’t know how to express that without saying they’re leaving because your church isn’t deep enough. But people need to be led to greater clarity on what spiritual maturity looks like.

It might be that our content-centric model of church has taught people that content equals spiritual maturity. In other words, the way we are doing church may be contributing to the problem.

It’s not the first time in history that people got upset in a church because it wasn’t deep enough. People have been spouting this complaint since the moment the church started. The Apostle Paul actually addressed this same issue in a letter he wrote to the church at Galatia (it’s called the Book of Galatians). A group of people called Gnostics were telling these young Galatian gentile converts that their version of Christianity wasn’t “deep enough” and they needed to, in addition to the Gospel, observe Jewish law, in particular, they needed to be circumcised. Personally, I could see how that could be a bit of a deterrent to the spread of the Gospel and more people, especially guys, following Jesus.

There is nothing “deeper” than the Gospel. As Christians we’re invited to start with the Gospel and stay with the Gospel. Nothing needs to be added to the Gospel, it is complete in and to itself. There is no deeper teaching in the entire Bible or for that matter in all of history than the Gospel. Trying to add to the Gospel is what got the early Church in trouble and it’s one of the ways that Satan continues to attack the Church today.

So the next time you hear someone say that their church isn’t deep enough it might be worth asking them what they mean by “deep.” They may be trying to add to the Gospel without realizing it.

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation


Pastoring the Pastoral Staff at Your Church

In today’s forward moving churches many church leaders are so focused on what kind of performance they can get out of their Staff that they completely miss the point that their role is to invest in their Staff. It’s easy to get busy managing people, getting things done, and moving towards the vision. But if you’re so busy that you don’t have time to focus on discipleship, development and knowing the team then you run the risk of not only building a toxic culture on your church staff team but missing the real work God has called you to. At the end of the day the church is not a business, it’s the body of Christ. And listen, this is coming from a guy who loves goals, is addicted to progress and would much rather move further faster…but what does it matter if you get there, but you’re all alone, or worse, you’ve left a pile of dead bodies in your wake. If you’re having a difficult time figuring out how to Pastor your church staff while moving towards the goals and vision of the church at the same time then this simple list should help you.

1. Pray

It may sound elementary, but you’d be surprised how many church staff teams simply don’t pray together. On my team we take the time weekly to pray for the needs of the church for a few moments in staff meeting and I regularly start my monthly coaching meetings with individual team members in prayer together.

2. Play

Relationships are the both the glue and the grease that make work possible. Strong relationships minimize friction and keep the team close together. For me, that means I have to like my team, which in turn means we’ve got to spend time together. That’s why I do a couple of nights a year at my house where I get the team together, we’ve blown off work to go bowling, we’ve even been known to shoot skeet at during an offsite (please – all of my pacifist friends don’t hate). I firmly believe that teams that play together, stay together.

3. Spiritual Health Days

One of the better practices that we’ve developed is what we call “Spiritual Health Days.” These are a couple of half days that we build in through out the year where we literally give our staff a half day to complete a set of prepared spiritual exercises and then have lunch with another team member unpacking their experience. Here’s a link to the most recent Spiritual Health Day that we did. Feel free to use this tool with your team.

4. Development Planning

If you know anything about me you know that I believe you get what you plan for. That’s why each of my team members writes down an annual development plan in the form of goals, both professional and personal in nature. We not only talk about these when they’re put into writing but they’re measured through out the year.

Leave a comment; I’d love to hear about what you’ve done to pastor the pastoral staff at your church!

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing


Heading towards burnout Part-2

This post is part-2 of a conversation that we began together last week. It would be worth checking out part-1 of this post to catch up. So let’s go ahead and dive back into how you can know you’re heading towards burnout.

Continue Reading…

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation


Heading towards burnout Part-1

Take a moment to do a quick internet search on “pastor burnout” and the results might shock you. You’ll find pages and pages of articles, statistics, and stories of literally hundreds of men leaving the ministry every single day. Just take a quick look below:

CNNMoney.com posted an article listing 15 “Stressful Jobs That Pay Badly.” Included in this list are #5 “Music Ministry Director” and #10 “Minister.”

Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout or contention in their churches.

Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.

Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.

If you ask me, all of this sounds like a far cry from the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30 where he said: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” So how do you know if you’re headed towards burnout? Below are a few indicators that might be worth taking a look at.

Continue Reading…

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation